Always, All Ways.
"It feels so good to be hunting again." Nessie sighed, as we walked to the middle of the clearing beside the Cullen property. She sat down, and so did I. I crossed my arms behind my head, lying back. She smiled.
Of course it would feel good to hunt again. She must not have hunted for at least fifteen days- and as far as I was concerned, that was quite a bit of time to go without it for the bloodsu- I mean, vampires.
The first few days, Nessie spent being treated like a piñata. The Volturi kicked her around like a soccer ball, testing the "new recruits" abilities. Our arrival was the final test- or the final step in their plot. According to Edward, he believes that Nessie was used as bait to lure the Cullen's over to the Volturi- hopefully gaining new members. That wasn't how things went down.
The next two or three weeks she spent in recovery. Her breathing became heavily laboured, and she had a difficult time moving, speaking, and sometimes even just staying conscious. I felt guilty with every one of her struggles; at the sight of even just one of her many scratches, bruises and gashes. They took their time to heal, as well as the two broken ribs Edward discovered when she tried walking over to him, lost her balance and almost fell. He caught her in a certain way, and she screamed out in agony. Never could I have imagined that sound be made with the angel's voice she had. A similar (Not nearly as ear-piercing, but just as heart-piercing) cry would be heard whenever Carlisle would try to try to treat her; every part of her body was still sensitive- and I just realized that my heart was, too.
Even now, not all the bruises had healed. There were a number of scars framing her body, but only one small one on the side of her forehead. Although it was the smallest one, it hit me just as hard- almost as if I was there. Whenever I pushed her hair back, I was reminded of my foolishness and how I'd caused this. But it wasn't near her eyes, which I could only be thankful for. Her beautiful eyes.
She couldn't yet run as fast as she used to, and every now and then she would stumble, but I'd catch her. She would look up at me and smile, which was always worth saying, scarred or not. She wasn't really even supposed to be hunting in her condition, but both Carlisle and Edward agreed that if she didn't hunt soon, major damage could be done to her health. That was the last thing she needed.
"I would suspect so," I said, sitting back up again. "Speaking of which, are you holding up okay?" I must have asked a thousand times an hour, but I needed to know. Some would say I cared too much- Well, I say they just cared too little. They didn't have an Imprint. They weren't lucky enough.
"Well, my ribs don't hurt like hell anymore, the headaches are becoming somewhat bearable, and the bruises only sting. My back still aches, though." She frowned, sighed, and then slightly smiled again. "So I guess I'm feeling a lot better than before."
"That's good." I said, lying to myself. That's good? No it wasn't, it was horrible! I mean, she was getting better, which was a plus, but she was still in pain. And she didn't deserve to be. I did. The major pain she was hiding, and the minor pain she wasn't were all a lack of my immaturity. It was my fault. Regardless of this simple fact, she smiled through it. Through all that pain.
"I'm sorry." I blurted out. She looked at me as if I'd gone crazy.
"Maybe I'm missing something," she said, "but what exactly do you feel the need to apologize for?"
"It's my fault you're in pain." I said, rather quietly. I was shameful. I deserved to be. I dropped my head and clenched my fists, resting my forearms on my knees. She frowned.
Renesmee repositioned herself so that she was resting her knees in front of me, rather than beside. She leaned forward, extending and arm out toward me. Her hand brushed my jaw, cupping it with a touch warm as her heart. She tilted my chin up so that I looked her in the eyes- eyes filled with understanding and curiosity at the same time. Her face was a mask of concern.
"You look a lot cuter with your head held high. Keep it that way." She said. I looked at her with disbelieving eyes. Had I heard her correctly? I felt my face get hot, which meant I was getting red- that didn't happen often. She smiled; a hint of satisfaction in her eyes. Her hand didn't move from my face. I lifted my hand over top of hers, and we stayed like that.
'Listen, Jake, 'Nessie thought, 'Don't blame yourself. Nothing hurts when I'm with you.'
"But everything hurts because of me." I countered. She sighed, moving her hand to my shoulder. Again, mine followed hers.
Nessie shook her head, "I feel fine, Jacob. There was nothing you could have done to prevent what happened to me once it started. Please don't blame yourself. You aren't the one who was hurting me. Don't act like you are." I winced.
"Nessie, it's hard to look at your injuries without hating myself more. I should have-"
"You should have done this, you should have done that. You can't expect to be everywhere at once. Why don't you look at what you did do? You came all the way to Italy. And because I am one of Alice's blind spots, you guys couldn't have been one hundred percent sure I was even going to be there. And when you did get there, you almost got the living hell kicked out of you when you charged at Aro. You risked so much, and although I wish you didn't have to, I'm glad you did- because you're the reason that I'm still here right now." She leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. Then she stood up, leaning against the tree we were next to for support.
"Thank you." She said as she wrapped her arms around me. I was startled for a moment, but pressed her close to me after I realized that maybe she was right. Everything was alright now, even if I couldn't change the past. So maybe I didn't have as much to blame myself for as I had previously thought. She was still here. Here in my arms.
"I'd do it again in a heart-beat," I promised, "especially if it was yours."
"I know." Standing there like that was bliss. I wished it could have lasted forever, and it would have, had she not managed to untangle herself from my iron grip. She leaned back against the tree. It was only then that I noticed her breathing was still slightly forced. She looked down, as if she was in pain, and semi-winced.
"Are you okay?" I asked, alarmed, "D-do your ribs hurt again?"
"It's nothing, Jacob. Relax." She said, but her voice cracked.
"Please tell me." I begged, "If your head hurts again, I could-"
"It isn't that. It's just..." Her eyes began to water. She bit her lip, trying not to cry. Unsuccessful, a tear slipped down her cheek. It fell at terminal velocity, at least to me. Being already so close to her, I lifted my hand to wipe it away. Tears looked so out of place coming from her beautiful, brown eyes. Nessie sighed, which took effort.
"I'm... I'm s-sorry." She stuttered. Call me stupid, but I just couldn't understand what for. Sorry for getting hurt? Sorry for almost getting killed? She had nothing to be sorry for.
"I don't understand." I admitted, "Why?"
"I'm... I'm such a burden to you all!" She cried, "I was being stupid, which is what got you all into this mess. I was the reason you all had to go all the way to Italy. Sometimes, I wonder if it would be better if I was never even-"
"Stop." I said, grinding my teeth together, "Do not finish that sentence, or I will go mad. I never want to hear you talk like that. If you were never..." I shook my head, not wanting to think the words, "I'd still be living in hell right now. You took the burden you think you are off my shoulders." She looked at me, her eyes telling me that she didn't believe me. I gave her the opposite look back, staring deeply into her eyes. She looked away quickly, pursing her lips.
"That isn't true." She muttered, and gulped, again hiding tears.
"Yes it is." I said, getting the smallest bit closer to her. "Besides, you're about as much of a burden as playing with a newborn puppy." She looked away again, but I could see a smile tugging at her lips. I grinned in response.
"See?" I said, "You know I'm right."
"Jake... I... I don't know, I'm..." She stuttered. She took a deep breath and started over. "I'm not perfect. Sometimes, I wish I was, so I wouldn't make these reckless and idiotic mistakes."
I shook my head. "No. You're not perfect. And don't ever let someone insult you like that." She looked up at me as if I was crazy, again. At this rate, I thought I might be. I let out a weak laugh.
"Emmett would call Rosalie perfect. Sam would call Emily perfect, and you're Mom? Well... yeah, she does call your Dad perfect. They say 'perfect' because they think that's the best someone can get. Perfect is the limit now. They used to say 'the sky is the limit.' So everyone would try to get to the sky, because they thought that was the highest they could get. No one ever really thought of flying past it. Then, I guess some guy just kept on flying. 'Screw these damn limits,' he thought. So he got higher and
higher, and it got harder and harder- but once they were passed that 'limit' they were weightless. It's kind of like being perfect, isn't it? We constantly need to set new limits, because people are constantly breaking them. So when it comes to you, no. You're not perfect- You flew past the sky." I said it almost as a speech memorized over time. It came naturally. I guess it had built up over time.
Nessie stared at me, her mouth opening and closing as if to say something, but not quite finding the words. Then she smiled, "J-Jacob... I-"
And then it happened. I didn't expect it, and I don't think she did either. It just came. She propelled herself from the tree into my arms, just as I leaned in. Our lips collided, sending shockwaves through our bodies. I was frozen for a second before my heart-beat restarted. And when it did... Well, that frozen state I was in was replaced by fire. Being as gentle as possible, without breaking our literally mended state, I picked slightly up off the ground so she didn't have to stand on the tip of her toes to reach my lips, regardless of the fact that I was leaning downward.
I could feel her smile against my lips. The moment was not perfect. If it was, it would have ended a lot sooner. But the moment was passed the sky. Her arms wrapped around my shoulders. I could hear her thoughts as she pressed a hand to my bare back (considering how I was just wearing shorts). There were no words; just feeling. And I felt the exact same way.
Eventually, we broke apart (much to my dismay), and I put her down gently. I wrapped my arms around her waist securely, never wanting to let her go again. Not when I almost had to forever.
"-love you, too." I finished for her, and kissed the top of her head.
"I wish I'd known a long time ago." She said, regaining her breath.
"I've known for a whole seven years." I admitted. I needed to stop procrastinating, and just to tell her already. I just hope she would take it okay. She looked at me for a third time, like I was crazy. Okay, I was crazy... in love.
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"Remember when we were down in La Push a month or so ago, and Seth came exploding to us that he'd Imprinted?" I asked. That had been the happiest day of his life, according to him. I knew the feeling. He Imprinted on a girl who had been slumming around the beach alone. He had nothing to do that day, so when they accidentally bumped into each other; she apologized and told him it was her fault as she picked up something she dropped. He bent down to help her. Their hands brushed and they looked each other in the eyes for a short second. That's all he needed. He Imprinted. They engaged in conversation- it turns out she had moved within the area. I was real proud of him.
"And do you remember when he said that after a whole seven years that he finally caught up to me?" She nodded again, and narrowed her eyes, trying to figure it out.
I bit my lip as I watched her reaction. She raised an eyebrow. "oh."
But then her eyes went wide. "OH."
Once again, she managed to untangle herself from my grasp, and studied my from afar, trying to see through a non-existent lie. I couldn't read the look in her eyes.
"Jacob... I... Y-you..." She stuttered her way through the sentence until I cut it off.
"I Imprinted on you." I said. "So when I say 'I love you,' never doubt that. That's just me, though. It's your choice if the feelings are returned or not."
She stared my straight in the eyes for what seemed like twelve hours. Again, she opened and closed her mouth as she attempted to form a sentence. Finally, she took a step toward me, so we were as close as we were before. She raised her hand to my cheek- I half expected her to slap me.
'My vocabulary isn't that advanced,' She thought, 'so I don't think you'll understand exactly what I mean when I say I'm happy. Happier than I've ever been.' She retracted her hand and looked up at me, her eyes sparkling as brightly as her smile. That was such a beautiful smile.
I tilted my head to the side, pressing my lips on to hers for a second time. Her arms wrapped around my shoulders as I ran my fingers through her curls. I held her closely, not planning on letting go for a long while. Not until Edward pried us apart with a crowbar.
"Renesmee," I whispered against her lips, "I love you, and I always will. Always."
"All Ways." She agreed. I took her hand in mine, appreciating her warmth as we headed back to the house, ready to face the only problem in our 'passed the sky' world-
'Always, All Ways.'- I like the sound of that.
I'd like to give huge thanks to all my reviewers- I know I've lost many of you due to my lack of updating, but I hope this made up for it. This was the final chapter, and I had it written down for 3 months- I lost it, and then found it. It is 2:47am right now, as I finish. So I hope you enjoyed the story and thank you again. I think I'm getting emotional.
Xrizz: I am terribly sorry that you weren't fond of my story, Mr. Cullen.
Edward: Consider yourself lucky that I haven't ripped you up yet. If that dog tries to make another move on my daughter, I'll...
Xrizz: Don't worry Eddie. I'll keep an eye on them... *Heheheh.*
Edward: Oh God! I forbid you to write more JacobXRenesmee stories, yet you still contradict me! Why must I live forever while my daughter dates a dog? He's not even a pure-bred!