Much thanks for the reviews and things!
Thank you to my beta suspenceme for tearing this story apart and making it grammatically correct.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight.
The women stayed in the kitchen talking for a while after their heated conversation. Finally, Bella looked over at the clock at noted the time.
"Well, it's 11 o'clock. What time does your flight leave tomorrow?"
"It's not scheduled to depart until 12:20. I should get to bed anyway though so I don't sleep too late into the morning."
She nodded. "Here, I'll help you get the sheets on the bed in the guest bedroom."
They walked down the hallway, one after the other. They were silent in doing their assigned task. Once the sheets were placed neatly on the bed, Bella started towards the door.
"Mom," Renesmee called out.
Bella turned at the doorway, pausing her stride. "Yeah, Ren?"
"Thanks for telling me the truth. Even though it threw me for a loop, I'm okay with you liking women. I just wanted to let you know that."
If tears were possible, they would have pooled in Bella's immortal eyes. Instead, her throat constricted and she swallowed the emotions. "Thank you," she said quietly, "that means a lot to me. Goodnight, Ren." She turned back to exit and began walking again.
She didn't see the small smile her daughter had on her face. "Night, Mom."
Isabella walked at a human pace out of the house. She slowly extinguished the lights in each room she passed so as to give her daughter a dark, peaceful home to rest in. She, on the other hand, was heading to the beach.
Upon walking outside she slipped her shoes off and began walking along the shallow surf, her mind flooded with thoughts.
How could she be so stupid? The secret she had kept closer to her heart more than anything else had slipped between her lips like shadows hide in the night and she had let it happen. She had let it happen in front of her daughter no less! The only way the situation could be worse was if she had slipped in front of Jasper. Just the idea of her secret being found out by Jasper put a shudder through her body. What he would do to her if he figured it out…
But he and Alice were on the verge of splitting up according to her daughter. She had mentioned that Jasper had felt something from his mate that 'shouldn't have been there.' What could that be? The only possible theory she could come up with was love or intense attraction for another person other than himself…
Alice loved someone else other then Jasper?
That was a thought to ponder. Tired of walking along the water, Bella rid herself of her camisole and shorts to reveal a blue and green bikini. It was time for a swim. She tied her hair into a ponytail, took a deep, though unnecessary, breath and dove into the water.
While breathing wasn't required anymore, it was uncomfortable to go without the motion of inhaling. However, she found shortly after her transformation that the tight feeling in her chest didn't come until over 20 minutes after an intake of breath. That meant a little diving with the marine animals would suffice she still thought through the current situations arising.
She kicked her legs and fought through the currents easily, suddenly finding herself almost half a mile from shore. She noted that the distance from the bottom of the ocean floor and the surface was approximately a quarter mile from her current location. She found some corral at the bottom and grabbed on while she dug herself into the sand at the bottom. Once she was sure she wouldn't float back up, Bella continued on her previous train of thought.
There was a possibility that Alice loved someone other than the man she had been with for over a hundred years. The anger and depression welled up insider her so quickly that she physically shook. It was bad enough the secret object of her desire already had someone, but the idea of her loving someone else, someone other than Jasper who she loved like a brother, was agonizing.
The only thing that had kept her from falling apart since her realization was that she was happy with Jasper; she would never ruin the happiness her brother had with the new love of her life. So she kept herself at a distance from the moment she and Edward stepped back into the U.S. There was only one moment after they got home that she worried she had let it slip.
They were walking towards the house from the car; Edward on her left a few feet away. Neither had said anything the whole trip back. Before they even reached the stairs, a woman with pixie-like features opened the door to greet them with a warm smile. Bella was awestruck. The sunlight danced over Alice's skin and made it sparkle in the sunset; she had never seen Alice in this way before. Breathtaking.
She found herself unable to look away from reddened lips and couldn't help entertaining the idea of what it would feel like to kiss those lips. She imagined herself sweeping up Alice in her arms right there and stealing the kiss in front of Edward. "Welcome back, both of you."
The voice knocked her out of her fantasy and she thought only too late about Alice's ability to see the future based off of the person's decisions. Afraid to meet her eyes, Bella slipped in the house muttering a 'hello' before darting to the living room to greet the rest of the family.
She never thought about Alice again after that in such a way for fear of the pixie seeing it in a vision. No, she replaced the thoughts of Alice with the thoughts of women in general. Women could bring her happiness, she told herself, if she found the right one. Her eventual self seclusion from her family, she supposed, was inevitable.
She stayed away from the family most of the time and only made an appearance for longer than a couple of hours during the holidays. She continued on for 11 years after her separation by filling a part of the void in her heart with random women she met. Bars, coffee shops, stores, car dealerships; you name the place and Bella had most likely met a woman there. She kept most of them for a month but there was some variety in their time with her, some only lasted a night while some lasted a couple of months.
It was in those moments of utter bliss and intense pleasure that Bella found some solace in what she was doing. That hiding this huge part of herself from her family and the rest of the world was for the greater good.
It was time for another dose of air. She started digging herself out of the sand and soon swam back to the surface. When her face broke out into open air, she let loose the stagnant air in her lungs and inhaled deeply. She stayed floating at the top, on her back, looking at the stars for a long time. Finally deciding she should get back to land, Bella swam towards the house. Upon getting to shore she laid out on the beach in the fading moonlight and enjoyed the stillness the night provided.
It was for the greater good. She always had to keep reminding herself throughout the years of that fact when there was no one substantial to relax with at night or anyone permanent to spend time with.
She noticed rays of red light coming up above the horizon. The sunrise. How many sunrises had she witnessed alone only because the one she longed for didn't reciprocate her feelings? Instead of continuing on this train of thought Bella focused on the rising sun and its warmth against her skin. From its position on the horizon, she guessed it was around 7 in the morning. She got up soundlessly from the ground and put her outer garments back on over her now dry swimsuit.
Deciding a jog around the island would clear her mind for the day, she set off barefoot in what would be a humans' sprint but was barely a jog in vampires' eyes. She went around the island 12 times before she figured it was late enough to wake her daughter; she had guessed it to be around 9:30 now.
She walked at what was her normal pace to the house. She grabbed her shoes and set them in the closet closest to the side door she came in at. She continued walking to the kitchen and proceeded to make a breakfast of eggs, toast, and bacon for Renesmee, whom she was getting ready to wake up. She placed everything on a large plate and set the table accordingly. Walking over to the fridge, she also took out a large gallon of blood that she had stored from her earlier hunting. She poured half the gallon in a large glass and placed a straw in the liquid. Now she was ready to wake her daughter.
Bella walked down the hallway, the very same hallway she had walked countless times in those years with Edward as they laughed their way to the bedroom caught up in each other's arms all those years ago. They had been so happy… She shook her head to rid herself of the errant thought.
She walked in to her daughter's room and stood in the doorway observing the sleeping woman.
Renesmee was spread out over the entire bed, leaving no room for anything else, even spare pillows, to lie. She was lying on her stomach with her head facing the side, drooling a bit on the pillow her head was on. Bella also noted that while her daughter was wrapped in the sheets, she wore no pants to bed.
She laughed outright. 64 years old and her daughter still had the same sleeping habits she had at the age of 2. The sound of her laughter jolted her daughter from her sleep and she looked up.
"Wha'? Wha's go'n on?" She wiped the unsightly drool from her face.
Bella laughed again; this was like reliving a day when Renesmee was 13. "Get up! I made breakfast."
Her daughter sat up in bed and quickly threw some pants on. "Breakfast?" She asked, still too dazed from sleep to get out full sentences.
She smiled. God, she and Jacob were perfect for each other. "Yes, child. Breakfast. It's in the kitchen if---" her daughter bolted out of the room at a speed faster than the human eye was capable of seeing.
She walked leisurely back to the kitchen and sat across from her daughter, who was already eating her second helpings of eggs and bacon. She just sipped on her straw containing her own sustenance, waiting patiently for her daughter to get her fill of food.
Finally sitting back from her plate and tapping her protruding stomach with both hands, Renesmee groaned. "That was good. I'm so full I could just lay back down and sleep again."
Her mother rolled her eyes. "Well, considering you need to be at the airport in 2 hours that's probably not a good idea."
Renesmee smiled. "Well it was a good idea anyway." She began to put the dirty dishes in the sink, no doubt leaving them there for her mother to clean later.
"Hey, I cooked. The least you can do is clean up." Bella said with a frown on her face.
Her daughter groaned. "Fine," she drawled in a way that made Bella recount her daughter's frustrating teen years. Grudgingly Renesmee walked to the sink and began cleaning the dishes.
"So…" Bella began, "how is everyone else at home responding to Jasper and Alice's situation?"
That was safe enough. Just ask how everyone else is doing and not her in question.
"Oh, you know them. Uncle Emmett and Aunt Rose are ignoring it and shacking up like bunnies as usual. Grandma Esme would cry if she could, but so far all she's managed to do is just keep cleaning like her life depended on it since neither of them will talk about it. Dad is only over there sometimes but he's not saying much about it either. He keeps saying they both start humming show tunes or start reenacting civil war battle formations. I think he just doesn't want to try to get in their way because he's afraid they'll split up like…" Her sentence drifted off but Bella knew what she was saying.
"He's afraid they'll end up like we did. I know. Ren, you forget I was with your Dad for over half a decade. I know how he thinks."
All her daughter did was shake her head. For all the years her parents had been together, she knew that they obviously weren't perfect for each other. Her mother's attraction to women, possibly one woman, was proof enough of that.
Instead of voicing this, she put the now clean dishes away and sat down with her mother again, this time hoping to get a little information.
"I know. Anyways enough of the family drama, I want to know about all these women."
Bella groaned and let her head drop to the table, careful not to let it break the wood in two. She lifted it after a moment only to drop it in her hands as she stared at her daughter.
"What do you want to know? Most of them only lasted for a month, some less, and some more."
"Well, what did they look like, for one?"
Her mother laughed at her. "Ren, I've dated more women than the years you've been alive and you want me to describe each one to you?"
She frowned. No, that wouldn't do. Besides, they'd be here all day if her mom did that and she had a plane to catch. She'd have to try a different approach.
"No, that'd take forever. Weren't there any that you spent more than a month with?"
She smiled again. "So tell me about those ones. There isn't more than ten of those ones, I hope?"
Bella smiled. "I see what you're getting at. No, there weren't more than ten."
In her head she was dancing. "Good, so tell me what they were like."
So tell her Bella did. She went on for a good hour with Renesmee stopping every once in a while to ask questions. At the end of their talk, Renesmee knew that she was a few steps closer to figuring out this potential mystery woman. She now knew that all of these women her mother had gotten closer to were brunettes or dark blondes with short hair and were shorter than her. That piece on the height was a good piece of information in and of itself since it narrowed down her choices of women.
She now could tell that the woman her mother was in love with was most likely a shorter, brunette or dark blonde woman with short hair whom her mother had known for at least the last 15 or so years. She had a dozen or so guesses swimming in her head; a few of them being Jane (shudder), Tanya's older sister (she couldn't think of her name), and Leah from Jake's pack. There were a few other outlandish theories in her mind as well, but she figured she'd eliminate some of the more probable ones first.
"So you've never had a thing for Jane or Tanya's sister in Denali then?" She asked innocently, trying her best to sound simply curious.
Her mother eyed her for a moment then responded. "No. Jane is a cold-blooded menace, and Tanya's sister… Let's just say she's a little too conceited for my tolerance level."
Okay, two down and only four or five more to go. "Oh. Well, what about Leah? She still hasn't imprinted on anyone yet and you guys might be good for each other."
Her mother scowled. "Ren, you may be able to handle Jake, but even if she was a perfect match for me I wouldn't be able to handle being around the smell of wet dog all the time. I only do it now for your kids' sake."
She laughed at her mother's facial expression. She had forgotten that they, full vampires abhorred the supposed smell that came along with being a werewolf. How could she forget something like that? No matter. It crossed Leah off the list. Now onto the more crazy ideas: Aunt Alice, and Zafrina from the Amazon.
Just the thought of her mom being infatuated with one of her aunts grossed her out. Aunt Alice was pretty much the complete opposite of her mother. And Zafrina… heh. Zafrina had been trying to get with her mother, or in her pants, since she and her coven had come to fight in the standoff between the Cullens and the Volturi all those years ago. Zafrina was her most ridiculous guess, so it was more likely that Aunt Alice was the one, and even that idea was preposterous. Still…
Renesmee got up from her seat and started towards the bathroom; she needed a shower before she left. She thought up a quick idea to eliminate one of the potential women as she walked away. "I don't know about you, Mom, but if I was into women, I'd be trying to steal Aunt Alice away from Uncle Jasper. She's hot."
Behind her she could hear her mother sputter into her drink, no doubt spilling some onto the counter if the sound of sloshing liquid was anything to go by. A smirk found its way onto her face for the pride she held in figuring it out. It was quickly overrun with a frown as she considered the consequences from figuring the puzzle out so quickly. She'd have to keep the thoughts away from her father once she got home until she could further confront her mother.
She didn't bother getting a spare set of clothes from her mom and instead opted to just wear what she had worn to the island back home. She turned the dials in the shower and stepped in; she figured she had about 45 minutes before she had to leave. That left her around a half hour to shower, to give her mother time to recuperate, and ten or so minutes to put on her makeup and style her hair. She went about her routine, idly thinking about her husband.
Oh God. She knew. Renesmee knew. It was over. Her secret was out.
What was she going to do?
Nothing. She couldn't do anything at all, because soon her daughter would be leaving for home. Once she was there Bella knew it was a matter of short moments before she told Jacob, who would be an idiot and mention it in front of the kids. Of course the children wouldn't know any better and eventually ask Grandpa Edward about it…
Edward. God, if Edward knew it would break his heart. Even after all these years she knew he loved her. If he weren't already dead she was sure it would kill him to find this out, and from his grandchildren instead of from her to boot.
No. This couldn't happen. She couldn't let it. How was she going to stop it?
"Okay, I need to calm down first of all." She said to herself.
Now what? Now, she had to do damage control. She had to make sure that Renesmee didn't tell anyone, and that included thinking about it considering whom her father was. At least until she could tell him herself. The inevitability of what her plan was going to do railed through her mind: she was going to admit that she loved Alice.
First, though, was the hard part; getting Renesmee to keep quiet for the time being. She had to make it happen in a way that made Renesmee think it was her own idea to stay silent. She heard the water in the bathroom shut off as her daughter began drying herself with a towel.
Frantically, she thought. She could act sinister and threaten her daughter with a lifetime's worth of continuous pranks is she didn't keep her mouth shut. No, that wouldn't work. Renesmee was a woman who knew how to respond to threats; she had been a lawyer and a policewoman in a previous life.
She could play true to her feelings and act on her desperation. Surely her daughter would see that she was sincere in her fear of admitting the truth? That seemed a reasonable plan. She could do that. It was worth a shot.
Now all Bella had to do was wait.