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The New Kids

Summary:
The Cullens start high school for the first time since Bella has been changed and Renesmee has been born. Will Nessie learn to love Jacob the way he wants her to? Or will she meet someone at school and repeat the history that brought her Mom and Dad together? The sequel to this story - Nothing But Time- should be up ASAP! Keep a look out for it!


Notes:


17. Chapter 17

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2729   Review this Chapter

I was panicking, gripping the edge of the table with my fingers and trying to catch my breath. How had this happened? Damn Emmett! I would never forgive him for this. My dad looked in my eyes and motioned very subtlety for me to calm down. It was times like this when I wished I could read his mind. I saw him take the menu off the table and a pen out of his pocket and then begin to write something down.


"Excuse me for a moment, please. Nessie? Will you come with me?" My mother said politely, getting up from the table. I was thankful that women go to the restroom in pairs as I got up and followed her. No one even looked up from their salads to watch us leave. As I walked around the table I noticed lettuce leaves bulging from Uncle Emmett's coat pocket and almost laughed..until I remembered that I was furious with him.

"Here," my mother told me once we were safely alone in the restroom. I opened the menu and started reading my fathers note.

Bella, take Nessie to the powder room and give her this. Burn it when you're done. Don't be gone too long, love.

Nessie, don't say anything out loud, I'd prefer the family not hear any of this yet. Emmett didn't make him suspicious, I did. He thinks that I can read minds because of the way I react to his thoughts. I've been careless and I'm sorry. I think he's going to ask you about it tonight at some point, so you must stay calm. He's extremely observant and I don't think he'll accept a flippant answer from you, so just be as honest as you can without giving anything away. If Alice sees this going badly, I'll think of something else. So sorry baby.

I was confused on so many levels. I thought them over while my mother made sure no one was coming and then lit the menu on fire and stuffed it down the sink drain. I didn't understand why the family couldn't know about this, maybe they could help? I'm sure Dad had his reasons though. And what had Owen been thinking about that would cause my father to react so badly that it was noticeable? And finally, what on earth was I going to say when Owen asked me? I rested my hand against my mothers cheek and showed her all of these things.

"I don't know," she whispered. "I only know as much as you."

We made our way back to the table, where the waiters were just setting down the entrees. Good, my steak was practically raw, at least I would enjoy part of this meal. I tried to relax and just focus on the plate in front of me, but couldn't. Uncle Jasper kept glancing at me, searching for the reason behind the confusion and terror emanating from me. He sent wave after wave of calm, but it helped little.

As I finished the last few bites of my steak, the band began to play an upbeat swing tune, drawing a few couples out onto the dance floor. Aunt Alice looked pleadingly at Uncle Jasper and with a slight sigh he rose to his feet and offered her his hand. The sight of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara doing the jitterbug was enough to occupy my mind for at least the length of the song. When the band switched to a sultry tango, I giggled a little as Aunt Rose pulled Uncle Emmett out of his chair and hauled him out to the floor, tossing her cape over the back of her chair as she went.

Aunt Rose was definitely able to showcase her abilities doing the tango, I saw more than one woman smack her husband as he looked a little too closely at her perfect white leg sticking out of the outrageously high cut slit. The softer waltz that filled the air next drew my parents and grandparents out to join the dancers.

As I sat watching their graceful twirls, a rotund, balding man dressed as the devil came and sat next to John. "Mr. Ross! Good to see you again. How wonderful that you were seated with Dr. Cullen, he's the newest addition to our staff at the hospital. I suspect that you two had much in common."

"Yes, we do. Our children go to school together also, so I've been wanting to meet him for quite some time. Karen, this is Dr. Steele, he and his wife organized the event and asked me to donate one of my pieces."

I tuned out the pleasantries and kept watching my family put every other couple to shame, thinking about what I was going to say when the topic of mind reading was broached later tonight...

I was brought out of my pondering by Dr. Steele addressing Owen, "It's so nice to meet you, Owen. Who is the young lady you've brought tonight?"

Before I could open my mouth to introduce myself, Owen did it for me, "This is my girlfriend, Nessie Cullen."

Girlfriend?! I smiled hugely and squeezed Owens hand under the table. I heard my father growl from across the room, so much for him being more careful. I only had about 2 seconds to rejoice over the word 'girlfriend' in my head before I needed to respond to the question Dr. Steele had just asked.

"Yes, I'm the youngest Cullen."

"I guess you and Dr. Cullen have more in common than I thought!" Dr. Steele said to John before excusing himself to go dance with his wife.

"Would you like to dance, Nessie?" Owen asked when a vocalist joined the band and started singing 'Wonderful Tonight'. I nodded and walked with him to the floor. I grabbed the small loop at the end of my train and held it up as we started to dance a basic box step. He wasn't bad, not at all. He didn't have the perfect grace that I was used to from dancing with my father or uncles, but we could have shuffled around for all I cared, dancing with him was infinitely better.

"So, boyfriend, are you having fun?" I teased.

"I'm so sorry, I should have asked first. I figured that we were on that path, but I shouldn't have just blurted it out like that without asking you," he paused for a moment, "Do you want to be? My girlfriend, I mean."

"Of course! The grin on my face should have told you that I was thrilled when you said it," I beamed at him.

He pulled me closer and leaned down to kiss the top of my head, "I'd give you a real kiss, but your brother is giving me a particularly evil look right about now."

I turned to look over my shoulder and sure enough, there he was, glaring murderously at Owen from across the room. I thought you were going to be better, Dad! This is NOT helping. Please, try harder. I saw him give me a slight nod and return his attention to my mother. When I faced Owen again he was looking at me with an odd expression on his face, but quickly smoothed it away. I tried to put my father out of my mind and just focus on the moment, my first dance with my first boyfriend. I was in heaven. I took a deep breath and leaned my head into his chest and closed my eyes.

When the song ended I didn't want to stop, but the band started playing disco and middle aged couples flooded the floor.

“I don't think this band was aimed at our demographic,” Owen said with a laugh as his spotted his parents doing their best 'Saturday Night Fever' impression.

“Um, definitely not. Let's go look at the silent auction stuff. Maybe there's something we can bid on.” We walked over to several long tables set up to one side of the room where the dozens of donated items were being displayed with the bidding sheets set out in front of them. There were several themed gift baskets, a few weekend getaways, a family portrait session, and certificates to various business around town. At the end of the line, on a small table by itself, was Johns sculpture. I'd seen it many times in his studio and it was one of my favorites.

“Looks like Carlisle is the high bidder right now,” Owen told me, looking down at the paper.

“Awesome! I hope he wins, I'd love to have this at home.”

We hovered around the bidding tables for awhile longer, talking over the various items. The band had obviously found what pleased this crowd, they continued to play upbeat disco songs for the next 20 minutes. 'Brick House' had the crowd in a tizzy, I saw Aunt Alice dancing around an uncomfortable looking Uncle Jasper and Owen's parents getting down on the other side of the floor. The rest of my family was sitting at the table, looking amused. All except for my father, he looked annoyed.

Alice danced her way toward me and whispered very low, “Make him take you all the way to Wren's driveway without stopping, you'll be too close to Jake for me to see you then. Trust me.” She danced away before I could reply.

“What was that about, what was she whispering?” Owen asked.

“Oh nothing, just Alice being Alice.”

“Hey, this party is getting a little...well, boring. Do you want to head over to Wren's for awhile?”

“Sure! I'll go ask. Go tell your parents we're going and I'll meet you by the door.”

I rushed to the table and, over the objections of my father, my mother told me, “Go, have fun, but don't stay out too late please, you still have school tomorrow.”

Uncle Jasper pulled Aunt Alice though the crowd and to the table, making her sit for awhile. He started grumbling, “I'm sick of dancing. I hated the seventies when I lived through it. I don't care to do it again.”

His sour mood was making my father even more agitated, he glared at Aunt Alice. “Why are you blocking me out, Alice?” he growled, “Why did you tell Nessie to go straight to Wren's, what did you see?” She just smile serenely at him, obviously concentrating very hard on something.

I needed to get out of here before he exploded, “Uh, so I'll see you all later. Have fun.” I turned and headed for the door, waving goodbye to John and Karen as I went. As soon as Owen and I walked out into the cool fall air, he took off his jacket and laid it over my shoulders. I wasn't cold, but it was such a sweet gesture. We were in the car and headed out of town toward Wren's house before either of us spoke.

“So, you had fun tonight?” Owen asked.

“Mhum, and you?”

“Yes, very much.”

Why were things so awkward all of the sudden? We'd been in his car alone dozens of times, but something was different tonight. Hopefully our new relationship status wasn't the cause of this. Owen cleared his throat and shifted nervously in his seat, like he wanted to say something. Oh no, now I understood, he was behaving like someone who wanted to bring up a difficult topic. Like mind reading.

Might as well get the ball rolling, “Whats up? It seems like something is bothering you.”

“Um, yeah actually. It's Edward, he's been acting really weird lately. Don't get me wrong, I really like your brother and I think he likes me too...about 75% of the time anyway.”

“He likes you. He's just protective, you know how it is. Just ignore him.” I rushed to get the words out.

"No, its more than that, Nessie. God, this sounds crazy, but it's like he knows what I'm thinking. If I even think of touching you or kissing you he just appears and glares at me. I didn't really start to notice until tonight, and then it all kind of fell together. I grabbed your hand under the table, there's no way he could have seen, and he just started staring at me. It's not normal."

I had no clue what to say. I couldn't tell him he was making this all up in his head, because he wasn't. "I think you might just be reading too much into this. Edward is very good at reading people, and he often has a scowl on his face, so I wouldn't be too concerned."

“We're getting close to Wren's, can we stop and talk somewhere?” he asked.

So this is what Alice had been seeing, but why would she need to hide this from Dad? He already knew that Owen was going to bring this up. “Let's just get to Wren's, we can stop in the driveway and talk.”

“Sure.”

We continued on and Owen seemed to be collecting his thoughts, waiting until we turned up the gravel road to Wren's to speak again, “Is this okay?” he asked pulling off to the side of the drive narrow drive about a quarter of a mile from the house.

“Yeah, I guess,” we should be close enough to the house for Jacob to obscure Alice's vision. “What is so important that you can't drive and talk at the same time?” I smiled, trying to lighten the mood.

He unbuckled his seat belt and turned his body toward me, “Something isn't right. I can't put my finger on it, but I feel like I'm overlooking something big. I know I sound crazy, and I'm kind of starting to feel like I am, but you would tell me wouldn't you? If there was something going on?”

He was practically pleading with me to assure him that he wasn't going insane, “You're not crazy,” I relented.

“So I'm right then? Something isn't normal?”

I bristled at the word 'normal', I'd wished so many times that I could just be normal, but that could never be the case. I wouldn't lie to him, but I had to keep him from knowing. I looked into his eyes and tried to sound as serious as I could, “Owen, you just have to trust that you know everything you should. Please.” We sat in silence for what felt like eternity, finally Owen nodded.

“I promise that it's better this way,” I had the sudden urge to cradle his sad looking face in my hands, but pulled back at the last moment, remembering what would happen if I did. I settled for grabbing his hands in mine instead. I leaned across the small space between us and kissed him lightly, it was about time that I initiated something, he'd done all the kissing so far. He reached around my waist, trying to pull me closer in the cramped front seat of the car. I ended up half in his seat, wedged between the steering wheel and his chest.

I came up gasping for air after several minutes, I could feel this getting out of hand, but didn't want to stop. Who knew when we'd have the chance to kiss like this again without being seen by some family member? I leaned back in for another go, but Owen pushed me back softly. “Ness, gotta catch my breath. Besides, this is hardly the place. I mean, look at us, all dressed up and making out squished up in the front seat of my car!” We both started laughing as we let the hormones cool and noticed the awkward position we were in.

He smoothed my hair back and kissed my cheek before I wiggled myself back into my own seat and sighed, “Well, it was fun while it lasted.” I owed Aunt Alice for this big time. I smiled and made a mental note to promise to shop with her as often as she wanted for the next decade.