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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The news the next morning verified Aunt Alice’s prediction—the Channel 4 meteorologist told us to “expect a misty morning by Monday”.
My motions felt mechanical and forced as I pulled out of the driveway and headed for the highway. I had been temporarily infuriated with myself for begging to be enrolled in high school. What did silly textbooks and droning lectures matter when the tyrants of the mythological world were bearing down on my family again? But I couldn’t turn back now; I had asked for this—I was sure I had wanted this at one point. I eased into a parking space, and I sat there, gazing around at the wandering students, the white brick buildings, the bare autumn trees. Before I could stop myself, my mind flew to the clearing and I imagined the dark hooded figures floating toward my family. The space of the cab grew suddenly stifling—would I ever be able to do this again? Just sit around and take in the world around me? Have any shred of normalcy?
I pushed through my door, clutching my textbooks in my arms and charged toward the central entrance of the school, not looking up from the ground.
“Hey, Nessie, wait up!” Amanda’s voice called. “Wait! Renesmee!” she called when I didn’t slow my stride. I felt guilty. It wasn’t her fault my world was crumbling around me. It wasn’t her fault that my family was once again facing the iron fist of the Volturi. It was not her fault that my family as I knew it could be torn apart, both figuratively and literally, on the whim of the ruthless Aro. My steps faltered, but not out of pity for Amanda’s faultlessness. A pain tore at my chest and warmth began to flow down my cheeks. Before I realized what was happening, I felt an arm drape across my shoulders.
“Nessie, are you okay? Whatsa matter?” Amanda cooed.
“Oh, um,” I had only cried once before, and the tears flowed just as unexpectedly now as they had done then. Amanda looked taken aback by my expression; instead of the grief she probably expected to see, my face was blank and confused. I patted at my face trying to catch a tear to inspect instead of wiping them away. “Just allergies,” I tonelessly offered up the first thing that came to mind, something I’d heard in a movie or on TV. I gazed at a shimmering droplet on the tip of my pinky. Amazing.
“Okay...” Amanda removed her arm from my shoulders and tucked her hand into the pocket of her sweatshirt, looking perplexed. “So how’d your essay for History go?”
“Good,” I answered. She nodded as if expecting more, then deflated when I didn’t elaborate. She seemed hurt by my lack of interest in maintaining the conversation, but still walked loyally by my side all the way to first period until we parted down the aisles to our desks.
Gavin’s was empty. I would have totally ignored his absence had last night not happened—all the swirling suspicions about him, the division in my family over him, the approach of the Volturi because of him. But in spite of the compelling urge to blame him for all the unnecessary chaos, I was worried.
The hours seemed to drag on in my distraction. I was unfocused in the three classes that followed before lunch. Mr. Valencia, taking notice of my aimless staring, called on me in Pre-Calculus and pursed his lips in frustration when I was still able to answer correctly. Finally, lunch came around. Amanda and the other girls met me at the cafeteria entrance. I told them I had to get something from my truck, but really, I just wanted to sit in the cab and soak in my thoughts. All the sounds in the hallways—the football team’s raucous over last night’s victory, some theater kids reciting lines for the upcoming production, the dance company’s recitation of eight-counts—meshed together into one distracting murmur, making it impossible to think. I wondered if the silence in my truck could even make it any easier.
“We can walk you,” Evelyn offered, smiling cheerfully. She inspected my face; Amanda had probably filled them in on my mood. The three of them began to shadow me.
“No, really, it’s okay. I’ll catch up with you later,” I tried my best to control the inexplicable harshness in my voice.
“Oh, alright...” they slumped identically at my dismissal but Amanda reached out and patted my shoulder before we separated.
I made my way out to the parking lot, trying to focus on a singular thought out of the jumble in my head. Before I could devote even a shred of attention to my thoughts, I saw the top of a dark-haired head leaning against the hood of my truck. I skipped forward. So he was ditching class to sulk around my truck?
“Hey—” I called out, but when I rounded the truck bed, I was surprised to find Jacob.
“Hey, Nessie,” he smiled, opening his arms and waiting for me to fill them.
“What are you doing here?” I flung my backpack and books into the truck and curled into him. I felt less frantic there as the warmth of his chest spread across my cheek and the thrum of his heart murmured in my ear.
He placed a finger beneath my chin, making me face him.
“I love you.” In spite of his smile, he didn’t look cheerful.
“You’ve been posing as an oversized hood ornament just to restate the obvious?” my giggle was brittle. I squeezed him, taking in his unreadable expression. Some unspoken worry furrowed his brow his jaw was a rigid square.
“No,” he began. “Actually...”
I tensed. His sudden seriousness was unsettling.
“What is it, did something happen?” the words were rushed and my breaths came in short gasps now.
“No, not at all. It’s okay. Calm down,” he smiled genuinely now and took my face in his hands, but something in his eyes seemed far away.
“Well what is it then? You’re scaring me!” I elbowed his ribs, crossing my arms and taking the space beside him against the truck.
“It just feels so strange—all of this happening again,” he looked at the ground, toeing a pebble. “Every time those Italian bloodsuckers come around...” he paused to shake his head, but backtracked when he saw me raise an eyebrow at him. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared. It’s just...we can’t ever just be. I can’t love the people I love without worrying that someone’s going to take them away.”
I showed him an image of my beaming, blushing, human mother.
“That seems like such a long time ago...” he nodded.
Then I showed him the scene of only six years ago; the face-off in the clearing and me, sitting atop his furry back, handfuls of his scruff in my hands like reigns.
He turned to face me and rested his forehead against mine. “I hate this helpless feeling. I hate knowing that you are endangered.”
“Come on, Jake. Cut me some slack...I’m more durable than you give me credit for,” I joked, but a sudden tinge of apprehension wouldn’t allow me to smile.
“But still so delicate.” He brushed across my cheekbone with the back of his hand. "You shouldn’t have to be. You’re so young...so beautiful...” he crooned.
I couldn’t help but laugh at that. “What does being beautiful have to do with anything?”
“Marry me,” he blurted. He looked surprised at his own words, but gave a delayed smile.
“What...?” I breathed, my face gaunt.
“I said,” he beamed, sure now. “ Marry me. There’s a little chapel just outside of town—”
“But just a second ago, you said I was so young...” my breathing was short again as I yanked my hair out of my face.
“I know, but—”
“Jake, please, I can’t do this now,” I whined as my head swam with all the blurred thoughts I couldn’t seem to muddle through. “Look, we both know how we feel about each other, and I do want to marry you. Someday. But not now, just because you’re afraid you might lose me. That won’t happen.” He hated feeling like a coward, even though he knew I knew he was anything but that.
His eyes roved my face for countless moments before he burst out in laughter.
“Why is it that you’re always the one reassuring me? Ugh...Too much role reversal. Go get lost in the woods or something so I can come save you,” he gently pushed me away from him, then pulled me back again. “No, no, I was just kidding. Don’t do that.” He took me in a tight embrace.
I managed to gasp out a giggle. “So no more talk of nuptials in the near future, right?” It was my turn to push him as he placed me back on solid ground.
“Sure, sure,” he laughed, knotting our fingers.
I sighed heavily and buried my face in his chest.
“What’s the matter?” he cooed, combing through my hair with his free hand.
“Like I said...too much going on. And I can’t even think in there,” I said throwing an accusatory thumb over my shoulder without looking up. “I have three tests to study for and two papers to write, Coach Hartman put me in charge of planning the Track and Field Social. Not to mention the impending doom imported from Italy coming our way...and on top of that, Gavin wasn’t here today so I couldn’t even ambush him—”
“He wasn’t here?” Jacob pulled me upright. His face was intense, eyes glowering.
“Is it like him to not be here? Did he tell you anything? Where he was going, any plans of leaving?”
“Jacob, I have no idea, okay? What’s going on?” It wasn’t like him to interrogate me in this way, especially about Gavin.
“Alice had vision...she saw them. Coming...earlier,” he scanned the distance as if expecting to see them in the trees surrounding Forks High.
“Earlier?” I copied him now, searching the trees for sinister signs of their presence. “How soon?”
“Can’t say...Alice just saw the scene in the clearing change...Gray but no fog. And drizzling.”
“What?” he looked down at me, surprised.
“Well clearly not everyone in the family is clairvoyant...I still watch the news for the seven-day forecast. ‘Scattered showers by Saturday afternoon’.” I recalled.
The first bell rang for sixth period and people were filing out of the cafeteria, filling the hallways.
Because of Aunt Alice, Jacob had no longer had much faith in the ‘human news’, but he acted immediately on my devout dependence on it now.
“We’ve got to find Gavin,” Jacob growled. “I’m gonna go tell Carlisle. See you at home.” And with that he kissed my forehead and bounded into the trees beyond the football field.
I watched until he disappeared and a low, whimpering howl rose from the forest.
“I love you, too,” I whispered.