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Harvest Moon

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!! =]


7. Test

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1786   Review this Chapter

I never tried to speak to him again. It was easy enough to avoid him at school since we only had the one class together. Plus, Amanda Webber, along with the other friends I’d gained through her, was excellent at keeping my attention occupied. Allison Everston had convinced me to join the track team. Marshall Young and Joseph Grant always tried to hook me into an internet role-playing game over our lunch period, which always just turned into them luring me into the computer lab while I watched them battle mystical creatures (I had laughed at the irony when they defeated a dark vampire lord). On top of all that, I had formed a study group with Amanda and Marshall’s sister, Evelyn, since we had three of our classes together.

At home, I had resorted to taking the detour through the big, white house to greet my family, then escaped to my room in the cottage in the woods. One of my aunts usually came to try and coax me out of my hiding place, but their attempts were easily thwarted—education came first, so all I had to do was look studious and I was off the hook.

On the weekend after my second week of school, however, was a different story. All my homework was caught up; trying to dodge staying in the mansion with everyone while they worked with Gavin, I had even finished homework for the next week. I would be hard-pressed to find things to occupy me then. If I continued this way, I might even graduate early and not get to enjoy my full high school experience. I deduced that Gavin ruined everything. This made me more frustrated, but it was gratifying to blame him for something. There was a soft knock on my door then, but instead of one of my aunts, my father and Uncle Jasper peeked in.

"Hi, Dad, Uncle Jasper," I said, putting down the book I had snatched from my side table in case it was Aunt Alice or Aunt Rose, or even my mom. "What’s up?"

"You busy, love?" my dad raised an eyebrow at me, seeing no traces of the contents of that book in my head. I looked sideways at the cover then looked back at him, smiling sheepishly.

"You know, you’re friend might be a little offended that you’ve stuck him with your kooky family," he reasoned.

"I’m sure he’s just fine with that, actually," I grumbled.

"Well we’re not, sweetheart, we hardly see you anymore. You’ve got yourself all penned up in here," Uncle Jasper sat on the foot of my bed.

"I know, it’s just—" I began, but my father finished my thought.

"Yes, love, I’m suspicious too. It seems like he’s always trying to dodge my mind reading. Always concocting curious thoughts about logarithms or going over the cycle of photosynthesis. I don’t even know how he’s so aware of my gift. Did you tell him?"

"No, Dad, I never talk to him. We’re not friends," I shook my head.

"He seems little affected by my manipulations as well...Hm. Perhaps he’s a shield?" Uncle Jasper wondered. My mind flashed back to that handshake again. No, he was no shield.

"Renesmee, what was that?" my father demanded. "What was that you just remembered?"

"Oh, nothing," I hurried. "It’s just...nothing." I thought hard about the essay I had written yesterday, trying to find synonyms for every single word I had used.

As if timed perfectly to save me, my mother walked in. "What’s going on, you three? We’re about to begin the test," she beckoned for us to follow.

"Test?" I didn’t have to fake the curiosity

"Per our instruction, Gavin has allowed himself to grow thirsty these last couple of weeks. We’re going to test his strength to refuse human blood," my father answered, though his gaze was still boring into my face.

"Oh, this I’ve got to see." I wanted to see him fail. I wanted my family to be angry with him and send him away. My mom giggled as she curled her arm around my shoulders. My father rolled his eyes and he and Uncle Jasper followed us into the forest, toward the house.

"I’ve had a couple years of practice," I heard Gavin assure someone as we entered the back door. He was sitting at the dinner table across from Grandfather Carlisle. Grandmother Esme stood behind my grandfather, her hands resting on his shoulders. Uncle Emmett and Aunt Rose sat in the two barstools by the counter. Uncle Jasper took the empty seat at the table with Aunt Alice. I imagined he wanted to stay close, to protect Aunt Alice and to attempt to control the frenzy that could potentially begin. My parents stood, like a print ad for designer clothes, against the wall behind which they had had their whispered conversation about my mother’s dream.

"I wanted to be a little less savage by the time I finally met you. I’m kind of the reason of the Peninsula’s extinction scare of the local deer population last spring," Gavin continued. He slumped slightly, fearing his efforts to impress my family might be having the opposite effect. He coughed then went on. "I figured, if I overfilled myself, then I wouldn’t thirst for humans... but I was weak in that sense."

"So, basically, you think that by wandering a little farther from home to kill humans and wiping out a local species, you're being 'less savage'?" I spat at him.

I recoiled quickly as Grandfather Carlisle rebuked me with a stern glare. He turned to reassure Gavin. "You’re still young, your thirst for human blood will always overpower you, even if you were to drain every woodland creature in a hundred-mile radius" Grandfather Carlisle began. "But, there is more to being ‘normal’ than just trying to control your thirst. One of the most important lesson you must learn is, in order to maintain any kind of permanence in an area the way my family and I have, you must do a bit of distance hunting," my grandfather patted Gavin’s shoulder paternally. "This requires a great amount of discipline because you must be able to, kind of, schedule your thirst. We take hunting trips every few weeks, often to the south, or wherever there seems to be any kind of infestation that needs taking care of. You could even consider us the pest control for large game," Grandfather Carlisle winked. "But we prefer ‘vegetarians’."

"It has been difficult, I admit. But I definitely mastered some level of control since I wanted to enroll in high school here," his chin raised in arrogance. I wanted to slap him.

"Why do you care anyway? I mean, you could’ve just wandered out of sight, completely unnoticed, hunting as you pleased like a normal vampire." I flinched at how pushy I sounded. "Sorry." I shook my head, ashamed not because I might’ve hurt his feelings—I couldn’t have less regard for his feelings—but because of the way my family looked at me as if I had just spit on the Queen.

"No, that’s okay," he maintained his smile, but he seemed to have to strain to keep the velvety timbre of his voice. His black eyes glinted. "Ever since I was changed, I’ve yearned for normalcy—the path your family offered my sister. As I’ve explained before, I’m not so keen in my vampiric ways. So rather than fruitlessly tracking you and your family, I resorted to more elementary means. The library actually became a sanctuary for me. I would go in after it had already closed for the evening. I ended up going through old newspapers, paying special attention to the coverage of unexplained deaths, since I know that our kind is usually tied to these events. I found one article that investigated the string of deaths as a possible epidemic—completely delusional considering the placement of the bodies—but anyway, it included a statement from your grandfather and I recognized his face from the clearing," he said, nodding to Grandfather Carlisle. "Please, I want to be on your side."

My eyes narrowed. Were we still talking about ‘vegetarianism’ here? My family seemed to think so, based on their sympathetic faces.

"Let us begin the test, then." To my surprise, Grandfather Carlisle produced two orange water balloons, both bulging with liquid. I smelled the blood before I realized that the thick fluid contained within them darkened the coloring of the balloons. The liquid strained against the rubber, producing a maroon-ish tinge to the orange. Grandfather Carlisle laid them on the table before Gavin; Gavin began to tremble. His lips curled back over his teeth and he inclined himself toward the balloon to his left. A low hiss escaped his lips. I subconsciously took a step back.

"Gavin, try to control it," Grandfather Carlisle coached. "Fight it, be strong."

Gavin squeezed his eyes shut, teeth still bared, hands balled into tight fists. His clawed fingers edged toward the water balloon. His fingers were grazing the rubber.

"Hey, guys, what’s for lunch?" Jacob sauntered into the kitchen.

Everything happened so fast. A snarl bounced off the marble floors and, in a flash, Gavin had launched himself at Jacob, shattering the glass dining table. The balloons popped amidst the shards but Gavin was distracted now; he strained against Jacob’s hands, which were pushing against his chest and face. Jacob was protecting himself from Gavin’s swipes and snaps at his throat. I could feel my face twist in anguish. I couldn’t scream—instead I fell helplessly to my knees. Jacob’s face began to blur. He met my eyes; his pained expression winded me as he fought the urge to phase.

It took my father and Uncle Emmett to pull Gavin away and wrestle him to the ground. Gavin gurgled and sputtered as Aunt Alice poured a vial of thick red liquid into his snarling mouth. Panting, he stopped fighting the weight of Uncle Emmett’s arm across his chest and my father’s hands restraining his ankles.

I rushed to Jacob and pulled him up. He pushed me behind him.

"You stupid leech!" he howled in fury,

"Jacob, please..." Grandfather Carlisle stood like a crossing guard between Jacob and Gavin, his palm halting Jacob’s stride.

"Carlisle, you must be kidding! You saw that! He could’ve hurt someone. He could’ve hurt Renesmee!"

"We had it under control, Jacob. He was just confused," my grandfather reasoned.

"This is unbelievable," Jacob shook his head and returned to me, wearing the same pained expression he had when he was pinned under Gavin. He took my hand to calm himself. I squeezed his in return as he toyed with the black heart around my finger.

"I—I..." Gavin stammered.

Uncle Emmett helped him sit up but kept a cautionary hold on his shoulders.

"I’ll do better next time," he vowed.