"Did he just phase on my doorstep?!" Emily's eyes widened as she turned to Kim, her voice urgent. "What did you tell him?"

"Not much," Kim admitted, her own voice shaky. "Just that Sam could explain everything. He was so angry, Emily. I didn't know what else to do."

"You did the right thing," Emily said, quickly locking the door with trembling hands. She grabbed her phone, her fingers flying over the screen as she dialed Sam's number.

"Come on, pick up," Emily muttered, tapping her foot. Kim's heart pounded in her chest. She could hear Quil outside, his heavy breathing interspersed with low growls. The door seemed like a fragile barrier between them.

After what seemed like 100 rings, Sam finally picked up. Emily's voice was urgent as she spoke into the phone. "Sam, we have a situation. Quil phased right on our doorstep. Yes, he's outside now." She paused, listening intently. "I know, I know. Just get here as soon as you can."

Hanging up, Emily turned to Kim. "Sam's already on his way. We need to stay inside until then."

Kim nodded, her mind racing. She moved closer to a closed window overlooking Emily's front yard, and peered through. Quil's massive wolf form was pacing back and forth, his eyes wild and frantic. Each step he took seemed to shake the ground beneath.

"Quil," she called softly, her voice trembling but steady. "It's Kim. We're here for you, okay? Sam's on his way. Just try to stay calm."

A low growl was his only response, but Kim pressed on. "I know this is scary, but you're not alone. We're going to help you through this," she said more confidently than she felt.

Emily stood beside her, nodding encouragingly. "That's right, Quil. We're all in this together. Just hold on a little longer."

Kim took a deep breath, willing herself to stay calm. "Emily, do you think he understands us?"

Emily sighed. "I hope so. But he's so new to this, and the anger... it makes it hard for him to think clearly."

"Quil, listen to me," Kim tried again, her voice firmer now. "You're going through scary changes right now, but you're strong. You were born to do it."

The pacing slowed, Quil's eyes flickering with recognition. He lowered his head, a low whine escaping his throat. Kim's heart ached at the sound, but she forced herself to stay strong.

"That's it," she said. "Just breathe. We're going to get through this."

Emily reached out, placing a hand on Kim's shoulder. "You're doing great, Kim. Just keep talking to him. It seems he needs to hear a familiar voice."

Kim nodded, her voice steadying. "Remember when we were kids, Quil? Jake, Embry and you used to run around the reservation, pretending to be superheroes? Well, you're a superhero now, Quil. And we need you to stay as calm as you can."

The words seemed to reach him, his body relaxing slightly. The growls subsided, replaced by heavy, labored breaths. Kim felt a flicker of hope. Maybe, just maybe, they could get through this.

Minutes felt like hours, but finally, the Sam's tall, imposing figure emerged from the shadows, his eyes scanning the scene.

"Quil," Sam said, his voice calm but commanding. His presence brought a sense of relief, his authority a stabilizing force in the chaos. "I need you to listen to me. Focus on my voice. You're alright."

Kim watched as Sam slowly approached Quil, his movements deliberate and careful. The tension in the air was almost palpable. "You're safe, Quil. Just breathe."

Quil's massive form shuddered, his breaths evening out slightly. Kim held her breath, praying that he would find the strength to hold on.

"You're strong, Quil," Sam continued, his tone unwavering. "You can control this. Just listen to me."

Gradually, the fury in Quil's eyes began to fade, replaced by a weary resignation. Kim felt a surge of relief as he took a step back, his body relaxing slightly.

"Come on, Quil. Let's take a walk," Sam said, his voice gentle but firm. "You need to understand what's happening to you."

As Sam phased and led Quil away, Paul suddenly emerged from the trees and approached Emily's window, his face a mask of urgency. "Connweller, you need to come with me. It's Jared. He's hurt."

Kim's heart stopped, her mind reeling. "What happened?" she demanded, stepping forward to unlock the door. Her shaking hands fumbled with the key, until Emily grabbed it and unlocked the door. "Where is he?" Kim cried.

"We ran into a vampire. Jared got hurt trying to protect us. He's at the clinic with Sue Clearwater," Paul said, scratching his neck uncomfortably. "Come with me."

"Go," Emily said, rubbing Kim's shoulders gently. "He needs you now."

Kim followed Paul in a daze, every step a mixture of fear and desperation. The familiar path to the clinic felt unbearably long, the seconds stretching into eternity. She couldn't stop thinking about Jared, about the danger he had faced and the pain he must be in.

"How did you know where I was?" She asked Paul when the silence became unbearable.

"Collective mind, remember? We could see Quil's 's how Sam got home so fast. That's how we stopped Quil from shredding that front door like a paper plate."

"Oh. I thought I helped calm him down."

"You did," he patted her shoulder. "You and Emily did great. You were really brave and composed."

"Don't compliment me; it's freaking me out," she muttered.

"Well, don't get used to it. I'm as surprised as you are."



"How bad is it? Be honest."

Paul sighed. "I'm not sure. He's pretty scratched up. But, he's also strong. He'll be fine, I think. For all we know, he could be faking it because he's a sissy," he added with a weak smile.

They reached the clinic, and Paul led her inside. Kim's breath caught in her throat as she saw Jared lying on a bed, unconscious. His body was battered, his face pale. Sue Clearwater was tending to him, her expression one of focused determination.

"Jared," Kim whispered, rushing to his side. She took his hand in hers, her heart breaking at the sight of him. "I'm here. You're going to be okay."

Sue looked up, her eyes filled with sympathy. "He's strong, Kim. He'll pull through this. But it's going to take time."

"Sue, is there anything I can do? Anything at all?" Kim asked, her voice desperate.

Sue gave her a comforting smile. "Just being here helps more than you know. Talk to him. Sometimes, hearing a loved one's voice can make all the difference."

Kim nodded, tears streaming down her face. "I'm not leaving him," she said fiercely. "I'll be here as long as he needs me."

Paul placed a hand on her shoulder. "I'll stay with you."

Sue opened her mouth to protest, but then she looked at them and seemed to think better of it. "I'll bring another chair," she said with a sigh, and left the room.