Title: Family Dynamics
Timeframe: Post-Breaking Dawn
Warning: Breaking Dawn Spoilers
Genre: Drama/ Humor
Characters: Charlie Swan/Sue Clearwater, Edward/Bella, Jacob, Nessie, Seth, Leah, the Cullen family, and some of the other Werewolves as well.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.
Summary: Can the pending marriage of the Vampire's dad and the Werewolves' mom make them all a big happy family?
I couldn't believe how happy I was. The past few months had blissfully flew by since the Volturi left our quiet little world of Forks, Washington, leaving our family hopefully forgotten. Today, finally, warmed up enough to allow me to enjoy my little garden around the cottage that Edward, Nessie (yeah, I will never forgive Jake for that) and I called home.
Tulips and daffodils were in full bloom, and I decided that I wanted to bring a large bouquet inside. Our house was small, but I loved it. Originally we wouldn't have need of a kitchen and one hadn't been built into the house. However, Nessie was as human as she was vampire, and we really tried to get her to experiment with human food; we had one added to the house. We also decided that since we had to use the original office space for Nessie's room, we had a den added as well. Our little three room house—not counting the bathroom and our massive closet—was now five rooms, but Esme and I both made sure it lost none of the charm that Edward and I fell in love with to begin with.
I entered the back door into my small, but cozy kitchen to find Edward at the stove cooking what smelled like omelets and fried bacon. It still amazed me at how good a cook he was…well, he looked like he knew what he was doing. Of course, either of us had any idea for sure. It all smelled incredibly unappealing to me. Edward assured me that I would eventually become desensitized to the stench of human food, just as I would to human blood. But it wasn't just the food that I smelled, and I wrinkled my nose at the wet dog smell as I leaned up to kiss my husband's amused lips.
"Those are pretty," he said as I stepped away.
"Yeah, I can't believe how many are out there. I can't wait to see the yard in another month or so."
He grinned his lopsided smile that still made me catch my breath at its beauty and said in his velvety voice, "I'm sure it will be nice, but you know I'm blinded by your beauty."
He kissed me again, and this time he deepened it. I was lost for several moments until a throat cleared loudly behind us.
"Don't mind them, Jake," a small ring-like voice chimed, a counter point to the scratching of a pencil against paper, "I'm used to it. Uncle Emmett tells me that I should just ignore the newly-weds and that I should be surprised that the house is still standing. I don't really know what he means though. Can you tell me, Jake?"
I smiled, embarrassed by Nessie's assessment, but also satisfied at Jake's sudden floundering, as I stepped away from my too gorgeous husband. I distracted myself by reaching up into the cupboard beside the sink and retrieving a vase. Finally, I looked over my shoulder at the figures at the small round table that Alice insisted wasn't the priceless antique that it appeared to be.
Edward looked at him and raised a single brow, waiting for the answer as expectantly as Nessie was. Jake swallowed and shook his head as he looked back at my eight month daughter, who was aged physically to about five. I decided to take pity on him and greeted our almost constant guest, "Jake, you're here early."
He met my gaze and breathed a silent thank you from where he and Renesme were working on a sheet of first grade math problems. A smile spread across his face as he replied, "Bells, I hope you don't mind. I wanted to see Nessie before I headed off to school."
Jake was in a flexible program that allowed him to work both independently and in the classroom. He only attended the high school in La Push for a half a day, while the other half was supposed to be dedicated to working at the local garage. However, he spent most of his time here.
I glanced over at Edward, who grunted his displeasure, or maybe it was disappointment at not being entertained by Jake's answer, as he turned away from the stove holding two plates of breakfast foods. One was piled high with bacon and eggs enough to feed at least three people, while the other was a child-sized portion.
"Okay, here you go," he said as Jake quickly gathered up Nessie's school work to make room for their breakfast.
Jake grinned as he took a big whiff and said, "Thanks, Edward. You know, for a guy who doesn't eat, you sure know how to cook."
As he watched Jake dig in with relish, Edward muttered something that sounded like, "You should know, you eat enough for all of us put together."
Jake ignored him and looked over at the little girl beside him. She was gingerly picking at the eggs and vegetable mixture with a concentrated expression on her lovely porcelain face. He swallowed a mouth full of the same and smiled as he said, "Ah, c'mon, Nessie, we had this the other day and you liked it." He picked up another fork-full and ate it with gusto.
She watched him skeptically and then decided to take her first bite. After I sat the vase of red, white and pink tulips and cheery yellow daffodils on the small sideboard, I went back to stand beside Edward. He wrapped his arm around my waist and I hugged his with both of mine, as we watched as Jake continued to make a game out of the food as Nessie giggled and tried to imitate him.
Nessie still preferred blood, but we stopped giving her donated blood. She finally relented and would have been happy with our diet of animal blood, but Carlisle suggested that we really consider feeding her more human food.
He had a good argument, or rather arguments. First, she needed all the nutrition she could get considering her phenomenal growth rate. And secondly, if she and Jake did eventually—oh, I didn't even want to think of the word—marry, she would have to be part of the human world as much as she was of ours. Jake may be a werewolf, but he still was mostly human.
Finally, they finished their breakfast and Jake cleaned up the dishes, while I got Nessie back on track with her math lesson. Edward leaned against the counter with his arms crossed over his chest and watched Jake.
After Jacob was about half way through cleaning up, Edward said, "Jake, I know this may seem strange coming from me, but I really wish you'd go back to school full time. Education is important."
I heard Jacob take a deep breath and pause in his splashing and washing. "Now you sound like my dad."
Edward raised his brow again and looked over at Nessie. Jake caught his glance and sighed.
"Oh, for crying out loud," Jake muttered. "I'm like her uncle. She's still a baby."
I was eternally happy that Jake felt like that, but Edward was concerned about the future. He turned toward him and said so low I had to strain to hear it. "Jake, I know what imprinting is and I know what it means. As much as I'd like for you to disappear, I know it isn't going to happen." Then he looked back at us and whispered, "You're good for her, Jake. In a family of vampires, you are the link to her humanity none of us can be, including Bella. But," he looked back at Jacob, "you won't be a kid forever."
Jake laid the dish towel down and snorted. "And this is coming from someone who will never be older than seventeen."
Realizing this conversation was going to become louder than whispers that Nessie so far seemed to be ignoring, I decided that it was time to remove her from the room. "Nessie, why don't you go and pick up your toys in your room. Momma will be in in a bit to help."
She looked up at me and beetled her brows. I never sent her away from her school work. She glanced up at the stern faces of her friend and her father and whispered, "Are they going to fight again?"
"Not if I can help it," I assured her and she hoped off the chair to disappear around the corner, throwing us all a skeptical look.
I stood up and moved over to them. With a firm voice that couldn't be argued with, I ordered, "Outside. Both of you." Once on the small on the back porch, I said, "Jake, you know what Edward means. You won't be stuck at seventeen forever, or rather sixteen. Once you stop phasing…"
"Well, I don't intend to stop. How can I?"
"I don't know what you mean," I responded to his acid tone.
"He can't, Bella," Edward resignedly answered for Jacob. At my puzzlement, he went on, "Nessie will stop aging once she hits about physical age twenty. If Jacob stops phasing he'll start to age, not too different from why you didn't want to turn nineteen."
"Oh…" I realized I had never thought about that. I didn't want to think about Nessie growing up before my eyes. And I especially didn't want to think about Jacob and Nessie as adults.
Fortunately, Edward saved me from further explaining myself by saying, "Jacob, I may be stuck in the body of a seventeen-year-old, but I'm almost a hundred and ten. I've graduated high school more times than I care to count and have attended college nearly as many times. I know I'll never be able to practice medicine even if I managed to become as desensitized as Carlisle is to blood, I look too young to be a doctor, but I don't care. Learning is important no matter how old, or how young, we physically are." He then smiled at me and added, "That's why Bella is taking courses over the summer through correspondence."
Jacob stared at us for a long time. I couldn't tell if we got through to him or not, but he finally muttered, "Well, I have to go. I'll say bye to Nessie on my way out."
I moved forward. Catching his arm, he met my eyes and I said, "Jake, we only care about you. Please, understand that."
"I know. Bye, Bells." He kissed my forehead quickly, and then ducked through the door and disappeared inside.
Edward moved to stand behind me and wrapped his arms around me. I took a deep breath and tried to relax in his embrace. Edward kissed my temple and said, "Don't worry too much about him, love. He's a good kid. I just hope that he graduates sometime before Nessie does."
I pulled out of his arms and turned to face him. "You know, you are much too okay with the fact that your biggest rival over me will someday become your son-in-law."
Edward laughed and shrugged. "What am I supposed to do? He isn't going away. And I really do think Nessie could do a lot worse than Jacob Black."
"Oh, you are impossible!" I exclaimed and re-entered the warmth of the kitchen.
Nessie was at the doorway between the kitchen and the living room with my cell phone pressed to her ear. She smiled and said, "No, Grandpa, here she is. She and Daddy were fighting with Jake again about school."
I gave Edward an exasperated look and he laughed. "So much for being subtle," he whispered to me.
I took the phone and put it to my ear. "Hi, Dad."
"Hi, Bella. Hey…emmm…I—" I suddenly had a bad feeling about the way Charlie was stuttering over his words.
Then I heard a voice in the background that I shouldn't be hearing at my father's house at eight AM. "Just ask her, Charlie."
"I'm getting around to it, Sue." Then he said to me, "Bell, Sue and I would like you, Edward and Nessie to meet us at the Lodge for dinner tonight. Seth and Leah will be there too. Emmm…" he paused again and I heard Sue whisper again, but I couldn't catch the words. "Ahhh…we kinda have an announcement."
And suddenly I realized my life was about to become very interesting.
Thanks for reading...