I leaned against a tree, thoroughly full from the drained elk several feet away from me, and stared out through the trees. The sound of my wife stalking her prey several hundred feet away filled my ears, and I sighed.
The time had come for us to relocate. Again. I'd caught a few stray thoughts from several of the wary, yet still exceptionally unobservant humans, who seemed to find it odd that in the seven years of living here we seemed to lack the aging gene. Coupled with Alice's visions that would include 'suspicious mob' before long, we took it as our cue to leave. Still, I was impressed. It normally took longer for the mortals to piece the puzzle together.
Nevertheless, we had a family meeting that night, and agreed to leave within a month. Jasper wished for us to leave sooner of course. He'd been sensing more tension than usual around a few of the doubtful. Alice had soothed him quickly though, and Carlisle persuaded everyone to be ready to go in exactly one month's time. Nessie, although understanding the necessity of the situation, was still unhappy. With her uncanny ability to make friends wherever she went, she knew she would miss leaving the town behind. When it came down to it, though, she was happy as long as Jacob was with her. Rosalie was slightly frustrated at having to start high school again, but Emmett soon convinced her with a grin how entertaining it would be this time around.
This was Bella, Renesmee and Jacob's first time at the high school charade. Indeed it was Nessie's first time at high school, period. Since she was obviously unable to attend high school whilst growing up, the whole family had contributed in her home schooling until she had what we deemed a sufficient education. In reality, the knowledge she held probably rivalled that of several university professors put together. Our family was nothing if not thorough.
Rosalie had cheered up at that thought, planning to make plenty of bets in the near future, or so her thoughts told me.
But where to go? The family sat around our dining room table (which was actually used as a table from time to time, when Jacob convinced Nessie to eat human food for the night while he prepared a romantic dinner…or rather, convinced Esme to cook 'romantic' food.) and discussed the subject for most of the night. It was well past three in the morning when we finally came to the decision of a small town just outside of Seattle, close enough to Forks to keep in contact with Charlie, Sue, and the rest of the Quileute tribe, but not so close that anyone else from Forks would recognise us, even after so many years of not living there.
With our plans in order, Esme took it upon herself to find the perfect home for us, guaranteeing it would be ready once the month was up, and Carlisle quickly set about contacting the local hospital for any open positions. Meanwhile, Bella paid a visit to our old 'friend' J. Jenks to secure our new identities, whilst I enrolled the majority of our family in the local high school. Really, it had been quite an appropriate time for people to get suspicious; we would just make it in time for the new school year.
With all our plans in order, we were set to leave tonight, and everyone in the family were undergoing last minute preparations. Esme had finished packing the remaining furniture, and was currently cleaning the house one last time. Carlisle was working his last shift at the local medical centre, though no one but his boss knew that. Rosalie and Emmett were… well, it was night time, so one didn't have to think too hardly to guess what they were up to. Alice was undoubtedly with Jasper somewhere, probably trying to make sure that our departure would be successful, and none of the townspeople would over think our disappearance too much. Nessie and Jacob were spending their last night here camping over the lake…or so they told me. They had made sure to keep their thoughts under control in my presence, not that I wanted to know what they were thinking about each other anyway. I accepted that they were married, and honestly, I couldn't think of anyone better for my Nessie, but that still didn't mean I wanted to hear the intimate thoughts they held about each other.
"What are you thinking?" The wind chime voice of my wife interrupted my thoughts. I looked up to see her drop the mountain lion carcass she'd just fed on, and flit silently to my side, a look of concern bringing out the little pucker between her golden eyes. Even after all this time, she was still the most beautiful thing I'd ever laid eyes on. You've got that look on your face that you get when you overhear Jake's thoughts at a bad time, she thought as she pulled me close to wrap her arms around my waist, and stifled a giggle when I winced. Since the first night she'd let me hear her mind, she had practiced diligently until her thoughts were always open to me, something that I would be eternally grateful for. The only time she let her shield 'snap back', as she liked to say, was when she was hiding something from me, which only happened when absolutely necessary, or when she was mad at me. Sometimes she would do it to tease me, if she was in a playful mood. I smiled wryly at that last thought.
"What's so funny?" Bella asked softly, tracing my upturned lips with the tips of her fingers. My breathing quickened slightly from her touch, but I answered immediately. "You."
She huffed in mock exasperation. "What did I do this time?" she teased, untangling her arms from around me to put her hands on her hips. I followed her hands, finding my eyes drawn to her soft curves. Automatically, my hands snaked themselves around her waist, and I pulled her closer once more. She went willingly of course, her body moulding against mine, and I leaned down to whisper in her ear. As usual, she did something to surprise me completely. Instead of allowing me to answer her question, she cupped my face in her palms and brought her lips to mine. I would never get used to kissing my wife. The way her scent, her taste, her touch engulfed me was just as overwhelming as the very first time.
I was stunned for a second, before chuckling into her mouth. She shivered suddenly, and deepened the kiss. There was something more than desire, though, something urgent…tense. With a hint of regret, I pulled away as I caught a flash of thought that crept through the incoherency she usually had when kissing me. "You're worried about high school?" I grinned. She grimaced, and I could tell she'd been trying to push this thought to the back of her mind for a while now.
"Don't worry," I smirked, "I won't let anyone hurt you."
She smacked me playfully on the arm. "It's not me I'm worried about," she sighed, biting her lip. Much, she amended in her thoughts. "You're worried about Nessie," I finished for her, nodding solemnly.
Bella sighed again, and leaned her head on my chest, all her anxieties pouring out through her thoughts. "Shh," I whispered reassuringly, though she hadn't said a word, as I stroked her hair. "You know she'll be fine. She'll have the whole school wrapped around her little finger by the end of the day," I said soothingly, and wasn't surprised that I believed what I was saying quite easily. Nessie had always had a certain charm about her.
Bella giggled again. She obviously believed me as well. She looked up at the rising moon, and turned back to me with a mischievous glint in her eye. "You know, this is almost our last night as husband and wife before--"
I caught on quickly. "You've finished hunting, right?" I whispered huskily into her ear. "I've finished hunting animals," she clarified with a wink, and I barely saw her crouch before she leaped at me and tackled me to the ground.
Several hours later one of us must have regathered our senses, if only briefly, and we were swiftly clothed and running hand in hand back to the house, where the rest of the family were gathered around the cars with knowing smirks on their faces as they watched us return. Various suggestive jokes and comments flooded my mind, mostly from Emmett, and I hissed quietly. "Are we all ready for blast off?" Bella asked brightly, clearly choosing to ignore everyone's expression. Brave girl. Emmett opened his mouth to speak, but Bella interrupted before he could enlighten the rest of the family with his humour. "Not one word," she shot in his direction, and I chuckled under my breath.
"We're all ready to go," Alice said cheerfully, "we were just waiting for the stragglers." She winked cheekily, and Bella groaned quietly.
We all separated into our driving groups, and before long the tiny town was miles behind us. The car trip was mainly uneventful, except when Jacob slipped, and I saw what he and Nessie had gotten up to that afternoon. "Bella?" I growled, and she smirked as she extended her shield over a sheepish looking Jacob and a sleeping Nessie, leaving me to spend the rest of the car trip trying futilely trying to suppress the disturbing image Jacob had presented me with. I frowned. At least they were being safe.
Morning broke, midday passed, and as the sun was setting we finally arrived. Esme had, of course, already furnished the new place perfectly; it looked almost identical to every other house we'd lived in, complete with glass wall. We woke Nessie and Jacob, and Bella finally relinquished her shield. We spent the night settling in, before everyone retired to their bedrooms, to pick up where we'd all presumably left off. I enjoyed these last carefree moments with Bella, before contemplating what was to come.
High school tomorrow. I got the feeling it would be a very long day.