"Now Jasper..." Carlisle stared right at me this time. I winced. Why did he always have to single me out? But I knew why, and I wasn't proud of it.
Our entire family was sitting in a circle in our living room; it was something we did once every week or sometimes even more than once a week. It depended on if we hunted or not.
Carlisle stood aside and unmuted the TV which was running on a repeating A-B, showing a scene from Finding Nemo again and again.
Right now Bruce, the shark was on the screen and his eyes were blackening. This was my least favorite part. And sure enough, the screen switched back to where the blood was rising and twisting with the currents of the ocean, as Dory moaned "Ow..." I swallowed the venom that was quickly filling my mouth.
As Bruce lunged, the TV rewound and went back to where the two fish meet the sharks.
"We got company," the deep voice boomed through our surround sound system.
A dinging of the bell echoed through the house.
"Right then! The meeting has officially come to order!"
The next part was slightly edited for our meeting, due to Edward's animation and editing system and Emmett's very realistic impression of Bruce's voice, the edited speech went flawlessly...
"Let us all say the pledge... I am a nice vampire!" The whole family lifted our right hands and began to speak along with the movie, Emmett using his Bruce voice.
"Not a mindless eatin' machine," Alice smiled at me as our whole family enjoyed the speech we always teased each other about.
"If I am to change this image, I must first change myself." We finished the line that we always burst out laughing after...
"People are friends, not FOOD!" I poked Alice in the rims and she flashed a smile back.
Emmett pretended to bite Rosalie and she punched his arm.
Edward was pouting because Bella wasn't necessarily eligible to our vampire vegetarian meetings yet.
Edward flashed a scowl in my direction when he heard the 'yet' part.
It's true, I thought back defiantly and he faced the screen again, growling softly.
"Today's meetin' is step five, bring a fish friend..." The shark announced.
"I wanna bring Bella next time!" Edward shouted over the movie and Rosalie rolled her eyes.
Carlisle muted the TV and turned back to us.
"Now, we must understand that we are not alone. These sharks rebelled against their diet of fish, also. So, Jasper...please say the line."
I got up and slouched like a pouting teen to the front of the room.
"I'm Jasper, and I haven't eaten a human"-- Edward flinched there and so did I. In fact, the only one who didn't flinch was Carlisle-- "In fifty years."
Carlisle looked at me expectantly and I sighed.
"People are friends, not food," I muttered and everyone clapped.
The line continued to Alice, then Rosalie, then Emmett (who used his Bruce voice) to Esme, to Edward, and finally ending on Carlisle, as always.
"Hello Carlisle," we chanted back and he cracked a smile.
"And I haven't eaten a human in..."
We all rolled our eyes as he pretended to count on his fingers.
"Hey that's incredible," I muttered, following the script of Finding Nemo.
"Good on ya, mate!" Emmett boomed and Carlisle chuckled.
"People are patients, not food," Carlisle finished grandly and we clapped.
"Now," Carlisle started again and we groaned.
"Your homework assignment is to interact with a human in some way. It can be just saying hi, or..."
I turned to stare at Edward, along with everyone else. Smugness was radiating off of him as he laced his fingers behind his head and leaned back boastfully.
Carlisle cleared his throat. "Or, never mind."
Rosalie huffed and crossed her arms and Emmett made kissy faces at Edward. Edward met his stare with a smile.
Suddenly, a dull roar interrupted the quiet and Edward jumped up. I looked for Alice but she was gone, having seen Bella arrive and slipped out the door undetected.
"I GET HER FIRST ALICE!" Edward called, sprinting out the door where Alice was bouncing in anticipation in front of Bella as she stepped out of the truck.
"Bella!" Alice sang as she hugged her.
"Hi Alice!" Bella was excited, but it turned to confusion as the whole family flooded out onto the porch to do their homework.
"I need to make a rule that takes out Bella," Carlisle murmured and Edward growled.
"I LIKE it," Edward said softly and everyone chuckled.
Alice stepped away from Bella and skipped up to me to take my hand.
"What do you want to do?" Bella asked Edward as Alice laughed loudly.
I turned to look questioningly at her but she put her tiny hand under my jaw and turned my face to watch Bella and Edward. Everyone quieted.
"I have to do my homework first," Edward said casually.
"Homewo--" Bella didn't finish her sentence before Edward grabbed her and kissed her.
Emmett made cat meowing noises and whistled while Bella's face turned bright red, but Edward didn't let go. He was smiling and I immediately crouched down behind Alice, feeling very, very embarrassed.
"Get a hold of yourself," she laughed, dragging me back up. Oh, that was BELLA. I smirked and sent a LOT of enthusiasm Bella's way and she threw her arms around Edward's neck.
"Jasper," Esme chastised me. I grinned impishly and Emmett hooted, "RIGHT ON!"
I saw a smile break out across Edward's face.
He pulled away to look down into her face and I kept up a flow of confidence, knowing she would really be mortified, maybe causing me to impulsively bury myself in a hole.
"Hi," he inhaled her scent as he buried his nose in her hair.
"What was that?" she muttered, confused.
"Who's the teacher?"
Everyone burst out laughing, and even Carlisle let out a little chuckle.
Edward turned at me and winked. I knew what he meant.
I could always give you a little dose, for her benefit.
He scowled. Ah, Edward will be Edward. Stubborn.
I couldn't wait till the next homework assignment, it was funny to watch, and I'm sure Edward was even more enthusiastic.
Till next time,
People are friends, not food.