Guidance

Chapter Two


*Edited—Cali's five years old.


That night, I would sleep comfortably in the old guest room that would become my and Calindra's room until the other guest room could be cleaned out. Emily had lent me some clothes—that were a bit short on me, but still fit fine—and a big t-shirt for Cali, then said we'd be going shopping tomorrow. I told her I was supposed to go to school tomorrow, and she was surprised to learn that I'd skipped a grade level, but oddly pleased at the same time. She assured me that I would go to school on Tuesday, and that we'd use tomorrow to shop for clothing—in Port Angeles, though, not Seattle. I was a little upset when Embry had to go. He was growing me on—he was like a best friend, now. I needed a best friend, too.

Calindra looked up at me when I sat on the bed. She was waiting for me, so I could hum a lullaby to her so she could fall asleep next to me. I saw her eyes, holding questions, gaze at me, as if I had all the answers to those questions.

"Jani?" she asked.

"Yes, Cali?"

"Where's Mother and Father?" I stiffened. I didn't know what to tell her. I, myself, was avoiding even thinking about that. I knew she had to know—she would never give up questioning—but how would she react? I knew there would be tears, from both of us. But I just had to tell her. I walked around the room, turning off the light so that the moonlight shone through the window and dimly lit the room. I got under the covers and pulled Cali to my chest, holding her tightly as if she would drift away if I didn't. She snuggled up to me and buried her face in my neck.

"Mother and Father…" I began. Those titles seemed so impersonal, but that's what we grew up calling them. "Mom and Dad…they aren't coming back, Cali." There was silence, then Cali moved and looked up at me, those big brown eyes full of sadness and confusion. It was like she knew, just as well as I did, that our parents were dead.

"Jani," she said quietly. "I had a nightmare today."

I held her closer and stroked her hair. For being only fourteen, I sure felt like a mother. "Tell me, Calindra," I said softly. "Tell me all about it so I can try and make the pain go away."

"I had a nightmare," she repeated. "I had a nightmare about Mommy and Daddy." I closed my eyes, feeling a tear slip out as I did.

"What happened to Mommy and Daddy?"

"Mommy and Daddy…" Her voice was colored by sadness and pain. "Mommy and Daddy were in the car…"

"What happened to the car?" I asked, feeling my voice become husky with tears, like Calindra's.

"A mean person," Calindra said. For a minute, I was confused. "They picked up the car and hit Mommy and Daddy's car with it." I exhaled. She must have meant a car crash. I didn't feel like correcting her right at the moment, though.

"Then what happened?"

I heard her sniffle. "Then the pale, mean people took Mommy and Daddy away from the car," she continued. "Then they… Then—then—then…" Her sniffles came quicker, and soon she was sobbing. Not wailing yet, but sobbing quietly and hiccupping.

"Sh, shh, shh," I murmured, rocking her as best I could. "I'm here, I'm here… Don't cry, it was only a nightmare… I'm here, I'm here…"

"They—they bit them," Calindra sobbed. I nearly jolted from confusion. Bit them? What kind of weird dreams was she having?

"They bit them?" I asked softly, silently prodding her to continue.

Calindra nodded into my chest and wiped her tears on the shirt. "And—and Mommy and Daddy were—they were bleeding…and screaming…" She let out a wail, and I shushed her and tried to calm her. We didn't need Emily and Sam in here, too, wondering about why she was crying. I hoped they'd leave us be for the moment.

"Ssh, baby, it's okay, Cali," I soothed. I kissed her forehead. "I'm here, I'm here. You're all right…" I couldn't say the same about our parents.

"Then—then the mean people broke Mommy and Daddy… They broke their necks…" she continued. I had to admit, I was proud that she tried to finish even when she was breaking down. But was it really the best for her? "They—they ate them!"

"What?"

"They bit them!" she sobbed. "Mommy and Daddy were dead… The blood…they drank it… They ate them!" For a moment, this started to sound like a vampire novel… But she couldn't mean that, could she? I don't think she even knows what a vampire is—if she does, she didn't use that word.

"Honey, honey, calm down," I said. I couldn't do anything. I just held her until the tears stopped. She still sniffled, and buried her face in my neck. I held her tightly, wanting nothing more than to take away the pain. "Mommy and Daddy—I don't know where they are. But that was just a dream, Cali, baby. Just a dream. Don't worry, it isn't real—"

"Yes, it is!" she complained, suddenly angry. She pulled away from me and glared at the bed sheets. "It happened! Mommy and Daddy are dead! I just know they are! I can feel it!" Cali began to sob again, and I pulled her into my arms. I wondered… Did Cali just happen to have a hunch for things like this, like I did? Whether or not her dream was reality—and I was starting to have doubts on whether it wasn't—she knew Mother and Father were dead.

"Cali…" I whispered. "It's going to be okay. We're going to be okay." I had to be strong for my sister. "We're living with Emily and Sam, our cousin."

She sniffled. "We're living here?"

"Yes, sweetie," I said.

"…but no Mommy and Daddy?"

I pressed my cheek to hers, holding her even tighter. I wanted so badly to fill the void our parents had left in her heart, in her life, but I couldn't. "No."

Her lower lip trembled, and tears flowed down her face, but she didn't sob. She just held onto me. "…are you going to leave me, too?" Her voice, her question—they broke my heart. I felt my throat tighten and my chest constrict. My little sister, only nine years younger, needed me just as I needed her.

"I'm never ever going to leave you," I promised. "Never. We're sisters. I've been taking care of you for years, and I'm not quitting now."

She snuggled into my side and buried her face in my neck. "I love you, sissy," she said.

"I love you, too, sissy," I whispered, covering us with the quilt and blankets. As long as we had each other, we'd survive—I just knew it.


In the morning, Emily dragged Cali and I, along with a girl named Kim who was Jared's girlfriend, to Port Angeles. We'd ended up buying clothing for Emily and Kim as well as for my sister and I. I also got some school supplies and a notebook. We ate a restaurant before heading back to Emily's house—home, I should say—and dropping Kim off. She promised to look for me at the high school in La Push where, thanks to my grade-skipping skills, we'd be in the same grade level. That day passed uneventfully, with only a few of the guys coming over in the afternoon. I was mostly excited for the next day, especially since, out of all those who still attended high school, Kim was the only one who knew I skipped a grade, and she promised not to tell Jared. I would have a lot of fun surprising them tomorrow when I showed up in their math class.


The next day, Emily took me to school early. She was in on the whole surprise thing, and she told me they wouldn't be there this early. We were in and out of the office. The lady at the desk simply gave me my schedule, a little map of the school—not that it's a big school—and congratulated me, saying there weren't many grade-skippers around here. She gave me a warm welcome and told me to come see her if I had any problems or questions. After that, Emily gave me a hug and left, saying that I should probably head to the cafeteria and then to homeroom when it was time. She said that the guys usually hang out in the courtyard, so that I should avoid going there. And Emily also said that I should get to homeroom right when the bell rings. However, the last one would bring a lot of attention to myself from people I didn't know—I wasn't sure if I could handle that; I got butterflies in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it.

I was in the cafeteria, just sitting at a table in the back, staring at the clock. Fifteen minutes before it was time to get to homeroom, I slung my backpack on and went to go look for my class. I knew where it was—I had passed by it on my way to the cafeteria—so I didn't hurry. When I reached the door of the classroom, the bell rang. I took a deep breath and pushed open the door.

The teacher looked at me. He was a bespectacled middle aged man, slightly tan, with balding dark gray hair. He gestured for me to come to his desk. The rest of the classroom was still making a commotion, so I wasn't noticed yet. Still, I couldn't help but feel my chest constrict and panic fill me when I walked over to his desk.

"Ms. Janiya Caldwell, correct?" the teacher asked. I nodded as I couldn't speak. "Welcome to La Push High School. I'm Mr. Anderson, by the way. If you don't mind me asking, which grade did you skip?"

I inhaled deeply, trying to calm my nerves. "Seventh," I replied.

"Ah, very good," he said. Then he turned his attention to the class and quieted them. I didn't look to the class, but kept my eyes on the ground. I'm sure I was blushing—I could feel my heart in my chest, slamming against my ribcage. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack, like I was going to asphyxiate any moment. I almost missed Mr. Anderson introducing me to the class. I looked up and immediately recognized, to my relief, Embry, sitting in the back with Quil. Both of them were watching me with mixed expressions of either shock, surprise, confusion, or amusement. I grinned when I saw Embry smile and Quil wave his arms ridiculously. Of course, they were in the back, so no one saw that. It was weird seeing them fully clothed. Some other students, I vaguely noticed, were watching me with interest or some other emotions I didn't focus on, and others were simply bored.

"Ms. Caldwell, I'm terribly sorry, but the only available seat is next to Mr. Ateara," Ms. Anderson said.

"That's alright, Mr. Anderson," I replied as sweetly and politely as possible. "He's a close friend of the family, so I'm sure I'll be alright."

"Good, then," he said, giving a grin. He waved me away, and I headed to my seat. Almost immediately, I was squished to death by an overactive Quil.

"Squirt! What are you doing here?" he squealed. I squirmed in his grasp, trying to free myself. Embry was the closest one, in the desk next to me, so I reached out to him to help me. He grabbed my hands and pulled me out of Quil's grasp and into a hug.

"So, Jani, when were you going to tell us you skipped a grade?" he said, letting go of me. I sat down next to Quil, eying him warily.

"I figured this was a good way," I replied cheekily. Then I looked over at the empty seat next to Embry. "I thought he said the only available seat was next to Quil—which reminds me, don't call me that! Only Paul calls me Squirt."

Embry's hand twitched for a second. "Jacob usually sits next to me, but he ditched class today," he said.

"Is it normal for Jacob to skip class?" I asked.

"Sometimes. He skipped yesterday, too." He left it at that, and Mr. Anderson told everyone to take our their books and read. I rolled my eyes. Just like middle school.

I reached into my backpack and took out my novel. Emily had bought me some books when we went to Port Angeles, this book being one of them. I was almost done with this particular book—it wasn't long, not by my standards. After I'd read a chapter, Quil tapped me on the shoulder.

"What?" I hissed. I hated when people interrupted me. Quil recoiled slightly, cowering. I rolled my eyes and repeated the question more politely. "What? What is it, Quil?"

"What are you reading?" he asked. My eye twitched. He interrupted me just to ask that? I exhaled and calmed down.

"I'm reading Night Runner, can't you read?" I said.

"What's it about?"

"Vampires." I left it at that.

"Vampires?" he repeated, a look of disgust on his face. "Ew. How could you read something about bloodsuckers?"

I scoffed. "Chill out, Quil," I said. "It's not like vampires actually exist." His lips twitched. "This is about a kid who was in a mental institution because that's the only place he could be looked after, because he developed some weird allergies after his parents died. He finds out that he's actually a vampire, that it's not a sickness. It's interesting. Now shut up."

Quil rolled his eyes and laid his head on his desk. Figures. He was probably a jock, and didn't read. As much as I've grown to like him, he was weird.

"Vampires, huh?" Embry said quietly. We couldn't exactly talk at normal volume or Mr. Anderson would hear us. I couldn't decipher the look in his eyes or his expression.

"Yup, vampires," I repeated. He snorted.

"What about other supernatural creatures?" he said abruptly. My brows furrowed in confusion. What was he getting to?

"Like?"

Embry hesitated. "Werewolves. Or fairies and witches," he added quickly. I didn't quite understand. There was something weird going on. I shrugged it off for the moment.

"Fairies are a little weird," I admitted. "Witches are, eh, so-so."

"What about werewolves?"

I grinned. "Werewolves are alright."

"Then why not read a werewolf book?" Quil asked. I almost jumped when I heard him interrupt.

"There aren't enough good werewolf books," I muttered hotly. "Vampire books… There are a lot of good ones. You don't find that with werewolves. Simple as that. End of discussion."

After that, they didn't talk anymore. I had that suspicious feeling creep up on me and settle in the back of my mind, but I wasn't sure what about. My gut feelings had been helping me in life for as long as I could remember—not everyday, but for the big, life-changing things. Something was up.

When the bell rang for the first class, I checked my schedule: Homeroom, English 2, Biology, Spanish 2, Lunch, History, Algebra 2, Music. Embry and Quil snatched it from me and read it when we left the classroom.

"Whoa! What's with all the advanced classes? And how come you're in a higher math class?" Quil complained.

"In my middle school, they put the gifted level students in Algebra when they're in seventh. They also put them in Earth and Space Science in eighth grade," I explained, shrugging. "Since I skipped seventh grade, they had to move it back; meaning, I had Algebra in eighth grade instead of seventh. So it began, so it continues." I took back my schedule, a bit upset that they wouldn't be in all my classes.

"Well, we have the first class together," Embry said. I immediately brightened and flashed him a grin. He looked pleased.

"I think Jared has that class with Kim, too," Quil said. He frowned. "I'm stuck in Geometry by myself… Damn." I laughed.

"Quil, Geometry's easy. You'll pass that class fast, don't worry," I assured him.

"Yeah, yeah," he mumbled. "See you guys later." He turned down a hallway and left me and Embry to head to English by ourselves. I followed Embry to class, wondering what to expect. My classes at my old high school in Oregon were okay, and no one picked on me because I was in a class with people of different ages. Here, though, I didn't doubt I'd be the youngest. Embry, after all, was in my class.

"Poor Quil," I muttered. "So what are we doing in English?"

"We finished reading some book about the Holocaust last I heard," Embry replied as we walked into class. I went to go tell the teacher who I was and she told me to sit wherever there was a seat empty. Embry pulled me along to the back of the room, yet again, where Jared and Kim were.

"Kimmy!" I squealed. She looked up at me and waved. Jared followed her gaze and glanced at me, confused.

"What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be in middle school?" he chided, a smile on his face. I stuck my tongue out at him. "My point exactly." I glared at him, but couldn't help laughing.

"I'm technically supposed to be in ninth, you know," I deadpanned. Jared only grinned cheekily.

"Skipped a grade," Embry informed him, sitting down in the desk in front of him. I sat down in front of Kim, next to Embry.

"Hey, Jani," Kim called. "We're having a bonfire in two weeks. You wanna come?"

"Definitely," I promised. After that, the late bell rang and the teacher began the lesson.


"Ugh, school sucks," I muttered, plopping down into the seat at an empty round table in the cafeteria. I set the tray down haphazardly and held my head in my hands.

"It gets better," Embry said, a hand on my shoulder. I looked up just as the rest of the gang sat down at the table. Quil sat next to Embry who sat on my right. Seth sat at my left, then there was Brady, Collin, and an empty space, then Paul, Jared, and Kim, and an empty space between her and Quil.

"What's wrong, Jani?" Kim asked. Jared snaked his arms around her waist, and I could see her blush contentedly. For some reason, it made me feel empty. I stared at her blankly.

"In my old school, classes were way more fun," I mumbled, taking a sip from my drink. Kim giggled. Jared was planting kisses on her cheeks—all over her face, really. My brows furrowed as I contemplated the action. They looked, I daresay, very much in love. Kim looked like she'd died and gone to heaven, and Jared was just fascinated by her in general.

"Careful, Kim, you might have competition," Paul taunted, looking in my direction. I blew a raspberry at him.

"Shut up, Polly Pocket," I muttered. Still… I looked over at the couple again. My lips pursed, and I smiled. "They're cute together…"

"A bit too cute, if you ask me," Collin whined. For a moment, I wondered why he and Brady were here. I mean, they were thirteen, and should have been in eighth grade. But then I remembered Emily saying something about how the middle school was nearby, if not practically sharing the campus, and they had taken to eating lunch with us. Still, it was kind of weird.

"We're trying to eat over here!" Brady added to Collin's statement. I rolled my eyes. The guys ate really quickly and really messily. Like wolves.

For some reason, that struck a chord in me. I shook my head free from those thoughts. I didn't understand what my subconscious was trying to tell me.

"You okay, Jani?" Quil asked.

"You haven't touched your food," Embry added. I looked around and saw they were right. Everyone else finished eating but me. How long had I been staring off into space? I noticed Brady and Collin staring at my food hungrily. I grabbed my drink and shoved the rest of the food over to them, who gave me a grateful look and began fighting for the food.

"Not hungry," I muttered.

"You sure you're alright?" Seth asked. I nodded and gave him a toothy grin—one that looked very real.

"No faking smiles, Jani," Embry whispered in my ear. I stiffened. Out of all the smiles I smile, he catches me the one time I fake it. My face fell, and I imagine I must've looked shocked. I stood up from the table, grabbed my backpack, and walked away.

When I saw any of the others during school or in between class, I didn't really talk to them. I felt bad for ignoring them, but something was biting at me. Something was bothering me. I was horrible at reading my emotions…so I couldn't really figure out what I was feeling. Because I couldn't figure out what I was feeling, I couldn't figure out why I was feeling that way. I couldn't understand why something felt so out of place. I didn't talk to the others, not even Embry or Quil when I sat next to them in class. I would sometimes listen to their conversations, whenever they had them, but I felt like an observer, like I wasn't there.

When the bell rang for the end of the school day, I walked out to the courtyard with Embry and Quil. They were going to head to Emily's, too, and decided to tag along. Since they usually walked, they came with me when Emily picked me up. I still didn't say anything to anyone, but I couldn't help but wonder why I was feeling so weird.

"How's Calindra?" I asked Emily all of a sudden. Embry and Quil immediately glanced at me and Emily. I had a sudden ache—I needed my little sister, I needed to see if she was alright.

Emily looked back at me through the mirror as she parked the truck. "Calindra's asleep, inside. Sam's there, just in case she wakes up."

I got out and walked into the house, heading to my room where Calindra would be asleep. I put my book bag down in the corner of the room and slid onto the bed, propping myself up on my elbow. I looked down at my sister. She was the only one I had left, I realized. I brought her into my arms and held her to me tightly. I knew she was alive, and that was good. It was great. She gave me hope for my future. As long as I had my little sister, I'd be okay. I know Emily was taking her to school, and I was glad to know that she'd be going into third grade this fall with no problem.

"Jani?" I heard my little sister say. She squirmed around in my arms until I let her go. Cali looked up at me sleepily, then practically tackled me against the bed. She clung to my neck, forcing me to hold her up so she wouldn't snap it. "I want food, please." I smiled.

"Okay, okay, Cali," I said. "Just don't choke me, please, or you get no food." Her hold on me loosened, and she kissed my cheek—a little kid kiss, a childish slobber. I couldn't help but giggle at her cuteness. I kissed her cheek and carried her out of the room. "Emily! Food!"

Emily came out of the kitchen, giggling at my whininess. Some of the guys were in the living room hanging around. "For who? Cali? Or you, too?" she asked. "Actually, I think I have to make food for all of us." I smiled sheepishly. "That's alright. Why don't you introduce Cali to the boys?" I nodded.

Cali watched me and clung to me when I walked to the guys. Today, there was only Seth, Embry, Jared with Kim, and Collin, who was asleep on an armchair.

"Jani?" Cali said in confusion. "Who are they?"

I smiled adoringly at my sister. She was so precious to me, sometimes I forgot she was so young—she talked to me about things that you wouldn't believe, like that strange dream… But I pushed that thought to the back of my mind for later inspection. I looked around, noticing how most of the others were gauging my reaction. Embry had a soft smile on his face. Kim looked relieved. Jared smiled, then went back to watching Kim. Seth was looking at my sister… My brows furrowed.

"Seth?" I called. His gaze snapped to me, somewhat reluctantly. "Uh… You okay?" He nodded. The others looked at him, almost knowingly. More things they're hiding from me. Great. Then again, I had to remind myself that I just met them a few days ago. I looked at Calindra, who was watching Seth. She looked at me pleadingly. I grinned at her. "Hey, Seth. You wanna hold her for a minute?" Seth grinned, nodding enthusiastically. He seems like he'd get along great with kids—why not? I passed Calindra off to him—actually, it's more like she jumped into his arms.

Weird.

"Hey, Embry, can I talk to you for a minute?" I asked. The corner of his mouth lifted and he nodded, jumping up from the couch and following me outside. I sat on the edge of the porch, leaning against the railing. Embry plopped down beside me. We sat there in peaceful silence for a while.

"What did you need to tell me?" Embry asked. I looked over to him. I shifted so I was entirely facing him, and he did the same, leaning against the opposite side of the railing. I still couldn't grasp how much I trusted him, even after only knowing him for—what, three days? To be about to tell him what I was going to, I must have trusted him a bunch. I found that I did, though… I felt like I could be safe around him, as odd as that sounds. I felt like I could be myself and not feel judged, like he was the best friend I could possibly ever have, like he'd never let me get hurt.

"Cali had a nightmare," I blurted. I almost slapped my forehead—almost. For a split second, I felt like he would've laughed it off and said not to worry about it, that it was nothing serious. I was vulnerable enough to believe that, if only for a second. But when I saw he still looked concerned—that the concern hadn't faded into mockery—I felt secure.

"Before or after you told her about your parents?" Embry asked hesitantly. I smiled softly, glad he cared. I tried to remember that he was only two years older, that he couldn't really help—but I still wanted to tell him, to confide in someone, and no one seemed better to confide in than him.

"Before," I said.

"So you did tell her, then?" I nodded. "How did she take it?"

"Well…" I rubbed the back of my neck nervously. "She already knew."

"What?" Embry didn't sound doubtful, and he didn't sound like he thought I was lying or delusional. That surprised me. He sounded confused, like he really did care and wanted to know. I was touched by the sentiment.

"She knew," I repeated. "Just like I had a feeling, she knew. That was her nightmare."

There was a pause as he considered that. "Did she tell you the nightmare?"

"I think she told me all of it—she didn't stop, not even when she started crying." I winced as I remembered that, and Embry reached forward and took my hand to comfort me. I smiled slightly.

"Do you wanna tell me?"

I snorted. "No, I brought you out here to talk about the weather," I joked. Embry cracked a smile. I smiled, too, but then it faded as I remembered the dream she told me about. "It sounds like a horror story."

"The nightmare?"

"Mm-hmm." I looked to the trees and woods surrounding the side of the house. It thickened the further in you got. I looked back at Embry. "It sounds a little crazy."

"I'm listening." I smiled slightly.

"Thanks," I murmured. "Well… She said she saw our parents in the car. I thought she might have meant a car crash, but I'll describe it the way she did." I closed my eyes, trying to picture the scene. "She said…there were people—other people, who she said picked up another car and hit our parents' car with it. Then they dragged our parents out of the car…and…she said they bit them." I thought back to when she told me this. I just didn't want to picture it…the nightmare. My eyes were closed, so I couldn't see Embry's reaction. I decided to continue. "She said there was blood… She said they 'broke' our parents, then they…'ate' them. I think she means they drank their blood or something. It sounds like a horror vampire story, I know… It's just… She was so certain it actually happened…that I'm starting to doubt whether it didn't."

I was almost afraid to open my eyes. For some reason, I felt like this was the last straw—like Embry would finally call me crazy and leave. I sighed. I opened my eyes. Embry was staring out into the forest, a calculative look of concentration on his face—he also looked a little angry. I stood up and walked to the door, feeling a bit lost. I felt Embry pull on my wrist, and I looked up at him. He wrapped his arms around me comfortingly as a few stray tears escaped the corners of my eyes.

"Do you mind…if I tell Sam and the others?" Embry asked quietly. I looked up at him. He was gauging my reaction.

I looked down. "I guess not," I replied softly. I didn't know why he wanted to tell them, but it made me feel better that he didn't leave me or say it was just a childish worry. "I'm gonna go check on Cali." I pulled out of his warm embrace and headed for the door. Embry closed the door behind us when we entered, and I immediately heard the high-pitched giggles and happy squeals of my younger sister. I hurried into the room, and an amused smile spread over my face when I saw Seth was tickling Cali and blowing on her tummy to make her laugh. They were having the time of their lives. Kim and Jared were curled up together, as always, and Collin had mysteriously disappeared.

"Jani!" Cali squeaked when she saw me. Seth looked up and saw me, giving a sheepish grin. I rolled my eyes and, smiling, sat down next to where Cali was lying on the couch. Embry leaned against the wall nearby, watching.

I grinned at Cali. "Hey, sweetie," I cooed. "Is Sethy being mean to you?" Cali giggled.

"Nope!" she replied. She sat up and hugged Seth, clinging to his neck like she often does to me. "My Sethy! He's my best friend, the best ever!" Seth beamed.

I pretended to be upset and pout. "I thought I was your best friend ever," I said. Cali pouted, too, and tackled me against the couch. I laughed lightly as she hugged me tightly, almost tightly enough to hurt. "Okay, okay, I forgive you."

"Good, you better have!" Cali smiled a toothy grin at me. I kissed her on the cheek, and she kissed my cheek back.

"Remember, Cali," I said. "You're mine, not Seth's. You don't get to be anyone else's until I say so, got it?"

"Okay!" Another smile. "But I'm not Sethy's! Sethy is mine!" I looked over at Seth and sent a sheepish smile. Seth only grinned back happily.

"Oh, really?" I asked her.

"Yup!" she said. "I had a dream!"

My brows furrowed in confusion. "Another dream? Was it a good dream this time?" Cali nodded exuberantly.

"Yes!" Cali chirped. "There were these big dogs—wolves. And there was Emby there, and Sethy, too."

I chuckled. "Emby? You mean, Embry?" She nodded again.

"Yes! Embry and Sethy turned into the big wolves. They were in the forest, and they were running around with their noses in the air!"

"Uh… Okay, Cali," I replied. That was odd. "Whatever you say, darling." I gave her a kiss on the forehead. She hopped off my lap and into Seth's, who grinned as she gave him a kiss on the cheek. I didn't miss how, before, Seth, Embry, Jared, and Kim had looked over when Cali told me her dream. What was with them? Something weird was going on. For now, though, I'd let it go. After all, nothing really is normal in life.