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A Matter Of Time

Summary:
A TLYDF Recommendation, Nominated for Immortal Cookie Award, Won Best Imprint in the Silent Tear Awards Two weeks and the whole world can change. Caius and Jane led an insurrection against Aro and are making a mad power grab. Renegades from the wolf pack, unhappy with the treaty with the Cullens, are attacking vampires at every opportunity. Jacob and Renesmee are struggling with the paradox of imprinting. Edward, Bella and all the Cullens must come together to protect the world they've come to love. A tale of action, deceit, intrigue and sexual awakening.


Notes:
Stephanie Meyers owns all things Twilight. My thanks to all the wonderful people at PTB who helped with this story.


20. Chapter 20 Another Conversation at Night

Rating 4/5   Word Count 2600   Review this Chapter

Renesmee

I was twisted and tangled in the bed sheet. I’d been tossing and turning for the last hour and sleep was no closer than it had been when I had first laid down. Even the thin camisole and shorts I was wearing were too hot.

This was our last night on Isle Esme. Emmett had taken Nahuel back to the mainland this afternoon and once Jacob had fished me out of the water, we’d decided we would catch a flight back home tomorrow. Jacob needed to talk to the pack and I was anxious for news of my parents. They were heading to Boston tonight where they suspected Caius, Jane and the others were meeting.

That was part of the reason why sleep was avoiding me. The other part was in the bedroom on the other side of the house. Knowing Jacob was there and alone called to me. Is this what it meant to be in love? It was torturous not being around him. Moments spent outside of his presence were wasted moments. It was like half of me was missing when he wasn’t there.

This was likely our last night of privacy. Once we caught up with my parents, they’d be able to see the change in our relationship. Would they be able to accept that I was growing up and all that meant? Would I have to threaten them with a “Juliet” if they tried to prevent me from seeing Jacob? What about the move we had planned to the East Coast?

I sat up in bed, my mind made up. I wasn’t going to waste another moment. I grabbed my pillow and padded out to the living room. Emmett sat on the sofa, pieces of his cell phone scattered on the cushion beside him. He was peering at a small piece in his one hand while the other held a tiny screwdriver. He looked up at me in surprise as I marched up to him, pillow tucked under my arm

“I’m going to Jacob’s room and you’re not going to do anything about it,” I told him sternly.

A grin started across his face, but he struggled to keep it away. He put his hands up and shook his head in surrender.

Satisfied, I marched out of the living room and down the hall to Jacob’s room. The light in his room was on, shining underneath the door. I knocked softly on the door, turned the knob and peeked in.

Jacob was lying in bed on his side, his chest bare and a thin sheet pulled up to his waist. The sheet hinted at the muscular form under it. His long hair hung loosely around his face. An open book was on the bed next to him.

“Hey, Nessie.” He smiled at me.

I slid in the door and closed it shut behind me. “Is it alright if I sleep in here tonight?” I asked in a small voice.

His eyes suddenly turned wary. Most likely he was concerned this was another seduction attempt.

“I’ll be good, I promise. Cross my heart.” I made the sign across my chest.

“Alright,” he relented with a smile. “Come on in.”

“Thanks!” I grabbed my pillow and laid on the bed on top of the sheet next to him.

He propped his head on his hand as he looked down at me. “So, what brings you here tonight?”

His dark eyes were warm and in the light of the bedside lamp, his skin was tawny. His black hair fell like a curtain from his head, gleaming softly. A hint of a smile curled his lips. My breath caught in my throat as I looked at him. I couldn’t think when he looked at me like that. When had he become so breathtaking? How had I ever missed this all the years I had known him?

I rolled to my side away from him. Maybe if I didn’t look at him, I could talk. “Tell me about you and Bella." It was the first thing that came to my mind.

He sighed and rolled to his back. “Well, we’d known each other most of our lives. It was when she moved in with Charlie in high school that we became friends. And then when your father left her, which pretty much broke her heart, I was a shoulder to cry on. She was a basket case for a long time.”

I looked back at him over my shoulder. “He left her? When was that?”

“Well, let’s see. I was a sophomore so she must have been a junior in high school. He broke up with her and he and the whole family left Forks.”

“Why did he leave her? Why did they break up?” You could fill a library with the family history that parents don’t tell their children.

“He knew it would be bad for her to be with him. He really dragged her through the mud, she was a mess. I tried to help her pick up the pieces and move on.”

I rolled back to face him. “So it was a pity thing?”

“No,” he shook his head. “I really did love her, but he came back. I really tried to stop her from getting back together with him, but she wasn’t going to be swayed. I think she just found the whole vampire thing too glamorous.”

“Glamorous?” I don’t know if I found chasing deer and bears through the woods glamorous.

“Well, you know, the speed, the strength.”

“So, then what?”

“They got married and had the most amazing girl in the world.” He smiled at me.

“And Bella became a vampire,” I added.

“That’s right.” He was trying to hide it but I could still see the pain in his eyes.

“Does that bother you? Does my being half-vampire bother you?”

He rolled to his back and looked up at the ceiling. “Alright, let me be honest about this. Yes, it bothered me that she became a vampire. It still bothers me. It was a terrible price to pay. I don’t think it was worth it, but it’s not my life and nobody asked my opinion.” He turned his head to look at me. “You, on the other hand…”

“Yes?”

He was teasing me, but then he got serious. “From the moment I saw you, you were the most incredible creature I’d ever laid eyes on. Being imprinted was just the gilding on the lily.” He reached out and moved a tendril of hair from my face before cupping my cheek. “I would have loved you Renesmee, no matter what. Your intelligence, your bravery, your kindness, they’re all parts of you that I love. If that comes in a half-vampire package, then sign me up.”

I was speechless with emotion. He kept going. “I was going to try to stay away from you and let you grow up on your own, but I can’t. It’s like fighting gravity, there’s no way I can win.” He smiled wistfully. “You have me as long as you want me. And probably even longer.”

“Oh, Jacob,” I cried. My promise to ‘be good’ flew out the window as I impulsively threw my arm around his neck and kissed his hot, sweet lips. As his surprise wore off, he slipped his arms behind my back and kissed me back harder. He was so smooth, so soft and so warm. His lips caressed mine open and his hot breath mingled with mine. I could feel a tightening in my stomach as our bodies pressed together. I broke our kiss to gasp for a breath while he laid a line of kisses down my jaw to my shoulder.

“Okay,” he said into my hair, “you’ve talked me into it.”

“No, no,” I said laughing, pushing at his chest. “No, you were right. We should wait.”

He pulled back to look me in the eyes, his face hovering above mine. “I was right? This is what I get to be right about?”

“Well, I’m just thinking about when we see Edward and Bella next.” I looked into his dark eyes, knowing he’d understand. My parents were important to me; I’d want their blessing on this. I was more likely to get it if it didn’t seem I was rushing along at the mercy of my hormones.

Jacob released me, rolled to his back and sighed. “Oh, that.”

“They’re going to want me to move east with them,” I whispered. The realization hit me hard. Before I had been excited about going, but so much had happened. So much had changed.

Jacob looked at me intently. His black eyes pierced down to my soul. “What do you want, Nessie?”

I let my eyes wander over him. His dark beauty was breathtaking. But there was so much more than just his beauty that bound me to him. His heartbeat, his joy, his impulsiveness, his heat, the sheer humanness of him. “You,” I murmured, placing my hand on his smooth chest. .

“That you have,” he whispered back, placing his hand over mine.

I could not imagine him living with my family. Moving him across country, to take him away from everything he loved, his tribe, his family, his home. It would be like caging a lion, like moving a tropical sun-loving plant into a dark cold corner to wither. I couldn’t watch that happen. But I couldn’t be without him.

“I want to stay in Forks with you,” I said and as soon as I said it, I knew it was true.

Jacob’s eyes widened. “You’d do that?”

I nodded.

He threw his head back and hooted. Then he grabbed me and rolled so I was trapped in his arms as he pulled me on top of him. “Oh, it will be great, you’ll see. You can live with Charlie and Sue. We can get you enrolled in the high school and you can come to all the tribe gatherings.” He started peppering me with kisses. “I’ll show you how to swim, hell, I’ll teach you how to surf!”

I giggled at his enthusiasm. But a thought struck me and I laid my hand on his chest. “Your tribe, Jacob. Will they accept me? I’m a Cullen.”

“Of course they will,” he said, hugging me tighter, still carried away with his enthusiasm, kissing my shoulders.

I pulled back from him, forcing him to listen to me. “Jacob, I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as that.”

My concern finally got through to him. He stilled beneath me.

“Jacob,” I whispered. I put my hand to his face and showed him what had happened when I found him and Leah down at the river in Alaska. How she said this had been a battle going on for centuries and that he was going to have to make a choice.

He looked at me for a moment before a tremor ran down his body from head to toes. He rolled me to the side and jumped out of the opposite side of the bed. He was wearing cotton pajamas pants that hung loosely from his narrow hips. His shadow loomed large against the bedroom wall.

He faced the wall, his fists clenched, the muscles in his arms and broad chest tense. “Fucking Leah. What in hell is she talking about?”

I pushed myself up to kneel on the bed, watching him. I clutched the pillow to me. I could feel tears collecting in my eyes. “It’s always going to be like this, isn’t it?” I whispered. Despair settled on me, like a shroud. “My family, your tribe.” Would there ever be a place for me, for us?

Jacob turned around and saw I was trembling. He grabbed me by the shoulders. “Nessie, don’t worry about this, they will accept you. Leah is just, well… Leah.”

“Jacob, our families have been enemies for centuries. How can we just push all that aside?”

“This is not about our families. This is about you and me. I’m werewolf, but I’m human as well. You’re a vampire, but you’re human too. It’s in that intersection that we meet, Nessie. It’s in that overlap of our identities. Everything else is irrelevant.”

I looked in his dark eyes, which were burning with intensity. I allowed myself the littlest hope that it might work out. I would let his enthusiasm and endless optimism carry me, for a little while at least. I managed a small smile.

He sat on the bed next to me, putting his long arm around my shoulders, and kissed my hair. “And your parents will just have to accept that you’re growing up.” Suddenly, he sounded a lot less confidant.

The two of us sat on the edge of the bed, both of us lost in thought and gazing at the rug at our feet. As one, we both took a deep breath followed by a long sigh.

This was really going to provoke my father. He wouldn’t have been that pissed since I took the Aston Martin out for a joy ride and crashed it into a tree. Jacob had been around for that little escapade as well. I felt a smile play around my lips at the memory.

Jacob saw the change in my face and leaned over to me. “What?”

I raised my head. “You know, this is going to really piss off my father.”

“You think?” he asked smiling. “Probably worse that that Aston Martin adventure.”

“I was just thinking of that,” I said, my eyes wide.

“Well, that you deserved. That was a sweet little car.”

“Ha! You weren’t the one that got two weeks with no TV or computer! I seem to remember somebody sitting in the passenger seat next to me.”

“I was just making sure you didn’t hurt yourself.”

I smacked him with the pillow I had been holding. “The hell you were. I remember you asking for a turn.”

Laughing, he put his arms up to defend himself. “Yeah, but I wasn’t the one who crashed it.”

“That tree jumped out in front of me!” I smacked him with the pillow again.

He grabbed me by the waist and flung me down on the bed, holding my wrists together in his one hand above my head. “Oh, it did, did it?” he said, grinning broadly.

He was half-lying on top of me, our faces close. His hair fell forward on either side of his face, so all I could see was his dark eyes, his smooth flawless chestnut skin, his full lips stretched into that carefree grin. I felt the strength of his hand as he easily encircled my wrists.

I hoped he had more strength than I had, because another moment and I would be kissing him, Mom and Dad be damned. With his free hand, he smoothed my hair. Then he pushed himself up. “Um, maybe we should try to get some sleep. It’ll be a long trip tomorrow.”

“Killjoy,” I muttered but I got up so I could slip under the sheet. He stayed on top of the sheet, but pulled up a thin cotton blanket and lay down beside me. He reached across me and clicked the lamp off. “Good night Nessie,” he whispered before kissing my forehead.

“Good night Jacob.” I reached for his hot brown hand and clutched it against my heart.

The darkness was warm and comforting. “You’ll teach me to surf?” I whispered.

“I promise,” he whispered back.

We drifted off to sleep with his hand nestled by my heart.