Disclaimer: Twilight is the creation and property of Stephenie Meyer. This fanfiction is nothing more than an homage to her series of books. Any references to plot devices/characters/etc. used in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, or the draft of Midnight Sun belong exclusively to Stephenie Meyer. This is a fan-created story.
Author's Note: Thank you very much for all of the wonderful reviews for the last post! This chapter took forever to write. Sorry about that. I hope it was worth the wait. IMPORTANT: Poll at end of chapter! What kind of story would you guys like to read next? Please include your vote in your review! Notes to any reviewer who didn't sign in, as well. A word about magic in this chapter – I did a little research and modeled the end result after patterns I saw. However, none of it could be considered "legitimate" magic and I don't pretend to know anything about it. Please enjoy.
"Nunquam lamiae morde me dice. (Never say 'bite me' to a vampire.)"
"I'm sorry. I'm being so rude. Emily, Renesmee. Renesmee, this is my cousin Emily."
Emily's eyes never left Renesmee. "I can't believe it," she murmured. "I don't know how I missed it."
"You mean, you didn't know?" Ed chortled. "You didn't know Astoria has acquired its very own set of things that go bump in the night? That you had blood-drinkers sitting in English Lit with you?"
"I don't understand," Nessie said. "Why are you doing this?" She tried hard to keep her voice from shaking, but it did anyway.
"See, the thing is, Re-nes-mee," Ed said, sounding out each syllable in her name. "Emily has a real problem with you undead bunch. Apparently, you guys like to murder toddlers, isn't that right, Emmy?"
Emily hadn't moved since she'd locked eyes with Nessie. She stared coldly at the girl inside the cage, her eyes dark with pain. "Shut up, Ed. Let's just get on with it."
Ed smiled, "We will. But I'd really like to let the tension build first. There's no hurry."
"What are you going to do?" Renesmee found herself asking.
Emily frowned, "You told me you had bait to catch vampires. Let's catch vampires."
"We will," he waved a hand dismissively.
"That's why I'm here," she told him, firmly. "That's why I came over here."
"So let's get on with it. How long do you think it will take for them to find her?"
"Haven't you heard? Patience is a virtue." Ed was toying with something on a table next to him. He raised it in his hand. It was a long, thin, metal shaft with a twisted shape on its end. It reminded Nessie of a fire poker that sat in her grandfather's study.
"What is that?" Emily snapped.
"What does it look like?"
"This wasn't part of the plan, Ed," Emily looked upset.
"Oh, what do you care? She's just an animal, right?" Without warning, the metal rod shot through the bars of the cage and hit Renesmee in the stomach. A searing, hot pain pulsed through her like fire. She cried out once, falling to the cement floor.
"Ed!" Emily said, her mouth open in shock.
"This really is a handy little thing, isn't it?" Ed examined the tip of the device. "Electricity," he explained to Renesmee, where she lay, gasping on the ground. "Like a taser on steroids. Actually," he turned to Emily. "The amount of voltage I just used should have stopped her heart. Kinda cool, huh?"
Emily backed away from him a step, "Ed, this is not what we…"
"Shut up!" he ordered, pointing the rod in her direction. His face was hard, his mouth cruel. Emily flinched and Ed smiled again. "Seriously, Em, I thought you'd enjoy this. Here we have a real, honest-to-goodness vampire right here. Don't you want to take out some of that rage? Huh? Why do you think I invited you over here? Because I needed your help?" he chuckled.
Emily stared at Nessie, who was struggling to stand. "But what about the trap?"
Ed rolled his eyes, "Honestly, Emily, get off that trap shit. It wouldn't work, anyway." He dangled the stone around his neck as if that explained it. "They're not gonna find her. They're not gonna find us. This is more fun, anyway." He held out the poker to her. "Why don't you give it a try?"
"That's not…she's not…" Emily faltered.
"Not what? Not a vampire? Not a murderer? Maybe not. But her parents are. Her family is. Soulless, disgusting monsters that drink the blood of children, Emily! Children like Sammy!" Ed's eyes were wild with triumph.
Emily shook her head, tears filling her eyes, "Don't…"
"Why are you shaking your head?" Ed roared. "You know it's true, Emily! A vampire murdered your baby sister! Snapped her neck and sucked her dry!"
"Stop it," Emily
sobbed. "I don't want to talk about…" She looked at Renesmee,
black mascara running down her face. A wretching sound came from her
throat and she bolted up the stairs, a hand covering her mouth.
Ed shook his head, "Some people. No stomach." His blue eyes roamed the length of Renesmee's body. "All alone again. How ever will we fill the time?"
She felt her heart thudding in her ears as he stepped towards her, a hand outstretched to touch her through the cage.
A loud crash from above them made him pause. He growled in frustration, "Why do I have to take care of everything?" He spun on his heel and started for the stairs, the rod still in his hand. He stopped on the first step, "Don't worry, honey. We have all the time in the world."
The door at the top of the stairs slammed shut. Renesmee let the hot tears roll silently across her cheeks as she slid back down to the floor, her body wracked with pain. She leaned her head against the cinderblock wall, not feeling the cold, and not caring. She imagined her family, her parents sick with worry, all of them frantically searching for her. Then again…had they even noticed she hadn't come home? She wasn't sure what time it was. It felt late. She had no idea how long she had been unconscious. The thought tightened the knots in her stomach.
And then it happened. All the fear and pain in her dissolved and she felt a rage growing in her core. All the worry, the discontent with her family, the embarrassment of not being "normal" faded. She thought of her parents, their beauty and strength. She tried to imagine them in this situation. She couldn't. Nothing could hold them, tie them down, or hurt them. And she was like them, wasn't she? A Cullen…Suddenly, Renesmee was very, very angry. A little cage in some weirdo's basement was going to contain her? Ed wanted a monster? He would get a monster.
"You know I think it's rash," Carlisle said, his eyes sad.
"My daughter is in the hands of some perverted fanatics and you think I'm being rash?" Edward was seething.
His father held up a hand, as if to calm his son, "If Renesmee is in danger because of Ed, I highly doubt his mother will help us."
"The address the school listed is an empty house on 8th Street," Jasper said, snapping his cell phone shut. "Alice says no one's lived there in years. She and Bella are on their way back now."
"We can't just sit here," Jacob growled, his teeth gritting. He had been phasing frantically back and forth between human and wolf, unable to control the waves of anger and fear coursing through him.
Edward's head whipped up, his eyes on something far away.
The rest of the search party tensed.
Still in his hand, Jasper's phone vibrated with a text. "Alice," he announced, needlessly, flipping the phone open again. "SHE'S COMING," it read. He frowned and looked up at his brother.
"Emily," Edward said aloud. He sounded startled. "She's…coming to help."
Renesmee brushed furiously at the stockpile of tears drying on her cheeks and eyed the lock on the door. It was a wide, heavy piece of metal but simple enough. She was fairly confident she could pick the thing open, given enough time. Drawing in a deep, ragged breath, she wound her hands between the bars, her fingers grasping the lock. She pulled a bobby pin from her hair. Her bangs fell in her eyes. She smiled grimly, thankful for once that Alice had insisted on styling her hair that morning. She straightened it and pushed it deftly through the small key hole, feeling for the gentle pressure of the holding pin. She pushed downwards, waiting for the small sound that might indicate the release of the mechanism. Nothing. She tried again, focusing, visualizing the pin pulling free. Click.
Her heart sped up as she pulled the lock from the bars. The door swung reluctantly open, groaning loudly. She froze, listening for the sound of Ed or Emily returning to investigate. It was quiet, except for the steady hum of the fluorescents on the ceiling.
Renesmee's eyes darted around the room, searching for something, anything, she might use as a weapon. She would bite him, she decided. She wondered if that technically broke Cullen house rules. Nessie rolled her eyes. She would apologize later.
Emily stepped through an opening in the trees, her wide-eyes brimming with pain and fear. In her hands, she clutched a flashlight. It's small pinpoint of light shook, casting shadows in the leaves above them.
"Where is she? Where is my daughter?" Edward asked, frantically. Unintentionally, he stepped forward into a half-crouch. Emily gasped and began to back away.
Jacob had phased again and he snapped his teeth viciously at her approach.
Carlisle held up a hand in warning and gestured non-threateningly in the girl's direction. "Can we help you?"
Emily stood frozen several yards from them, her hand grasping at a mossy tree trunk for support.
"Where is she, Emily? We need to know." Carlisle's voice was kind but firm. Jasper appeared at his side, his face hard as he concentrated on calming the group.
"I…I know what…who…you're…" she broke off, terrified, her eyes on the wolf's sharp white teeth.
"It's alright, child," Carlisle spoke softly. "We don't mean to harm you. Do you know where Renesmee is?"
Emily nodded, gulping, "He has her. In his basement. It's…a secret."
"Why can't we track him?"
"Ed is…different. Our family can do things. He has...well, it's hard to explain."
"Later, then. Can you take us to him?"
"It's difficult to find. He's used a spell. It masks things."
"Please, if there's any chance…" Esme murmured.
Her face was torn, tears beginning to fall. She shook her head, wildly, "I can't do this! I can't…I hate what you are. I hate that you exist. You—you aren't…I can't trust any of you!"
Edward staggered forward, his whole body trembling. He stopped a foot away from the frightened girl and fell to his knees. "I'm very sorry about your sister. I'm sorry that no one was there to protect her that night," Edward said, fighting to control his voice. "No one should have to live through that." He gasped, fighting the pain, turning agonized eyes up to her. "But, please, don't take my daughter away from me. She would never hurt anyone. And she's all alone. Just like Samantha was that night. Please don't let him hurt her. I can't bear it. Please." His voice broke.
Emily stared at him for a long moment before nodding. "Alright," she whispered.
Renesmee struggled to quiet her breathing as she tiptoed up the stairs. Every step seemed to thud in her ears in time with her heartbeat. She opened the door, praying desperately that Ed would not be waiting for her on the other side. The hallway was empty.
Moving noiselessly, she stepped through the door, looking nervously back and forth. No Ed. Turning to the left, she saw a long hallway leading to another door. Hope surged in her for a moment. She ran towards it, her hands outstretched.
Above her in the darkness, someone chuckled. "Oh, Renesmee," Ed called in a singsong voice. "Where aaaaarrrreee you?"
She choked back the sob in her throat and tugged at the door handle. It wouldn't move. She pulled again, harder. Again and again she pulled. Straining herself, she twisted the handle with all of her strength. It gave way, making a loud cracking sound. The door opened and she bolted through it into a large bedroom. She glanced around, frantically searching for a window or another door. There was nothing.
Despite her own resolve, she felt herself giving way to the panic. She heard footsteps, loud and menacing, echo as they drew nearer to the door. A large shadow appeared in the light from the hallway. Nessie whimpered and braced herself as the door swung open.
Jacob felt like he had been running for hours. Emily had unwillingly allowed herself to be pulled onto Bella's back and now led the group of vampires and werewolves through the trees at a break-neck pace. Edward and Jacob flanked her, the ground blurring beneath them.
Slightly to his left and behind, Alice seemed to float above the forest floor. Her mouth was stretched in a snarl, her eyes dark with the hunt. He turned his muzzle to the right. Edward's eyes were black and dangerously vacant of emotion. Jacob knew if he turned to look, he would see a similar expression in each of their eyes.
We're gonna kill him, right? Seth growled, mentally.
No shit, Sherlock, Leah muttered in her head.
I'm telling, Mom, you're swearing in front of me.
Shut up, turd.
Focus, you two, Jacob ordered. He put on another burst of speed, leaving the others a little behind him.
Hey, Jacob, Leah called.
Save a bite for me.
His teeth pulled back in a wolf grin and he barked an affirmative.
"This just keeps getting more and more fun," Ed laughed, delightedly as he pushed the door open. In his hand the metal baton looked just as menacing as it had in the basement.
Renesmee crouched in the corner, trapped between the bed and the wall. She fought to keep her face smooth and breathing even.
Ed took a step towards her.
"Don't touch me," she warned him.
"Why? What are you going to do about it, Nessie?" he asked, an amused smile around his lips.
Not giving herself time to hesitate, she threw herself at him, teeth bared. The taser-rod went flying through the air.
Startled, Ed fell back and Renesmee landed fully on top of him. She bent her head and buried her teeth in his throat.
Suddenly, she felt herself fly across the room and land, with a loud crack, against the wall.
Ed's outstretched hand was pulsing, his icy blue eyes bright with anger. His other hand clutched his neck. Renesmee noted with satisfaction that the blood flowing from the wound had already begun to seep through his fingers and down his shirt.
Then her throat began to close, as if someone was pushing against her windpipe. Ed's fingers were squeezing together in the air.
"You stupid whore," he seethed. "That hurt."
Nessie gasped, fighting for air.
Ed walked towards her, shaking his head, sadly, "You were going to make me so happy, Renesmee. So sweet…so untouched." His fingers ran along her arm.
She coughed, feeling the blackness coming quickly now. So this was it. She was going to die. No one was coming for her. A series of images burned themselves behind her closed eyes. Her beautiful mother, hands spread wide to fold her into sweet, cool embrace. Her brave father, his eyes melting as he smiled and pushed her higher on the swing. And finally, Jacob, laughter in his dark eyes as he bent to lift her into his arms, the touch of his searing hot skin against her. There was no fear now. Only sadness and the dark.
And then the door across the room exploded open.
Jacob and Edward were several seconds ahead of the group as they burst into the house. The sight of Renesmee helpless in Ed's grasp crushed Jacob's insides. A howl broke through him and he leapt towards Ed, his gigantic mouth open, teeth glinting.
And suddenly, he was on the floor, yelping in surprise. Ed's hand was raised over him like a conductor's. Jacob struggled to stand, whining once. The other wolves quickly surrounded him. Seth nudged Jacob worriedly with his nose.
"Gotta say…impressive," Ed grinned at the rescue party. "Didn't think you find me so quick." He caught sight of Emily standing in the back of the group, hidden partially by Esme and Carlisle. He sighed dramatically, "Of course, my cousin always has been a tattletale. She thinks it makes up for her inability to master the magicks."
"Get your hands off my daughter," Edward spit out. As he reached out for Ed, a great force knocked him backwards.
Ed's hand pushed against the air in front of him. "Or what, vampire? You're gonna sparkle me to death?"
Edward fought to stand against the force Ed was emitting from his fingers. Behind him Emily began murmuring something softly. It sounded vaguely like a chant.
For the first time, Ed looked slightly afraid, "Shut up, Emily! Stay out of this or so help me…"
Emily continued her chanting, the words coming out haltingly.
"You're not getting out of here alive, Ed," Edward said grimly. Behind him, nearly a score of vampires and werewolves waited.
"You can't touch me," Ed said confidently, but his chin trembled slightly.
"You're a child," Edward said, calmly, taking another step towards him.
Ed pushed harder but Edward continued moving, no longer contained by Ed's hand.
"Just a little boy playing at being a wizard."
"How are you doing that?" Ed asked frustrated, his hand straining outwards.
"You don't know the first thing about real power, real strength." The vampire's mouth was set in a grim line.
"Shut up or I'll kill her." The would-be warlock's eyes were glazing over with fright.
"You don't know anything about taking a life," Edward rolled his eyes. "I've eaten pathetic, little worms like you for breakfast."
"You can't touch me!" Ed said, the fear now plain on his face. "I have the stone of protection!" He reached a hand up instinctively to feel for the charm around his neck. His eyes grew wide with panic
"You mean this?" Renesmee wheezed, holding up the necklace weakly.
"H-how?" Ed screamed, beginning to back away. Behind them, the rest of the Cullens snarled and hissed, crouched to pounce.
Jacob ran swiftly and gathered Renesmee into his arms. She buried her face in his chest.
"Renesmee!" Bella cried, running to her daughter.
Edward lifted Ed from the floor with one hand around his throat. He held him above his head, his voice deadly, teeth gritted. "I have no reason not to kill you. You are a disgusting, slimy little snit and I should break every bone in your miserable, little body. It would give me pleasure to hear you scream. I'm not a murderer, though, and as a rule, I don't shed human blood. I find it morally reprehensible."
Ed was absolutely paralyzed with fear. Small tears began to pool in the corners of his eyes.
Edward paused, studying him. "But you hurt my only daughter. And that means something entirely different to me. You see, I've lived over a century. And I've seen evil like even you couldn't imagine. But I've only been a father this once. You can understand how that might affect my judgment." He tossed Ed to Jasper and Emmett, who restrained him easily.
Ed struggled until Emmett snarled in his ear, "I'd stay really still, Harry Potter, or I might have to pull your arms off and feed them to you."
Renesmee climbed out of Jacob's arms, her expression unreadable. She stood, staring at Ed, shiny dried streaks across her face where the tears had fallen. Suddenly, Ed looked very frail and insignificant. When Nessie finally spoke, she couldn't help but smile, "You know all I have to do is say the word and you'll be dead in about ten different ways."
The wolves snapped their teeth in fierce agreement.
"But you're not worth it," she continued. "You're not even worth the clean-up. So I don't care what happens to you." She turned her back and began to walk away, "But I hope it hurts."
"Okay, folks," Jasper drawled. "I think that's our cue."
Jacob put his hands over Nessie's ears but even so, she could still hear Ed's screams as he was dragged away into the night.
Behind them, Emily cried softly in Esme's arms.
The sound of the sea was lulling as it ran its ancient path up to the edge of the shore before falling back again into itself. The sun was just beginning to light the edges of night as they all walked slowly along the beach.
Edward pulled Renesmee suddenly into a crushing embrace. His voice was tight as he spoke, "My sweet, precious Renesmee. Do you know how close we've come to losing you today?"
Nessie nodded, putting a hand to his cheek to explain everything.
He closed his eyes in pain as the images flooded his mind.
She smiled, patting her father's bronze head. Her voice recited teasingly, "In olden times there lived a King and Queen, who lamented day by day that they had no children, and yet never a one was born…"
Bella bit her lip as she brushed the hair out of Renesmee's face, "One day, as the Queen was bathing and thinking of her wishes, a Frog skipped out of the water, and said to her, 'Your wish shall be fulfilled…you shall have a daughter…So it happened."
Edward shook his head ruefully, kissing Bella's temple, "And a little girl was born who was so beautiful that the King almost lost his senses…"
"And then a handsome werewolf came along and swept her off her feet," Jacob added sheepishly from behind them.
The Cullen family turned to stare at him. Renesmee giggled and held out her arms for him. Edward released her gently, sadly.
Nessie stood on tiptoe and ran a hand through Jacob's hair, as she looked up at him. He kissed her. "And they lived happily for all of their existence."
"The end?" Jacob asked, his eyes doubtful.
"Silly werewolf," she said, ruffling his hair. "It's never the end."
Author's Note: So there you have it. 18 chapters and it's over. I was planning on 20 but it just felt right to stop here. I hope you've enjoyed reading Cutting Teeth. I'm already planning on beginning something new which is why I hope you'll vote in the poll and tell me what you think I should write next. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You're all wonderful!
POLL: What would you be most interested in reading next? Cast your vote in your review!
A) Hush-A-Bye Baby. With Renesmee fully grown and out of the house, Edward and Bella strike out on their own, posing as a young married couple. Edward decides to put those medical degrees to good use and become a doctor like his father. But what will happen when they have to become parents...again? (Post BD)
B) Made For You. It is 1933 and Edward Cullen has just met his new "sister" Rosalie Hale. Carlisle and Esme try to foster a romantic relationship between Edward and Rosalie. But Edward's having none of it. A story about Rosalie's first months as a vampire and her relationship with Edward.
C) The Drifter and the Lunatic: A Love Story. In 1948, a disillusioned drifter named Jasper Whitlock is wandering. Until he meets beautiful Alice who tells him confidently of their future life together. Jasper is enchanted but skeptical. They've spent so much time in darkness, can the light really be that close?
D) Other. Send me a suggestion or idea!
Maddy: I hope this chapter had plenty of pay-off for you. Thanks for another great review! Would love to hear what you think.
Paris: So what did you think? Thanks for reviewing! I hope you like it. :)
Sheso: Yeah, I was a little nervous about writing magic into the story but I'm glad I did. Thanks for reviewing!
Anonymous: Thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed reading this new chapter!
Maddie: Putrescent…great word. Thank you for reviewing, as always! Hope you liked the new chapter.
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Miss Megaboo: Thank you for reviewing! That really sucks about your fanfic account but thanks for explaining. Thank you for the specific comments. I've been working on the scene change tabs. Let me know if they were better in this chapter. And actually, I don't have any beta writers. When I started writing on this site, they didn't exist and I always forget they are an option. :) I hope you liked Chapter 18!
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