It seems that danger is as constant as the clouds of Forks, hanging over the Cullens, just waiting to rain. It always seems to come when times seem the happiest. With it now pouring down upon them with full force, driving a wedge in the tight-knit family, will the Cullens be able to maintain their bonds and triumph once again? Renesmee's P.o.V. REVIEWS are greatly appreciated!! =]
Love it or Hate it, just RATE it! **SORRY FOR THE HIATUS EVERYONE...I'M IN MY SECOND TO LAST SEMESTER IN COLLEGE AND IT'S BEEN TAKING UP A LOT OF MY TIME! I WILL UPDATE ASAP.**
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Just as Grandpa Charlie and Sue were inching over the threshold, Uncle Emmett’s mountainous form was launched in a lithe flash upon Gavin, pinning him to the wall of the hallway.
"I’m FINE!" Gavin whispered harshly.
"Then stop with the hissing, champ," Uncle Emmett poked Gavin in the chest.
Gavin squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed. When he reopened his eyes, they were substantially less fanatical, though still mildly fiendish because of their darkness. His chest was inflated and barrel-like; he wasn’t breathing.
"I can do this," he vowed. "I do it every day at Forks High. I can most certainly do it now."
"Hi, Dad! Hi, Sue, how was the honeymoon?" my mom’s voice trilled. As she took their coats, she shot wide-eyed gazes at me, angling her head toward the hallway where Gavin and Uncle Emmett stood just out of sight. I nodded to reassure her that it was under control, but my heart was aflutter.
"Oh, it was incredible, Bells," Grandpa Charlie crooned. "That island you kids sent us to was—AH—and that bungalow!" He nuzzled Sue’s hair and they laughed together at a thankfully unspoken inside joke. I really didn’t want to know.
"Wow, Dad...I can tell you loved it. You’re not even speaking in complete sentences!"
"It was lovely, really," Sue beamed.
"We’re glad you enjoyed it," Grandfather Carlisle smiled warmly, wandering into the living room with Grandmother Esme on his arm. My grandmother was balancing her picturesque silver refreshment tray in her free hand.
"Please, help yourselves," Grandmother Esme centered the tray on the coffee table as Grandfather Carlisle waved Grandpa Charlie and Sue into two oversized leather armchairs, perching himself and ushering Grandmother Esme onto the bench across from them.
"Dr. Cull—er—Carlisle," Grandpa Charlie corrected himself when Grandfather Carlisle eyed him with mock sternness; he had insisted that they drop their titles since they were family now. "Honestly, your kindness is immeasurable." He took a butter biscuit from the tray and took a generous bite. His eyes widened and he nodded approvingly at Grandmother Esme with a dramatic "Mmm!"
"Please, Charlie. What is family for?" Grandfather Carlisle reminded him. He crossed and uncrossed his legs awkwardly. Usually the most calm, he couldn’t hide his anxiousness, at least not from me; his eyes kept darting toward the hallway. Grandpa Charlie and Sue, however, smiles seemingly immovably fastened to their faces, never picked up on his distress.
Then, as if noticing me for the first time, Grandpa Charlie cleared his throat awkwardly.
"Look at you, Nessie. So...grown," he gulped and took Sue’s hand. I imagined he was getting lightheaded and needed Sue to keep him from floating to the ceiling.
"Hi, Grandpa," I smiled. "Thanks for my sweatshirt, by the way," I said, pinching a chunk of the fabric forward from my chest. "It’s a perfect fit."
"Huh," he managed. He stared at me as seconds passed. "Sweetheart, you look more like your Mama by the minute," his eyes flickered quickly to my mother’s face, but he looked down just as quickly. He pretended to scratch his eye, but his awkward, choked-up cough betrayed him. He looked up just high enough for the light to catch on the black heart around my finger. He looked at me, then looked at Jacob, then eyed my hand, enclosed in Jacob’s. I thought I heard him chanting to himself, only what I need to know...only what I need to know."So," he piped a little too loudly. "Where’s my son-in-law?"
"In here," I jumped as my dad’s voice called from the kitchen. "Just getting back from replenishing our sustenance." He made a show of toting some brown bags overflowing with groceries. My mother looked over her shoulder, eyebrows raised. We watched as he set the bags on the kitchen counter and made his way into the living room. He nodded chivalrously to Sue and gave Grandpa Charlie a hearty handshake before taking his seat on the armrest of my mother’s armchair. All in one fluid, near unnoticeable motion, he kissed my mother’s head and discreetly whispered in her ear, "Alice saw Charlie coming...she saw Gavin too. We thought you might need some reinforcement. They’ll be here soon."
"I know I’ve only just got in, but could you excuse me for a moment?" my father rose, edging toward the hallway.
"Actually, we’d better get going. We have to get unpacked and settle back in to reality, after all," Grandpa Charlie offered. He and Sue nodded to each other in agreement and stood, never once unknotting their fingers. "We’ll come by again soon, catch up," he promised. Grandfather Carlisle, Grandmother Esme, my mother, Jacob and I all stood and we all drifted as a unit to the front door to see them off.
We were all hugging and kissing and saying our good-byes when his call rang over our heads. "Wait!" I saw Uncle Emmett’s hands claw at the vacant air, trying to pull Gavin back into submission, but it was too late; he was already in the midst of out little huddle of farewells. "Hello, I’m Gavin, I’m Renesmee’s friend." He reached out for Grandpa Charlie’s hand. My mother inched forward infinitesimally, her position in a defensive lean in front of Grandpa Charlie, who shook Gavin’s hand without hesitation. Gavin bowed stiffly to Sue.
"Nice to meet a friend of Nessie’s," Grandpa Charlie chuckled. He appraised Gavin and eyed Jacob all in one sweep, anticipating a brawl in my honor, no doubt. My father, who was now standing behind my mother, suppressed a smile but glared firmly at Gavin.
"It’s getting dark. You still need to drive back into town," my mom hinted.
"Right, right," Grandpa Charlie inched out the door, Sue in tow. "I missed you kids. See you all again soon!" he called as he held the passenger door of the cruiser open for Sue. We all waved. Once the door was shut, we rounded collectively upon Gavin.
Uncle Emmett stalked out of the hallway, Aunt Rose close behind him.
"What were you thinking, you little squirt?" Uncle Emmett jabbed at Gavin’s chest again with his index finger.
"I told you I could handle it, didn’t I?" Gavin retorted, a pompous angle to his chin.
"And I told you we couldn’t risk it, no matter how ready you thought you were." Uncle Emmett straightened to his full height, flexing every muscle in his arms as he crossed them across his broad chest.
"No, Emmett, this is really good, actually," Grandfather Carlisle interjected. "At least now we know that he is capable."
My father and Uncle Emmett began to object simultaneously, but it was my mother’s voice that rang above them.
"If you ever, ever risk my family’s lives again, I—I’ll..." she was trembling angrily.
"Bella, I’m sorry," Gavin was taken aback by my mother’s harshness; he looked like a dog with his tail tucked between his legs. "I really had control, I swear."
My mother hid her face in my father’s chest as he locked her in an embrace.
"We know you’re eager to prove yourself, but you’re still young. You’ve said yourself that your weakness for human blood is sometimes unignorable," my father chastised over my mother’s head.
"Come on, I slip up sometimes. It’s nothing serious, I can handle myself at school," Gavin reasoned. Jacob rolled his eyes and muttered an "oh, please."
"Gavin, ‘sometimes’ is just as bad as ‘once’. We can’t afford to compromise the human members of our family, nor our living situation here," my father continued.
"That’s not fair! The one time I’ve actually slipped in front of you was because you made me stay thirsty! You can’t judge me based on that," Gavin was almost shouting now. "And besides—"
"We are not judging you," Grandfather Carlisle soothed. "We know it will take time for you to succumb to full abstinence." For the first time ever, I caught my father shoot a shocked glance at Grandfather Carlisle—as if he had just been betrayed. I wasn’t sure if Grandfather Carlisle had seen it; I knew I definitely wasn’t meant to.
"You should probably go now, Gavin," my father suggested, his eyes still fixed on the side of Grandfather Carlisle’s face.
Gavin nodded. "Sorry again, Bella," he grumbled, making his way through our circle and out the front door.
"Carlisle, you can’t keep defending him like that. What he did tonight was irresponsible," my father searched Grandfather’s face in disbelief.
"Edward, you know these things can’t happen overnight. His discipline is improving. The last thing he needs is for us to lose faith in him, when he’s made all this progress," Grandfather Carlisle stated calmly.
"I am not suggesting that we turn our backs on him, Carlisle, but his arrogance tonight was out of line! You’re right, the last thing we need is to try his temper...especially because of what he is." My father allowed these last few words to trail off and made to turn away, but he wouldn’t make off without explaining.
"Dad, what do you mean ‘because of what he is’?" How much had I possibly missed in my hermit-like existence the past few months of burying myself in books, competing in track meets, preparing for finals?
"We must proceed carefully, cautiously, with the boy." My dad paused, facing away from us, his still figure framed in the doorway to the kitchen. I was immediately reminded me of the gilded portraits hanging in Grandfather Carlisle’s study.
I crossed my arms impatiently and let out a dramatic sigh. How could anyone else bear the seconds that ticked by days?
"In these past few months, I’ve watched him, tried to listen, unable to figure it out. He’s hiding something, I know... and I’ve got my theory," he began. He turned back to face us, but his eyes were unfocused, calculating.
"Which is...?" my mother stood now.
"I think he’s a Magnet."