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 oblivious serenity of the surrounding forest was depressing as a made my way up the front steps of the big white house. I realized I would miss the forest—running through the ferns, scaling age-old redwoods with Jacob, watching the moon rise beyond the mountains—if tomorrow resulted in us having to run for the rest of our lives. Or, worse than running, dying to defend my family, which now counted Gavin.
His absence carried on even after school; he never came to the house to train with my grandfather. My annoyance with him was diluted now, inexplicably replaced with concern.
Stepping into the living room, I could make out my father and Aunt Alice’s hushed voices from another room. Uncle Jasper and Grandfather Carlisle were at the kitchen table, discussing a strategy should militarism become essential. Grandmother Esme and Aunt Rose were lost in their own conversation, Gavin’s name whispered repeatedly—their maternal natures were unwavering. Uncle Emmett was in the backyard, clawing fiercely at a line of wooden posts, turning them to splinters, then making swipes at piled boulders that crumbled at the impact. I watched him do a victory dance over the rubble before turning my attention to my mother.
The piano bench, upon which she was now perched, had been pulled to the center of the living room. Her eyes were shut in deep concentration. A single ray of sunlight pierced the gray overcast skies and shone through the high circular window, acting as a spotlight upon her sparkling porcelain skin.
She opened her eyes when my sneaker squeaked across the marble tiles, but she looked without really seeing me. Instead, she seemed to center herself on maintaining this unreadable vigilance.
"Mom, are you alright?" I sat on the arm of the sofa across the room from her, not wanting to break the concentration she seemed to be fighting for.
She nodded, then, as if noticing me for the first time, smiled warmly at me. "I was just testing the flexibility of my shield, pushing it through the walls and doorways. Just making sure I’m still useful, really," she shrugged. "I still forget that I’m not as hopelessly clumsy as I used to be, but I can never be sure. I’m so used to screwing up, tripping, and breaking something; I’m sure it’s still in here somewhere," she said, prodding at her belly and clutching at the hollow of the base of her neck as if summoning some phantom manifestation of her klutzy, mortal self. I smiled back at her, shaking my head.
"Mom," I began.
"Hm?" she rose and took the space beside me on the arm of the sofa.
"What do you think is going to happen tomorrow?"
She looked at me, trying to word her response, but wishing for a sure answer herself. I reached out and touched her cheek, showing her the showdown from my youth; us surrounded by my ‘witnesses’. I showed her Aro, Caius, and Marcus in their huddled trio with their assembled guard and witnesses steadfast behind them. When I dropped my hand, my mother shut her eyes tight and buried her face in her hands. When she reappeared from behind her palms, her eyes were searching and desperate.
"I’m not sure, baby. But whatever happens, we are all getting through it together."
I hadn’t heard him come in, but Jacob’s arm curled around my waist as he settled into the sofa behind me.
"Hey," I greeted him in reply to his gentle squeeze.
"What are my girls up to?" he piped.
"I believe that’s my line." Even in his easy stride, my father looked like he was strutting down a runway as he came toward us, resting his chin atop my mother’s head and wrapping his arms around her shoulders.
He glanced between our faces, reading our expressions, then sighed heavily. "Look, we’ve got a force of eight indestructible vampires—"
"And one...not quite as indestructible but just as strong," Jacob said, winking at me.
"And we’ve got the whole pack," my father continued, nodding to Jacob.
"Even the newbies," Jacob stated surely.
"We’re going to be fine. Smooth sailing, I promise. Nothing we haven’t had to overcome before," he finished, kissing my mother’s hair.
"Those prehistoric leeches don’t stand a chance." Jacob sounded like a giddy cheerleader; to top it off, he pumped his fist in the air. My mother and I giggled together in spite of our anxiousness.
"It just feels so inescapable. Like we’re having to fight for our lives all the time, always on our toes, watching our backs," my mother’s voice sounded like a broken-heart ballad.
"Ah, the life of a mythological creature in a world of mortal cynics," my father reasoned. "Don’t fret, my love. As I said, it’s nothing we can’t overcome again."
"Can’t you see him at all, Alice?" my grandfather’s voice carried from the kitchen.
"I’m trying, Carlisle. He keeps...changing. Too quickly. It’s a miracle I can see him at all. I think he’s been blocking me all along." I could see Aunt Alice pacing the tiled kitchen, each step like a choreographed dance echoed by the click of her heels. Though her face was distant and unfocused, her fingers were pressed to her temples in determined concentration. "Stone walls...tunnels of light...the clearing...I can’t make sense of any of it. Everything’s so muddled." She shot a glance over her shoulder at Jacob and me, rolling her eyes and shrugging. We grimaced sheepishly, aware that our presence wasn’t helping to clear her sight at all.
The sun was setting now, just behind the mountains. A breeze floated through the window, bringing with it scents of the distant forest—pine needles, soil, creek water, deer...Subconsciously, I rubbed at my throat, the internal itch tingling beneath my touch. Jacob noticed.
"C’mon, let’s go hunt," he rose from the sofa and bounded to my side, pulling me towards the door.
"Hunt? Now?" I squeaked.
"Why not? You’ve got to eat, Ness, don’t be ridiculous," he insisted. "Do you mind, Edward? Bella?" he nodded towards my parents’ stone-like figures.
"Go on, then," my father agreed, waving us off.
"Don’t go too far...I want to be able to hear you," my mother called after us.
Once we were out the door, I felt free of the stifling tension that had hung so densely inside the house. Before I knew it, I was running and Jacob was keeping perfect time with me. I felt so primal, stripped of all other concerns now. I inhaled deeply, and smiled. The herd was near. My throat prickled. I looked over at Jacob. He winked at me; in a flash of flesh to fur and the sound of popping seams, his smiling face was replaced with a blur of russet fur and the gentle thump of four padded feet running alongside me.
I wasn’t sure why it surprised me how well Jacob knew me. The wind whipping my hair around my face as I ran in the night-darkened forest gave me the most exhilarating release in spite of all the oppressing torment of what awaited us come morning. Running, especially with Jacob, was my escape.
The sky rumbled above us as we stalked the herd. They gathered under a canopy of young trees near a gurgling creek.
Just as I was about to tackle a doe that was just feet away from me, a distant whine snapped me out of my ravenous state. Jacob was already bounding away from our hiding place in the ferns, toward the familiar cry. What could have caused Seth’s uneasiness and Jacob’s abrupt determination to find him? Tight knots in my stomach all but tamed the itch in my throat as we raced past the massive trunks of ancient trees. It was just past a splintered, fallen trunk that Jacob came to a sudden halt.