" Dad, Dad" came Renesmee's voice from downstairs, her voice floating up the stairs to where I sat in mine and Bella's bedroom. I could hear the excitement evident in her voice and I could see in her thoughts that she was looking for me, she had something to tell me. I sat up a bit straighter, what was it she could have to tell me that would make her this excited I thought to myself curiously. Eager to find out I stepped off the bed and then it hit me, stopping me dead in my tracks. I knew exactly what would make my daughter this excited, and I didn't need to read her mind to get confirmation of that. Damn that dog and his imprinting, Renesmee had never stood a chance against the ties that bonded her to Jacob, her fate had been decided the second the sensation hit Jacob. All Renesmee's life I had watched her interact with him, there were times when I felt I came second to him in Renesmee's affections, when she would turn to him before me when she was upset, or when she fell over and he was there and I wasn't. Petty things, but enough to make me resent the bond that binded him to my daughter. Resent the fact that often I wasn't the most important man in Renesmee's life, and now, after this little announcement I would never be again.
"Dad!", her voice was more impatient now, I groaned inwardly, I had no choice but to go and meet her, see the excitement for myself.
She was glowing, I hated to admit it but she was. Every part of her face gleamed with pure happiness, a smile so like Bella's plastered on her face, her cheeks blushing a light pink.
"Well someone's very cheerful today" I said, trying to disguise my true feelings whilst confronted with the very purest form of joy in my daughter.
"I have good reason to be" she replied tauntingly.
She looked at me, her brown chocolate eyes were all Bella, and therefore I was powerless when confronted with them.
"Dad". She reached out for my hand and put her own hand over mine, her left hand I realised.
"Nice ring Ness" I said dryily.
She glanced down, it was nothing special I was glad to see, not like Bella's engagement just a simple Quileute promise ring, much like the one he had given her as a child I noticed. But it was clear to see in Ness's eyes that it was the most special thing in her world.
"Dad" she said, this time her voice much softer, she knew I knew without her having to say a word. Ness knew how I felt about Jacob, even after all these years, everything that had happened, I still hated that he was such a part of our lives, and now I was stuck with him as a son in law, I was sure the fates were conspiring against me.
Ness placed her palm against my cheek, granting me entry into her thoughts, in it I saw her and Jacob at the beach, laughing, talking, then her and Jacob out shopping, doing normal things, but despite the activity, the one thing that remained constant was how happy she was in all the images. He made her happy, that was what she was trying to show me. Inside my head I cursed Jacob Black yet again, I wanted to hate him, yet faced here with the evidence I couldn't.
"He wants to meet up with you Dad" said Ness removing her palm from my cheek. "To talk over things, make sure you're ok with things".
I nodded, I would be looking forward to that talk with Jacob I thought to myself, a smile forming on my lips as I thought of what I would have to say to him.
"You really sure this is a good idea?" asked Carlisle nervously.
"Ah come on Carlisle" said Emmett enthusiastically. "It's our duty to do this".
I laughed at Emmett's evident enthusiasm for our meeting with Jacob.
"But didn't Ness say Jacob just wanted to meet up with you" said Carlisle aiming the question at me.
" Yes, but I thought my message would be more effective coming from all of us, as Em said, it's your duty aswell" I replied sarcastically.
Me and Emmett both smiled while Carlisle and Jasper grimaced by our sides. We were on our way to meet Jacob, on neutral ground, deep in the forest for our little chat about his upcoming marriage to my daughter. We made our way into the clearing, and Jacob was there, pacing the clearing, nervously I couldn't help but notice. He turned round as he smelt our arrival, his face was one of pure shock as he realised I was not alone.
"What do you think you're playing at?" he asked me, his nose turned up in anger. "I thought it was just you and me".
"Well there were some other people who wanted to talk to you" I said, motioning to my father and brothers who were now behind me. " A lot of people care about Ness".
Jacob raised his eyebrow questioningly at us all.
"You and Ness" I said. "This is really what you want?"
Jacob looked shocked at the fact I had even asked that question.
"Of course, I've loved her from the moment she was born, not in that way of course, but my love for her has grown and evolved over the years and now I can't imagine being without her" said Jacob.
I looked round to Emmett.
"Not bad" he said. " Was expecting a bit more of the theatrics, you know the she means the world to me and that, you've always been a bit of a drama queen Black."
"Maybe this is just sincerity? Seen for the first time" said Jasper, finally in the spirit of things.
Jacob looked scared, there was no other word for it, I had to stifle back a laugh, I could see in his head that he was scared that he was never going to make it out of the clearing alive.
"Ok, let's try it again, do you promise to love my daughter until the end of time? Unconditionally, without question and despite whatever happens to either of you?" I said, my voice deadly serious, one wrong move and Jacob's thoughts would fast become a reality, werewolf or not.
"Yes" he replied instantly, his voice a lot stronger.
I could see that his thoughts were sincere, and sadly that had to count for something.
"Quick reply" said Emmett. "Always a good sign".
Emmett was way into this protective uncle act.
I paused before asking Jacob my final question, this one wasn't so much about Ness but about my own demons with Jacob.
"And this is not some misguided rebound? You never got Bella, so you go after the next best thing?"
There was silence for a second as he processed my question.
"I never asked for this Edward, it's a sensation that happens and no-one knows why. I never chose Nessie, she chose me, maybe it was because she was Bella's child, who knows, but I never chose her for that reason. To me she's always just been Nessie, no-one else".
I nodded, a weight lifted off my shoulders that I'd been holding on there for the past 6 years.
"Are we done now Edward? Interrogation over? Intent discovered?" Jacob asked, shifting his weight from foot to foot showing his eagerness to go.
"Not quite" I motioned to the others. "They all have something they would like to say to you too."
Emmett was predictably the first to step forward, he got so close to Jacob that Jacob had to take a step back, no doubt intimidated by Emmett's frame.
" Now, listen up, and listen good Black. In a couple of week's you'll be marrying my niece, now you make her happy so that makes me happy. But you ever, ever hurt her in anyway, I will hurt you in such a way that will make you curse the day you ever set eyes on us Cullens, understood Jakey?" he said, raising his arm and flexing his biceps as if to to prove his point further.
Jacob swallowed loudly before nodding hurriedly.
"Excellent, glad to see we understand one another Jakey" said Emmett smiling wildly. "Jaz!"
Jasper stood forward, on him I could see every battle scar on his skin, I pitied anyone going against Jasper in a battle.
"To elaborate further on my brother's point, Ness may mean the world to you, but she also means the world to this family, and as Emmett said, you ever, ever hurt her, you will answer to us, and us Cullens, we're not good losers" he said stepping back into line with me and Emmett, sweet and to the point that was Jasper, the threat much more understated than Emmett's direct nature.
" I believe my sons have said pretty much everything I wanted to say, but I will still put my point across. Jacob, I know you are a good man, and that you love my grandaughter and that counts for a lot. You will look after her, provide for her and see that she has a happy life, but if any of that changes, if I ever see one tear fall down that girl's cheek because of you, I will not hesitate to send my sons after you, and I will approve of their actions" he said, his voice lower and much more menacingly than normal, the doctor in him replaced by both the grandfather and the vampire within him.
Jacob was now pale, sweat dripping from his forehead, he'd always known Carlisle as calm, even in the crisies we had faced before and this unnerved him.
"You're free to go Jacob" I said sweetly.
"You're.....you're not going to say anything?" he asked. He couldn't even get his words out right, bless.
"I think you know my feelings, I fought you for Bella before, you're a fool to think I wouldn't for my daughter, the same warnings I gave you then apply now" I said venomously.
He nodded and ran out of the forest in great strides, as soon as he was gone I looked round at the others, all of them were smiling.
"Well that was more fun than I thought it was going to be" said Emmett. " He made it too easy though, you know I like a challenge, and Carlisle, that was impressive".
Carlisle shrugged his shoulders.
"When it came down to it it was easier than I thought it would be" he replied.
"Don't you think that was a bit cruel though?" said Jasper. "Us all ganging up on him like that, threatening him in that way."
"He's marrying into a family of vampires" said Emmett. "He should be scared".
"It's normal for the father of the bride and any other male family members to have a talk with the groom, warn him of the consequences" I replied. " We were just doing our duty to Ness".
"And if Jake got scared of us in the process?" replied Jasper, a smile on his lips.
"All the better, I may have been happy to be friendly with him in the past but he's marrying my daughter, it's natural for a son in law to be scared of his father in law" I pointed out whilst laughing.
"And you know us, the epitome of normality" replied Emmett whilst running after a deer that had crossed our path before bringing his lips down to its neck.
We all laughed, today hadn't been so much about scaring Jacob, although that had been enjoyable, it was about proving to myself that Renesmee was right, that Jacob did love her, and despite everything that we had said to him, that love stayed in his eyes, as much as I hated to admit it, I had lost my little girl to Jacob Black,and truth be told, I couldn't think of a better man to lose her to.