"Okay," I said. "Let's go over this one more time before we leave."
"But Dad, we've been over this 100 times in the last week," Renesmee groaned.
"Well, just to be on the safe side. Plus, not all of us have vampiric memories." I looked pointedly at Jacob, but not in an accusing way. I'd grown used to his constant presence; he was family now. Although I didn't always appreciate his train of thought when it came to my daughter, I had accepted him. Either way, he made Nessie happy. That was the most important thing. Even though his thoughts weren't always so pure, he was always looking out for Nessie. He put her safety first, always ready to protect her.
I continued with my "speech."
"So, we're all adopted," I began from my spot in the armchair, Bella sitting on my lap. Esme and Carlisle had gone out hunting. Nessie and Jacob were cuddled up together on the loveseat ― a little too close for comfort. Emmett and Rosalie and Jasper and Alice were all on the white couch, similar to the one we had sitting back at our home in Forks, Washington. The décor here was much the same ― the same light colors; big, open rooms; a wall made entirely of glass. But this wasn't our forest mansion in Forks. This was our new home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we would all start school at Allderdice High School. This would be Nessie's first time at school, and Bella and Jacob's first time starting over.
It had been hard for Bella to say goodbye to Charlie, but we had promised to call regularly and visit when we had the chance. At least he wouldn't be lonely now. He had Sue now to keep him company and cook him dinner. Their wedding had been a private affair, only family and close friends. Our family and both wolf packs were included. Shortly after, Jacob had had to appoint Leah the alpha of their pack so that he could come with us here to Pittsburgh.
"Bella, you are Esme's younger sister. She has acted as your guardian since your parents passed away. Emmett and Alice, you two aren't related to anyone in the family. You guys were adopted at different times. Now, Jasper and Rosalie, you two are twins and still go by the last name Hale. And then there's you and me Nessie." Our resemblance was too obvious to ignore. "We are twins too. You must be careful not to slip and call me 'Dad.'"
I could hear Renesmee's anxious, awkward thoughts. Apparently, Jasper could feel this too. I immediately heard a calming in her thoughts. I looked at Jasper gratefully. No problem, he thought back.
"Is everyone clear?" I continued, "You'll all remember the story?"
I heard the mumbled agreements from everyone.
"Wait. What about me?" Jake asked.
"They don't allow dogs in school, mongrel," Rosalie spat at him. Emmett turned his head to hide his laughter. Even Nessie let out a little chuckle. Time had done nothing to soften Rosalie and Jacob's relationship. The more they were together; the more they seemed to hate each other.
"Oh. Sorry Jake. I forgot. You were recently adopted by our family; Carlisle brought you in about 4 years ago."
"And I'm a sophomore?" He questioned.
"Yes. You, Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper are in 10th grade. Bella, Alice, Nessie, and I are freshman."
"Awww." Alice said, "One less year with you, Jasper." He smiled thoughtfully back at her.
"Well. With less time worrying about school," he began, "I can spend more time with you at home." Then some very unpleasant images of what they could do in that time flooded my mind; whether from Alice or Jasper I didn't know. I was trying not to notice. Alice grinned back at him devilishly.
"Oh God," I hissed under my breath. I spoke a little louder now, "Jasper, just because you have the ability to turn a girl on from across the room doesn't mean you have to do it front of her family. In front of her mind-reading brother." I tried to tune their thoughts out. I felt Bella laughing against my chest. I looked at my watch: 7:30.
"O.K. guys. Its time to go. Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, and Alice: You guys take Rosalie's convertible." The more time away from Jasper and Alice's minds, the better. "Nessie and Jake, you can come with me and Bella in the Volvo."
As we all got up and made our way to our enormous garage, I caught a glimpse of Bella's thoughts. She had worked very hard on letting me passed her shield ever since that first night."
I love you, she thought silently. I put my arms around her shoulders and leaned down to kiss her.
"I love you, too." I whispered when we finally parted to get into our seats in the car.
The car ride to high school was silent. We were all caught up in our own thoughts and expectations of the coming day. I could hear Renesmee's thrilled thoughts about her first time at school. I could also hear Jacob's worried thoughts as he wondered how Renesmee would take to other kids "her age." We rode this way until we parked the car in the school parking lot.
"Well, here we go," I said. "Another town, another school."