The Baseball Game
Bella is beyond stressed about Charlies attendance at a Cullen family baseball game, but his response may surprise her.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1842 Review this Chapter
"You know Emmett, he thought it would be fun...consequences be damned." He said this with a smile that told me he was thinking the same thing Emmett was.
It had been nearly two years since I'd become like the Cullens. A Vampire. I loved my new life more than I ever thought possible, part of that might be because I got to keep most of my old life. After Charlie first came to visit the Cullen home I'd gotten to hold on to more than I ever dreamed possible. For the last 2 years Charlie had been a constant visitor, coming over several times a week to visit me and play with Renesmee - he was just as enamored with her as everyone else - but I suspect that our big screen plasma TV had as much to do with it as anything. You could always find Charlie and Emmett sitting on the couch watching whatever game was on.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Edward raise a perfect eyebrow in my direction, noticing that I was lost in thought. He was wishing he could know what I was thinking about, and I smiled to myself. "It's none of your business" I thought and then pushed it his direction.
He laughed a slightly bitter laugh and rolled his eyes. "We're almost there."
I sighed again and slowed down. Running hand in hand with Edward was as natural as riding side by side in a car, and it was just as easy to carry on a conversation. My mind then shot back to where we were and why we were here. A distant thunder storm had given us the perfect conditions for a baseball game. And Emmett had invited Charlie. As if Charlie needed to see this, as if he didn't have enough to worry about as it was. He still wanted to know as little as possible, and I didn't see how exposing him to this was going to end well.
"He already knows we're not human."
If I could have choked, I would have. It must have been very plain on my face what I was thinking, but what pulled me up short was Edwards statement.
"He's much more observant than you give him credit for, love. If you remember correctly, you figured most of this our for yourself."
I could hardly form the words. "He knows what we are?" I knew what this would mean. If he knew the secret, we would have to leave. It was getting to the point where we really needed to leave anyway, we'd been in forks long enough to start to draw some attention. We rarely went out in public anymore, and Carlisle only worked if the hospital desperately needed some help. We stayed for Charlie. And Renesmee. She loved him as much as he loved her and I could hardly bear to think of separating them.
Edward could see the panic in my face and quickly amended, "I only said that he knows we aren't human, not that he knows what we are."
"Oh." I said with a confused look. "What does he think?" I'd never thought to think of what Charlie might be speculating about. He always stuck to his mantra of "need to know only" so I just assumed that he didn't look to hard at the strange world we lived in.
"He notices things about you mostly. He has more contact with you than any of the rest of us. He sees how you don't eat, how cold and hard you are, how still you sit when you think he isn't looking. He knows that you don't breath or have a heartbeat."
I gasped. "WHAT?! How could he possibly know that!"
"Have you never noticed how he places his hands on your back when he hugs you hello or goodbye? He's feeling for your heartbeat and the rhythm of your breathing. He never finds it of course. The heartbeat isn't there and you never breath when you hug him."
"Why did you never tell me? I could have faked it better...."
"By the time I noticed he had already figured it out. I didn't want to make you nervous or jumpy around him, so I just let it go. I also knew that he would never say anything about it. Even though he knows, it doesn't mean that he wants to know."
By this time we were standing at the edge of the large field in the shadow of the mountains. I could see Esme marking the bases and Carlisle deep in conversation with Jasper and Rosalie. Emmett, Alice and Renesmee were picking up Charlie and bringing him in the big off roading jeep.
Well, if he still had any doubts about us being non human they would most definitely be erased today. I expected Carlisle to be as nervous and peeved about this as I was, he was always worried about what might happen if Charlie figured too much out. As we walked into their circle of conversation the expression on my face must have given me away. Carlisle put his arm around me and smiled a wide smile. He was excited.
"Jasper, cut it out. I'm fine!" I grumbled when I felt his calming influence wash over me. "Why is no one else as worried about this as I am?"
Carlisle laughed and said only one word, "Alice".
Of course Alice would have been watching with her gift to see if this was going to be safe. "Did she see how Charlie would react?"
"No," Edward murmured, "he was standing to close to Renesmee when the game started. Alice saw him leaving with us though. Laughing."
"Ugh. For all she knows he might have snapped and gone totally insane. This doesn't make me feel any better."
Esme looked over her shoulder a split second before the rest of us. The Jeep was getting close.
When the car pulled up, Renesmee was the first one out. She jumped out and skipped with deliberate slowness to stand between Edward and I. Every time I saw her I had to remind myself that she was mine. She was just too perfect and I didn't deserve her. I felt a slight pang of sadness when I noticed that she was a little taller, and little more filled out, than the last time I saw her less than 5 hours ago.
"Hey Mom, Hey Daddy! Grandpa Charlie is so excited, he has no idea what he is getting into!" She giggled in her sing song voice.
I shot her a slightly disapproving look for no reason other than I wanted someone...anyone...to feel as nervous about this as I did. She saw the look and rolled her eyes. Her fast approaching teen years were already causing me stress.
I looked at the jeep and saw Charlie stumble out of the backseat. He looked like he'd just been in a plane accident. The look on his face made me want to laugh. He's been in the car with all of us at one time or the other, but he never seemed to get used to the way we drove.
"Hey Charlie! Good drive up?" Edward asked. Charlies eyes shot daggers in his direction.
"Lets get this game started!" Emmett bellowed from the pitchers mound.
"I'll stay with Grandpa...I reallly want to see his face!" Renesmee said.
We all took our places around the field. I tried to position myself in the outfield as close to Charlie as possible. Edward took his place at bat and glanced in my direction with a particularly devilish smile.
I saw Emmett wind up, probably too fast for Charlie to see. I also saw the ball fly through the air, twisting and spinning. In another part of my head, I noticed Edward begin his swing as soon as the ball had been released. In less than a second I heard the crash of the bat on the ball and saw it sail into the forest in Rosalie's direction. I was glad he hit it to her, and I'm sure he did it on purpose so that I could watch Charlie.
I saw Renesmee nearly doubled over in laughter as Edward ran full speed around the bases with Charlie leaning on her for support. I wonder if my face had looked anything like his the first time I saw this game played. After Edward had completed his home run, we all walked over to where Charlie stood, mouth gaping, next to Renesmee.
"What'd ya think, Charlie?" Emmett boomed.
I could tell that he was having a hard time forming words. "Dad, it's okay. I know it's a little different than what you were expecting" I said soothingly.
He nodded slowly.
"Maybe you ought to sit down for awhile" Carlisle urged.
Charlie shook his head.
"Dad..." He put one hand up to stop me.
He straightened up next to his granddaughter.
"I don't know what you people are, but anyone who can play baseball like that is fine by me!"
I sighed with relief while everyone around me laughed happily.
"I'm going to play now Grandpa, do you think you'll be okay without someone to lean on?"
"Sure hun, you go play. Your Mom can come sit next to me and keep me company."
I eyed him warily, hoping that he wouldn't ask too many questions, but I went to sit next to him anyway.
"Are you sure you're okay, Dad? I know that this can be disorienting...I've been in your shoes before"
"I'm fine Bells, I just can't get over the feeling that none of this is real...even though I know it is. I'm not going to ask you questions or try too hard to figure it all out, because I know that would make you have to leave."
I felt a pang of guilt because I knew that even if he never figured it out we would have to leave soon. But I shoved that aside to worry about at a later date. Tonight I just wanted to enjoy my family. Renesmee jumped to catch a fly ball hit by Jasper with no glove on, and I heard Charlie tense beside me. I giggled quietly when she landed safely with a triumphant grin. I felt silly for being so worried earlier and knew that Charlie was enjoying watching my daughter cut loose and play freely. This was truly as perfect as life got, and though I knew changes were coming our way I couldn't help the overwhelming happiness that washed over me.