One-Shot Nessie Challenge Renesmee is not like anyone else. Her family is not like any other. And her fiance, Jacob, doesn't love her- not like she loves him.
my entry for the one-shot challenge.
1. I Love You
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1701 Review this Chapter
“Jacob. What is this.” My voice is cold and hard and empty. I can’t find the rage. I can’t feel my heart. All I can do is stare blankly at the photographs in front of me.
“What’s what, baby girl?” Teasing me. Jake’s always teasing me, always laughing, always so happy. He makes the world, my world, so much brighter.
“Don’t start with me.”
“Ness, what’s wrong? Why are you mad at me? You’re never mad at me.”
He’s right. I’m not. Because I love him, I love him so completely and absolutely. He’s like the sun tied to the earth, and he burns all the anger right out of me whenever we’re together. Only now I realize that every time he’s with me, he’s been wishing for someone else.
“Honey, are you crying?”
To my abject horror, I realize he’s right. There are tiny tears, delicate little droplets, splashing down my face, lingering in the corners of my eyes.
Again, I wish I were a real vampire. Not half-and-half, never whole… Then I wouldn’t have to be sobbing. It’s humiliating.
“You don’t have to lie to me, Nessie. You don’t have to be ashamed.” And he’s seeing right through me, again. Offering me a comfort I can’t accept. He opens his big, warm arms and folds me into an embrace. “Shh. Come here. Come here, honey. It’s all right. It’s all-“
“Don’t you call me that, Jacob Black!” I scream, suddenly, fiercely. Because it’s not my name. Any more than he’s my Jacob.
“You call her that.”
Can he honestly not know?
“That?” He laughs, his beautiful, full laugh that I love so much. Only it rings hollowly in my ears. He’s laughing at me. “Oh, Ness. Honey, don’t worry about that.”
I’m incredulous. Two days we’ve been engaged- I can still see the picture of his eyes sparkling with what I thought was love, his knees bent, the simple silver ring in his hand- and he’s saying that his cheating doesn’t matter? “I shouldn’t be worried that my fiancé is sleeping with my mother?”
“Renesmee Cullen, you listen to me. You listen to me right now.” I start to choke out a protest, and he squeezes me tighter into the hug. If I were human, I’m pretty sure it would crack a rib. “Hey! Hey, don’t you try to interrupt me again, okay?”
“But Ja-“ I attempt. He ignores me completely.
“I have never slept with your mom, Ness.” His voice is calm, and slow, and patient. It frustrates me. “When I was younger, before you were born, I was in love with her, and she loved me… just not as much as she loved your dad. She picked him over me, and it hurt a lot, for a long time, until I found you. And now I know what it means…”
I interrupt again, and this time I’m taking control of the situation. I’m tired of this. I may be six years old, but I’m also a woman, and I expect him to treat me as an equal not a baby.“Jacob, stop talking to me like I’m a child. I’m physically as old as you are, so cut out the patronizing. And I think I have every right to be pissed off when my Aunt Rose is helping me look through wedding dresses and casually drops in a hint about how handsy you and Mom were getting when she married my dad!” Oops. Getting a little hysterical there at the end, Ness.
“Once I thought I’d never want anything more than I wanted her. Once I thought the best thing I could have would be Bella. And then I met you and everything changed.”
“You imprinted.” That word always sounded like music to me. It meant Jacob is mine and thus it was everything good, everything I could want. Now… it sounds like a curse.
“Yeah. And nothing could make me…”
“You lost your choices. Forever, irrevocably,” I continue.
“It’s not like-“ he protests.
“You chose to love my mom. No matter how much it hurt you, no matter how little you got out of it, you wanted to belong to her. And you ended up stuck with me.” I sound bitter. I am bitter. Because my whole heart is his, of course it is, and all I have in return is instinct.
“Nessie, don’t be ridiculous. Do you have any idea how far from stuck I am? You’re a long way from anyone’s second best, honey,” he says gently, his hands moving from my shoulderblades to the small of my back. He presses his cheek against the top of my head, and I freeze with rage. It’s so comfortable, it feels so right, and pretty soon I’m going to forget why I have to do this and let him pull me into the embrace.
“I’m not being ridiculous. I was being ridiculous when I mistook an involuntary reaction for actual love. I was being ridiculous when I thought the man who had been by my side forever was the man who was meant to stay there. I was being ridiculous when I thought that just because I genuinely love you means you return the favor.” My voice is entirely devoid of emotion. There’s a reason I’m speaking aloud. I can’t lie, not in my head, and I don’t want to color the words with despair. They’re true, too true, and I can’t let how much they hurt me affect my getting them across.
“What are you saying?” Jacob hisses.
I take a deep, shuddering, calming breath. And then I let it rip. I’m trying to hurt him now, trying to leave a mark on his open wounds, because I don’t want him to be stuck with me when he deserves someone better. Someone glorious, like Mom, or Aunt Rose, or even Leah. Not a freak like me. “I’m saying that if it weren’t for the imprint, if you still had a mind of your own, you’d never, ever, ever have chosen me. There’s no one you’d love less than the daughter of the woman who rejected you, physical proof you weren’t good enough!”
“We’re soul mates,” he replies calmly, not hurt at all.
“Don’t give me that crap. You imprinted on me to make bigger better baby wolves, not for love, not for happiness, not for soul mates. If we’re mates, Jacob, it’s the animal, physical kind. Paired up to have children. We don’t have to be compatible beyond that. You don’t have to love me more than that.”
I always thought that rationale for imprinting was idiotic. The emotional crap is a side effect. Imprinting is about sex, nothing more. Just because I’ve fallen in love with the man who I’m supposed to reproduce with doesn’t mean he can do the same.
“But I do. How can you even be doubting this, Ness? This is the realest thing in the world. It’s my whole life.” His voice is soft and tender, and I can hear what I used to think was love in it.
“Yeah. I know.”
I look up at him, and he turns his head straight, so I can place my hand up, on his cheek. I show him the picture very deliberately. With quick, sure, broken footsteps, I walk away from Jacob. I don’t want you. Not unless you want me. And you don’t. I don’t want some brainwashed slave, Jake, and the person you were before you imprinted doesn’t love me. Could never love me.
“Oh. Don’t. God, Ness, don’t, please don’t! I’m begging you, Nessie, please, please, please… I can’t live without you, I can’t! What am I going to do? Go pick a fight with Sam? Run off to Italy? Make Blondie finally snap?”
But he would. I can hear the desperation in his voice, the complete horror. I believed him.
“I’d have to. If you do it, Ness, if you leave… I won’t live through it. I can’t live without you. Please.”
His arms are shaking around me.
Jacob doesn’t shake. Leah, even Seth sometimes, Embry, Quil if you tease him about Claire, but never Jake.
And he’s trembling so hard I’m actually afraid he’s about to phase.
Because… because I’m breaking his heart.
“You and Mom… that’s over?” I ask softly.
“It never even really started,” he answers.
“And you love me?”
“I love you.” It’s not an automatic reply. He says the words with a very real and intense meaning. His black eyes bore into mine as he speaks, until I feel the world start to spin. I shake my head.
“Do you? Really, I mean. If the imprint were to dissolve right now, just go away, would you still want to be with me?”
I brace myself for his strong arms to fall away. They don’t.
“What?” I’m bewildered. Of course? Is it some obvious thing I’m missing?
“Isn’t it obvious? Nessie, you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Not just to me, mind you. To anyone with eyes. You’re devastating. And more than that. You remember when you were little and the Volturi came? Every single one of those crazy murderous vampires we called to witness fell in love with you. Every single one. Of course I did the same. It’s impossible not to be charmed by you. It’s just stronger for me than others, because of the imprint. Nothing more than that. It’s no different.”
My brain is blank for a second, before I manage to stutter, “Really?”
And he laughs on the first word of his answer, before his voice turns earnest.“Really. I love you, Renesmee Carlie Cullen. More than I’ve ever loved anyone before. And for the rest of forever, I’m going to keep loving you, as long as you’ll let me. Will you stay with me, or am I in too much trouble for something that happened ten years ago?”
I roll my eyes, and then sober. “You’re forgiven.”
“Thanks, honey,” he whispers, pulling my body tight against his, so there’s no space at all between us.
I press one kiss against his shoulder. “You’re welcome.”