Renesmee Cullen has stuck out her entire life. She doesn't really fit it in with any of her friends or family - vampire, werewolf, or human. Will she always stick out? Her best friend Jacob Black tries to help her feel better about her differences, but he can only do so much. Their feelings for each other are changing, but Jacob has made a pact with Edward and Bella not to tell Renesmee that she is his imprint until she is seven years old and full grown. When nature takes it's course and things start to change, Renesmee needs to get out of Forks. Will she get away from her problems, or just create more? Meanwhile, Jake tries his hand at college - will he be able to get a good job and provide a good life for his imprint? He doesn't want the Cullens to look down on him forever. Renesmee encounters some new vampires along the way, and for the first time in her life, she is presented with one new thing: a choice. She will be faced with more dilemmas than she ever thought possible as her need for life experiences weighs against her need for love - but who will she give her love to? Will her heart take her back to Jacob, or will fate take her in another direction? Enjoy my fic about life for the Cullens, the wolf pack, and several other of their friends after the end of Breaking Dawn! A big Thank You to my beta, Rain-It-Shall for her continued awesome work and support! **Stephanie Meyer owns all, I just elaborated my view!** ATTENTIONThe next chapter of this story is in the que and will hopefully be updated soon. I didn't give up on this story! Please check back! Hopefully it will get validated soon : ( Sorry guys!
4. Chapter 4 - and I just can't tell you why
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Chapter 4 – and I just can’t tell you why
The family stood around the island counter in the kitchen, gaping at Alice. No one ever took her visions lightly, especially since Renesmee's birth.
Alice closed her mouth that had fallen open at her "Oh!" and re-focused her eyes to look at them. Renesmee was pretty sure Alice would be blushing right now if she could.
“Alice!” Rosalie trilled, looking at her with wide, expectant eyes. Alice actually jumped when the shrill voice of Rosalie cut through the large white kitchen.
"Alice, dear, what did you see?" Esme asked softly, tucking her caramel waves behind one ear.
Leave it to Esme to take a gentler approach, Renesmee thought to herself. She looked over her shoulder at Jacob, who was now standing closely against her back. He just shrugged and squeezed her shoulders before glancing around the kitchen at the rest of her family. They all watched as Alice froze, her stone body appearing rigid where she sat.
"Um...no big deal, it was something silly," she replied.
"How silly, Alice?" Rosalie asked slowly.
They all watched as the wheels in her head turned, formulating an answer.
"Oh, I just saw that those dresses we ordered from Chanel are going to be back ordered till spring!" she quickly trilled. "Can you imagine? How awful! It made me stop right in my tracks!"
"Oh!" Rosalie scoffed, frowning deeply. "The nerve! We’ve had those ordered for awhile now, what gives?!"
She continued to prattle about her dresses as Alice hunched back down on Jasper's lap, her eyes falling to the floor. Renesmee wasn't fooled. Something was up. Looking over at Edward, she saw that he had a strange expression on his face as well. It was one of...amusement? Wonder? She couldn't place it.
She watched as he looked over at Jacob, giving him a look of almost sadness. What was going on? Jacob looked back at Edward, his eyes searching her father’s for answers.
She looked at her aunt, who quickly smiled brightly at her and the rest of the family. Everyone else bought her dress story and slowly began moving about their activities for the day. Rosalie, frustrated that her dresses wouldn't be here for months, wanted to go for a run and hunt with Emmett; Carlisle had picked up a shift at the hospital, Edward and Bella wanted to check on things at the cottage, and Esme, Alice and Jasper excused themselves to the living room to watch the morning news.
Rensemee sat at the kitchen counter, still confused. She had missed something, and she was determined to find out what.
"Edward," Bella began as they ran, "What did Alice see?"
"What love?" He asked, slowing his pace to match hers.
"You're stalling. What did Alice see?" Bella frowned, not letting her husband fool her. She wasn’t sure what had just transpired in the kitchen, and she was bothered to say the least.
"Something I did not anticipate, that's for sure," he said. "She asked me not to say anything,"
Bella was taken aback. “You can certainly tell your wife!”
Edward chuckled. “It’s alright love. Not a huge deal. I want to see how it plays out before I worry you.”
"So nothing dangerous? For Ness?"
Edward shook his head quickly. "No, not dangerous, but it is certainly something I did not expect. She will be fine love, I promise you that," he replied.
Bella blinked her golden eyes, still confused as the forest flashed by her. She still felt very unsettled about Alice's vision, but she tried her best to push her feelings aside and trust her husband. If he wasn't worried, then she wouldn't be either.
"Something I did not see indeed," He added to himself.
The next day, Jacob had to go up to his shop to get some work done, leaving Renesmee to fend off boredom by herself for the afternoon. She didn’t understand what had happened in the kitchen with Alice’s mystery vision in the kitchen the day before, but she wasn’t worried. Although Alice had managed to keep her embarrassing dream a secret from the rest of the family, she was generally not known to be a great secret keeper. Renesmee had spent the rest of the day planning how to drag what she had seen out of her, but for now she had bigger plans.
What she really didn’t understand was what had happened after that, in the evening when Jacob had come over. She had only inherited a half of her mother’s introspectiveness and ability to notice small details, but she was no fool – something strange had taken place earlier when Jacob had been at the house.
Renesmee Cullen was many things.
She was half a vampire. She was half a human. She was fast, she was sweet, and she was crafty about getting her own way, especially being one-of-a-kind in a house full of vampires that loved her dearly. That is why she was currently using her charms on her mother to figure out what had taken place the night before when Jacob had come over.
"Hi," Renesmee said loudly, after attempting to sneak up on her mother as she re-arranged her closet.
"Hi Renesmee," her mother replied, a smile tracing her lips. It wasn't exactly easy for vampires to surprise each other.
"What are you doing?"
"Oh, just moving things around...I see Alice was here, re-arranging everything again," she said with a sigh.
Renesemee rolled her eyes and smiled at her Aunt Alice's tactics. Her mother never had been one for fashion.
"Is there...do I smell something new in here?" Bella frowned, rifling through the rows of clothing that lined their cottage home's large closet. She pulled out several new garment bags and frowned, her eyes quickly scanning the rest of her closet.
Smiling sheepishly, she replied, "Well, we did go shopping mom."
Bella threw up her ivory hands in exasperation and headed out of her closet towards the bedroom. She turned and looked at her daughter questioningly, noticing the perplexed look on her face.
"What's wrong, Ness?" She asked, pulling her daughter over to sit on the rarely-used bed.
"Mom...", she trailed off, unsure where to start. "What happened between Jake and Dad earlier?"
Bella pursed her granite lips, thinking quickly. Renesmee sighed and patted her mother’s hands.
"You might be a vampire mom, but you really do need to work on your poker face," she replied.
Bella looked at her daughter sideways. "What makes you think I'm going to lie?"
"Nothing, because you're a bad liar," She laughed. "I don't even think you would bother."
"Yeah, I've heard that a time or two..." Bella muttered, biting her lower lip with her diamond teeth.
“Why did dad growl at Jake like that? I thought they were friends,” Renesmee pouted. Her mother’s face softened, and Bella patted her hand.
“Of course they’re friends, dear. Sometimes he lets an annoyed growl slip. You’ve had that happen before, haven’t you?”
Renesmee rolled her eyes again and let her own little annoyed growl sound in the quiet room. Bella laughed her tinkling laugh and snorted at her daughter’s attempt to intimidate her into spilling.
“See? Your dad and Jake just need to...work a few things out. Everything will be okay though; I don't want you to worry. Just give it time," she replied.
(Earlier that evening)
After discussing the latest addition to the Denali clan, the Cullens retired to the large couches in the living room. Due to the fact that they didn't sleep, they had other activities they used to wind down while most other families would be eating dinner, making sure children did homework, and getting ready for bed.
On the weekends, the family would gather in the living room for a few movies before the married couples would pair off to do what they pleased. This was the time that Renesmee usually went for a run with Jacob, or made him play with her. However, tonight they were settling down to watch some action movie of Emmett and Jasper’s choice before Jacob had to leave to complete his last patrol before leaving for college.
Everyone sat down on the large, beige couches that lined the room in front of the television. As a general rule, they all tried not to watch too much television and instead focused on talents, hobbies, and studying, but sometimes, even Edward had to admit it was fun to watch something silly or unrelated to anything that could really happen.
Jacob tested the mood of the room before cautiously sitting down in the corner of the big 'L' shaped sofa. Renesmee flitted to his side and then carelessly flopped down beside him. She smiled at him gleefully as she bounced on the sofa's soft cushions.
Weird....he thought, but smiled back and wrapped an arm casually around her shoulder. He watched in amazement as she immediately cuddled up against his side, his warm skin reacting immediately to her cool temperature by breaking out in goose bumps. He loved it.
Renesmee was on cloud nine. Ever since she had decided her feelings for Jacob had officially changed, she relished any opportunity she had to touch him. She glanced quickly at her father, who seemed to be more interested in whispering in her mother's ear than actually watching the movie.
Whew! She thought. I really don't want dad in my head for this...she thought.
She could never really tell if her father was listening in on her thoughts – years of hearing his name in people’s heads had taught him to downplay looking their direction at his name. And, her aunt Alice had taught her a few things about tuning him out, at least for a little while.
However, even with her half-vampire mind, it was difficult at times to concentrate on keeping him out while at the same time try not to think about what she was trying to block him from hearing. She had had quite a few accidents over the years – and was hence a crappy secret-keeper.
The movie began and the rest of her family seemed to be interested in watching it, but Renesmee wasn't fooled. She knew any move she made would have to be discrete.
But does he really want me to make a move on him? What if he still thinks of me as just a friend? Why do I feel so confused about this all the time?
Jacob seemed to sense he was being thought about, and turned to look down at Resnesmee, who was leaning back against his arm. She glanced up at him and caught his gaze, smiling up at him. She reached over and took his free hand and pulled it to sit in her lap.
For being half vampire, sometimes she can feel so warm....Jacob thought. I wonder if she's warm...everywhere….
Jacob quickly tried to control his thoughts, but as usual, Edward was faster. He saw Bella jump a bit as Edward's head whipped around to look at him sternly.
Jacob raised his black eyebrows and looked at Edward. Hey, I’m sorry! I’m seventeen, remember? I’m trying…just chill out.
Edward gave him another sideways glance before Bella grabbed his hand and began playing with it absently, pulling his attention away from Jacob and their daughter.
Jacob swallowed loudly, earning him curious looks from the rest of the Cullen’s. He felt his cheeks start to turn red slightly, especially when Rosalie looked at him pointedly from her position draped across Emmett. Jacob licked his lips and looked at his lap until he thought he felt everyone's eyes return to the television.
Everything calmed down for a few minutes until Renesmee decided to spice things up.
I'm going to get him to notice me if it kills me...well...figuratively.
She glanced up at Jacob, who had his jaw tightened and was staring fixated at the TV. Smirking to herself, she took Jacob's hand that was in her lap and began stroking his palm. Wetness began to pool there, and she smiled to herself. She pressed her own palm to his cheek and gave him a pointed look.
Sweaty palms, eh? Nervous about something?
Jacob looked down at her, nodding 'no' discretely.
That's a lie...he thought to himself. What he was really thinking about was the way her sweater had clung to just the right parts of her during their hunt. He had been running behind her, silently thanking God for his enhanced vision that allowed him to run at top speed and also see her perfect ass running in front of him. And goodness, a perfect ass it is...
He shifted slightly, trying his best to clean up his thoughts as he remembered once again who he was in the company of.
Jasper turned from his position on the floor with Alice draped across his lap. The vampire uncle of Renesmee's quickly glanced first at his niece and then at Jacob, his golden eyes full of question.
Great...uncle vamp is picking up on my lusty thoughts about his niece...great, just great...
Renesmee smiled again to herself and continued stroking little patters on the inside of his hand. Feeling bold, she grabbed his finger and squeezed it firmly, but softly. His mind raced with a few different scenarios that made his heart pick up and his mouth begin to practically salivate with sexual anticipation. Jacob coughed suddenly, and shifted in his seat at her seductive hand movement.
Oh my god, I'm starting to get hard! Focus, focus...oh god, if that feels good on my finger, I can't even think how that would feel to have her hands on my-"
Suddenly, every head in the room whipped to look at Edward who had released a low, menacing growl from his position on the couch. His eyes were boring into Jacob's, who was continuing to squirm away from Renesmee.
"Um, I think I'd better go, I need to...go home before patrol tonight..." Jacob mumbled, bolting towards the front door.
Renesmee’s head whipped around to look directly at her father who had just growled at Jacob. Her protective nature for Jacob instantly kicked in and she growled back.
"DAD!" Renesmee fumed at her father. She made a silent vow to herself to show him how embarrassed and angry she was later. Now she was after Jacob.
She raced down the steps to the first floor and out the wide doors that led to the back door and the lawn that stretched towards the river. She leapt across in one single bound before reaching where Jacob was stripping down, ready to phase. The moonlight caught his body as he pulled off his t-shirt and reached for the button on his torn cut-off shorts.
"Jake, wait!" she called, finally reaching him.
Wow, he looks so good half naked...I wonder what he looks like with those shorts off… she thought to herself, biting her lower lip with her teeth. He looked up, suddenly feeling shy as he felt her eyes rake across his half naked body.
Renesmee had almost seen Jacob naked a few times, but back when they were still in the best friend stage and she had been polite enough to look the other way or turn around when he phased back and was, well, stark naked.
Jake paused, tossing his shirt to the ground. He looked up at her with hurt brown eyes. Even thought Renesmee had no idea that she was his imprint, it didn't make it any easier for him to not listen to her and give her what she wanted. She ran up to him, her long, bronze colored hair flying behind her like a beautiful golden halo in the moonlight.
"What's wrong, Nessie?" he asked, looking down at his feet. He really didn't want to get into this tonight. Not with this much on his mind....
"Why did you just get up and ditch me like that? I don't understand...”
"Ness, you know why I left. With you...pulling crap like that in front of Daddy Vamp, you're gonna make me end up as dinner!" he fumed to her.
“Jake, he would never eat you…you don’t smell like you would even taste that good!” she said with a quiet laugh, hoping to ease the tension that was palpable between them. He gave her a stern glare in response.
Renesmee bit her lip, stepping closer to him. She did feel bad - it wasn't fair of her to try and turn him on for the first time with her entire vampire family as an audience. She glanced around the dark clearing they were in, sighing to herself. Reaching her palm to his cheek, she spoke to him in her special way.
We're alone now...
The look on Jacob's face was one of sheer terror. Renesmee looked up at him, confused at his expression. What she wouldn't give to have her father's talent at a moment like this....
Meanwhile, Jacob was busy having a confusing moment of his own. Now, Edward had been very clear that when the proper time came, he and Bella would be supportive of his 'mature' relationship with Renesmee. However, it was very clear by the growl emitted by Edward in the living room a few minutes ago that he did not think that this time was now. Should he risk going against Edward?
Not if I'd like to keep my throat in tact...
"Renesmee, what are you trying to say?"
"Nothing...," she paused, testing the mood around them. She already felt a little bit like an idiot for making such suggestive comments. Immediately her courage began to wane as he looked at her, his black eyes boring into her brown ones.
“I just…wanted to hold your hand. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, well…I was about to be really sorry if you would have kept that up. What’s gotten into you?” he hissed, standing up straighter. His tall frame loomed in front of her small one and she shrank back, unsure of what to say. He was making it clear that he definitely did not return her feelings and that she had clearly crossed a line somewhere.
“Jake, I…I…I didn’t mean to!” She said, her voice beginning to rise from being so upset.
He instantly felt bad for snapping at her about her gesture on the couch. It wasn’t that he hadn’t liked it; it was just that he couldn’t be taking risks like that with her. Not now.
"Ness...," he began softly, "I have to be extremely careful with what I do with you, especially with your father around-"
She cut him off. "My dad has nothing to do with this! If I was a normal human with a normal family, then this wouldn't be an issue!"
"Exactly!" he shot back, his voice getting louder. “But you’re not! And neither am I! In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not exactly what you would call ‘normal’.”
“Jake, I’m not a child, I-“
“That’s just it, Renesmee…Can’t you understand?” he asked firmly. "You're a child, Ness, a child!"
Renesmee was taken aback by his retort. "A child?"
"You're not even seven-"
"So we're back to this again? My age? In case you never realized Jacob Black, I'm not exactly your normal seven year old CHILD!" she spat.
Her voice echoed into the dark woods, and the sudden quiet made the air around them in the forest seem menacing. They stared fiercely at each other, both feeling the pull of protest in their chests from arguing with their imprints. Jake knew exactly what he was feeling from seeing it in his brothers' thoughts, however, Renesmee wrote it off as fighting days before her Jacob was to leave her.
She didn't want to do this now.
"Jake, it's one of your last nights that we'll have together before you leave..." Renesmee said, inching closer to him.
He winced slightly as he felt the imaginary pull he felt around her get tighter and tighter. When she was finally close enough, she stopped in front of him, her hands making their way to weave with his. They stood in the clearing, their bodes almost touching, hands wound together. He could see her warm breath making little soft clouds in the chilly night air as they breathed. Her inviting scent swirled around him as they stood, just looking at each other in the darkness, their enhanced vision allowing them just enough sight to take each other in.
She's not old enough yet...I can't do that to Bella...and...Edward...He choked out the last part in his head. As much as he wanted to do very naughty things with Renesmee at that moment, he knew that dealing with a cranky daddy vampire the rest of time was not exactly what he would label 'fun'.
"Very wise thinking, Jacob Black," Edward said as he stepped into the clearing. Both Jacob and Renesmee's heads both jerked towards him, each taking in a breath of shock. Jacob quickly dropped her hands, and her head dropped in disappointment.
I don't think I'll ever get used to him sneaking up on me... Jacob thought with chagrin.
"Good," Edward replied, shoving his hands into his khaki pockets. His smooth, ivory skin seemed to glow in the soft moonlight, making him look almost translucent. He stopped pacing the edge of the clearing for a moment to give Jacob another pointed look in the darkness, and this was not one that Jacob had trouble seeing.
Renesmee looked between the two of them, clearly confused after being left out of the silent conversation.
"Never mind, Renesmee," he waved her off, looking back at Jacob. “Please go home. Your mother is waiting for you there.”
"Dad!" You're humiliating me! She screamed both out loud and in her head.
Edward and Jacob both startled by her yelling, turned to stare at her.
"What, Renesmee? What is it?" Edward asked, still caught off guard by his daughter’s silent and vocal fuming.
I want him to kiss me before he leaves dad, now leave us alone!!! Renesmee screamed mentally at her father, turning to give him a pleading look. Her cheeks filled with blood and burned scarlet at her confession to her father, but she just couldn’t help it anymore.
I should go…I’ve had enough ‘fun’ for one evening I think…Jacob thought.
Edward gave him a subtle nod.
I wasn’t trying to upset you, Edward. Please don’t tell Bella…she’ll be so disappointed in me…
Edward just looked at him. He knew he couldn’t say or do anything with Renesmee staring at him.
Meanwhile, Jacob was still reeling from the entire situation. He couldn’t remember feeling this anxious in a long time.
The expression on her father’s face was enough to scare Jacob. He quickly touched her cheek, gave Edward a sour look and turned. He only ran a few steps when his body blurred briefly, then exploded, the material from his shorts that he still had on giving a weak ripping noise before falling to the ground like confetti.
Renesmee stared after him. She hadn't seen him ruin a pair of shorts by phasing too early in years. Turning, she gave her father a look of disbelief before darting across the river and back towards home.
Tonight, she wanted to sleep in the main house and not in the cottage where her father could hear her angry thoughts. Yes, tonight she needed some distance from her overprotective father.
She barely made it to her room in the main house before the tears started flowing down her embarrassed, hurt face.
When she woke up the next day, she wasn’t surprised to see her mother sitting on the edge of her bed, watching her sleep.
“I wasn’t spying,” Bella said, putting her hands up. Renesmee smiled weakly. She knew her mother wasn’t as nosy as the rest of her family – she too greatly treasured her privacy.
“Are you okay? I was sad when you didn’t come home last night,” Bella said softly, her golden eyes searching her old brown eyes that now belonged to her daughter.
“No...Yes…I don’t know. Everything is suddenly just so confusing mom! Everything is changing and I hate it!”
Bella smiled sympathetically. “Our kind doesn’t respond well to change, I have to admit.”
“Mom….” Renesmee whined. “This would be a horrid situation whether or not I’m stuck in a family of vampires.”
“You know, I can’t help you unless you fill me in a little,” Bella replied. She moved closer to her daughter as Renesmee sat up in bed, rubbing her eyes.
“Can’t you show me just a little?” Bella pleaded. Renesmee looked at her, feeling bad about keeping her mother out of the loop. She knew she just wanted to help.
Reaching up to her mother’s face, she showed her bits and pieces of her changing feelings for Jacob, what had happened in the clearing and visions of Edward being overprotective.
“I see,” Bella said softly, her golden eyes expressive with emotion for her daughter.
“Do you?” Renesmee quipped. She threw her blankets back and stood, pacing in front of the windows that lined her bedroom.
“Honey, things will work out.”
Renesmee was already irritated. “Why on earth does everyone keep telling me that?”
“Because it’s true!” Bella retorted. “Time can fix a lot of things. Besides…nothing seems as bad when you give yourself a few days to calm down and re-think everything.
“That’s the part that’s making me crazy,” Renesmee said softly, her eyes glazing slightly as she looked into the morning forest.
Later that day, Renesmee sucked up her pride and called Jacob. She was still mortified that he had shot down her advances the night before, but her yearning to see him before he left for college the next day won out.
He came to the phone, his voice still groggy with sleep.
"Hey...were you still sleeping?"
"Yeah, sorry about that. Had a late night. I was patrolling with Quil all night and he wouldn't shut up about Claire."
"What's wrong with her?"
Jacob was silent for a few moments on the other end of the line, and Renesmee huffed impatiently.
"Nothing, she just finally told him that she loves him," he replied softly.
"She's nine!" Renesmee shrieked.
"I know, I know...but it was the first time she said it to him on her own. They're best friends Ness, it was a big deal for him. It's not like that. He knows she's nine."
She thought a moment, contemplating Quil and Claire and their age difference. It had been easier for her and Jake to be friends because she aged so fast, and it also helped that she wasn't exactly...normal, either. But sometimes, she just didn’t understand that whole ‘imprinting’ thing and how weird it could be for the two people involved, especially when one of them was a were wolf and the other one was two.
"But wasn't that weird, I mean...come on Jake, be honest - she was two!"
"I know what you mean, and no. I've been inside his head for years Ness. He doesn't think that way about her. We all were really careful, watching his thoughts for years, just to be sure. He doesn't ever think of it like that, not ever. It's like it's his kid sister - it's that kind of relationship, I swear."
"Yeah...you can bet that if it wasn't he wouldn't still be around, trust me."
"That's good...it still blows my mind sometimes though."
"It's just natural for us," he replied.
"Yeah yeah, I know, imprint stuff...sometimes that stuff is so unbelievably weird to me..."
Jacob felt a pang of pain in his chest at her words. She really did have no clue that she was his imprint. How ironic.
"It is? Why?"
"Well, it's just the idea that he saw her when she was only two and just...that was if for him, ya know?"
"Well yeah...he knew he loved her right there. I was there, it was weird, but once everyone got over the shock of her being two, well...it was actually a really nice moment," he said honestly. And it had been.
Emily had cried at first, not understanding completely what was happening to her barely two year old niece, and Sam had taken him back in preparation to beat the shit out of him. The rest of them had been too dumb-struck to even move. However, once they all phased and got inside his head, everyone had calmed down a bit.
They had been able to see his very amazed, protective, and loving thoughts about the little girl – nothing sexual or strange whatsoever.
"Yeah, I mean...she never had to want for anything. She was one of the happiest kids you ever saw, kinda like you."
"Really? That is really sweet… I guess.."
Jacob sucked in her breath. Was Renesmee about to guess that she was his imprint? Was the secret finally going to be out?
"Yeah, but he's just been there for her whole life - he's been like a big brother, a best friend...It's not that different than how I was with you," he replied, his stomach tensing. He gripped the phone tightly, hearing the plastic creak under his intense grip.
"I know, but that was because you wanted to be around my mom...you guys were best friends. It's only natural that you should want to be around me. It's just different with Claire because she didn't even know Quil."
Jacob sighed. This wasn't going to be as easy as he thought.
After his frustrating phone conversation with Renesmee, Jacob tried to return to his bed for a quick nap. He was caught in the terrible struggle with his active, swirling mind and his worn, tired body. As much as he was looking forward to spending the afternoon with her, he was also dreading it.
Even though she did not possess her father’s mind reading gift, it certainly did not make her any less perceptive when it came to reading his mind. Countless hours and days together had made them each so attune to each other that it was growing closer and closer to impossible to hide things from her.
Groaning, he threw the covers back from his bed, knocking over several dirty cups and bowls from his nightstand. Growling to himself, he stood and promptly tripped over another pile of boxes that were packed up, ready to go to college.
It’s like they’re fucking mocking me, he thought, looking at them. College had been looming over he and Renesmee all summer, and now was the time that he knew he needed to leave. He knew he was a procrastinator, but this couldn’t be avoided forever.
He glared at his empty bed and ran a hand through his shaggy black hair that was sticking out in all directions. Throwing open his window, he gracefully slid out and relaxed a bit as his bare feet hit the green grass below him. Going for a run would make him feel better. Jogging out behind the house, he made sure he was covered by the trees before quickly phasing. He had just begun to run and pick up the pace when he was greeted by Paul and Jared’s voices.
So what’s this I hear about a tight purple sweater?!
Jacob growled to himself as Paul’s irritating voice broke into his thoughts. He had always been close with Paul, but he had to admit the short break he had gotten from a few of his pack members for a few years had been nice. After Renesmee’s birth, their pack was split into two, albeit peaceful groups. When Sam retired several years later to age with Emily, his pack had all re-joined with Jacob’s.
Paul was one of his best friends, but he was constantly pressing his limits with Jacob as it was. Irritatingly, Paul had imprinted on Jacob’s older sister, Rebecca, which had not bothered him. What did bother him was the fact that Paul sometimes chose to torture him with things that he did not want to see about his sister.
Jacob lowered his nose to the ground and used that, along with flashes from their minds to locate them in the tree line along First Beach.
So are we going to hear more about this sweater or no? Paul pressed. He showed Jacob flashes he had picked up from Quil’s memory the night before. Although useful, their open memories and thought processes could really come back to haunt them. They could literally chose bits and pieces from other pack members’ memories and show them to other pack members as if it were a ‘cut, copy, and paste’ method on a computer.
Interesting…. Jared’s thoughts rang out, watching Jacob’s memory of watching Renesmee bend over to drain her elk. Jacob trotted up to the other two wolves, who sat lounging on a rock face, overlooking the coast.
Seen anything interesting lately? Jared asked, looking over at Jacob with a wolfy smirk.
How is it possible for a wolf to smirk? Jacob asked sarcastically, glancing at him sideways as he sat down on his haunches. Jared barked a laugh before looking back out at the ocean. His method of approach was not as blunt as Paul’s.
So you are going to tell us what happened after the hunt? Or do I have to go picking your brain for it?
Shut up Paul. That’s none of your beeswax and you know it.
Okay, that’s fine. I can just tell you about what I did to your big sister last night.
I swear to God Paul, if you picture my sister topless around me one more time I’m gonna puke and then rip you to pieces.
Isn’t it about time for you to retire?!
Someone has their undies in a twist. Or maybe I should just start thinking about your sister’s panties she had on last night…mmmmm….
Or maybe I could just give you an Alpha order to never be able to get it up again when she’s in the room…
Okay Okay! Paul snapped. He glared at Jacob before turning to give a quizzical look at Jared, who was staring back at him blankly.
Could that really work? If he ordered us to not get a stiffie…would that work? Paul asked.
Um, Kim and I would prefer you not test that theory, I think, Jared stated, giving Paul a pointed look.
Yeah, you two just sit there and think about that for now, Jacob replied. Talking with these two morons was getting him nowhere. He turned and stood, stretching a bit before he broke into a run towards Forks. He would need to clear his head to pick up Renesmee anyway.
The two made plans to go for a walk on First Beach later in the day, and after hanging up with Jacob, Renesmee ran jauntily through the forest back to the cottage.
She loved dressing up with her aunts, and she greatly appreciated her fully stocked closet of designer clothes, but sometimes the ‘Bella’ in her won out and she simply wanted jeans and cotton t-shirts. She knew her closet back at the cottage would contain just what she needed for her day with Jacob at the beach.
To say she felt better after talking to Jacob on the phone was an understatement; she felt ten times better, almost elated. Skipping through the front door, she became a blur of motion as she bypassed Edward in the living room and went straight for her closet.
“Jeans….Chucks…tshirt…” she murmured to herself as she grabbed the items out of her jammed full closet. Sighing, she cast an annoyed sideways glare at Edward, who had appeared in the doorway of the small, walk in closet.
“Going to the beach?”
“Get out of my head, dad,” she quipped, brushing past him into the bedroom. He frowned as his dead heart felt a pang of hurt at his daughter’s statement.
“You know I try, Ness.”
“Try harder!” she huffed, tossing the clothes onto her bed.
“You never used to care if I could hear you,” he said softly, turning to lean on the doorframe of the closet. She refused to let her brown eyes look up at his topaz ones, and let him see the hurt mirrored in them.
She felt horrible for snapping at her father, but his mind-reading, overprotective nature was beginning to wear on her.
“I just wish I was normal!” She said, finally looking up at him. “I want to be a normal teenager and have a normal life!”
Edward looked at her, slightly shocked. He knew from years of hearing her thoughts that his daughter had always been slightly upset that she could not do ‘normal’ activities, but her love for her family and Jacob had always won out. Now, it seemed, that was not the case.
“Renesmee, dear, you are not normal, I’m afraid. I am truly sorry that my gift is annoying to you at times…I do not wish to invade your thoughts, but you must understand that I find it difficult not to hear them most of the time. You’re my little girl, and I-“
“I’m not your little girl anymore dad!” She cut him off. “I’m going to the beach with Jacob today to try and make up for you growling at him last night!”
“Alone?” Edward asked, raising an eyebrow at her. She grabbed her clothes off the bed and looked at him, determined and proud.
“Yes,” she snapped, heading for the bathroom. Edward stood still as a statue as she slammed the door behind her.
Later that day, Jacob and Resnesmee found themselves on First Beach down in La Push, not alone, but with none other than Quil and Claire. The two of them laughed and rolled their eyes and nine year old Claire enlisted Quil's help to make her very own sand castle.
"Claire, this sand is to wet to make a sand castle...it has to be just the right texture to make a good one!" Quil whined.
"Quil..." Claire said, sticking out her lower lip. With a heavy sigh, Quil picked up the bucket they had brought and began scooping sand into it to make the base.
"Want to go for a walk?" Jake asked, tugging her hand slightly. Renesmee nodded. She loved Claire, and Quil even more - he was Jacob's best friend, and she was used to the three of them spending a lot of time together. However, right now she just wanted alone time with Jacob. This was his last day before he left for Washington State the next day.
"We'll be back," Jacob said to Quil, who barely even looked up from his duty as extra sand-fetcher for Claire.
They laughed and continued walking down the beach, laughing to themselves about goofy Quil and his imprint.
"He's so funny around her...it's like he can't tell her no!" Renesmee mused.
"Yeah, something like that," Jacob muttered, kicking at the rocks below his feet.
"She's cute though, I'm happy that she makes him so happy all the time. He's always grinning like an idiot when he's around him."
"Yeah, she makes him really happy. I'm just glad she's finally getting older. It seemed like she was a tiny little girl for so long, it's nice to see that she's getting closer to his age."
"She's nine, right?"
Jacob nodded. "Soon to be ten."
"She's still too young for him, by a lot. I feel so bad for him that he has to wait for her," Renesmee said.
Almost as bad as I feel that I'm not the right age for you..., she thought bitterly.
"He doesn't mind...trust me."
"That imprint stuff is so complicated," she replied, looking up at the cloudy sky.
"Well, like I said earlier...how much would it suck to fall in love with a baby?"
"He didn't mind, trust me. Like I said, imprinting is very powerful. We don't even understand it, and it's a part of our heritage. It's just...different than normal relationships Nessie...I don't know how to explain it."
Jacob swallowed, not sure how to explain it. "Well, it's like a magnet. There's no rhyme or reason to it, it's just something that pulls you and attracts you like nothing else you've ever felt before," he said. He looked down at her, waiting to hear her response.
"I guess I can understand that...it's just that I still feel bad for him having to hang around with a little girl all the time. I mean, the poor guy doesn't even date!"
"You don't get it Ness; he wouldn't want to. Being away from Claire and dating another girl would be the most unnatural feeling in the world. Even though she's only nine, it would still feel like he's cheating on her...he wouldn't like whoever he was with, because it wouldn't be Claire."
"I guess...," she trailed off. “But it would suck to be able to date and not go one at least one, just to see what it’s like.”
“I’ve taken you on dates!” He huffed playfully, pretending to sound hurt. She grinned up at him, her brown eyes sparkling.
“Hunting together in the woods doesn’t count Jake. Neither does watching a movie with my parents…not exactly what I would label as ‘dates’.”
“Fine, fine. Well if you like, I will take you on a ‘date’ date sometime then,” he laughed.
If only he was serious…she thought wistfully.
"You know, you and Claire used to play together all the time," Jacob said, jabbing her playfully in the ribs.
"I know, I know...she would give me weird looks all the time though," Renesmee mused, thinking back to her few play dates with Claire.
"Yeah, even at three she knew that it wasn't normal for you to be reading her chapter books when you were supposed to be the same age!" Jacob guffawed.
"Shut up! So I'm advanced...I'm one-of-a-kind..." she trailed off, raising her nose in the salty ocean air. Jacob elbowed her again and snorted. They continued to walk down the beach on that cloudy day, both of them knowing that there were more serious things on both of their minds.
"Would it have been easier?" She asked, looking up at him.
"Easier how?" He asked, bumping her lightly as they walked.
She reached up and showed him what she meant. In her thoughts, she showed him herself, but as a toddler, playing with Claire. She then made herself age slowly, just like Claire did - normally. Jacob jerked away from her soft yet granite-like palm, frowning down at her.
"No!" he exclaimed, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. She flinched internally as his blazing hot skin made contact with her slightly cool skin, but settled into the change easily.
"Why not? Wouldn't it have been easier? More...normal?"
"No, Nessie, never. I've never wanted you to be normal. I like you...you're special."
As if on cue, the sun peeked its way through the cloudy Washington day, a few rays of sun hitting the beach. Renesmee smiled, spying a place where one of the sunbeams hit the sand, bounding over to stand in the middle of it. Her skin didn't shine brilliantly like diamonds like Edwards and now Bella's did, but it still had a luminous glow that didn't look quite human. Jacob had always loved it. To him, it looked like the shine that the pearls he and his friends had pried from the mussels they found in the wave pools not far from there.
Then sun quickly faded and ducked back beneath the clouds, as was normal in their cloudy state of Washington.
"Constant cover of clouds..." Jacob mused, looking up at the dreary sky. He stopped walking, turning to embrace Renesmee. All of the tension that had been building up between them the past few days quickly faded away as he hugged her.
"I'm gonna miss you, Jakey," she mused, holding his blazing hot body tight.
Jacob winced at the strength of her grip. "You know, it's a good thing that I'm not exactly human either, otherwise you'd break me!" he joked.
"Jake.." She reached up to touch her palm to his cheek, frowning. Please don't joke, this are our last minutes together before you leave me...I want to say my good-byes... she thought to him.
“No,” he whined, brushing a stray lock of hair off her face. He thought a moment, his eyes lighting up. “Come to the bonfire with me tomorrow night. It’s my last one for awhile…it will be fun.”
“Really?” she asked. She had been to a few as a child, but it was more of something for wolf pack members and their imprints, aka girlfriends. She had always felt out of place. Perhaps this is my chance…she thought.
“Yeah, really. I would love for you to come with me.”
“If you’re sure.”
“Absolutely.” He palmed the top of her head, messing up her already wind-blown curls.
“Jake!” she hissed, darting away. He laughed his infectious laugh, and soon she couldn’t help but return to his side with a smile. She linked her arm with his as they lazily walked down First Beach.
"I know, I know, I'm sorry," he replied, brushing his shaggy hair out of his face. He had been letting his hair grow lately, at her request. It was a request that he had chuckled about for some reason. It was now almost down to his chin, and it hung in shaggy, tangled mass. Renesmee loved it.
"Are you gonna miss me?" she asked, looking up at him with expectant eyes.
Jacob snorted again. "Of course I will...we've never been apart for more than a few days! I get nervous every time I think about leaving you till Christmas," he replied, looking away from her. He could feel his throat tightening and his breathing become a little labored as he began to feel choked up. He tried to focus on the waves as they crashed into the sand a few yards away from where they stood.
"It's the longest we'll EVER be apart, promise me," she said, her brown eyes emotional.
"I promise,” he said shortly. His emotions were quickly getting the rest of him.
"Good," she said, giving him a satisfied smile. She followed his gaze out to the ocean waves, and her expression changed quickly to somber.
He gave her a weak, tight lipped smile, and grasped both of her hands tightly as they stood in front of the ocean. He closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of the salty ocean spray misting on his skin. Looking back down at her trusting, chocolate brown eyes, he sighed.
She looked up at him, her eyes expressing confusion, and he snorted quietly.
Sometimes she looks so much like her mother with those eyes and some of those facial expressions.
"You're always gonna be my special girl, right?"
Renesmee felt her breath choke up in her throat. "As long as you'll always be my special guy," she breathed, the tears that had been welling up in her eyes finally spilling over.
He laughed, trying to disguise his own anguish at her statement. “Corny much?”
She pulled one of her hands out of his to lightly punch his arm. “You started it,” she said softly, looking up at him with a pained smile. They both knew that their teasing was really them putting off the inevitable subject at hand.
“I’m gonna miss you, Nessie….but I’ve been putting off college for so long. You understand that, right?” he asked. He knew that she knew college was a necessity for him, but he still didn’t want her to feel abandoned.
She nodded, looking down at the sand they were standing on. “I know,” she said softly.
Jacob fought the urge to spill his own tears as that sight of his imprint upset. He wrapped his arms in a tight embrace around her, nestling his nose into her coppery hair. The salty ocean air blew around them, as if escort him away on his journey. Renesmee snuggled up to his warm chest, inhaling his scent as if it was the last time she would ever smell it.
We fit together like two puzzle pieces…this is where I belong, always. I hope, she thought to herself as she let her cool cheek delightfully burn on his hot chest.
"I'll always be here for you, Nessie."
“I know…you’re my other half, Jake. You can’t stay away for too long, I’d die without you here,” she said with another soft laugh. They both knew that she was joking, but he couldn’t help but consider the weight of her words as they echoed in his head.
You have no idea, he added to himself.
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