Thanksgiving with the Cullen Coven…and Renee
"Bella? We've got a problem." Charlie's voice sounded panicked over the phone.
"Relax Dad, Alice told me that we won't have to worry about the Italians. What they don't know won't hurt them." Bella had agonized for days after the infamous Renesmee-accidentally-clued-in-Charlie incident. Charlie nearly developed an ulcer, thanks to Emmett's filter-less head. However, Alice searched the future as far as she could, and she couldn't see a trace of the Volturi at any point in Charlie's lifetime.
"No, Bells, I mean T-R-O-U-B-L-E," Charlie was nervous, that much was obvious.
'What could be more troublesome than a murderous coven of vampires swooping down upon Charlie?' thought Bella.
"Dad? Are you ok? You didn't tell anyone anything right?" Bella was starting to panic herself.
"Are you insane? Well, other than the obvious married-a-vampire-now-you-are-one. Do you think I want to be committed? I can just imagine what the people in this town would be passing over their back fences. 'There's Crazy Charlie again' or how about 'Boy he sure lost his marbles after his daughter married that nice Cullen boy.' No Bells, this is worse…much worse…" Charlie was rambling now.
'Maybe we did tell him too much…' thought Bella.
"BELLA! I just got a call from Renee. She and Phil are coming for Thanksgiving! She wants to cook dinner for me, and for the Cullens!"
'Renee was coming? Renee?' Bella hadn't seen mother in the year and a half since her wedding. She could only imagine what her slightly crazy but unfortunately perceptive mother would think if she saw her now. She was lost in different imaginings of Renee fainting or running screaming from the room.
"Bells… Bella? Isabella!" Charlie was worried now. He wasn't sure if you could kill a vampire through shock alone.
"Bella? Mommy?" Jake came in the back door with Renesmee, Edward, Alice, and Jasper; they had been out hunting this morning.
"Wow. Edward, she has the same look on her face as you did when Bella told you she was pregnant," Alice said.
"You saw that, huh?" Edward asked Alice.
"Why do you think I called at that moment, on your honeymoon? Did you think I just called to chat? I'm not Emmett."
"Clearly, I wasn't in my right mind then." Edward tensed, waiting for the innuendo to start before he realized that he couldn't hear Emmett's thoughts anywhere in the house. He turned to his frozen wife.
"What's wrong Bella?" he asked.
"So that's what a vampire looks like when they're struck dumb huh? OW! Nessie, I swear you're taking after your mother!" Jake rubbed his arm where Nessie had smacked him.
"Silly Jacob, that's not what Mommy does to Daddy-"
"Renesmee! That's another special moment," Edward interrupted quickly, hearing and seeing in her mind what Renesmee was going to say. The night before she had woken up and come into their room. Luckily, they were still dressed, though it was very close considering how quickly things could change when you moved at vampire speed. They would have to remember to lock the door…
"BELLA! ARE YOU STILL THERE?!" Charlie's voice was still issuing from the phone in Bella's frozen hand. Edward grasped her by the shoulders and kissed her; shocking her back to the present.
"What? Oh, sorry Dad…Thanksgiving? As in turkey…mashed potatoes…pumpkin pie Thanksgiving?!" Bella hadn't had to choke down any human foods as of yet, but from what Edward had said it wasn't pleasant. Especially after. Ugh.
"Yes Bella, and I don't think she's got blood soup on the menu. Can you guys even eat real food? You know, I always wondered why Edward never ate with us."
"Yes, we can eat food, though it's not pleasant; that's why Edward never ate with us," Bella said.
"Well, you guys all used to be humans; it can't be all that bad could it? Can't you just buck up and eat a few bites? I think Renee will notice if no one eats anything. You remember what happened the last Thanksgiving she attempted?" Charlie sounded as though he was cringing at his last words.
Oh yes, Bella remembered that. Renee had decided to accompany Bella on a rare Thanksgiving visit to Forks when she was nine. Charlie had planned to take them to a restaurant in Port Angeles, but Renee had stepped in and refused to pass up an opportunity for a homemade Thanksgiving dinner.
"Dad, you remember what happened after that meal?"
"Yes…I'll never forget the sound of that stomach pump machine." Charlie sounded ill. "You better make sure Mr. Valium is there. Otherwise, Renee might not make it through the night."
"I'll let everyone know, and we'll figure out what we're going to do. Thanks, Dad. Bye." Bella hung up the phone.
"NO! I hate coughing that human garbage back up! Ugh! Now I have to live through it twice!" Alice was blinking away the glazed-over look she had as she came out of her vision. Edward would have looked green if it were possible.
"What seems to be the matter?" Everyone turned around to look at Carlisle and Esme. Then, they turned to Bella, waiting for her to answer.
"Thanksgiving…with Renee…she wants to feed us all."
"Well, that's not so bad, is it? I mean, she can't be all that bad a cook," said Jake.
"What do you suppose we do? Renee's cooking was bad when I was human. Now that I know that it is guaranteed to taste like…like…what does it taste like?" Bella asked.
"Slimy, chunky…"Edward actually shuddered as he said it, no doubt remembering all the times he'd had to choke down something in Bella's presence.
"Well, that's just texture…can we actually taste different flavors?" Bella asked, curious now.
"Edward would know best; he's eaten the most human food of all of us. I guess that's what he gets for loving a human instead of drinking her," said Jasper facetiously.
"The best that I can describe it as is tasteless, chewy, slimy, chunky, dirt," said Edward, grimacing.
"Whoa, Edward, tell us how you really feel," laughed Jasper. Carlisle and Esme laughed.
"Daddy, I don't like human food. You won't make me eat it, will you?" Renesmee was turning on all the charm in an attempt to 'dazzle' her daddy.
"Yeah, you can't make her eat something she doesn't like!" said Jacob, clearly dazzled even more than his imprinting usually made him.
Edward just raised an eyebrow and said, "Now who's giving in to everything that their girl wants?" Bella, Alice, and Esme laughed. Edward turned to his daughter.
"Renesmee, you're going to have to eat something. Your Grandma Renee does not know anything about our real nature. To her, we are humans. Grandpa Charlie nearly had a heart attack when you showed him your breakfast the first time. Grandma Renee doesn't know anything about werewolves, vampires, or beautiful half-vampires. You won't be able to use your gift on her either. You'll have to talk for everything," said Edward.
Bella cringed. Encouraging Renesmee to use her voice didn't always have the best results either; hence Charlie's first introduction to the floor.
"I for one don't have any problems against human food. It can't be that bad," said Jake.
"Oh just you wait Jacob Black…you're going to eat your words," said Bella with a smirk.
"Man! Rose and I leave and all the fun just gets sucked right out of this family. What did you do Edward? Play all your favorite dirges all morning?"
"Emmett, I do not play dirges," said Edward, frustrated.
"You mean you don't play them anymore. I remember a lot of frustrations being played out in the weeks before the wedding. OW! Dang it! I want an arm wrestling rematch! I cannot keep taking hits like this! Edward, tell your wife! You know I have no filter!" Emmett was rubbing his arm, looking desperately at Edward.
"Emmett, your filter just happens to have gaping holes. If you had a rematch at this point, I'm afraid I'd have to walk around with my hands over Renesmee's ears," Edward said seriously.
"Back to the matter at hand; how do we handle a Renee Thanksgiving? Surely, it can't be much harder than the wedding was," said Esme.
"I'll have Charlie invite Sue. She'll be good at distracting Renee at all the right moments. Maybe I can even have Charlie get a dog to sit under the table. Or maybe a pack of them," Bella said, looking a Jacob.
"Oh no. I'm not going to order anyone there. You'll have to find a way to hide your own scraps. Better bring a big purse."
"Ooh! Bella! We can go buy some! Big bags are all the rage now! We could find some purses large enough to hide a five course meal, and still be fashionable! I'll go get my keys!" Alice danced from the room, her excited musical laughter filling the house.
"Thanks, Jake…now I have to go shopping! You've been elected bag carrier. Renesmee, dazzle him into it!"
"Bella…mom…using your own daughter like that?" said Jacob.
"Uh oh" said Edward, taking Renesmee from Jacob, and chuckling at the memories of Jacob irritating Bella that Nessie was showing him.
"I know, I know. He'll never learn." Edward stood at the back door, shaking his head and listening to his beautiful wife tear after his daughter's imprinted wolf.
Everyone started laughing as Jacob jumped across the river and tried to reason with Bella.
'EDWARD!!! Help me…she's tying me to a tree! He…' Jacob's thoughts abruptly cut off; Bella had shielded him from possible rescue from Edward.
"No, I don't think he will ever learn. Shall we go play the piano Ness? Yes, we'll go find Jacob after a song or two," said Edward as he strolled to the piano, already humming a song for Renesmee.
"Dad, it just makes sense to have it at our house. With all of the Cullens, Jacob, Sue, Seth, you, Renee and Phil, we just wouldn't fit in your house, let alone at your table." Bella was trying to convince Charlie to have their Thanksgiving farce at the Cullen home.
"Well, Bella, Ness has never spilled the beans over here. I think she is a little too comfortable there, and while I may have accepted Edward as your husband that you love, I just can't hear about anymore special moments. A father can only take so much." Charlie was pulling out all his best arguments. "You just wait till Nessie starts hanging on Jake's every word. I can't wait to see how Mr. Cool-and-Polite Cullen handles that particular mole hill," Charlie was speaking more to himself now and his tone was a little too eager for Bella.
"What? I'm just sayin' Edward may put bars on her window, knowing him," Charlie said.
"Bars? For heaven's sake Dad, why on earth would we need to put bars on her window?!" Bella's voice was strained and a little higher than normal. She could make out Emmett's restrained laughter as he and Rosalie came inside. 'Did Emmett open his big mouth? If he did, he's in deep, deep trouble. He won't have an arm to wrestle with,' thought Bella.
"Geez, Bella, did you lose your sense of humor when you married Mr. Serious?" asked Charlie.
"Sure, sure," said Bella. 'No humor at all,' she thought.
"Dad, we'll have it here. I'll work with Renesmee. See you later!" said Bella.
"Bye Bella," said Charlie, and then he hung up.
"Mr. Serious? No sense of humor? Since when did manners leave a person in the humorless category?" said Edward, his brows pulled together slightly.
"Edward, I think you missed the development of humor around 1901; it took Bella here to make you realize that you're a little behind the times! The only 17 year old prude!" snickered Emmett.
"Emmett, I think you'd better remember to filter," called Esme from the next room.
"There's no humor at all in this family! Rose! Let's go tinker on the BMW," said Emmett.
"That had better be all you tinker with!" Edward said mulishly. "The last time you did that, I had to replace my windshield."
"Come on Edward, you just don't appreciate a good tinker."
"EMMETT!" Everyone yelled at once.
"You find me that filter, and I'll install it!" he said with a grin, while running out to the garage after Rosalie.
A/N: Up next: Ugh, It's what's for dinner!