I don't own Twilight.
Part III— Renesmee Cullen
"You're so slow."
I looked at the back of Jacob's head in front of me; dark as midnight, annoying as hell, I thought. He pushed a branch out of his way and held out for me to push out of my own way. The bark was rough under my fingertips. The tree was dying, I could tell. I then wondered what it would be like if I could die.
Of course, I wasn't going to die. I still wasn't sure, even after two years of being a full-vampire myself, if living forever was going to be as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. I felt what it was like to get older, even if it was just for seven years, and it was strange to see the same girl everyday staring back at me in the mirror, never changing, never growing … like a statue.
"Your human side is taking over again," Jake teased me again. I had been out of it all day; since waking up this morning, I felt like something was going to happen today. I had been in a daze, trying to figure out why today something felt weird. So everything I did was a little sluggish and I reacted a little slower than I usually did.
Jacob had teased me for it, of course.
As we walked through the forest, I reflected on all the things that got me here, trying to remember why today was so important.
Two years before, I had defeated the Volturi, wiping my existence from their minds. A year after that, we were called on to visit them. They wanted to meet the "newest" member of the Cullen family. Of course, since I was erased from their mind, that newest member was me. We had gone, of course, because no one denies the Volturi (as ironic as that is). While there, I had told them the story of my changing.
My name was Vanessa – just Vanessa. I had been changed the year before by a vampire I did not know. When I woke up, I was in the Cullen residence and immediately accepted their way of living. When the Volturi had asked how I survived at first from the strong thirst I felt, I said that I the Cullens had struggled with me but, eventually, I accepted their way of living.
It made me feel more human.
It was a total lie but the Volturi had no choice but to believe it. After all, the name Renesmee didn't even register in their minds. It was strange, I thought, but it was better than being hunted my whole life. It was like being in the witness protection program … for vampires.
Aro came closer to me. I could feel my hands shaking, from rage or fear, I did not know. He got very close to my face. I could practically feel my family freezing up from my behind me. I thought that it was a good thing Jacob hadn't been invited.
Then Aro would have been vampire bits.
"Vanessa," he said, as if tasting it, "are there any particular powers you can share with us? One as remarkable as yourself and with that beautiful eye color, there must be something even more special about you."
I wanted to ask my family if it was a good idea to tell him my real power. On the flight over here, we had come up with a good story about my changing but we never even thought about my power. I decided to go ahead and tell him the truth. I, Renesmee Cullen, was blocked completely from his mind.
"Actually, I do have a power," I swallowed, nervously. "I can show people images by touching them." Aro hooded his eyelids, smirking in the slightest. I could see the playfulness in his eyes.
"Show me," he spoke … a little seductively. Ew, creepy, I thought.
I touched him lightly on the hand and marveled for just a brief second on how cold his skin was, even to mine. It was so strange – like touching dry ice. I showed him an image of me walking through the Volturi castle with my family.
When I pulled away, he clapped his hands together. "Marvelous!" he exclaimed. "That is a wonderful power, Vanessa Cullen!" He paused, becoming just a little bit serious. "Have you considered working for the Volturi? I know you would be an important asset to our …" He smiled darkly, "team."
"I have," I said. "Carlisle told me what would be in it for me. But I have to turn you down. I'm happy being a Cullen now and forever. So the answer is a no," I could see the disappointment flicker in his eyes, "but thank you for asking."
Jacob turned around to face me. "Nessie, what's wrong?" he asked me straight out. "You've been acting weird all day. Is something the matter? Did that stupid vampire do something to you? Because you know I've been looking for an opportunity to kill him. He's also distracting Leah from her work. She has work, you know, and he is keeping her away from it."
Dominic, I thought, rolling my eyes.
"Well, they are together," I replied, crossing my arms and looking at him stupidly. "She has a right to be distracted every once in a while. That's what being in love is all about, isn't it?" It was sarcasm, of course; there was a lot more in it than that but still … being distracted was one of the benefits … or consequences.
He glared at me. "You don't distract me from my work," he huffed, crossing his arms like a little boy throwing a tantrum. Stubborn werewolf, I smirked.
"Oh, really, and if I ask Leah about this, she'll completely agree?" I raised an eyebrow in battle, asking him if he had anything else to say just with the action. His eyes flared and he spun around, ripping the branches away with more ferocity than before.
"Would she?" I called after him and he just walked faster. I laughed and ran to keep up with him until his embarrassment passed.
Leah and Dominic, what to say about them? Well, there was the obvious: Leah Clearwater — the beautiful, untouchable, vampire-hater, werewolf Leah Clearwater — had imprinted on the handsome, untouchable, werewolf-hater, vampire Dominic Oakly.
It was strange, seeing them together. They didn't go to school with my family and I. Jacob didn't even go with us; he went to part-time community college and worked at a restaurant in Port Angeles. Instead, they spent a lot of their time arguing amongst random leaves of absences, and working their own separate jobs.
While Leah went to college with Jacob — Dominic was not happy about it, by the way — Dominic would work with Carlisle at the hospital as a resident. It turned out that he had been through medical school once or twice and could pass (just barely but enough) as a resident.
They were such an odd pair but they worked well together. They were like vanilla and chocolate ice cream, yin and yang, black and white, vampire and werewolf. But they were so perfect together. They fit, like a puzzle piece.
It was strange, knowing that the only woman werewolf had finally imprinted, but it was a relief for Jacob, Seth, Sue, Charlie, Sam, the rest of the family, and me. Leah — and Dominic — had been so lonely for so long that we were happy that they had each other.
I watched as Dominic growled low in his throat. Leah — as a human — glared at him from across the clearing. Jacob and I were watching quietly from behind a bush, hoping that they were too mad at each other to get mad at the eavesdroppers listening.
"Seriously?" Leah was asking. "You're seriously growling at me. What are we, Dominic? Animals?" She laughed at her own joke. Dominic gave her a look and cross his arms across his chest. She did the same, smirking at him.
"She's been with you too much. She's laughing at her own jokes," I whispered to Jacob. He turned to me, eyes wide with mock anger, and he put his finger on his mouth, shushing me.
Dominic was glaring darkly at Leah. "You are infuriating, Leah Clearwater. I apologize that I want to get away from the pack and Jacob Black, even if it is just a week. Is it so awful that I want you to go with me out there?"
She widened her eyes. "Yes, Dominic, it is awful that you want me to go with you," she replied in a British accent; Jacob shook his head, trying to contain his laughter. "You should have told me earlier. You should know this by now. I like planning. I like to plan things ahead of time. The fact that the plane leaves tonight for your summer home, which is God knows where, doesn't exactly thrill me."
"I repeat, infuriating," he repeated himself. "I thought that women liked this kind of thing, Leah."
I could feel that the fight was drawing to a rapid close.
"You've been with me nearly every single day for six months and you think that … this would be romantic?" Leah rolled her eyes, walking over to Dominic slowly. He stood; his arms still crossed, he even pouted his lip in just the slightest. He had changed so much since the battle, I thought. His icy exterior melted, even if just the slightest. Leah, quite literally, warmed him up.
She reached him and, very carefully placed her hands on either side of his face. He closed his eyes and his hands dropped. She said, "Dominic, look at me." He blinked and looked at her with an unreadable expression.
"You don't have to do things like this," she said. "I don't need surprise getaways or really nice things because I already have a getaway and a really nice thing. And he's here all the time … even if he is a vampire." Her fingertips played with the hair on the nape of his neck.
She kissed him softly on the mouth.
He cracked a small smile. "So," he said after a long moment. They broke away. Dominic put a finger to his chin, like he was thinking. "You want me to cancel the flight? I would have to call the airport, and the staff back at the home. I guess it would be hard getting a wolf through security anyway. Alright, let's go —"
He turned around.
"Wait," Leah said seriously. I could see Dominic raise an eyebrow, his smile turned to a smirk. He spun back around and waited. "I never said that I didn't want to go. I just would like to know a few weeks in advance, is all."
"I believe you did say you did not want to go," he laughed, "back when you said, 'yes, Dominic, it is awful that you asked me to go with you.'" He smirked and she glared. Jacob and I snickered from the bushes.
"Okay, fine, I'll give you that, bloodsucker, but I'm starting to think that this getaway sound pretty good," she glanced directly at the bushes Jacob and I were hiding in. Immediately we sucked in a breath, trying to cover ourselves up, even though we knew that we were totally busted.
Seth had imprinted on a girl I met in school the very first day. Her name was Jennifer and she was a senior, two years older than the age I was passing for. She was beautiful, with chocolate skin and long, black hair. She had these piercing brown eyes that could see straight through your soul. One sunny day, I went school — my skin hadn't changed at all so the sunlight didn't make it shine — and Seth picked me up.
As soon as he saw Jennifer, he fell in love.
Since then, they had nearly been inseparable. Jennifer had freaked out a bit when we told her that vampires existed and that I was one of them. But then she just smiled and asked, "I always knew that you looked at me like I was something to eat, Nessie."
She was a great friend and she was perfect with Seth.
Wendy and Austin left Forks a couple days after I woke up. They returned back to Arizona to their cabin in the woods, where they would spend the rest of eternity together. I told them I would come and visit them soon; it's been two years and I haven't visited them yet. But I planned to next summer.
Katherine and Casey were planning on visiting in about two weeks and they were going to stay here in Forks for the rest of the summer. I was so excited to see them. I had been e-mailing Katherine every single day and we even called each other once or twice a month.
They were great wherever they were in Japan. She told me that they were living in a small town, near another vampire couple. They were vegetarians, but only after they had convinced them to try the new lifestyle. She and Casey got married three months after the battle.
She was so happy.
"So, Katherine," I said, pacing my room.
"Yes?" she asked over the phone.
"How's Casey? You guys sick of each other yet?" I asked, laughing. Katherine joined in too because we both knew how ridiculous that was. They were never sick of each other. "But seriously, what's new? It's been ages since I've talked to you!"
"Absolutely, I'm sick to death of him," she chuckled. "But, seriously, everything is great. Our first anniversary was three days ago and Casey took me out to the woods behind our little house. They're so like the Castle's woods. The trees are huge and the moon shines everything. He took me out there and there's this smell clearing that we both like to go to."
I sat on my bed and grabbed my pillow, clutching it tightly to my chest. "He had brought his guitar with him, so we sat down by a tree and he played for me. He sang the same song he did when he proposed to me. It was so sweet, Renesmee. And he got me this beautiful necklace. I'll show it to you when I come visit."
"When is that?"
She sighed. "We're struggling just a little bit with money, but, we should save up to visit in the next couple of years." I could picture her nodding on the other end of the phone, as she spoke quietly into the receiver. I could practically see the gears in her head working, planning out the next year in her life.
"If you need money, Katherine, Grandpa Carlisle won't have any problem —"
"No!" Katherine said. "No, Casey and I are fine. We want to build up our own living here. We don't want to borrow any money from anyone. Don't worry, Renesmee, we will come see you next year. Please, I know you're freaking out. Stop freaking."
I had jumped up from my bed and started pacing my bedroom. After she told me to stop freaking, I immediately listened to her. Katherine had always had that aura about her. She should be a queen somewhere; the way people listen to her was phenomenal.
"Okay," I replied calmly and took a deep breath. "So, I'll see you in about a year?"
Jacob and I continued walking through the woods. The heat was increasing, though it didn't affect me at all. I was still perfectly cool walking. Jacob, however, was starting to perspire; his russet skin was glistening in the patches of sunlight.
Before any branch had the chance to come near him or me, he already had his hand up, pushing it away. He avoided every thorny plant, every slippery rock, or woodland creature home with perfect ease. He knew these woods better than anyone did. When I went to school and he didn't have college, he was always out here, running, exploring, and changing.
He stayed immortal that way. And he stayed immortal, so he could be with me. Well, that and his beta — since she imprinted a vampire also — and even my parents. Despite his earlier judgments, he had made friends with my vampire family and friends.
"We're almost there, Renesmee," Jacob said quietly from in front of me. If I didn't have my vampire-hearing, I wouldn't have been able to hear him. And he knew that. When he gets nervous, he seems to lose touch with reality a bit. He becomes quieter, very unlike Jacob Black.
Maybe, I thought, this day has something to do with Jacob.
It must have been.
We reached the end of the forest. In front of us were huge cliff with smooth rocks and a huge drop off about ten feet away from Jacob and I. Above me, the sky was covered with clouds, not unusual for the wonderful town of Forks, Washington.
It occurred to me where we were right now. Jacob was now standing behind me. Without realizing it, I had bypassed him to look at the cliffs I had been dreaming off jumping off of since I was little. I looked back at him now to see him smirking; his arms cross proudly over his chest.
"Seriously?" I asked. What I really wanted to say was: Are you seriously going to let me jump off the cliff? You know that I've wanted to jump off of this cliff since I was born. Don't screw with me, Jacob. Because if you are, I'm going to kill you. Seriously!?
And the best part about Jacob?
He got the unsaid message.
"Seriously," he replied. "I finally got permission from your parents to take you out here. They thought you were old enough, finally, to jump off the cliff with the best." He pointed to himself and his smirk broadened. I started to smile and then laughed out loud.
"We're going to jump off a cliff!" I screamed and ran over to him. He readily caught me as I jumped up on him. His strong arms wrapped around my back; my legs wrapped around his waist. I kissed him hard on the mouth. "Thank you so much. You know how much this means to me."
I set my feet back down on the ground and he let me go. We walked over steadily to the edge of the cliff. Down below me, the waves rolled, lapping higher and higher on the cliff wall. They looked pissed off, I thought obviously. There was a small twinge of fear in my stomach.
My human side was taking over again.
Jacob grabbed my hand and I felt calm. There was no need to be afraid, I told myself silently. Not only was I a vampire and I would survive this — I mean, my mom had when she was human — but I would have Jacob jumping with me — who had more than enough experience — and I knew he'd never let anything happen to me.
I looked up at him and smiled, biting my lip.
"Ready, bloodsucker?" he asked, squeezing my hand. Behind him, the cloudy sky framed his face, making his dark skin pop. I blinked and nodded, breaking out of my revere.
We laughed and then backed up. Our hands broke and we ran to the edge. The rocks were smooth under my feet, even through my tennis shoes. We launched ourselves off the edge of the cliff and I became weightless. I laughed and screamed on the way down. Jacob did as well.
I felt the air rushing up through my hair, the feel of the ocean mist on my skin, but it didn't actually process through my head. The only thing I could feel was ecstasy. I was so happy, filled with so much joy, that I wasn't afraid.
We hit the water hard. It took my breath away but I didn't need to breathe. Everything was dark under here. I couldn't see much; no animals, no sand, no rocks, or any plants. I could see the light up above and we crashed through the surface, taking a big breath when we got to the top.
Jacob grabbed me and pulled me close to him. I was shivering, though I wasn't supposed to be cold. His body was hot against my skin and it warmed me up. He kissed the top of my head tenderly and I lifted my eyes to meet his.
"I love you," he said.
I smiled. "I love you too."
His eyes searched for mine. I was suddenly feeling like I still didn't know what today was. Obviously, it was important. I mean, we just jumped off a cliff. But there was something else. What was that something else? Jacob seemed to be looking for it too.
Or, perhaps, he had already found it.
"Two years ago today," he said quietly, "the Volturi took you away from me." I remembered now and looked away. I could feel my face fall, just the slightest but enough for Jacob and me to notice. It was two years ago today that I had run away from him, trying to save his life.
"And it was very hard, those six months that we couldn't see each other every day, do things together whenever we wanted, or even, really, think about each other. And, I think now is finally the right time to ask you the question I've been waiting to ask you since I came back to Forks without you."
Curiously, I met his eyes again. They weren't angry or sad; they didn't hold judgment or regret. I could only see love shining through his dark beautiful dark eyes.
One hand pulled away from me in the water. I backed away from him, giving him a little more room. I kicked up, floating in the cooler water. He struggled to get something in his pocket. Finally, when he pulled it out, I saw it shine for just the briefest moment.
And then it disappeared.
He pulled me back to him and I gave him a look. "What's going on Jacob?" I asked. I wanted to say something witty and sarcastic, hopefully to lighten the mood but nothing came to mind.
"Remember the day you found out that I imprinted on you?" he countered. The question took me off guard, but I nodded because I did. I remembered sitting in the woods, crying over that boy — what was his name? — and Jacob coming to save me, just like always.
"Well, on that day you told me that it was easy as breathing being around me," he said. "I always remembered that because that's how it was when I was human and around your mother. And it's always been that way when I'm with you. But, when you said it was like your heart beating, because you knew that it was always there, but it was no effort to keep it going, it got me thinking.
"Your heart will stop beating eventually, I thought on that day. And then what would happen? How will it be the same when you were different?" He pulled up the glistening object so I could see it. There, two inches from my eyes was a simple, silver, beautiful ring.
"And I think I've finally figured it out."
My lips were trembling. I was looking from the ring back to his face, trying to comprehend the situation. My life flashed before my eyes, which I thought ironic because that was only supposed to happen before you died. He smiled at me.
"Renesmee Cullen," he said. "Marry me."
Not a question, I thought, and my full name. He was serious. And I didn't have a choice. He imprinted on me for a reason; everything happened for a reason. My mother met my father because they were meant to be together; my father left because my mother was supposed to meet Jacob. I was born because Jacob was supposed to imprint on me. I went away, so I could meet Dominic. Dominic changed because he was supposed to be with Leah.
Jacob imprinted on me, because we were supposed to be together.
"Okay," I said. "Yes." He slipped the ring on my left hand, ring finger and then kissed me hard on the mouth. I ran my finger through his wet hair. He tightened his hold around my back. His lips left mine and he kissed me on my both cheeks and then on my temple.
We started to swim for shore. I held my hand as a fist so the ring had no chance of escaping me. As we reached shore, I thought of something. "Just for the record," I said. Jacob looked at me and grabbed my hand automatically.
Our shoes sloshed on the sand.
"Just for the record," I repeated. "Just because my heart has stopped, doesn't mean being around you would have been any harder. Nothing's changed, Jacob. Well," I paused, "everything's changed but I don't feel any differently about you. Okay?"
We stopped and he studied my face. His eyes were radiating love and joy and happiness and even, just the slightest bit scared. His beautiful face stared at me and I realized then that I didn't care that I would live forever. I wasn't worried about what would happen in the future because it didn't matter.
Right now, right here, in this moment. This mattered. Nothing else did. The Volturi didn't matter and neither did those six months I was away. Nothing mattered now because I was here. With him. Nothing else was easier than it was being around Jacob.
It was easier than my heart beating, easier than living forever.
As easy as breathing.
A/N — Oh my goodness; the story is finally over. It's been nearly a year and now it's finally over. I just … I can't believe it. It's like – ridiculous. What am I supposed to do now? XD. I hope you enjoyed the very last chapter in "Easy as Breathing"! It was a ton of fun to write and I really appreciate everyone who made it to the end. Just so you know, there WILL NOT be a sequel. As you can see, there really isn't anywhere else to go with this story; at least not for me.
As always I want to thank my amazing reviewers and readers. You guys always bring me up with I'm down and don't know where to go. Giving me suggestions, following me on Twitter, PMing me, and looking at the pictures I put up on my website all mean so much to me. I know I say that a lot, and I'm becoming repetitive, but it's true. You guys are awesome!
A BIG THANK YOU to all of the friends I know personally: Wendy (as in Wendy Peder), Sadie (as in Katherine Hayashi), Sam, Tiffany, and everyone else who had to listen to me as I gushed over this story. It means a lot to me that you read and encouraged me to get this far. I mean, I'M DONE! I can't believe it! =]
Though this story is finished, I'm hopefully not done with Twilight fanfiction. I'm very busy this year so I want to see how everything goes and I'm not making any promises, but I hope to write some more! Follow me on Twitter, or add me as a friend on Livejournal, to get periodic updates!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!