ASTORIA, OREGON

In this moment, in this tiny fraction of a second, I absolutely want Jacob Black. I need him.

These hot and heavy sessions we've been having lately wouldn't exactly please my parents. They always have some sort of rule for everything and everyone. And by being out here in the middle of the woods at night, and with Jake, I was breaking way too many of them to count. They say all teenagers go through a rebellious stage.

I just managed to hit mine at only five years old. I've always been advanced for my age.

I could feel Jake tense. His lips, which had been busily working on my neck, were suddenly gone. He pulled me to my feet and firmly grasped my petite hand in his very large one.

"We have to go. Now."

"Jake—"

"Someone's coming."

I placed my free hand on his cheek. You're paranoid. We're out here all alone. Nobody knows where we are. You need to relax.

As if I was talking to nobody in particular, Jake began to pull me along through the trees at an inhuman pace. We jumped over fallen tree trunks and wove amongst trees without so much as disrupting a leaf.

Jake finally slowed once we reached the edge of the forest and the familiar smell of the gardens became overpowering. We trailed along the edges of the flowerbeds, trying to make as little noise as possible.

"Don't move another inch." I turned around to find my Dad, who had come out of the forest just behind us, slowly approach Jake and I. "Renesmee, go inside."

I placed my hands on either side of Jake's face and kissed him firmly and loudly. Good Luck.

I could hear my father growl in disapproval. It made me smile even wider. Still chuckling to myself, I walked quickly through the gardens and into the house. I was greeted by my mother, a furious look mirrored in the planes of her perfect face. I'm sure that if my parents' hearts were still able to beat, I would've given them way too many heart attacks to count by now.

My Mom seems to be passed words at this point, because she's resorted to just staring at me. I've come to learn that the only thing worse than being yelled at, is not being yelled at. Mind you, vampires are very, very good at the whole "staring pointedly at you without blinking" thing. This isn't the first time I've gotten this reaction, and it certainly won't be the last. I'm just hoping my Dad comes blazing through here soon so that the yelling can begin. He's never afraid to express his feelings about Jake and me, with tones loud enough to shake the foundations of our small-scale mansion. The sooner they get this little spiel over with, the sooner I can go to my room and sleep. All this sneaking around has depleted me of all my energy sources.

Almost invisibly, my mom shifts slightly towards the glass doors facing the gardens. I know it means that my Dad has finished with whatever business he had to attend to. Namely, Jake.

If my eyes hadn't been burning a hole through the door, I wouldn't have even noticed my father's silent entry back into the house. He looks first to my mother, and the two of them have a very rapid and entirely silent conversation. Ever since my mother had learned to completely control her shield, she'd been whipping it down to converse with my father privately at every possible moment. I'll tell you right now, it's one of the most annoying things your parents could ever possibly do. Seriously.

My Mom and Dad turn to face me at the exact same moment, with identical expressions on their faces. This does not look good.

"You're grounded."

"Dad, that's comp-"

"No, it's not. Go up to your room. We'll know if you try to leave again."

It's not worth the argument. I do make sure to cause a scene as I make my exit, however. As my muddy shoes hit the expensive plush carpeting layering the stairs, I make sure to stomp firmly. I've covered the stairs in gritty mud. When I hit the landing I kick off my shoes. They rebound off of the wall, leaving a streak of dirt in their wake. I head right down the hall to my room and I slam the door with a shudder of finality.

When compared to the rest of the house, my room is entirely unique. It's cluttered with books; most of them haven't even earned a second glance since I was a year old. My closet is overflowing with everything from expensive designer dresses to ratty sweatpants. Photo albums are stacked vicariously in the corner; a photographic log of my speedy transition into "adulthood". The glossy white piano that resides in the corner is layered with sheet music, some of which is my own composition. The sheets on my bed are twisted and coming off of the mattress.

I wouldn't change one thing about it.

Most nights, I can count on Jake to try and sneak his way up into my room. But since my parents are on the prowl, I'm not holding my breath. Unconsciously, I drift towards my piano. My parents won't mind that I've decided to pound angrily on the keys for a minute or two. It's not like they'll lose any sleep over it or anything.

My dad had started to teach me when I was very young. This piano was his gift to me on my first birthday. Whenever I'm feeling some overpowering emotion, I tend to manifest it with music. My fingers tread heavily and quickly now, as my emotions get the better of me. Eventually, the tension slowly releases. My hands become slow and light as I lightly sweep my hands across the keys. The past night's events have just been transcribed in great detail through the music. I'm sure my parents have thoroughly enjoyed this.

I bring the song abruptly to an end, and make my way over to my bed on the opposite side of the room. I leap gracefully onto it and I begin to arrange the blankets so that they'll partially cover my lean body. My slightly warmer temperature and quicker heart rate keep me pretty warm at night.

I lay quietly listening to my heartbeat. When I count the beats, it helps to put me to sleep. It's my own version of counting sheep. If I laid awake thinking of sheep half the night, it'd only make me thirsty.

I'd only gotten to 198 beats when I heard a wolf howl from somewhere off in the distance.

It was just Jake, saying "goodnight".

From downstairs, I heard the loud crack of something being broken apart.

Huh. Some things never change.