A/N: Ah alas it is here, the last chapter. I know, I know it' s a difficult thing to see, what with this story going on for four months now. Way to finish with a bang though. You've topped review record by seven with a total 27 reviews for the last chapter! The poll isn't looking to shabby either. Ok this is starting off at Charlie's house after Edward got the call from Bella. Alice, Charlie and Edward are in the living room playing poker.
With my hand already down I watch Edward and Alice stare intently into each other's eyes almost with concentrated frustration. "Come on I folded five minutes ago, let's get this hand over with." I urge.
No response came from either of them. However, a grim smile slowly pulls at the corners of Alice's pale lips. Her eyes become out of focus, no, that's not right. More like they focus somewhere else outside of our game, the room, the house. As Alice's thin, devious smile spreads wider Edward's gaze drops discouragingly to his hand.
"Cheater," he mumbles before throwing his cards across the table. Alice claps her hands in excitement and scoops up the remaining chips. I lean back in my chair and furrow my brow. Cheater? How do you really cheat in poker?
An emotion flashes through Edward's composure too fast for me to be sure that it was actually there. Was that shock? He turns to me slightly irked from losing the game, but all-in-all in a pleasant mood. "I'm just too easy to read that's all. My poker face isn't that great," he says answering my question. Did I say that out loud?
"Don't forget to wear your sunglasses next time," Alice chirps catching my attention. Voice like an angel, I'm practically butter. "Does anyone want to play another hand?" My jaw slacks open a bit. I can't feel the muscles to move it or even close it. I numbly nod my head.
"Charlie you haven't a chip to your name. I think the game's over. Let's just declare Alice the winner," Edward discourages. I lower my gaze unwillingly to the table. He's right; I'm flat busted. "Besides Bella, Jacob, and Renesmee will be here any minute now."
I shrug my shoulders and push my chair from the table. Picking up the living room gives me something to do where I can look down. I don't want to seem so shot down. After returning my chair to the kitchen I head back to the living room with the intention of tediously stacking up the chips. To my utter surprise when I return they are already neatly stacked in their holder and organized by color.
"Um thanks Alice. Wow you're fast." She beams up at me and my insides wiggle like jello. Edward rolls his eyes, but I don't pay much attention. I pick up the deck of cards and the stacked chips and take them to the hall closet full of other miscellaneous junk.
I return expecting to find everything as it was, but maybe Edward and Alice having one of their strange nonverbal conversations. I've finally figured out that that's what their doing with those cryptic head nods and shifty eye movements. These people are strange. Anyway I walk into the living room and almost fall on my face as my feet halt, but my upper half keeps moving. Inertia, isn't that what it's called?
Edward is gripping Alice's forearm I almost yell at him about cutting off her circulation his grasp is so tight – there are bound to be bruises tomorrow – but then I see the look on her face. My angel has fallen. Her expression is almost demonic. Alice's face is scrunched with fury creating unflattering wrinkles that look more like cracked tile than folded skin. With her teeth gnashed together she looks as if she's ready to bite, to rip, to tear.
"Um. . . Alice," is all I can say. What should I say? Can I even help? Before I have time to make myself seem like a wasted third wheel the door rings saving me from feeling useless and ridiculous.
"Hey Dad," Bella greets me as I open the door. Three of my favorite people stand just across the threshold all displaying varying degrees of exuberance. Bella looks as beautiful as ever, well as she's ever looked after her honeymoon. I shutter slightly, but I don't think they could see the small tremor that rolled off my skin. Nessie, even from just this evening, looks older. She is a little disheveled though from being out and running around. Jake, well, he's just Jake. His face has been washed and he now sports a ratty old pair of sweat pants. So all-in-all he looks normal except for his hair that's still gelled back a bit.
"Hey guys, did you have fun?" Nessie catches my attention as she nods her head enthusiastically. She holds up her loaded shopping bag for emphasis. "That's great. I'm so glad you had a good time." I step forward and give Nessie a hug simultaneously pulling her into the house since the wind has just picked up. Jake and Bella follow us in. I let go of Nessie, give Jacob a friendly slap on the back and walk over to my baby girl. "Hey Bells," I say softly as I squeeze her tighter. Becoming a grandpa and having my daughter married all within a few months has made me slightly more sentimental. Or maybe it's my old age.
I flip my wrist over to look at the time. "Hmm you guys better get going it's getting late. And Jake you look so tired."
That's when it happens. I high pitched groan bursts from the living room and Alice storms towards the door. "Oh I'm sure Jake must be so exhausted from his long night. Do anything exciting Jake?" Alice's breathing peaks and her voice impossibly raises an octave higher than her already glass shattering soprano.
"Yeah now that you mentioned it I got attacked by a dog and he ripped my costume to shreds," Jake retorted with his voice suddenly hostile. From his tone I'm pretty sure he isn't talking about a real dog. Oh no, I don't want to hear this.
"Are you sure it was just some dog? It may have been rabid. I can get Carlisle to inject his big needle into your stomach just to make sure you haven't been infected. I'll do it myself if you want."
"That is so kind of you, but I think I'll be fine. Besides, Alice, I don't want any blood shed." I really feel like I'm missing something. Heck, I know I'm missing something. The Police Chief Swan in me wants to click on his flashlight and search for hidden meaning. However, the realistic and sane part of me wants to rudely kick them out of my house. I can't do either so I'm stuck. I just keep chanting to myself. I don't want to know. I don't need to know.
I look over to Edward and Bella for help. They are leaning against the wall. Bella looks a little worried, but for some reason also slightly bored like a Floridian watching the rain blow by as she sits by her window waiting out another hurricane warning – Renee says those things come about a dime a dozen. Edward, on the other hand, looks vaguely entertained. I glare at him suspiciously. He just shrugs his shoulders and turns back to the fight.
"Oh, don't you worry there won't be any blood shed from this shot. I don't think anyone in the house could stand the stench anyway. There will be no blood to be had, but there might be some tenderness and bruising," Alice threatens.
"Hmm yes I think there might also be some nausea as well. So much so the sight of even one of your gaudy, overly priced purses may send me over edge."
Alice gasps and glares even harder, "At least I don't run around naked most of my time!"
"Yeah well at least my natural diet isn't cannibalistic," Jake shouts enraged. Back up a second. Cannibalism? I don't want to know. I don't need to know. What the hell is going on?
"You total asshole; you did not just go there!"
"Oh yes I did," Jake says with superiority.
"That's a complete distortion of the truth and you know that. Besides I don't eat humans, butt licker." Humans, as in she's not. I don't want to know. I don't need to know.
Before I get any deeper into the unknown the phone rings. My saving grace. I run to the kitchen and answer; no one's there. Who care's they don't know that.
"Hey guys I'm really sorry to interrupt, but this is an important call. So I guess I will talk to you all soon," I shout with my hand over the receiver. Alice and Jake glare at each other for a second more before Alice takes off the demonic mask and switches back to my angel.
"Alright Charlie, thanks for having us over and letting me beat you at poker. See you later," Alice sings with all the grace of a harp. She spins around grabbing Nessie's hand as she skips out the door. Jake drags his feet across the rug as he huffs towards the car. Bella waves a timid good-bye and follows Jake.
I look over at Edward wondering why he hasn't left. He holds up his open cell phone showing that he's on the line with someone. With one quick flick of his finger the phone flips closed ending the call. A buzzing dial tone in my ear tells me I've been disconnected.
Silently I hang up the receiver not once taking my eyes off of Edward. He shoots me a brief half-wave then disappears out the door leaving alone in my kitchen utterly perplexed.
As Mom ambles, at human pace, down the walkway she pulls out her keys and presses the automatic unlock so that we can get settled while we wait for Dad. I scoot over to the far window so that Alice can sit in the middle. However it is Jake who huffs into the car after me.
"Where's Alice," I ask confused.
"Who cares," Jake retorts.
"Stop being such a wimp. Suck it up already." He shrugs his shoulders causing me to groan exasperatedly. If he won't tell I guess I have to find out on my own. I lean over his rigid lump of a body and hang my head out of the open door.
I watch Alice as she turns towards Dad and smiles thankfully. He nods his head answering some unasked question smiling as well. With that, Alice leans in to give her brother a quick hug before disappearing into the surrounding overgrowth.
Mom tosses Dad the keys from over the top of the car and they slide into their seats in perfect sync. Dad quickly starts the engine and peals down the road, not hurriedly, but in his normal, impatient way.
"So honey how was your night apart from the last bit," Mom asks genuinely interested.
I sigh. Instead of having to explain the whole evening I simply rummage through my memory reservoir and pull out the night's event. I lean forward and place my palm against Mom's cheek as this is the easiest way to communicate. Thankfully Dad can listen from a distance as it would be difficult to "tell" them both at the same time despite the fact that I don't wear a seatbelt.
Being human makes it slightly harder for me to pull up exact details from my photographic memory. Although I'm faster than any other human, I'm still slower than Mom and Dad or any other vampire for that matter. Consequently we are no more than a few minutes away from home when I'm done regaling my parents with my night.
"Well Jake, it looks like you did a fairly decent job taking care of my girl. Thanks," Dad says looking back at us through the rearview mirror. Jake decides to be civil. He gives a weak smile and mumbles "Glad I could help," in a dull monotone. He shouldn't have ever bothered. It's not like Dad doesn't know what he's thinking anyway.
"No but it's the thought that counts," Dad defends.
"That's exactly what I'm saying."
"You know what I mean Nessie." And I do. At least he made some effort.
With Jacob's bad mood I scoot closer to him and lean against his side. I rub his arm silently until he sighs and stares down at me with a genuine Jake smile. He kisses my forehead and strokes my hair. We finish out the car ride silently relishing the moment. Mom and Dad comply with our unspoken wish for peace and converse nonverbally. I think one of these days we should all just take signing lessons. It would make these silent conversations a lot easier on who ever is talking with Dad. At that Dad gives a slight chuckle and pulls into the garage.
We stroll casually into the house with the majority of the family occupying the living room. I skip over to Uncle Em and swing my sack of contraband in his face.
"Wow Ness, you couldn't rob a candy shop for that much loot," He laughs snatching the bag from my hands.
"Give me my candy back," I wine jumping to reach the sack as he waves it over my head. Every time I jump he moves the bag, too fast, back out of my reach.
"Oh come on Ness, you're not going to share," he complains with feigned hurt at my rudeness.
"Stop being stupid you don't eat candy. You don't even like the smell." He smiles arrogantly and I stop jumping.
"And you do?" His question startles me for a moment, but my anger flares back up quickly. I get that from dear old Dad.
"That's not the point jerk. Now give it back."
"Well since you asked so nicely…" He tosses the bag at me and falls back onto the couch with Aunt Rose.
Hugging the bag against my chest I turn towards Jake. He eyes my incredulously as if wondering if I'm about to get on my knees and stroke the bag while mumbling "my precious." In my moment of regression I stick my tongue out at him and stomp off towards the piano. The edge of the raised platform makes a nice seating option away from the rest of the family. Although I can still feel their eyes on me I keep my head down and sort through the candy.
Chocolate goes in this pile. Tootsie rolls go over here. Hmm I need a section for lollipops too. Who gave me these? I think throwing a toothbrush and breath mints to the side. As I continue to anally organize my candy a warm hand slides down my back. An uncontrollable shiver runs down my spine.
"What are you going to do with all this candy," Jake whispers, his warm breath washing across the side of my face.
"Um, you can have it if you want," I stutter breathlessly. I look up to meet his eyes and see them sparkling with eager expectation. I turn my attention back towards my stash and easily finding what I'm looking for. Being obsessive compulsive can have its advantages at times.
"Here, start with one," I say tossing Jake a full sized Hershey's bar. He snatches it out of the air and kisses me on the cheek at the same time.
Unwrapping the entire bar Jake tosses the wrapper into my now empty candy bag. He excitedly breaks the bar into its twelve individual pieces and pops the first two into his mouth. I laugh at his childlike simplicity and he sticks a chocolate coated tongue out at me.
"Gross Jake," I groan shoving him to the side, "How can you eat that junk. It's nothing but artificial chemicals."
"And pure goodness," he mumbles shoving two more pieces into his mouth. Clearly addicted by his forth piece he quickly reaches down for more only to find that his unnatural body heat has melted the chocolate into a substance with only a little more viscosity than pudding. "Damn, not again," he curses to himself.
Seemingly out of frustration, Jake closes his fist around the gooey brown puddle in his palm causing it to burst from the cracks between his fingers like an erupting volcano. "Man I hate it when my capacity for being a freak causes my chocolate to melt everywhere," I joke sarcastically.
"Yeah and you know what's even worse," He asks slyly, "When your freak of a boyfriend smear melted chocolate across your face." Jake reaches his chocolaty hand out towards me. My eyes widen, but instead of leaning back I try to push him away. Somehow I manage to push back at his arm at just the right moment and with just the right amount of force to change the course of his hand. So now instead this chocolate projectile coming towards me, it makes contact with Jake's face.
As he pulls his hand away the unmistakable shape of a hand can be seen smeared across his entire face. A chorus of laughter erupts from behind. Among them is the unmistakable trill from Alice. I hadn't even noticed that she'd made it home, but I guess the run put her in a better mood than before. I'm also sure that it gave her time to plot out her revenge. I don't turn around to confirm that she's here or what everyone else's reactions are. Instead I stare into the eyes of my chocolate covered werewolf.
Jake smiles warmly making my heart expand to the point of bursting out of my chest. It's all I can do to control myself as I pull him closer to me until our lips meet. Despite the sickeningly sweet chocolate coating over Jake's entire face I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
A/N: Well there you have it, "The End," to say it formally. I really hope you've all had as much fun reading it as I have had writing it. Please review! Also my poll will end March 15 so you better get those votes in if you haven't. Before I continue on with my next story, though, I will write about Edward being mischievous with Emmett as they torment the nosy kid like I promised. Also I will write a few one shots. One will be about Charlie (the real Charlie we've never seen before), another about Edward as he takes a vacation to Australia (thanks for the idea Pippi), and possibly another one about Nessie. Don't worry these are only one shots so it's not like I'm putting off writing the next story for that long. A big THANK YOU to all my loyal readers who have been following my story, and an even bigger one to those who have reviewed!