The New Kids
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!
25. Chapter 25
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The rest of the weekend passed slowly. I spent most of my time in Owen's room, cuddled up next to him in bed, watching TV or talking. I also hung out downstairs, watching old musicals with Karen while Owen slept during the day. By Sunday afternoon he was able to get out of bed on his own, though not without pain. He was planning on going to school Monday, even though I didn't feel like he was really up to it yet. It was only a two day week, Thanksgiving break started Wednesday...we wouldn't miss much by skipping.
While trying to talk him into staying home the next day, I heard a car pull into the driveway. Luke and Rory's car. I panicked for a half second at the idea of seeing Rory, but then realized how silly I was being. She was my friend, and as far I knew, she had no idea that I knew a thing about she and Jake. It might only be Luke coming to visit Owen, no need to freak out. When the car parked, I heard four pairs of feet trudging up the walkway. Luke, Rory, Wren and Allen. Allen only lived across the street, it was surprising he hadn't been over yet. He must have been hanging out with the others today.
I heard Karen answer the door downstairs. "What a nice surprise! Owen and Nessie will be so glad to see you all. They've been shut up in the house for days! Ness is so bored she's started hanging out with me!"
I heard them all laugh uncomfortably, waiting to be sent upstairs to see the injured patient.
"Owen, you have some visitors...are you up for it?" Karen called.
"Send them up, Mom!" He yelled back, a wide grin spreading over his face. He reached for his blankets and began covering himself up, even though he had just complained about being too warm.
"What are you doing? I thought you were hot...or were you just trying to get me to move to the other side of the bed?" I asked with a wry smile.
He rolled his eyes and pulled me to him, brushing his lips along my ear. "You can handle all of my disgusting bruises, but I don't see any reason why they need to be on display for all our friends. Besides, Luke would never let me live down taking such a beating from Jake."
I sighed and shuttered at the tickling sensation. "You've already been laid up in bed for 3 days, he'll give you crap about it anyway."
"Not when he walks in and sees us like this...he'll think I'm the luckiest SOB that ever lived. He'd beat himself up to have a nurse like you taking care of him."
I heard the group walking up the stairs and pausing outside the door. Someone knocked timidly and then cracked the door. It was Wren peaking inside. How unlike her, she was never timid, I would have expected her to burst right in.
"Come in, guys!" I said from my position on Owen's bed, taking in their surprised expressions when they walking in the door.
Allen let a low whistle fly out of his mouth, "No wonder we haven't heard from you two...Owen is probably just pretending to be hurt at this point."
Luke was just staring with his mouth hanging open. It was making me self conscious, so I flung a blanket over myself as well. Owen just laughed and hugged me tighter, his exposed arm catching Wren's attention.
"Holy Hell, Owen! That looks awful."
"And that's his good arm," I snorted.
Luke finally came to his senses and got all excited, "Come on man, show us the worst of it! We heard you broke some ribs, I bet that looks bad. Lemme see!"
I giggled a bit at his enthusiasm, and rolled away from Owen so he should off his battle scars. He looked like he didn't want to, but I knew that deep down he did. Guys love this kind of crap. They all gasped loudly in unison when he pulled the blanket out of the way, exposing his bare chest.
"Wow. So are you and Jake ever going to be able to be in the same room together again?" Allen asked.
I watched Rory carefully out of the corner of my eye, trying to gauge her reaction now that we were speaking about Jacob. She betrayed nothing in her face. I continued to watch as Owen talked about how he thought that he and Jake would be fine...a bit strained perhaps, but mature enough to be civil to one another. I could tell that they were all dying to ask a flood of questions about the whole situation.
They stayed for a little over an hour, waiting until Owen had fallen asleep to tip toe out of the room. Rory hung back behind everyone, looking at me with her eyes squinted, not in anger, but concern. "Are you okay, Nessie?"
"Uh...er...yeah, Rory. I'm fine. Why? Owen is the one who's hurt."
"I've been worried. I talked to Jake after it happened, and he was really beating himself up over this whole mess. He was concerned about you."
"I'm fine," I told her again. She didn't move toward the door, but kept looking at me with an expression that I couldn't determine.
"I'd like to talk to you, about Jake, if you don't mind," she finally blurted out after a minute or two. Oh great....this was not a conversation I wanted to have. I had no idea what she knew and didn't know. I'd definitely have to watch my words carefully. I nodded for her to continue.
"I'm just not sure where things stand with you two. He told me, but you never know... and I don't want to step on anyone's toes. I like him, but you're my friend. I don't really know what I should be doing."
The flash of fury that broke through my consciousness was quickly expelled. It was impossible to doubt the perfect sincerity of her words, she was putting our friendship first and asking my permission to pursue what I did not want. Looking at a peaceful, sleeping Owen helped me keep a handle on the small part of my mind that wanted to attack her. "Rory, I'm so glad Jake has you. Really. He needs a calming influence in his life. I've been mucking things up for him long enough."
She came and sat down on the bed beside me. "He seems so torn about something...like there are all these things he wants to tell me but can't....or won't. And he's in love with you, did you know that?"
"I do know that."
"Then why aren't you together? He's your best friend...it seems like it would be a perfect match."
I laughed without humor. "I thought you liked him. Why are you trying to talk me into dating him?"
She bit her lip and shook her head, looking confused. "I'm just trying to figure this all out. I don't want to...I mean, I've never...and if you changed your mind...he'd drop me in a second, I just know it. I don't want to feel like a place holder."
I didn't know how to respond, because I wasn't sure if she could be anything more than that to him. Something to occupy his time while he waited for me to come around. She deserved better than that, but at the same time, Jake deserved a little happiness. And like I'd thought a few days ago- maybe the imprint could break, if only we tried hard enough.
"Don't feel like that," I told her. "Jake is wonderful, and I think he'd be lucky to have you...and vice versa. Don't let me stand in your way at all. Jake's.... infatuation, with me will pass. You know how teenage boys are." I could feel my cheeks turning red under the glare of my blatant lie.
"Thanks, Nessie. I'm glad I talked to you. I think I'll give it a shot." Rory gave me a quick hug and then walked out of the room.
The night flew by quickly, probably because I was dreading school tomorrow...for more than one reason. Not only would I have to see my father for the first time since well...the almost incident, but I would also have to see Rory and Jake together, and I wasn't sure how hard that would hit me.
Karen was taking us to school since Owen was hardly in any condition to drive, or walk for that matter. How he was going to make it around to his classes today was beyond me. We'd talked extensively this morning about different ways to attempt to block my father from hearing about Thursday night...and various other minor incidents since. I was going to adopt one of Aunt Alice's tried and true strategies, translating various bodies of literature into every language I knew. Owen was going to try think about every ski run he'd ever made in Colorado, and since he'd lived there for 10 years, there were quite a few.
Karen let us out in the parking lot and we made our way to the back, toward my family's cars so that I could drop my overnight bag. My mother bounded out of the Volvo and rushed to embrace me.
"Renesmee! Baby, I missed you so much! Did you know that's the longest we've ever been away from each other? I didn't like it at all! I ran halfway to Owen's at least 20 times just to hear you sleeping or talking." My eyes grew huge with horror, but she just kept up her uncharacteristic babbling, "of course I turned around. You're responsible enough to be away from home for a few days...but don't do it again any time soon. I missed you too much."
The moment she said 'ran halfway to Owens', my mind slipped for a half second. But that's all it took. A low growling was growing louder by the second from inside the Volvo. Owen, who was leaning against a beat up old Mustang for support a few feet away, looked at me with sheer terror. I waved my arms wildly behind my mothers back, motioning for him to not think of what had surely crossed his mind, just like it had mine. It was too late. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view), the bell was only a minute away from ringing, so the parking lot was nearly cleared of all other students.
No one heard when my father nearly snapped the door off its hinges and stalked toward us, growling all the while. I went to stand in front of Owen, surely my father wouldn't attack with me in the way.
Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper jumped out of the Land Rover, and Jake moved slowly out of the Rabbit...looking warily between Owen and I. I suppose he wondered if we'd be angry with him still, I gave him a tense smile to try and put his mind at ease. Might as well let him know I wasn't angry anymore...this might be his last memory of me.
I don't know that I'd ever seen my father beyond words, but that's where he was now. Uncle Jasper was sending out wave after wave of calm tranquility, but it didn't seem to have much effect.
"They almost...he almost....SEX!" My father roared at my mother. She must have let her shield down and asked him. He turned to Aunt Alice with a deadly look in his eyes. "You knew. You knew and you didn't tell me. How could you? Do you not care for her at all?"
"Dad," I said calmly. "Alice called me and put a stop to it. Don't be angry at her. Don't be angry at all...nothing even happened."
He snarled in our general direction, presumably more at Owen than me. Everyone wore a mask of shock on their faces, at least the faces I could bear to look at. I couldn't look at Jacob.
My mothers soft voice was in direct contrast to the anger that was bubbling over from my father. "Nessie, this is not the kind of behavior you were brought up to exhibit, but I do understand. I was a teenager not so long ago. I don't remember it well, but I do remember. You have all of eternity ahead of you for such serious things, please don't rush into adulthood so quickly."
Wow. I hadn't expected such calm rationale from her. She was typically more level headed than Dad, but I wasn't counting on that in this situation. She turned quietly to face Jake, who I still hadn't looked at. "Jake, just go. Go to class or go home, but leave here before you do something you'll regret."
I heard him grumble and march off toward the building, muttering curse words under his breath as he went.
"Get in the car," my father said through his teeth.
"I'm not leaving Owen here! He can hardly walk."
"Owen is coming with us. Both of you get in the car. Now." Without taking his eyes off of us he spoke, "Alice, Jasper...Bella and I, and the children are going home. Stay here and keep an eye on things, please. Make sure no one has taken notice of this."
With that, he stalked back to the Volvo and got in, revving the engine impatiently as I helped Owen hobble toward it. No one spoke the whole way home, but I could tell my father was deep in thought. His expressions kept changing and I grew increasingly uncomfortable. In 5 minutes, we were there.
"To the dining room please," My father said icily. Then he smiled wryly and spoke to Owen without looking at him. "It's where we have serious discussions, not where we eat. Don't hyperventilate."
I could see how Owen had jumped to the wrong conclusion, Dad did look very much like a vampire right now. Anger brought it out. I watched as my parents went into the house ahead of us, waiting until they were out of sight before I dared to speak, even though I knew they could still hear me. "I'm so sorry, Owen. You shouldn't be here, this was all my fault."
He leaned down to kiss the top of my head. "It's okay. You weren't the only one there that night. We're in this together now."
I took comfort in that as we walked through the house to the formal room that held the huge oval table. My father sat at the head, my mother and Grandpa Carlisle on either side of him. I'd heard part of the explanation he'd given to my grandparents before we'd gotten to the room. Grandma Esme looked shocked beyond words and sitting still as stone next to Mom. I didn't want this to feel like an 'us against them' ordeal, so instead of sitting at the other end of the table, several feet down, I sat next to Grandpa, with Owen on my other side.
I braced myself for a tirade of fury from my father, but instead I heard a sigh, and watched him pinch the bridge of his nose, something he did when stressed. His sudden calm was making me more nervous. Was he about to snap? And why did I have to have this already sure to be uncomfortable sex talk with my grandparents present.
"Renesmee, I'm not about to snap, and we aren't going to have a sex talk...right now anyway."
"Okay," I said, drawing the word out slowly. "Then why are we here?"
He turned to Owen. "So, I hear you'd like to join the family."
I heard him gasp at the same time I did. Where was this coming from? I looked at my father suspiciously, willing him to explain himself.
"I see now how serious you both are. Though I did catch some...unpleasant, thoughts in the parking lot, I also caught several about this topic. Owen does want to be turned, more than you know Nessie. And I know from experience that trying to delay and avoid it only leads to trouble, so I won't do that again...though I'd like to. I can see that you both want the same things."
This must be a trick. There had to be a catch...something like the ultimatum he'd given Mom. What would it be? No sex? We'd have to be married before anyone could change Owen? Finish school?
Dad laughed at my thoughts, "I wouldn't mind the first one, but no, there are no conditions really. Just that he know what he's getting into. Carlisle and I are both hoping that with enough preparation he'll be able to skip the worst of the newborn phase like Bella did."
My mind was drawing a complete blank. This couldn't be real. My father must be plotting something, there's no way he'd agree to this so easily. I looked at Owen and to my utter and complete surprise he was grinning from ear to ear.
The rest of the morning was spent sitting around the table with my family, going over every conceivable complication and outcome with Owen. I hardly heard a word of it, I was still in shock. Owen took it all in stride, only being caught off guard once or twice. He seemed to be quite at ease.
When Esme took him to the kitchen around lunch time to find something to eat, I finally had the chance to ask my parents a few things I'd been mulling over.
"Dad, what is this really about? I know you aren't going to let this be so easy. What's the real reason?"
He looked at me seriously for a moment and then started to explain. "I suppose my reasoning is a bit like the marriage condition. Before things get any further with the two of you, I think a commitment of some kind needs to be made. He's serious in his desire to become one of us, and that's good enough for me, though I'd prefer to wait until you finished high school at least. But I know as well as anyone that age isn't really a determining factor in love, when you find it, you find it." He looked lovingly at my mom and then went back to pinching the bridge of his nose. "Bad things happened when your mother and I tried to force different outcomes, and I would never want you to be hurt the way she was. You are mature enough to make your own choices, and I won't try and force you in a different direction again. You chose Owen, so I'll back down."
I felt tears start to pool in my eyes, and saw that Mom would be tearing up as well, if she were able. She reached across the table and held my hands in hers.
"This is all much, much too soon, but if it's what makes you happy, then I'm happy for you."
"Thanks, Mom," I whispered, my voice caught in my in throat. I turned to look at Grandpa Carlisle. "When?" I asked him.
"Whenever he feels ready, and we get the arrangements made. He'll need to decide how to best leave his family...that could get complicated. There really is no rush though, he can take his time. He's only a year away from 18, so it might be easier to wait until then."
"I don't want to wait that long," Owen said from the doorway, holding a poptart in his hand and leaning on Grandma Esme for support.
"We never said you had to," my father told him. "Just know that you don't have to be in a hurry."
"I'm not in a hurry really. I'm just ready, I can't explain it...it just feels right. Like this is home."
My mother smiled radiantly at him, "I know exactly what you mean."
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 17
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 19
- Chapter 20
- Chapter 21
- Chapter 22
- Chapter 23
- Chapter 24
- Chapter 25
- Chapter 26
- Chapter 27
- Chapter 28
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- 12 Jan 09
- 23 Mar 09