AN: As I promised, Edward writes Renesmee's lullaby (Moonlight). Name borrowed from Yiruma's song. Daddy-daughter bonding. Very small lemon ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the actual song Moonlight. *sigh*
"Daddy?" Renesmee chirped next to me. She was perched on the piano bench, slim fingers poised over the ivory keys.
I smiled at her. "Yes, sweetheart?"
"Can we start a new song?" I actually already had one in mind-a nocturne that I was sure Renesmee would play well. "Tomorrow, sweetheart. Why don't you play this one once more before going to bed?"
She sighed dramatically, looking so much like Bella that I almost chuckled. Then she played through the piece. It was a Haydn sonata, one that fit the vivacious part of her personality. It was flawless, as good as if I were playing. She was so talented, our little girl. My throat felt tight.
I realized that she had said my name a few times already. "Yes, Nessie?"
"Was that good?"
She wanted my approval. I tried to look as fatherly as a seventeen-year-old could. "It was beautiful, Nessie. Perfect." The words might have sounded dismissive, and I voiced them with real pride. Her thoughts, remarkably coherent and with astounding vocabulary for a girl her physical age, blossomed with joy. "Go to bed, now. Ask Rosalie to help you undo your hair." I eyed the braids and loops my two impractical sisters had turned the orderly bronze waves into skeptically.
I loved seeing the similarities between her, Bella, and me-it made us feel more like a child and her parents despite the unlikely ages. Her eyes like melted chocolate and her healthy rose pink blush were obviously Bella's, while she inherited my copper hair. This beautiful baby angel, as improbable as it might seem to a stranger, was our daughter.
She nodded and slipped off the bench, skipping up the stairs to Rosalie and Emmett's room. I almost called her back-if Rose and Emmett were up to what they usually were around this time of night, I definitely didn't want her exposed to that.
I heard my love's light footsteps come up behind me. As a greeting, I started playing her lullaby. I could almost hear her perfect, full lips turn up in a smile. "Edward."
Even though I had heard my name through her voice many times, it still give me a thrill to hear her say it again, saturated with love. I couldn't believe I deserved this angel, no matter how many times I held her in my arms or ran my fingers through her hair. She was so beautiful, standing before me in a cream white sweater and pair of jeans that not only called attention to her flawless figure but showed that she had managed to evade Alice and her couture regulations today. I smiled unconsciously, remembering Alice's thoughts earlier in the day involving kitten heels and some tiny expanse of cloth that could barely qualify as a dress.
She nodded toward the stairs. "She's doing wonderful. You're a great teacher."
I smiled crookedly and leaned forward to press my lips to hers, still playing. "Let's go to the cottage. Rose will bring Nes-Renesmee over later." Bella still preferred our daughter's full name to the shortening. That thought brought Jacob Black to my mind, and I pondered our relationship as we ran through the night air. Almost a friend, even a brother. And I certainly couldn't forget what I owed him-Bella, alive and somewhat well. I shivered. Bella noticed, and her hand gripped mine more tightly.
Tiny, invisible insects buzzed and chirped, creating a quiet background symphony to the just audible breeze rustling leaves and dancing through blades of grass. Bella's face was so lovely in the moonlight, ivory skin glowing in the faint light. Her brow was furrowed in deep concentration, her eyes like melted gold were serious. To my shock, I could suddenly read her thoughts.
. . . so beautiful. She's growing up so fast . . .
I nodded, wistful. Soon Renesmee wouldn't be our little girl anymore. She would be almost my age. "You lifted the shield?" I remembered the first time she'd accomplished that, a few months ago just after the horrific Volturi incident. If that had turned into a fight . . .
She nodded, triumphant. I laughed lightly and swept her up in my arms as we reached the cottage door.
"Hey!" she complained, arms crossing over her chest as I carried her into our room and set her on the bed. I purposely left the door open, letting moonlight stream in.
"Thresholds are part of my job description," I reminded her, then laughed again, recalling another identical conversation we'd had the first night of Bella's immortality. That first night . . .
As though reading my mind, she let her thoughts wonder to the all-white bedroom, our clothes discarded on the floor . . .
"Damnit," I growled, pressing my lips to her throat hungrily. Her thoughts disappeared suddenly, and I felt a strange arrogance that I was able to distract her so entirely.
Bella laughed, a silver bell-like sound that almost aroused my still heart. Her butterscotch eyes were lit with impatience and zeal as her fingers tore the fabric of my shirt. Her lips left lingering kisses over my throat, my shoulders. Damnit . . . so beautiful. My fingers tugged at the shoulders of her sweater, planting my lips against her newly exposed skin. Smooth as marble, yet almost soft . . . I remembered when every touch had been soft and warm. As averse as I had been before to the idea of making Bella immortal, now I didn't regret it. We had missed out on so much, as Emmett had pointed out numerous times. I was far too selfish, wouldn't have hesitated a second if I'd known what it would feel like to have her forever.
I breathed in her scent, the signature sun-lilac-honey scent of the Cullen family mixed in with her own heavenly perfume of strawberries and freesia, just as she had smelled in her human life. She grinned at me, the smile unintentionally seductive, as she pulled her sweater over her head, leaving her chest bare save for the skimpy scarlet lace. Oh God. She has been listening to Alice.
"Do I have to take it off myself?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow coyly.
It wasn't until I tried to speak that I noticed my jaw had fallen slack. I snapped it shut. "No . . . I can do that."
Feeling almost awkward, I undid the clasps that held the scrap-it really wasn't much more-of lace in the back. When it was gone, all I could do was stare again. Her golden eyes held mischief and expectancy.
"Now that we're both half naked . . . " she murmured.
I didn't let her finish, my lips slamming into hers.
"You guys could close the door if you're going to do that," a lilting voice suggested behind us. Renesmee. Shoot.
"Renesmee," Bella gasped, diving under the covers and coming out completely dressed.
In the bright light, we could see her eyes roll. "Yeah. Do you guys mind? I just saw the same thing, but worse, with Uncle Em and Aunt Rose, and I came home with my hair like this-" she jabbed a finger at her Minnie Mouse hair. "Only to find you similarly engaged. Technically, I'm only about a year old, so I find this really creepy. It's like, porn or something."
Bella dove under the blankets again, and I heard her hysterical laughter through the thin sheets. I quickly put my shirt back on and tried to grin at Nessie. Her acute use of sarcasm, frankly, was scary. She had clearly inherited that from her mother.
"Sorry about that, Nessie." Not sorry that it had happened, but sorry that she'd been witness to it. I made a mental note to talk with Emmett. "Time for bed, sweetheart." I reluctantly left Bella giggling under the covers, the word "porn" almost intelligible, and tucked Nessie into bed. "Goodnight, Nessie."
"Goodnight, Daddy," she added slightly. Please don't let that ever happen again . . . Ugh. She shuddered mentally. I chuckled and closed the door.
Our growing daughter, who would soon be at a mature age of fifteen . . . A child trapped in a seven-year-old's body. I felt immensely guilty at trapping my own daughter to this life. She had us, but she would never feel completely normal, or at ease in the human world. Was there some small way I could make it up to her?
* * *
"Daddy, what are you writing?" Nessie appeared at the piano bench right beside me.
Childishly, I picked up my half-finished composition and hugged it to my chest. "I'll play it for you when I'm done."
"No." She pouted, her lip jutting out persuasively. "Now."
"I'll play it for you when I'm done," I repeated.
"Fine." She stood. "I'll go ask Aunt Alice."
"Nessie, it's a-" I heard Alice call from her vast closet, which she was "spring cleaning."
"Alice, if you dare tell her what it is, I'll pay Rosalie to disable your Porsche," I threatened.
"NO! NOT MY PORSCHE! ROSE!" Alice screamed. I heard a soft thump of clothing falling to the ground as she streaked downstairs and into the garage. "ROSALIE!"
* * *
"Are you done yet, Daddy?"
"No. Almost," I murmured, trying several notes before writing them down.
She let out a high, exasperated sigh. "Why won't you tell me what you're writing?" Her hand brushed mine, and I caught a brief glimpse of other songs I had written, of her sitting on the bench next to me in enraptured silence.
"This is a special one," I made a hasty, inept excuse. I was getting worse at that-spending so much time with my family, away from human eyes, had weakened my lying aptitude. Not that I minded.
She huffed and stomped away, flinging herself onto the couch. I chuckled silently to myself. "You better play it for me when you're done."
"I will," I promised. Of course.
* * *
I felt a swell of pride as I scribbled down the last few notes. Finally, I had finished the hardest song I had ever written. Most weren't this difficult, not even Bella's-especially not her lullaby, for that had come naturally. It had been so difficult to capture Renesmee's spirit in this piece, sweet and intelligent and loving, embedded in the memory of her face at our doorway, flooded with moonlight, brown eyes like Bella's had been sparkling like mocha gems.
I played through the piece, adjusting several dynamics and fingerings without breaking the smooth rhythm. I hoped she liked it.
A quiet voice appeared right by me. "Daddy?"
I whirled around. Renesmee was standing there with her hands clasped, eyes wide and lips trembling.
"Did you write that for me?" she asked softly.
"Yes," I confessed. "Do you like it?"
She bounded into my lap and threw her arms around my shoulders. "I love it, Daddy!" I knew she meant it from the emotions emanating from her touch. "It's beautiful," she sniffled in her high soprano voice, muffled by tears, against my shoulder. I stroked her curls. "I'm glad you liked it, Nessie. But how did you know it was for you?"
She looked at me with a duh expression clearly learned from her tenacious aunt. "One, you hid it from me all week. Two, the first paper has the words 'Renesmee's Lullaby-Moonlight' written on it." She couldn't stay mad for long, hugging me again. "I love it, Daddy," she sighed happily.
Then she lifted her head and beamed at me with anticipation. "Do you want to hear me play my nocturne now?"
"Sure, sweetheart," I agreed as I watched her fingers position themselves over the keys. It was sure to be beautiful. Just like moonlight. Just like her.