"It's very complicated," I said to Mom, who locked her eyes with mine, and wouldn't take no for an answer. What a mess I had to clean up now.
My eyes darted to Edward's eyes. He arched an eyebrow as if to express that the situation was entirely up to me.
"Uh oh. There is something you're hiding, isn't there?" Renee said. She lifted her shoulders. "You can tell me, it's not like you'll get punished for anything you've done, you're a grown girl."
I wasn't so sure about that. It would punish me to see her reaction. She would be flabbergasted to learn that her daughter had given birth to a three-year-old in the past few months, and, oh yeah, that she and the family that she was married into--were vampires. Now, how do you tell your mother all this without her having a heart-attack, or worse, looking at you like you're not her own child any longer?
That was precisely how she would react. I tried to recall how I felt when I found out that Edward wasn't normal. I loved him and accepted him, though I was shocked beyond words.
I forced a smile and shook my head, feigning a blasé disposition. "How about I tell you later?"
"You can tell me now." She folded her arms and raised her eyes towards the second floor, if I so wished to follow her to reveal my dark secret. I couldn't do this. "Please, just tell me what's going on, and I'll be done with worrying over you."
Phil had gone into the living room to watch a game on TV.
Edward slipped his arms around Renesmee and carried her to the kitchen. A moment later, they reappeared, Nessie cleaner and less stickier. "I'm taking her out to the back yard Bella." With his free hand, he gave my forearm a tight squeeze to show that he was supporting me, in whichever I chose to do with this predicament.
I shifted my weight and turned to head upstairs to my bedroom that my family was staying in. Renee was on my heels. Once we arrived safely inside with no other ears, I lowered myself on the bed.
Renee sat beside me, expectant.
It took me awhile to open my mouth. She touched my forehead. "Honey, you can tell me what's really bothering you,"
My gaze met hers. She obviously thought that something was wrong with me.
As she felt my frozen skin, I inched away and swallowed.
"Why are you so cold?" she asked me in a hoarse whisper. When I didn't respond she added, "There's something very…off about you. And about Edward, I don't know what…but I sense something…eerie. Something I don't know about."
I sighed. It was best to tell her but should I? No.
"It's uh, just that Edward's had a rare disease." I began, nodding as I spoke. "His entire family has it too, and now, so do I." I chewed on my lower lip.
She blinked her wide eyes. "What disease?"
"It effects the skin, the body, but isn't acute, or fatal. Just makes our skin very cold. It's uh, not contagious unless….the bodily fluids are exchanged." I knew it was too much information but how else would I explain this to her?
She gawked at me like she had just been told that I had an incurable disease. In this case, I did. Her mouth dropped open. "Sweetie why didn't you say anything? Is it going to hurt your body at all?"
I jerked my head side to side. "No, it's not. It just makes us a little different is all."
"What about Renesmee? Is she ever effected?"
She hesitated before speaking. She heaved a deep breath and then scanned the bedroom. Finally she was looking at me. "Alright, I see. I believe you. Because Lord knows, your skin is freezing." She laid her hand over mine and then patted it once before removing it. "Tell me this." She deliberated, eyeing me earnestly. "Why does Nessie look so much like you two? I know that she has your eyes and I know that you're still keeping something that has to do with her, away from me."
I didn't say anything. I kept my expression composed. She gave me a contrite look. "I don't miss a thing, Bella. You know that. I can tell that she looks like you, and this isn't just coincidence either. Please…just tell me."
A lump lodged itself in my throat. I held her eyes before speaking. There was no getting around this mudhole of a slump, and I couldn't lie to her. Not anymore. Well, perhaps I'd keep the vampire thing out of her reach of knowledge. What about Renesmee? Should I tell her? She wouldn't understand though. Charlie had, but that was after he learned what Jacob was, and although his knowledge was murky, he knew about us too.
Her eyebrows lifted anxiously, as she waited for a response.
"She's…ours." I spit out, not certain if I should regret it or not. I let out a long sigh. "She's really mine, I had given birth to her a few weeks after the wedding. She grows, and will grow fast. It's also a disease, rare, and noo, I won't tell anyone else except you."
"Wait wait wait," she said, holding up her hands. She seemed astounded. "So Nessie is your baby? Bella you've been married about four months. So how can this hnappen I don't get this." She was frustrated.
I twisted my body to look at her. "It is. It has to do with the disease, that Edward passed onto me. It's not going to kill Nessie or me or him for that reason."
She had turned stone white. She took a moment to contemplate what I was talking about. She fluttered her eyes and then tossed up her hands. "Fine. Okay. I believe you, for some odd reason." She let a long moment. It was tense between us. "I can see she's yours. But I want to know what the name of this disease is."
"Uh, it's called…ECD. Expedited Cellular Disease. It speeds up cell growth."
Renee stared at me like I was speaking French. Her jaw went flax.
I went on, as if I knew what she was talking about. I had to be thorough and confident. I held out my palm. "It doesn't effect you once your body reaches about the age of seventeen."
"Have you talked to the doctors? About this?"
"No. If we do, they'll never stop running tests, so his parents googled it."
A long pause, as she digested this news. "Well." She expelled a long breath. "Then my granddaughter's going to grow fast, so I may as well spend as much time as I can. But don't expect me to ever buy her kid cloths."