Close encounters of the Supermarket kind
Summary: Bella learns for the first time just how hard being a Cullen can be when she runs into someone from her human life.
Spoilers: Breaking Dawn
"Okay honey, look around. Do any of these smell even slightly appealing to you?" My beautiful daughter sitting in the shopping cart shook her head and I sighed. We were in the cereal isle of the thriftway and I was, for what felt like the thousandth time, trying to interest my baby in some human food. Life would be so much easier for her if she could just open the fridge whenever she got hungry.
Renesmee loved going into town, something she didn't get to do often. So when Esme had announced she wanted to have a barbecue for the packs to thank them for their help with the Volturi I'd offered to do the shopping so I could take her. Jacob, who cherished every minute he could spend with Nessie away from the vampire stench, was happily looking for snacks a few isles away.
"Come on sweetie, look at all the pretty boxes! Doesn't anything look even a little edible?"
"No!" Nessie crossed her tiny arms over her chest and pouted. She was not one for temper tantrums but she was getting annoyed with me. The expression on her face combined with the little pink jumper and shoes Alice had dressed her in had me melting in a second. I couldn't help myself as I bent down to kiss her cheeks, her forehead, her nose. Her beautiful baby laugh egged me on and I tickled her gently. Her hands on my cheeks showed me happiness and love. Apparently I was forgiven for trying to force her into buying human food. I laughed with her.
"Bella?" A surprised voice stopped me in my tracks. It was a dreadfully familiar voice. I looked up to see Jessica standing at the other end of the isle, holding a box of cake mix. A bunch of emotions crossed her face, surprise, intrigue, jealousy, confusion and finally excitement.
"Bella! It is you! Wow you look..." She walked towards me with her arms open and I quickly scooped up Renesmee so Jess wouldn't be able to hug me. My skin was too cold and hard, not to mention human proximity still made me a little nervous.
Renesmee hid her face in my hair. She showed me that she understood Jessica was a human and that she'd stay quiet and play the part of a two year old.
"Oh wow!" Jess said when she finally reached us. "Who is this?"
"This is my daughter, Renesmee." I answered her truthfully. I was expecting her reaction but I still felt uneasy when her eyes popped open so widely it looked like they were going to fall out of her head. I could see her taking in Renesmee's appearance, doing the math, trying to make things fit. I wished Edward could've been there, I'm sure in the few seconds it took me to explain, Jess had come up with a great number of strange theories to justify Renesmee's existence.
"Edward's biological brother passed away. The authorities tracked us down and we adopted her last fall."
"Wow! That's... wow!" That seemed to be the only coherent word she could muster. I was presenting her with the biggest piece of gossip she'd heard in months. "But you two are so young! I mean you're nineteen! What happened to college?"
"Oh we're going to college!" I lied quickly "It was just a matter of arranging schedules... We fell in love with her the second we first saw her. She's our whole life now."
Renesmee was showing me curiosity. She knew the cover story about her adoption already, but the college thing was new. She wondered what about this stranger had made me nervous enough to make that up on the spot. When she realized I couldn't answer her she turned around in my arms to see Jess for herself.
Jessica gasped and I understood her reaction perfectly. She didn't know me well enough to realize, the way Charlie had done, that Nessie's eyes were very similar to my own, but she could see her undeniable beauty.
While she struggled for words I heard Jacob's light footsteps approaching behind me. I looked back to see him. He was rounding the corner, an open bag of chips in his hands. He was looking down, reading something on the back of the bag. He stopped at the end of the isle. I realized that even though he could probably hear there was someone close to us he couldn't tell that someone was having a conversation with me.
"Bella, honey, I know I practically begged you to bring your Ferrari but I'm starting to think it might not have been such a good idea."
I could see Jessica's eyebrows rise almost all the way to her hairline at the word honey. Jake hadn't called me that in months. He picked a hell of a time to go back to his old habit. He carried on, still oblivious to Jess's inquisitive ear. "I mean the Ferrari is incredible but with the amount of food we're buying I think we might have to call Edward and have him bring the Volvo. I guess it was a pretty stupid idea, bringing your tiny car to the grocery store when we're buying food for a whole pack of..."
"Jake!" I interrupted. "You remember my friend Jessica?"
Jacob looked up, startled by my outburst. Renesmee showed me how confused she was by my stressful stance and Jessica's excited, hungry eyes. I was giving her enough fuel to keep the gossip going for months. Jake paled slightly at the sight of my old school friend.
"Oh yes of course! Jessica was it?"
"Hum... hi." Jess smiled. Renesmee showed me even more confusion at the awkwardness.
I had always been a terrible liar and was having a harder time than usual coming up with reasonable explanations when Nessie kept replaying every moment of the situation. I reached into my pocket and held out my cell phone "Jake, why don't you call Edward? Have him meet us at the cash registers." He closed the distance between us in two long strides, eager to get away from Jess's curious but appreciative eyes. "Here, take the baby." I added.
He reached for Nessie automatically and she practically jumped into his arms, hungry for some answers. I could read the worry in Jake's eyes and I shook my head infinitesimally to show him I could handle the situation on my own.
"Come on Ness, I think I saw a book you might like." I could see Renesmee pressing her hand firmly against his neck as they rounded the corner. With a sigh, I turned back to meet my friend's inquisitive stare.
"Well erm... Wow Bella! Your life has surely changed since I last saw you!"
"Yeah! And it's definitely been for the best. We're a happy little family now." I smiled.
"You look so different though..." She frowned.
"That's what love does to you, I hear." I mentally slapped myself at my stupid explanation. Jessica frowned but didn't comment on my appearance anymore. Let her form her own conclusions. Knowing her she probably thought Carlisle experimented new plastic surgery technology on all of his adopted kids.
"Well how long are you in town for?" She clapped her hands excitedly.
"Oh just tonight! We really have to get back." I lied quickly before she could come up with any activity that would involve me meeting any more people from my past life.
"Oh well that sucks! I wanted to have a girls night out or something! Well are you staying at the Cullens'? I could go visit you tonight!"
"No!" I answered with a little too much force. The idea of Jessica being anywhere near that many vampires and werewolves had me shaking in my socks. "I mean... no, we're not staying at the Cullens, we're staying with my dad. We hardly ever get to see him anymore so..."
"Oh well then I'll go over tonight and we can talk a little before you go away again! Losing touch is so awful! I mean, look at everything that's changed in your life and no one knew!"
"Ah well actually Jess... Edward and I have a small family thing this afternoon..."
"That's perfect! I'm going to Port Angeles with my mom but I'll be back by ten and I'll stop by your dad's then okay?"
I could see that every time I tried to refuse her she became even more curious and suspicious so with a great sigh I finally agreed. "That would be great Jess. I'll see you tonight okay? I really need to get going now though; Edward is probably waiting for me. You know how he drives."
"I'll walk you to the registers, come on." She linked her arm with mine and I stiffened for a second. I thanked the heavens for the fluffy sweater I was wearing. She couldn't feel the coldness of my skin.
When she saw Edward she released me. She seemed a little disappointed. I could see murder in Edward's eyes and I rushed over to him quickly. I'd had to ask about that later. He was holding Nessie to him with one arm but he tangled his free hand in my hair and pulled me in for a deep kiss. Jacob was already pushing a cart full of groceries to the exit.
"Hello Jessica." He greeted her evenly. "Bella, love, Esme is waiting. We need to get this things home now."
"Okay." I agreed quickly. He handed me Renesmee so he could pay for the things in my shopping cart. "Well, I guess we'll see you later." I forced a smile for Jessica and she nodded.
"Most definitely!" She assured me with a smile of her own.
I suppressed a groan as my mind ran through the possible consequences of our little encounter.
A/N: This will be a small story, just a couple of more chapters. As always, I'm sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes. English is my second language. If you notice a mistake that I keep repeating please tell me so I can fix it.