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Where did I put my need-to-know-only policy?

Summary:
Charlie is going to visit the Cullens for christmas, just as he has done for the last ten years. But could this year be different? And how could a piece of horse meat change all his convictions?


Notes:
The story is set ten years after breaking dawn. CPOV. *All the wonderful characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.*


1. Travel

Rating 4/5   Word Count 1200   Review this Chapter

I missed my little girl so much. I hated that I didn’t get to see her as often as I would like. I guess I was lucky to still be able to visit Bella and the Cullen family every Christmas and every year for Renesmee’s birthday. Even with the regular visits it still wasn’t enough seeing my daughter and grand-daughter for only a couple of weeks at a time, but at least I got to see them. Renee didn’t even know that Nessie existed; Bella and Edward believed that it was better that way. Edward had told Renee that they were moving to Russia permanently so that he could pursue his musical ambitions, he carefully explained that they were probably never coming to the U.S. again. She had been crushed, of course, but understood that they needed to live their own lives. Bella was still able to keep in contact with Renee by emails and the rare phone call, so it wasn’t like Renee didn’t ever hear from Bella- that had to count for something.

As I was thinking about what happened nearly a decade ago I started to shove some clothes into a bag, trying to fit as many coats as I possibly could for my two week stay in Canada. The Cullens hadn’t move to Russia, but they had moved to Canada- to a small town in British Columbia.

I ran downstairs; I really didn’t want to miss my flight to Vancouver International Airport. If I did Alice would have my head. She had already made plans for this evening so I was expected to be at their house at 9 pm, sharp. No excuses allowed.

As soon as I arrived at the airport I was calm. I was on time, and the plane was scheduled to land way before nine.

I always loved visiting Bella and Nessie, not only because I got to see them, but because I loved being on a plane. Bella always got me First Class tickets, and the little warm towels and the champagne were just delightful; it felt like I was at a spa or something - not that I would ever let anyone know. As far as Bella was aware I hated all the First Class stuff, and all the fuss she made about me being comfortable.

As I got off the plane and went to collect my luggage I began to mentally prepare myself. I knew what Bella would look like- what all the Cullens would look like. They never aged, but I never wanted to ask why. I had told Jacob that I was going to have a need-to-know-only policy; details were out of the question. But sometimes curiosity over took me and my mind asked question that I didn’t want to know the answer to: Why were they so cold? How come they never aged? Why did I never see them eating? How had Bella become exactly like the other Cullens? The questions haunted me daily, but I tried to not think too much about them, I knew that my baby was different, that all the Cullens were different, but I would never let my curiosity get the better of me. I preferred to be blissfully ignorant.

“Charliiieeee.”

I turned around to see where the booming voice was coming from, and sure enough, there was Bella with Jacob by her side. Neither looked any different.

As I began making my way through the line of people, I could hear Bella; her voice was as distinct as ever. “Jake, shut up. Seriously, I can never take you anywhere.” She looked disgruntled but still very beautiful- impossibly so. Jacob was grinning and waving his arms indicating to where they were. As if I could miss the six-foot-seven giant.

“Hi dad, it’s great to see you. I missed you so much.” Bella said as I reached them. She gave me a dainty hug, trying not to make too much body contact, but I already knew that hugging Bella was like hugging an icicle; it didn’t really bother me...much. Instead of letting her go I pulled her closer and kissed her ice cold cheek.

“It’s great to see you too, Bells.” I said. It was really hard not to get emotional when I was so happy to be near my little girl. Come on Charlie, get a grip.

Jake was pulling Bella away from me so that he could get his turn in giving me a hug. I quickly stepped away.

Jake just laughed. “Don’t make me chase you, Charlie.”

I kept retreating, “Oh, no. Stay exactly where you are Jacob. The last time you tried to hug me you nearly broke one of my ribs.” That had been a very painful experience. Jake sometimes forgot how damn strong he was, his enthusiasm at seeing me was nice but I really didn’t want to spend Christmas in hospital.

Jacob just kept laughing, “Oh, heck Charlie, are you never gonna let it go?” He was laughing so loudly that everyone near us was watching, making me very uncomfortable.

Bella’s expression told me that she was equally as uncomfortable, or even more so. “Come on dad, let’s get out of here. Alice will kill me if we’re late; she’s already picked everyone’s outfits for decorating the Christmas tree.”

I just nodded. Great, decorating was just fantastic, but getting dressed up was even better.

“Cheer up, Charlie.” Jake gave me a great big whack between my shoulder blades as he took my bag from me. I winced. The kid was far too strong. “There will be loads of food. Esme and Rosalie spent all of yesterday preparing a bunch of treats. But if I were you, I would stay away from anything blondie touched, you know she spit in my food once... I was puking my guts out for hours.”

Bella punched Jacob’s arm, “Don’t listen to him dad. Rose would never do anything like that to you, and Jake deserved it. You did role around on her bed... she had to buy a new mattress for goodness sake, you left fur everywhere.”

Jacob was laughing so much that I didn’t think he could make it to the car. Bella had now joined in, giggling quietly at the memory. The sound was so sweet; it made me smile just hearing it. Her giggles also distracted me from the fact that Jacob had left fur... no, I wasn’t even going to think about it.

“Yeah, I did deserve it. Man that was funny.” He said whilst wiping a tear away.

We kept a constant chatter as we walked to the car. Bella described the new house that she and Edward had, how Carlisle was getting along in his new job at the clinic, how Esme had helped the local church by renovating the old bell tower, and how the younger Cullens were doing at school. It was such a mundane conversation, and yet I was still aware that this conversation was anything but. Ten years ago I would have questioned why the Cullens were still at school, now I didn’t even think about it. No, with time definitely came wisdom- thinking was always a bad idea.