I still don't own Twilight. Stephenie Meyer still does.
Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while! I'm really working on making sure that changes. My inspiron passed on a few weeks ago... And it's taken time to invest in a new computer, and to get used to Windows Vista (very pretty, but very annoying).
The description to the story changed, but I still can't really come up with a good one. I hate it when people just put "lol just read i suck at summaries" and I really wanted to be creative, and stay truthful to the story... wiiithout giving too much away.
We still don't know if the Cullens are alive or dead. I know there was some confusion about that, and to be honest. I know about as much as you guys do. I don't know if they're alive (figuratively, I guess) or not. n.n
Read! Enjoy the story, and please review, if you can. Makes me so happy.
The inside of Charlie's house hadn't changed much, or even at all. I would have at least replaced that grimy old sofa... or maybe it was just my imagination. It seemed like forever ago when I'd seen Bella lying there, cold and practically lifeless, whispering his name. I shuddered at the memory. I'd gotten another uncomfortable vibe when I'd looked over to peer into the kitchen. I saw Bella doing the dishes before turning around and giving me an unwelcome glare. I cringed away from that one. I wasn't ready for the overwhelming attack of Bella memories.
It was as fortunate as it was not that I didn't have much time after the door closed behind Nessie to dwell on this, because Charlie was behind Nessie, locking the door just after she entered. He crossed his arms and shifted his weight on his feet, and the cop was blocking the entire door. I tried not to let a laugh slip up. As if that would keep us out, had we really wanted to get away. The heavy front door would barely be a hindrance and Charlie...
Charlie was definitely glaring at us. What is going on?
I'd expected Sue and Billy, and Seth... It didn't look like anyone was here. What's this all about?
I was the first brace soldier to speak. Nessie just stood like stone beside me, obviously being very careful. I cleared my throat. "So, Charlie. Sue and Seth-"
"They'll be here later," he interrupted. "First, let's talk."
From his tone, it didn't sound like Charlie wanted to discuss the lovely weather we've gotten to experience here in Forks. Charlie was nervous, and this made me nervous. I hated that. I used to not get intimidated so easily. I looked to Renesmee again. The little girl that changed me.
"Alright. Talk." I manned up a bit.
"I'm ready to know."
My brows furrowed. "Know what?"
Charlie grimaced. "Everything."
The running thing was still an option. I could grab Nessie, push Charlie out of the way and bust through the door in less than seconds. I deliberated, flustered that I was letting my guilt get to me now. Charlie's daughter could be dead, and I knew why... he knew I knew why. He was ready to play "good cop, bad cop" until I spilled my guts. I wondered briefly which cop I'd end up getting. "Charlie.."
"What is Renesmee?" He was jumping ahead of me.
"Well, the Cullens are-"
"I asked about Nessie!" Charlie was shouting.
I was getting pissed off. Leaving sounded pretty damn good right about now, and I felt my jaw clench. It was a tiny hand on mine that let me breathe again. I grabbed the hand and kissed it, without looking away from Charlie. He cocked an eyebrow, but his suspicion didn't matter. I was able to think again.
"Do you want to have this conversation or not, Charlie? This is some pretty heavy shit.. stuff.. so if you don't mind, this would be so much easier if you saved your questions until I'm finished. In order to understand, you must hear the whole story, and not just bits and pieces where you want."
Charlie was doing some calming down of his own, but he let me continue.
"Like I've told you before, there's a lot more going on in the world than you could possibly know-"
Charlie growled. "Spit it out, Jacob." That left me dumbfounded. He sounded so much like Renesmee when he did that. If there was any doubt of Renesmee's resemblance in the Swan family tree, it was definitely all gone now.
I huffed, and gave him what he wanted. Hell, why not? It would save me a long story. "Edward and Bella are vampires!"
Charlie's face was blank. He wasn't registering. "Bella is a vampire?"
He was definitely confused. Damn it. He should have just let me tell the damn story. I sighed. "There's no right way… but there is an easy way. Renesmee?"
The little girl looked up with bright eyes and an undivided attention. God, she was gorgeous. I nodded once to her, and her lips curled up into a glorious smile. She slipped happily over to Charlie, reaching her hands up to his face. Charlie, still thoroughly confused, allowed this, and didn't flinch when the little girl pressed her hands to his cheeks. This clearly surprised Nessie; she was used to bad reactions, but she didn't pause long before she forced her story into Charlie's mind. I waited. I knew she was showing him the story as she saw it in her head. I'd had a chance to see this version once. It was a much better visualization of what happened than the actual, though both held the same truth. It was a much prettier version. Renesmee never saw anything as being ugly, especially when it was applied to the people she loved.
This took several minutes, but I wasn't impatient. I was thankful I wasn't the one explaining, and that though Charlie's thousand questions would no doubt come soon, they would start making more sense to both him and me. Nessie couldn't tell everything, but it was a start. It would be easier after he knew, or at least I was trying to convince myself.
When Nessie's hands finally fell away, I released a breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding. Here it comes. Charlie's expression was overwhelmed as it all sunk in, and Nessie skittered back by my side and took my hand. Charlie was starting to stare at us in disbelief, but his face fell again. Had she shown him too much?
"Oh.." He said, finally. It was good to know his mind wasn't going comatose on us. "So… Nessie…"
"I'm half of my mother and half of my father. I'm special," her voice peeled, and Charlie echoed the last word and nodded. I was still unsure that everything was sinking in as it should.
That fear of mine vanished as I noticed that Charlie's face was definitely paling. "Charlie? Maybe you should sit down."
"Let's all sit down," Nessie suggested.
Charlie nodded, heading pointedly to the living room. "Yes… yes, good idea."
Renesmee smiled and skipped ahead, landing gracefully on the couch. She patted the spot beside her, and I obeyed, sitting down next to her and Charlie followed, sitting on the plaid lazy boy across the room. We sat in silence for several seconds. Charlie was the first one to speak. "I knew there was a reason I didn't want to hear this." Renesmee looked away bashfully. I squeezed her hand. "This is just… unbelievable."
"Tell me about it." I muttered, my eyes locked on Renesmee's face.
Charlie spoke at a normal volume now. "Thank you for taking care of Nessie." My brows furrowed. He was thanking me? "Couldn't've been easy for ya…"
"It's no trouble at all."
Charlie's eyes fell and then came alive with some kind of suspicious spark. I followed his gaze down and saw my own hand perched on top of Nessie's knee, and I took it back immediately. I hadn't even realized 'd been touching her. It was just something that happened subconsciously. I had to touch her so I could be calm. So I could breathe. Renesmee looked to me, her hand pressing against my shoulder as I saw the replayed image of my hand falling away from her like it'd been shocked. I answered her by placing a quick kiss over her forehead, and my attention turned to Charlie again. He was still looking pretty unsettled. My lips pursed as I gave him the most innocent look I could manage. Silence again. Was he still thinking?
I couldn't take it anymore. I spoke. "So, you said Sue and Seth were out? So they'll be here soon, right?" I was anxious to see Seth with my own eyes. I had to know he was safe, and I had so many questions…
"Well… not exactly. They'll be here tomorrow. Sue called me when I got home. Said Seth came down with something, and they just couldn't make it tonight."
"Came… down with something?" My voice sounded weird to me.
"Yeah. Some kind of virus. Kid's sick as a dog."
I disregarded the bad pun, whether it was intentional or not, because I knew it wasn't possible. Seth couldn't be sick. Our kind didn't get sick for the same reason we couldn't turn into vampires. Our bloodstream moved much too fast for one, and our platelets were different from human's. Ours would devour any intrusions just like *that*. If we were ever bit by a vampire, the worst it could do would just kill us. Even if he'd given up his birthright, it would always be in his human blood forever. There was absolutely no way Seth was sick. Could he possibly be avoiding us? But this was Seth… "That's… really a shame. I was looking forward…" I couldn't finish my sentence. I was too bothered. Why hadn't he come to see us?
Charlie must have noticed my expression. "We'll see them tomorrow." And somehow I seriously doubted that, but I nodded anyway. Charlie was silent for a couple more minutes before glancing at his wristwatch. "It's late." I peered outside. It was dark already. It seemed too early. Charlie's eyes darted to Nessie, and she looked up at him, her eyes brilliant. "You tired?"
"Actually yes, a little." It was a long day for her.
"The…guest bedroom is all made up. Haven't touched it once since your mother left." Charlie choked out the word "guest". He was obviously having a difficult time accepting that the bedroom was no longer Bella's. He must have missed her. "You're more than welcome to use it while you're here."
Ness nodded. "That would be wonderful. Thank you, Ch.. grandpa.. thank you." She went to the side of his chair and kissed him lightly on the cheek before gliding out of the room, leaving Charlie and I to sit in silence. It wasn't silent very much longer after we both heard the faint click of Bella's ex-door. Charlie sighed.
"Bella… is she…?" Charlie's voice was soft. He'd waited until Nessie was out of the room to inquire about her mother. What a gentleman. It's too bad that it wouldn't help any. Of course Ness would be listening to us.
"I wish I could give you an answer, Charlie. Right now, you know about as much as we do." The upset lines in his forehead appeared, suddenly making him ten years older. I felt bad that couldn't give him a real answer. He'd been in the dark about a lot of things when it came to his daughter, and I couldn't inform him because I was in the dark, as well. Seth was there, why hadn't he told Charlie eve a little bit about what was going on? How is Seth even still alive? Damn it, Seth… Where are you?
"So you came back to Forks…"
"To look for them," I confirmed.
"And they're not here…"
"Yeah, we got that far."
"Could they be anywhere else? Anywhere at all?" Charlie pressed.
His urgency made me uncomfortable, and even more so because I knew Nessie was listening. While I wanted to reassure Charlie, I didn't want Nessie to get false hopes. Good grief. "I really don't know, Charlie. I didn't know that much about the Cullens, honestly. I don't know where they'd go if they could, or if they were even strong enough to…" I swallowed. "I don't know."
Charlie seemed to think about this. "You didn't know the Cullens very well? Why is it that you got stuck looking after Renesmee?"
"I don't look at it as getting stuck. I don't think there's anyone I'd trust more than myself to look after her, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way even if I did." And it was the truth, in the good words. I was leaving out the unhealthy obsession part, and all the incriminating truths that even though she was stuck in a body that betrayed her mind, I'd be madly in love with her until the day I died. Yeah. I didn't tell him those parts.
"I'd completely understand if you needed me to take over for you. You got some youth left in you. Maybe you want to go back to school. Go see the world. Meet someone, and such. Raising a kid by yourself, son… that's hard. Everyone needs help."
I gave him a sideways look. "I don't need any help…"
He was leaning forward now, his elbows perched on his knees. I saw his cop side come out by that look he'd given me. "Jake, I think it would be in yours and Nessie's best interests to maybe consider alternative options."
I sighed. "Charlie, I have a lot of youth left in me. I have as much as I want from here on until the end of forever. I have time. These short years raising Renesmee will only go by too fast. Hell, every day I wake up, she's grown another freaking inch, it seems. I… grab her and hold her to me sometimes, and I beg her to stop growing. I beg her to slow down because I'm losing my little girl every day. She's slipping through my fingers every second, and there's nothing I can do about it."
Charlie frowned. "You'd be able to visit her anytime you want."
I met his gaze. "Because you think you could do a better job than me? I have news for you, Charlie. Renesmee is a hard kid to raise. You have to watch her constantly because she's always getting into something. She requires perpetual attention because she can't stand to be alone for any length of time. She has a horrible temper, and has tendencies to throw things, bite, and hit. She gets depressed, moody, and sometimes goes through phases where she won't speak for months at a time. She doesn't listen to orders, and she wants to know everything about anything. Charlie… for 2 years, you let your daughter date a fucking vampire!"
Charlie stood up, and so did I. I towered over him. "I had no id-"
"I know! You didn't know, but that's exactly why I don't want you to have Nessie. you don't know what Renesmee is capable of, either! You're human, Charlie. Just by accident, she could take your arm off with hardly any effort at all! You can't be around her twenty-four seven, because you work and you have a girlfriend and friends you like to spend time with. That won't work, Charlie. Renesmee needs constant care. She needs me, Charlie. What, you think just because you have a gun, she's going to listen to you? Please." I huffed, and sat back down. I haven't been here for eight hours, and already he was threatening to take Nessie away. Charlie was still standing over me, not looking happy. I didn't care. I was the one with the custody papers.
"We could always take this to court…" Charlie's voice was hard, but the volume was controlled, unlike mine had been. If he was being quiet for Nessie, he was way too late.
"Charlie… I understand that you've lost your daughter." I winced, but kept going. "But I've lost people, too. My mother. My best friend. My former pack…I know how it feels. I know how you feel. So of course you'll know how I feel if you take the most important person in my life away from me. Please, Charlie. I need her." My earlier words were switched around, and I had to wonder if my pathetic groveling would have any effect on him when the words were formed that way. I half-expected him to be so disgusted that he'd insist that she'd be taken out of my custody, but instead… nothing. No harsh words for several minutes. Charlie must have counted to ten in that time.
He spoke after another while. "Go home, Jake. Billy will be wanting to see you."
I nodded. "Sir. Just let me say goodnight to Nessie."
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