She stared at me, her eyes intense, her emotions uncertain and varied. Finally, she seemed to come to a decision. "Will you teach me to fight, Uncle Jazzy?"

I stared at her in disbelief. My niece, my little Nessie, wanted to learn how to fight. I opened my mouth, but had to work to get any sound to come out. "Why?" I managed, finally.

She was serious. Completely serious. "Just in case I need to protect myself. Or my family." She grew sad. "Auntie Alice nearly died because of me, you know."

I nodded tersely. I remembered it clearly, remembered the terror of thinking I had actually lost her.

"I want to know that if I ever had to, I could." She had given this a lot of thought. This was important to her. Edward was going to kill me later. Or Jacob. Either way wouldn't be pleasant. And then Alice would take her revenge on them, and Bella and Nessie would strike back, and the whole house would end up going down in flames. I cleared my mind. This was why I very rarely let my imagination have free rein.

"Okay Nessie," I agreed, "I'll teach you."

She was delighted. Estatic. Relieved. "When can we start?" She asked.

"Now." I said, and lunged at her. I had her pinned before she even had time to realize I had moved towards her.

"Wow." She breathed.

I let her up. "Lesson one. Always be alert." I proceeded to instruct her on the basics of fighting before inviting her to attack.

She lunged halfheartedly, and I caught her, pinning her once again. "You've got to do better than that." I growled. "Again."

She tried harder this time, but again I was faster. I let her up and let her attack once more, this time slowing down to give her a chance to try some of the things I had shown her.

"You aren't going to hurt me." I growled at her, and she growled back, starting to get a little frustrated. It was also the push she needed to put some force into her actions.

"That's enough for tonight." I said at last. "You still have homework." Predictably, she groaned.

"But it's so boring." She complained with exasperation.

I looked at her sternly. "History is not boring." I stated solemnly. "I know, I was there." She giggled, and I continued. "On the other hand, high school textbooks usually are."

"So can you help me study?" She asked, a gleam in her eyes. "And make it interesting." I gave her a bow and let my accent slip through as I replied, "Why, certainly, Miss. I'd be delighted to."

She replied with a mock drawl of her own that actually wasn't half bad. "Why, thank you kindly, sir." She laughed, taking my hand, and lead me to her room where her history book was waiting.