Chapter Twenty Three

Renesmee

I avoided Jacob for a long time after the night of the dance. I wanted to see him, I really did, but I was much too scared. Things were complicated now. I was now aware that Jacob had some sort of feelings for me. What those feelings were exactly, I wasn't sure. Some seemed to think that he was into me, like boyfriend-girlfriend into me, and that was enough to send me into a panic. I had never had a boyfriend before and so I didn't know what would happen next. Also, just because Alice, Lauren and Julia thought that Jake's feelings were boyfriend level, didn't mean that they really were. For all I knew he was just pitying me at the dance and what happened at the end was just a one time thing.

Secondly, the fact that I had spent the last ten nights masturbating in my bedroom to thoughts of Jacob made things weirder. What would it be like to see him again? Would I just cream in my pants the second I laid eyes on him? Would I jump on him like a crazy woman and scare the crap out of him? I couldn't risk it. I needed to get some sort of control over myself before I saw him again.

Just because I hadn't seen him in person, didn't mean that I hadn't spoken to him. I called him every night before I went to bed. There was something about his voice that soothed me and made me feel content. Every time he asked if he could see me I told him that I was busy with homework and he believed me. After all, come tomorrow morning and I would be on my way to Whistler for a week, so it was understandable that I had to catch up on all my school work now. But Jacob should have known better; I had completed all my work days ago.

At the moment I was walking up the steps to Lauren's eighteenth birthday party. I was excited but also nervous. This would be the first time I'd be in a human's home. My father warned me about this, he told me that the smell of Lauren and her family would be amplified times ten considering that this was where they lived and spent most of their time; he wasn't kidding.

The front door opened and a strong, enticing smell came spilling out of the house. I gulped and smiled, "Happy Birthday!"

"Hey! Oh my god, come in! It's freezing out there. Come, come!" waved Lauren. I took my last breath of clean air and stepped inside. The house was nice, much smaller than my own but very nice. It had a Canadian country feel about it. The walls were painted a warm cream color and there were wood accents every where along with red plaid. It felt like I had just stepped into a cozy cottage. I was very impressed.

"Wow, this is a lovely house. It's so cozy and warm."

"My mother will love to hear you say that." smiled Lauren. "She put a lot of work into this house, many sleepless nights and blah, blah, blah. Come on, I'll introduce you to my family."

I followed behind Lauren as she lead me through the house and into the family room. There I met her parents, her grandmother, aunts, uncles and some younger cousins. After a few moments of greetings and some small talk Lauren lead me upstairs.

"I hope that wasn't too bad for you."

"No, your family's great." I smiled, sincerely.

"I begged my parents to let me have two separate parties, one for just family and one for friends, but she wouldn't let me do it. Oh well. Here's my room." she smiled and opened a door that lend to a room that looked nothing like the rest of the house. The walls were painted a deep shade of purple and the bright white trim around the windows, closet and floors really made the space look modern. There were posters that were pinned up on the walls of bands like Mother Mother, Metric and Muse. Her bed was a twin size that was covered in purple and gold sheets, there was a small desk against the wall that was covered in books and papers and there were some large pillows that were scattered on the floor to act as extra seating. All in all, it was a pretty awesome room for a teenager and I was severely jealous.

"Hey," smiled Julia who was sitting on a pillow next to Evan. Ben was also on the floor, and I was about to sit next to him when I realized that that wasn't a very good idea considering the length of my dress. I sat on the bed instead.

"You all ready and packed for tomorrow?" asked Julia.

"I packed this morning but I still feel like I'm forgetting something. What do I have to bring again?"

"Just the standard stuff. Hat, mittens, scarf, jacket, boots, general stuff to keep warm. And then regular clothes for when we're not get physical, and then toothpaste and toothbrush,"

"That's what I forgot, my toothbrush."

Lauren smiled, "Don't want to forget that."

"Though you did for get something even more important." smiled Ben.

"What's that?" asked Lauren.

"A picture of Evan and I, so you don't miss us too much when you're gone."

We all laughed. "Yeah, don't want to forget that one." commented Lauren.

I had a good time at Lauren's party. We spent most of the time up in Lauren's room while her family stayed down stairs. The cake was delicious and her presents were mostly cards with cash expect for mine and Julia's. Julia got her a fancy jewelry box with her name embossed on it. My gift made her scream.

"Oh my god! Renesmee, is this seriously for me?"

"Do you like it?"

"Like it? It's an iPhone! What's not to like!" she freaked.

"And the best part is is that I got it hooked up for you so it's all ready to go. You can take it with you to Whistler."

"Wow, that's so awesome! Thank you so much!" She hugged me tightly. "Mom, here - take a picture of us." smiled Lauren as she passed her phone to her mother. The five of us posed for a few photos, some serious, most just silly, when the doorbell rang.

"I'll get it!" said Lauren as she bounced to the door. "Hi!" I heard her say from the front entrance. And then I heard a voice that made my heart skip a beat.

"Happy birthday! I hope I'm not crashing the party, but I was hoping to speak with Renesmee." said Jacob.

"No, no, you're not crashing at all. Come in." said Lauren as she lead Jacob through the house. "Everyone this is Jacob, Renesmee's friend. Jacob, this is my family." smiled Lauren.

"Hello," waved Jacob with a smile. "Sorry to intrude, but I just wanted to stop by and wish Lauren a happy birthday. Oh, and I got you something." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card.

"Oh, thank you." smiled Lauren and she tore open the card and read it.

"What is it honey?" asked her mother.

"It's a gift card for iTunes. So I can get stuff for my iPhone." she explained, "Thanks Jacob, that's very nice of you."

"You're welcome." he replied with a smile and then glanced my way. Lauren caught the look too, "Well, I'm just gonna give my Mom a hand with the clean up and say good bye to my guests, so you guys feel free to head up to my room, or you know, whatever." She smiled and then paused as she passed me to whisper, "He wants to talk to you!"

"Oh?" I acted surprised and followed Jacob as he headed for the front door. The hallway wasn't long enough. There wasn't enough time for me to get my feelings under control, especially since he looked so good in his leather jacket, black shirt and dark blue jeans. And when he stepped outside and into the sunlight, I was mesmerized at how his skin looked intensely warm and golden. I rushed to slip my flats on and ran to keep up with him. He had reached his car by the time I got to him.

"Hey! Jacob," I grabbed his arm and he turned to look at me. His brows were furrowed and his expression looked grim. "What's wrong?"

"Are you avoiding me?" he asked.

"What? No, why do you ask that?"

"Come on Renesmee, I haven't seen you since the night of the dance. Did I... did I scare you or something?"

"No, you didn't scare me... I was just... there was a lot going on that night."

"I know that, but things with you and Lauren seem to be okay, so I have to wonder why I haven't seen you."

"I told you, I've been busy with school and home work,"

He gave me a disbelieving look and I shifted uneasily on the pavement.

"You're a bad liar."

"Am not. You're just an exceptionally good lie detector." I blushed.

He snorted, "Yeah, maybe." He shoved his hands into his pockets and leaned against the car. At that same moment a gust of cold autumn wind picked up and rustled my baby doll dress. I shivered and wrapped my arms around me. "Didn't you bring a jacket with you?"

"What, and ruin my look?" We both laughed, "I'm not cold, it was just a shiver."

"Sure, sure." He removed his jacket and wrapped it around me. It felt so warm and it smelt like him. "So were you planning on seeing me at all before you took off to Whistler?"

"Yes... I just, needed some time."

"Time?"

"Well, you know... to process what happened on Halloween."

"And how's that going?" he asked.

"Uhh... honestly? I-I don't know."

"You don't know?" he repeated.

"No..."

"What exactly are you confused about?" he asked as he bit his lip.

"Ahhhh..." was all I could say. I was now staring as his plump lips, wondering what they really tasted like. "Ahhh... you know... stuff..."

"Stuff." he repeated with a smirk.

"Yup. Stuff." I gulped.

"Is there some way I could help you? You know, figure out this stuff?" he asked in a low, sultry voice. How did I suddenly end up so close to him? When did that happen? How was I suddenly looking up at him and into his big, beautiful eyes?

"Um..." was all I was able to get out. It happened so sweetly, the way he raised my chin up with his hand, the way we both puckered and close our eyes at the same time, and the kiss it's self was nice and soft and sweet. It was a great first kiss. If only it hadn't been ruined by Lauren's family leaving the house.

"Good bye! See you guys soon! Happy birthday again! Take care!"

"There goes the moment," muttered Jacob and I laughed and hugged him. "I'll talk to you later, okay?" he said as he squeezed me tight. He kissed the top of my head and I let go and watched him get into the car and drive off. I pulled his jacket tightly around me and sniffed his sweet scent before I made my way back to the house.

"Hey, how did it go?" asked Lauren with a smile when she caught sight of Jacob's jacket.

"It was good." I blushed and turned to hide my face.

"Come on, you have to tell me! And remember, we were going to forget about that horrid night. I'm your best friend! I need to know!" she giggled.

"We kissed!" I whispered and she shrieked.

"How was it?" she asked as she put down the dishes she was holding.

"I don't know! It was good, I guess."

"You guess? How did it compare to the other guys you've kissed?"

"What other guys?"

"Oh come on, you've probably had like, what? At least seven boyfriends in your life?"

"Ha! Try none."

"None?" She looked absolutely shocked. "Wow... I just always assumed that you had dated before... you're so drop dead gorgeous. Anyways, so was it good? Was it hard and passionate or soft and sweet?" she coxed.

"Definitely soft and sweet." I smiled.

"And that made you feel...?"

"Even more confused." I admitted.

"What's there to be confused about? You're hot, he's hot - you two should be together!"

I laughed, "Ah, so that's how it works, huh?"

She laughed in return, "Alright, what do I know about relationships anyways? It's not like I've ever been in one. So, are you going to see him tonight?"

"I don't know. He told me that he'd call me on the phone. That's all he said before he left."

"Hmm... well, make sure you tell me all about it on the ride to Whistler tomorrow. Julia and I will need some juicy gossip in order to stay awake."

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"Alright Renesmee, let's go over this one last time."

"Dad, seriously, I got it. Can I just go?" I moaned.

"Renesmee," he said in his fatherly tone.

"Alright, alright. Alice and Rosalie are staying at the Hilton hotel in room two seventeen. Both of them will have their phones on at all time. If I need anything I shouldn't hesitate to ask them or go to them. I am to stay vigilant at all times. I am to have fun but not too much fun because if I have too much fun then I may get into trouble because I will not be vigilant enough."

"I didn't say those things." frowned my father.

"No, but you implied them." I muttered as I folded my arms across my chest.

"I just don't want you to get hurt Renesmee," he sighed.

"Dad, I won't get hurt. I'm half vampire for crying out loud! I'm nearly indestructible!" I argued.

"Okay, okay! You're right. Have fun, love." he smiled.

"Bye Dad. I love you." I smiled and got out of the truck. "See you in a week!" I waved goodbye and headed towards the bus with my bags. There was a line up of students along the side of the bus. At the head of the line up was Mrs Pike; she was making notes on a clipboard and was constantly counting those of us who were in line.

"Renesmee!" called Julia from midway down the line. I went to them. "Hey, you made it! I was worried you weren't going to come!"

"Yeah, my parents got a little sentimental. I've never been away from them for a whole week." I admitted and Lauren laughed.

"Tell me about it. I got the lecture this morning from my 'rents. The only way I got here on time was because I told them that the bus was leaving at five in the morning, not six, and I just got here half an hour ago." She rolled her eyes, "What's taking so long? It's freezing! I don't understand why we can't just wait on the bus."

"They're not letting anyone on?" I asked.

"No, I think they want to do a quick check through our bags before they let us on the bus." said Julia. She was right. Moments later Pike and another teacher, Mr. Harvey, began letting students on the bus, but not until they searched through all of the bags.

"What are they looking for?" I asked.

"The regular stuff. Booze, drugs, porn. That sort of thing." answered Lauren.

"And who would be stupid enough to bring that on a school trip?" I asked.

"You'd be surprised." said Lauren.

"Mr Fitzpatrick, what is this?" asked Mrs Pike at the head of the line.

"I believe it's called a beer, Ma'am."

"Seamus, you do know that you are not allowed any alcohol on the bus."

"Wasn't aware of it." he said with a shrug.

"I can't let you take this on the bus. You either toss it here and get on, or you can stay here and enjoy your beverage."

"Alright, alright. Huck the damn thing, it's not like I can't get more once we're in Whistler." he muttered as he grabbed his bags from the gym teacher and got on the bus.

"Like I said... you'd be surprised." smiled Lauren as she shook her head.

Everyone else got on the bus without incident. Lauren and I took a seat together and Julia sat in front of us. Most of the students on the bus wasted no time before they popped their music players in their ears and passed out. As the bus took off for the three and a half hour trip, the three of us girls were much too excited to sleep and instead talked the entire ride.

"So, what's happened last night with Jacob, Renesmee? Lauren told me that you guys kissed out side her house."

"Yes... we kissed, but it wasn't anything big. And I still don't really know what it means."

"What do you mean, 'You don't know what it means'? It means that he likes you." said Lauren.

"Well, that's what I thought, but the way it happened and then the phone call after wards..."

"What happened with the phone call?"

"It was the same as any other phone call. Hi, how are you? Good, you? I'm good. Long pause. Are you excited for tomorrow? Yes." I frowned, "He didn't mention the kiss at all. It was like nothing happened."

"Maybe he's just... shy." offered Julia.

"Jacob's not usually shy about anything."

"Yeah but this is different, you know. I mean, how does he usually act with his girlfriends?"

"He's never had one."

"Seriously? He's never had a girlfriend? Am I the only one who finds this hard to believe?" said Lauren. "Are there a lot of ugly people in Olympia?"

I laughed, "No, there's not a lot of ugly people in Olympia."

"Well then what's you guy's deal? I mean, not to bring up a sore subject, but all your "siblings" are hooked up with one another and you and Jacob are hot and neither of you has dated anyone... one does tend to wonder..." said Lauren.

"I don't know! Is it really that weird that I've never had a boyfriend? I was never into boys, until very, very recently. I didn't think about them at all! That sort of thing never crossed my mind."

"It crossed my mind when I was twelve years old." admitted Lauren. "I swear, I went boy crazy when I was younger. My mom found me one day in the bathroom crying and cutting my hair because the guy that I thought I was in love with said that he liked girls with short hair. She quickly grabbed the scissors away from me and sat me down and we had a big talk about hormones and puberty and why I was suddenly feeling this way about boys. It was scary and I hope to god that if I have any daughters, that they aren't as crazy as I was."

Julia laughed, "I remember when I first started to notice boys. It was like I couldn't stop looking at this one guy, Mark, I mean, now I look back and I know that he was nothing special, but when I was younger it was like he was sent from heaven or something. And when Evan and I first got together it was really scary but also fun and exciting. I actually broke up with him twice just so we could get back together again because the getting back together part was so much fun. I know, that sounds horrible, but it's true. There's just something wonderful about getting together with someone for the first time. It makes you glow on the inside... makes you feel the happiest you've felt in your whole life, like you're walking on air."

"Oh god, please stop! You're making me feel so lonely!" joked Lauren and we all laughed.

We continued to talk about boys, or should I say that Julia and Lauren talked while I listened. It turned out that Julia was no longer a virgin and that Lauren had had a summer fling last summer with an older guy that lead to a whole lot of kissing and groping. I was enthralled by their conversation. They had both had so much experience with guys, and to hear that they had been into boys at such a young age seemed so strange to me. But then again, I was only seven years old. And until recently, I had looked like I was twelve years old. But I always felt like I was so mature for my age. I never felt like a seven year old; I always felt so much older. Everyone who knew me told me that I was mature for my age too. But hearing these two girls talk about boys in this way... a part of me wanted to cover my face a blush, but another part of me wanted to hear more.