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Charlie's Need to Know

Charlie's a cop, and he's got a few questions about what Bella has become.


1. Charlie's Need to Know

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It was a lazy Saturday afternoon. Edward and Emmett were in Canada on a hunt, and Jacob was on the reservation, meeting with the tribe about the newest members of the pack and how they would integrate into the two-alpha system. Renesmee and I were going to visit Charlie. He'd seemed surprised that it was just the two of us visiting. It was rare for Edward or Jacob to leave us, and their combined absence was a first. As usual, I drove the Volvo to my father's house. It was a misty day, not quite rain and not quite fog. Charlie was waiting for us on the porch when we arrived.

Renesmee patiently waited in the back seat until I removed her from the child safety harness that Charlie had insisted on installing. It was completely unnecessary, but it made Charlie happy, so Renesmee played along without complaint. Once freed, she ran to her grandfather and leapt into his arms. They grinned at each other for a few moments, and then Charlie launched into his usual, vocally one-sided conversation with the girl. We went inside and chatted for a while. I watched my dad blush when I asked after Sue Clearwater. Their relationship was apparently progressing well, which I knew from the pack mind via Edward, but it was nice to see the confirmation.

We passed the afternoon blissfully, but as our predetermined time of departure grew closer, my father became uneasy. Finally, as I made ready to leave, he hesitantly spoke.

“Bella? Could I talk to you privately for a moment?” he said quietly, with a somewhat gruff edge to his voice.

“Of course, Dad.” I replied at once. I turned to my daughter and asked her to go get into her car seat. When I turned back to Charlie, he was shifting his weight nervously.

“Bella…” he trailed off, and I wondered if he’d lost his nerve.

“What’s wrong, dad?”

He searched my contact-tinted eyes for a moment before speaking.

“I know that we’re not talking about some… things,” he said, “need to know things…”

“It’s alright, dad, you can ask me whatever you want.”

He nodded slowly and took a deep breath. I wondered what could be so bad.

“Bella, I was a detective for a long time, and I’m not dumb. I believe you and Jake when you say it was necessary… to save your life, but this change, it’s difficult, especially with my being a cop.”

He stopped to take a breath and I braced myself. If he was talking this much, it must be very bad.

“Bella,” he scanned my eyes as he slowly formed the words, “how many people have you killed?”

I rocked back on my heels, a physical representation of my reeling mind. He’d put things together, just like a cop, but drawn the wrong conclusion because he didn’t have all the facts. He’d realized I was a vampire, and assumed the worst. I took a deep breath and felt the tear-less prickling at the corners of my eyes.

“Oh, dad,” I breathed, “I’m so sorry—”

“How many, Bella?” he demanded, cutting me off.

“None, dad, none; I swear to you. It’s not like that.”

He searched my face again, clearly confused.

“I— I don’t understand.”

I quickly decided that he deserved an explanation.

“The Quilites, the pack, let us stay here because we—the Cullens—are different from other va—uh, others like us;” I saw him flinch when I almost said ‘vampires,’ but I continued, “We don’t hurt people. We hunt animals, dad.”

With one quick motion I removed my contacts, deciding to give him some more information, knowing that my eyes were now the warm gold of the rest of my new family. He gasped when he saw my eyes.

“You can tell the difference between the good ones and bad ones by the eyes. Cullens and others like us have yellow eyes. Those who hunt humans—” he flinched again at the word, “—have eyes that are red.”

He stared into my toffee-colored eyes and I could see the thoughts brewing in his head. He frowned.

“When Edward left you here, it wasn’t because Dr. Cullen was offered a job,” he said slowly, and it wasn’t a question.


“He was trying to protect you from all of this, wasn’t he?”


“Then why did he come back?”

I felt a stab of anger shoot through me and I refused to let it show.

“Because Edward and I are in love,” I said matter-of-factly.

He thought a moment longer.

“You didn’t fall through a hotel window in Phoenix.”

Again, it wasn’t a question.

“No. I was attacked by a… one of the others who aren’t like us. Edward saved me.”

He nodded, and I could see him deciding if he wanted to know more about that. ‘Need-to-know’ seemed to win out, and he switched topics.

“Why did they change you?”

“I was dying,” I said very simply.

“Of what?”

My lips tightened into a line, and I knew my daughter had heard every word we’d spoken. I knew she would hear the next bit as well.

“Renesmee… The pregnancy was very difficult on me…”

I left it at that. I heard my daughter’s tiny sigh. She understood, but it still made her sad. Charlie’s eyes flicked to the Volvo and his brow furrowed. Slowly, he nodded and turned back to me.

“Thank you for telling me.”

“I love you, dad.”

His eyes crinkled and he smiled.

“I love you, too, Bells.”

I carefully hugged him, gently squeezing his shoulders. I released him and walked away, turning to wave before I got into the car. Renesmee softly reminded me to strap her in before I slid into the driver seat.

One we were around the corner, Renesmee hopped into the front seat next to me and leaned over to touch my cheek. She showed me the conversation from her perspective and colored it with concern. I gave her a small smile.

“Don’t worry, Nessy,” I soothed, “Everything is alright.”

She showed me her ‘everything is alright’ image: All of our family and friends, together, smiling.

“Exactly,” I told her, and we made our way home.