Chapter One; Jacob.

Did you ever stop to think about how your life would be if you had done even the smallest things differently? Like, if you had said no, instead of yes, or if you had left your house just five minutes earlier? Or, how about if you had decided to stay at home, rather than visit a friend the day you found the love of your life? Ever thought about that? I certainly have.

I realize now that these tiny choices can mould and shape your life into something you never thought it could be. When i look back on all the choices I've made in my own life, i know that I'll be eternally thankful of one in particular. The choice to go back to the girl i loved, needed, and adored. I went home that day with a heavy heart and dark thoughts. I sort of always knew that Bella would choose Edward, and when i look at them now, i see why. They're meant to be. Just like i realized that same day, that me and Renesmee are meant to be too. Meant to be what though? That's a choice i still had to make...

I will forever remember the day i found her, the day I imprinted on Nessie. It was almost exactly eighteen years ago. After all that time, though, i can still remember exactly how i felt, how the air smelled, how the weather was that day, everything. A second before i saw her, i had just lost my best friend. Or so i had thought anyway. Whenever i think about it, which is often, I can still feel the lead in my legs as i walked downstairs, away from her frozen heart. I had always had a gravity that drew me towards Bella, which i thought meant we were soul mates, supposed to be together. But when her heart had stopped beating and i thought she was gone forever, i felt that same pull yanking me downstairs, away from her. I followed it willingly, wanting to be anywhere else but there, in that room, with that vampire and his dead wife. So, i allowed myself to be forced into the front room, where Blondie was cooing to the monster who had just killed my Bella. Anger rippled through me as i stared at the space where the suckling noises were coming from. I was shaking so hard, i was almost vibrating. I was a second away from phasing, from taking one huge leap across the room and lunging at Rosalie and the tiny murderer. Then she looked at me. It was the strangest feeling ever, one i will never experience again. The intensity of it was breathtaking. The baby looked at me through impossibly observant, beautiful brown eyes and i knew i would be tied to her forever. As simple as that. From that moment on, wherever Nessie was, was where i had to be. It physically hurt to be away from her for more than a few hours. Even now, after the years that have passed, i still can't bear to be kept from her. I now understand what Edward meant when he said "She is my everything.

"Jake! Ness! Come in here, NOW! I will not ask you again!" Bella called, anger shadowing her beautiful face.

"Momma... we're just here! Calm down." Nessie replied, giggling back at her mother.

"Renesmee Carlie Cullen! Do not make me come out there and get you two... You're going to be late!"

Nessie rolled her eyes at the threat. You knew you were in trouble if Bella called you by your full name. It always made me chuckle.

"C'mon Jake. We better get moving. I really don't want her coming out here, she'll go ballistic" Nessie sighed, climbing neatly on to my back.

She dug her knees in between my shoulder blades and wrapped one delicate hand in my long, shaggy hair. She leaned down to kiss the top of my head once, stroking down the hair on my neck with the other hand. I sighed once, turned to give her a wolfy grin, and then dropped on to all fours. Running with Renesmee on my back was a daily event. I was her favorite mode of transport, she'd once told me.

"Even though i don't feel the cold, ever, I sort of feel... a different kind of warmth this way. It's like a safety harness, you know? I know I▓ll always be safe with you." She had explained, when i asked her why she insisted on running this way, when she was just as quick as me.

I didn't mind at all. I knew what she meant, and i felt the same way, of course.

So, now, as we ran back to the house at lightening speed, she squealed with delight in my ear, like she did every time. I dodged the trees, jumped the lake and leaped over the giant boulders that made her giggle, today doing it in record time. Although i laughed about it, there really was nothing funny about making Bella angry. Even for me, a giant, supposedly fearless werewolf, there was nothing scarier than Bella with a rage on. You see, it was particularly scary because she hardly ever got seriously angry, but when she did, you knew you had really gone too far. She was always pissy with me about something stupid I'd done, but never really angry. Well, not really since she had found out about my imprinting on Renesmee in the first place. . . I shuddered slightly at the memory and ran faster still.

Running like this, with Nessie on my back, giggling as I made neighing noises to entertain her, was when i was at my happiest. I never, ever got bored of spending time with her. When she was little, i let her cover me in make-up, braid my hair and paint my nails, all because it made her happy. My pack brothers got a real kick out of that one. No matter what she wanted to do, it was fun for me, as long as she was there. But, now, she was older, and things had changed. She painted her own nails and braided her own hair now, instead of mine. She wasn't a little girl anymore. Of course, Renesmee had never been, what you would call, a conventional little girl. Always bigger, and smarter for her biological age. She grew, physically, mentally and emotionally, at a rapid rate, which had always scared the hell out of the rest of us. But, about eleven years ago, she stopped growing. Although she continued to learn, she reached maturity exactly seven years after her birth. So, now, Nessie looked like any other seventeen year old girl. Which, of course, at first, scared us all too.

She done things every other teenage girl done, like school, shopping and going to parties. Nessie had a lot of friends. She was a genuinely, warm and happy girl. People gravitated towards her, they always had. She could win over the coldest of hearts. She had proved that all those years ago with the strange, red-eyed vampires. You couldn't help but love her, so she was never short of attention. With waist length, curly hair, the same bronze colour of her fathers, and big, bright, warm brown eyes, she was beautiful, exquisite. You could see, from the way other boys looked at her, that they wished she would pay them some attention. But she never did. Every party she went to, every shopping trip she went on, she asked me to come along, and i eagerly went. So, this was where we were heading tonight, another party. However, the party tonight was special. Today was Renesmee's 18th birthday. Well, her first 18th birthday anyway. This was big for everyone, and we were all nervous.

"What if no one comes, Jake?" She whispered suddenly

I stopped running immediately and stood up. Nessie slid off my back and looked at me. I held up one paw, and turned to run swiftly into the trees. I was back in a second, in human form, wearing a pair of old sweats.

"You don't have to go in to the woods to phase, you know, Jacob. It doesn't scare me. . . Or embarrass me." She added, with a slight blush to her cheeks which contradicted her statement.

I ignored that and answered her first worried question,

"Of course people will come Ness. Don't be silly! This is going to be, like, the biggest party of the year!" I grinned at her. She elbowed my ribs for my mock, high-school enthusiasm.

"Stop it, Jake! I'm serious! I'm so nervous! Mom says that she's had an r.s.v.p from almost everyone she invited, but still, what if something comes up and they can't make it? Or what if they all decide that they don't want to come any more?" She looked at me with devastated eyes, her bottom lip slipping in to a pout.

"Renesmee Carlie Cullen, that is enough of that!" I said, wagging my finger at her. She smiled slightly at my impression of her mother.

"Seriously though, Ness. Of course people will come. They love you, they want to celebrate your birthday with you. Stop panicking."

I took her face in between both my hand and kissed her lightly on the forehead, "Now, lets get moving before your mother bans us both from the party for being late!"

She grinned at me, relaxed slightly and covered my right hand with her left. She looked deep in to my eyes for a second, then sighed, and pulled my hand down from her face, locking her fingers in to mine.

"I guess you're right. Thanks, Jake." She smiled sweetly at me.

Just then, we heard a quiet throat clearing and turned towards the house. Bella stood with her back against the big glass back door, arms crossed, tapping one foot, glaring out at us.

"Uhoh." Nessie giggled. Then she tightened her grip on my hand and we ran back to the house, laughing until we skidded to a halt in front of, a less than amused looking, Bella.

------------------------- ---------------------------

I swallowed loudly, "Hey, Bells. Erm.. what's up?" I asked carefully.

"What's up? What's up he asks me! Jacob, i have been yelling at you two to come into this house for almost an hour! What do i have to do to get you to listen to me? I am not your mother Jacob, but i am Renesmee's and she will do as i ask! Do you hear me? I'm not asking for a lot. I am not going to. . . Renesmee, what is so funny?" She glared from one to the other of us.

Nessie stood, the whole time, looking at her mother with a grin on her face, "Nothing, Momma. I love you, that▓s all." She kissed Bella on the cheek and danced away, shouting "Aunt Alice!"

Bella stood staring at the spot from which Nessie had vanished for half a second, then turned her eyes to follow Ness skipping upstairs. A reluctant smile spread across her face, then she turned back to me. I stuck my tongue out at her and ducked as she took a swing at me,

"Get upstairs and change, Jacob. You're going to be late." She grinned.

I stood poker straight and saluted to her, "Yes, ma'm!" Then i darted away before she could get the shot into my ribs.

Bella giggled and shouted after me, "And take a shower, Jake! You smell like a dog!"

I jumped the stairs, taking three at a time. Having long legs really saved a lot of time. I ran along the second floor until i came to the room that was now mine and threw myself in. I really was late! I rushed through my shower, and got dressed at record speed. I knew i had to let Alice give me the once over before i would be allowed to mingle with the guests. My messy hair and nonchalant attitude towards my appearance had always irritated her. Tonight though, i was going to make an effort. Alice would have nothing to complain about. I had washed my hair and had brushed it, neatly into a low ponytail. My jeans were pressed and my shirt was creaseless. She'd even bought me new shoes. I took one last glance in the mirror, nodding in approval at myself, and went to find the inspector.

I got to Alice's bedroom door and heard soft music playing, with Nessie singing sweetly along, in her perfect voice. I smiled to myself at the beautiful sound before knocking on the door,

"Hey ladies. It's only me. Everyone decent?" I asked through the door.

The door was just about ripped off its hinges as Alice pulled it open. " Jacob, don't joke with me, please? I don't have time for it! Get in here!" She growled at me, pulling me in before leaping into the hall, yelling, "Bella! Your turn! Hurry up!" The door closed behind her with a snap.

Joke with her? What had i done now? I looked at Nessie to ask what that was all about, but instead i stopped dead in my tracks, and i gasped. Renesmee stood in front of Alice's long vanity table, looking at me expectantly.

"What?" She asked, quickly, when i didn't speak " Do i look ok? Is it too much?" She waved her hand at her dress.

I stood frozen, my eyes moving slowly from her head to her feet. Her hair was cascading down her back, a delicate, silver tiara placed on top. Along her throat, lay a thin line of small, glittering diamonds, held there with a silver chain so thin, it was almost invisible. Her dress was black satin, starting with thin straps, flowing flawlessly down to the floor, almost completely covering her new high silver shoes. She twirled slowly and when she did i saw that the dress was backless, the material just meeting the sides at the bottom of her back. On her wrist she wore a familiar bracelet. It was a charm bracelet, holding one small, intricately carved wooden werewolf on one side and a blindingly sparkling heart shaped diamond on the other. The bracelet i had given her mother as a graduation present so many years ago. Edward had added the diamond the night Bella and him got engaged. It fitted Nessie perfectly and finished off her outfit with precision. I had never in my life seen anything so beautiful as Nessie tonight.

"Wow," I choked out " Nessie. . .You look. . ." I couldn't finish. There were no words for how wonderful she looked.

"Is that good? Jake, tell me honestly, do i look ok?" She asked nervously.

I walked over to her slowly and looked in to her eyes, " Renesmee," I whispered, " before tonight i thought i had seen some beautiful things. Until i looked at you just now. There can be nothing in the world more exceptional than you are right now. To say you look stunning, beautiful, would be an insult to how you look tonight. You took my breath away."

She looked down shyly, a blush rising in her cheeks. My fingers caught her chin and lifted her face back up to meet my eyes. I stroked my fingers along her cheek, then placed both hands gently on either side of her face. I stared in to her eyes for one more long second and my heart thumped loudly in synchronization with hers. She closed her eyes, and sighed slightly before opening them again to stare in to my face. She placed her hands over mine as i leaned down to softly press my lips to hers. . .