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Her

Summary:
She was it from the start. For Oneshot Nessie Challenge.


Notes:
Oneshot for Twilight Archives Oneshot Nessie Challenge


1. Chapter One

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3098   Review this Chapter

“Momma?” My beautiful Renesmee asked me as I helped Alice twist my daughter’s bronze curls into an intricate bun atop her head. Her voice shook slightly as I met her eyes in the mirror, and she had reverted back to calling me ‘Momma,’ something she hadn’t done in…well, 6 and a half years in fact.

“Yes Renesmee?” I took a glance over at Alice and she looked away from my eyes quickly. So I was on my own here; she wasn’t about to let me know anything.

“Actually Bella, I think I’m going to go and see if the ushers are organized,” she winked and I sighed. So it was going to be a private mother/daughter discussion then.

“Did you have any…doubts before you married Dad?” I finished weaving the veil through her bun, and she turned around on the stool to face me. I sat down on the adjacent stool and took in her expression before answering.

Her dark brown eyes, so like mine once were, swam with emotion as she looked back at me. Her heart was even beating more erratically than usual. Could it be possible she was having some doubts of her own?

“Oh honey,” I took her warm hand in my cold one and stroked it gently, “Of course I had doubts, fears and worries: would I ever be able to see my father or mother again? Was I ready to become a vampire? Could I possibly not live through the change? And what would it do…to Jake; oh poor Jake…” My shoulders slumped and I lowered my head in remembrance, my loose mahogany hair falling over my face.

“What?” she yelped, and through our contact she sent me an image of Jake crying, one she’d imagined after hearing me speak. “Why ‘poor Jake?’ Mom, was Jake this other man you’ve told me about before? I want to know…” Her eyes turned desperate as she gripped my hand fervently.

I’d let it out; she knew the truth now. Would it upset her in any way, though? Could I put off telling her until after the wedding? Surely she’d understand.

“Ness, today is your day to be happy and shine. The past is past, but this, the here and now-,” I smoothed the skirt of her exquisite strapless dress with my free hand and patted her knee through the fabric – “you, is what matters today. Stories of lost love can be saved for another time.”

“Lost love?” she tilted her head to the side and peered at me inquisitively, as if her scrutinizing would bring out the story. Eventually she sighed, pulled her hand away from mine and set both her hands in her silk lap, fiddling with the creases in the material.

“Nessie?” Alice poked her head into the large washroom and said softly, “Five minutes, hon.”

“I’m ready,” she stood up gracefully, and the silk seemed to whisper as she moved. “Where’s Dad, do you think?” she asked me as Alice disappeared.

“Right here, dear,” Edward materialized in the doorway, looking exceedingly stunning in an all white suit with a pale orange rose boutonnière. “Bella, love, are you ready? You should probably be downstairs; you are the matron of the honor.”

I rose to my feet slowly and my long, off-shoulder gown – which matched the color of Edward’s corsage – floated down to the floor. As I glided past the two most important people in my life, Renesmee whispered, “By the way, I don’t actually have any doubts or worries myself; I was just wondering if I was abnormal because I didn’t. I still want to hear about you and Jake later.”

She eyed my knowingly as Edward kissed my cheek – not chancing my lips for fear of getting lipstick on his – and whispered, “I love you, and you look simply stunning, Mrs. Cullen.”

“Thank you,” I whispered back before nodding to Ness and then patting her bare arm reassuringly. “You’re beautiful,” I told her before I made my way on down the wood paneled hallway.

I descended the spiral staircase slowly, gazing out at the few guests – anyone that knew the truth about the Cullens – who were seated in white plastic chairs adorned with peach colored ribbon. The Cullens had come back to this house, and Forks, for this occasion alone; we would leave shortly after and not come back for a long time, possibly ever.

I took my place beside the orange rose covered altar, right across from Seth Clearwater, Jake’s best man. He grinned from ear to ear and I smiled back sincerely.

Jake stole a glance at me from his place in front of Sam Uley, whom we had insisted lead the ceremonies. The former grinned sheepishly, as if I was about to attack him for imprinting on my daughter again. I just muttered, “We’re cool Jake, she loves you.”

He pretended to wipe sweat from his brow and sighed. “Glad that’s been cleared up,” he muttered back, and just as he did, Rosalie began the wedding march on the piano. I was caught in a swirl of reminiscence suddenly, as the song took me back to my own wedding day. Oh what a blushing bride I had been…

“Isn’t she beautiful?” Jake murmured in awe as his own bride, not blushing profusely as I had been, ascended the very same staircase I had some time ago. She smiled sweetly at the guests, then turned her gaze to me and raised an eyebrow. As soon as she found Jake, however, her eyes remained fixed there, as if she were under some sort of spell. She was looking at him with so much love and adoration I had to look away, and found myself looking at my own love instead.

His face held a controlled smile, but inside I knew he was bursting with pride. “She’s all yours,” he whispered to Jacob, but everyone heard his words regardless – except for Charlie, Sue, Billy, Claire, Rebecca, Rachel, Kim and Emily, the only humans in the audience.

“Thank you Edward, so much,” Jake whispered back, his voice thick and husky with emotion. He took Renesmee’s small, fragile hands in his much larger ones, smiling down at her almost triumphantly. Edward came to stand beside me and took my left hand in his right, and I sent him my thoughts through the connection. Renesmee wants me to tell her about Jake and me. I didn’t want to yet, look how happy they are. He nodded thoughtfully, but couldn’t reply, or he chanced being heard.

Sam read simple vows, which Jake and Ness each repeated in turn, and then it was time for the rings. Little Claire, now nine, stood from her seat beside Quil and strode down the aisle confidently, two small white boxes held in each of her hands.

She brought them straight to Sam, smiling up at him all the while. He bent down to her eye level and took them from her petite child’s hands. Then he patted her long black hair as he straightened, and she skipped off down the aisle grinning, stopping at Quil and scrambling onto his lap instead of sitting back down in her seat.

Sam handed one box, the one with orange ribbon on top, to Jake, and the other with white ribbon to Renesmee. They took each other’s left hands and slipped the rings on simultaneously, saying nothing. Nothing needed to be said, as one could see just from the way their eyes were locked on one another the amount of love, loyalty and devotion that lay between the two.

Jake’s ring was a simple yellow gold band with two diamonds set side by side; Ness’s was a variation of my own: white gold with a large circular diamond in the center, and five tiny diamonds on each side of it, stretched out into a line. They both were beautiful, as were the two people wearing them.

Though they had said the vows a moment previous, Sam had purposefully left the ‘I do’s’ until now. Renesmee was first, and her voice rang out clear and true, and it was then I believed what she had said earlier – she truly had no doubt in her mind that this was right. Jake was confident as he spoke, letting everyone around him know that Renesmee was his and his alone. At long last, he had found someone he could hold onto and never lose. I gripped Edward’s hand tighter.

“You may kiss the bride,” Sam inclined his head towards Jake and stepped back a little as the groom wrapped his strong arms around Renesmee’s waist. She threw her arms around his neck – she held no bouquet – and laced her fingers through his hair. I looked away then, not wanting to intrude on their private moment, however public they were making it.

Edward nudged me and I looked up at him shyly. What? I thought, It’s their moment. He just looked like he was about to laugh.

I looked back towards the altar and smiled. I was looking upon the new Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Black, who had turned to face the guests, both holding goofy, yet still meaningful, smiles on their faces.

As Jake and Ness made their way down the aisle and into the crowd, Alice stepped up to the altar and announced, “Alright everyone, please find refuge in the kitchen, upstairs, really anywhere but here for about ten minutes. Thank you!”

I strode over to where she stood and grinned at her. The reception was to be held indoors, in the very same spot that was being vacated by the guests now. I looked out the back wall and sighed; it was pouring, not unusual for October in Forks. “It’s a shame this couldn’t be held outdoors,” I remarked to my sister as she watched the werewolves file into the kitchen.

“Hold on Bella,” she held up a finger and called out to the wolves, “Don’t eat anything yet!” She turned back to me and tilted her head. “Yes, it is such a shame Renesmee wanted her wedding to be held in fall. I really did enjoy holding your reception outside; we’ll just have to make due with what we have inside here.” She grinned wickedly and I backed into Edward involuntarily.

“Is Alice scaring you Bella?” he smiled sympathetically and I laughed.

“Yes, very much so Edward, she’s conspiring to dress me up every day for the rest of my life; she’s a menace in white.” Alice looked much less the menace in her strapless white baby doll – she looked positively angelic.

“Oh shush you,” she scolded me and called, “Esme, Rose, we need your help in here. Bring the men. And where is my husband?” As soon as she spoke the five vampires she had called where in the now empty living room with us, and I smiled internally. With no one around to have to pretend for, my family could truly be themselves.

“Okay,” Alice began and we all groaned, even Emmett, “I want the chairs moved out, the altar taken down, the…” I stopped paying attention and waited until she was finished talking.

Then, as everyone set about their assigned jobs, I whispered to Edward, “I’ll be back in a minute, there’s something I have to clear up right now.”

“I’ll cover for you,” he swept his once-neat hair away from his face and smirked.

It had been bothering me the entire ceremony; I had to tell her. I just had to find her first…

I raced through the house, avoiding hitting people with ease, as I scanned the small groups of people for a long white dress and a shock of bronze hair. “Oh!” I exclaimed as I found her in the kitchen, Jake glued to her side as she chatted with his sister Rebecca. “Ness, can I talk to you for a moment?” I interrupted during a pause in conversation.

“Oh, of course Mom,” she smiled and took my hand in hers. “Be back in a minute, Rebecca, Jake.” She nodded to each of them in turn before pulling me through the kitchen and up the stairs, hoisting her long train up so she could walk faster.

We reached mine and Edward’s room and I gestured to the door. “In here,” I pushed on her back lightly and she obliged, opening the door softly.

“So Mom,” she quickly took a spot on the large bed that still dominated the room, and I sat down beside her, “Tell me.”

“What do you want to know?” I asked helplessly, staring down at my lap.

“Well…” she began, wrapping an arm around my shoulders, “Did you love him?”

“Yes,” I sighed and leaned into her gratefully. It had been a while since I had told anyone about this. “Yes, I loved him, but I also loved your father too, so much. But Edward left me once, and Jake was all I had for a long time. I knew he was attracted to me, and with Edward gone, I found myself attracted to Jake, however much as I tried to reason with myself.” I paused and waited for more questions, but she just sat looking at me expectantly, so I continued.

“To make a long story short, Edward came back to me, but it was so difficult for me to deal with having both of them present, always wanting my attention. They hated each other, you see, because of the ancient prejudices they both had towards their respective…species. I tried to make them stop, to balance both of them between me, but it…it proved too difficult for all of us. In the end, it was Jake I said goodbye to, and it shattered his heart, for good I feared. He ran away in his wolf form, and for a while it looked like he was never going to come back. I should have been happy he left, but I was worried sick.

“Eventually he came back, on mine and your father’s wedding night, in fact. I was overjoyed at his appearance, and I tried not to ruin it with sharp and painful subjects, but to no avail. Eventually…something set him off and he nearly killed Edward. I was terrified, but I had no time to worry about Jake, as we set off for our honeymoon that very same night. I had chosen my path, my soulmate, but at what cost to the other? I was so worried he would try to kill himself, or run away again.”

I stopped myself and my eyes stung with tears that would never come. My daughter hugged me tighter, whispering sweet nothings until she said, “And then I was born, and Jake saw me, and he was happy. Right?”

“Yes Ness, you are absolutely right. When I first found out I was enraged, as I’m sure you know, and I nearly killed him.”

“Mom?” she asked after a moment’s silence, “Why was Jake there the day I was born? Dad always told me it was because the werewolves were protecting our family. Why…”

She trailed off as I raised an eyebrow. Surely now she understood. “Oh, it was because of you, wasn’t it? Jake was trying to protect you from the other werewolves, not our entire family. It was just for you, the entire time. He loved you…”

She buried her face in my shoulder, ashamed at the silent tears she now wept. I rubbed her back and glanced up sharply when I heard a voice outside the door.

“Renesmee? Ness, dear? Are you in there?” Jake’s husky voice asked hesitantly and I sighed.

“Stay here,” I whispered to Nessie, and then got up from the bed to open the door.

“Is she in there?” he asked me as I closed the door after coming out into the hallway. His chin length raven-black hair stuck out at odd angles, as if he had been pulling it.

“Yes,” I hissed, and then I let him know of our previous conversation. “She started crying, Jake! Crying! You need to go in there and tell her you love her, and no one else. Tell her what you told me, when she was born. You remember what you said, don’t you?” I was nearly growling now, and he backed up into the wall as I advanced.

“Y-yes, of course I remember,” he stammered, and I opened the door and shoved him inside before he had time to guess what was happening.

I sank down to the ground outside the door, praying I hadn’t pulled my dress on the wood wall in doing so, and listened.

“Shush, shush Nessie, it’s alright.”

“Did Mom tell you what she told me?” Renesmee sniffed.

“Yes, she did, and all of its true, I did love her…once,” Jake sounded desperate, and a sudden giggle threatened to find its way out of my mouth.

“I’ll explain,” he supplied, and I hoped his explanation involved what he had told me before, back when she was a little girl… “You know that in giving birth to you, Bella nearly died.”

“N-no, I didn’t know that.” Yikes, way to start off Jake. I bit my stone cold lip in anticipation. Maybe he had a point…

“Anyways, Edward and I were working so hard to save her, to bring her back, and then Rose took you away, and suddenly I felt as if I no longer needed to be with her. Edward did, and he worked and worked until her heart began pumping again, pumping venom through her system, working to change her. I vaguely registered it when her heart restarted.”

“Why was that?” Ness asked breathlessly.

“Because I saw you. No longer did I need Bella, no longer did I wish to fight Edward for her affection. He had won that, and I hadn’t. But I did get you, you who are worth much more to me than my own life.”

“Why were you ever attracted to Bella, my mother in the first place then?” Renesmee’s voice raised a few octaves.

“It’s a bizarre concept,” Jake began, and I nearly did chuckle out loud. Bizarre to say the least. “In the midst of her attacking me, I told your mother why I was attracted to her before you came along. If I remember correctly, I believe I said ‘That was her, from the very beginning. We had to be together even then.’”

“So the…unexplained attraction you two had towards each other was all because of…me?” Renesmee’s was breathless as she finally grasped the truth of Jake and me.

“Yes Ness, it was you all along.”