Disclaimer: Breaking Dawn is the property of Stephenie Meyer. This is the same story, through the eyes of the little girl who saw it all. Thanks to Betas Quothe Me and Emily Lynne from PTB for their help finishing this chapter.
I became aware of sound. I could hear something happy. I could feel warmth. I could feel something beside me, but outside. The sound was good, making me happy. I was pulled toward the sound, and I realized I was pulling that one toward me. Then I recognized more than one of the same sound. The one I pulled, and a more melodious one. Then, louder than either of those, was the voice of the one who held me. This was when I first realized I was being held. I knew I was cramped, but I didn't know it was because I was inside someone. And as I reflected on that I felt the love of that one for me. I remembered dim flashes, not quite fully aware then, I remembered love. I didn't understand the words of the one who held me, but I knew she asked a question. I heard the voice of the one I pulled again and stretched to reach him. I heard concern, a gasp from the one who held me, and I stopped moving. All this new awareness... Tired...
I woke again and noticed that the one I pulled was no longer here. I was sad but listened to the voices outside. The one who held me spoke and was answered most often by two melodious voices, one high and one low. I learned these voices and tried to understand what they said. I could tell the low one was troubled. It sounded like I felt; like it was missing something, longing for something. I wanted to give it to him. The higher one was protective, like the one who held me. Most of all, in part due to its volume and in part due to my love for her, I focused on the one who held me. Maybe next time I would understand. I hoped the one I pulled would be back. He would be; after all, he was mine. He wouldn't be gone long.
I was right. When I woke next he was back. I stirred, but he wasn't as close as I thought. I heard another gasp from the one who held me. Moving hurts her; I needed to remember that. But I needed to reach him. He pulled me just as I pulled him. Thankfully, the one who held me was moving in the right direction. I could hold still then, maybe. I heard his speaking voice. It was terse, authoritative, but it also made me feel good. I still couldn't understand much. Hunt. What did that mean? It seemed to be something important. He was close again. The high voice was indignant.
"Psycho," he called her. That didn't seem right. She was angry at him. I didn't want them to hurt each other.
The one who held me agreed aloud. "Enough, Jacob." Jacob... Was that her name? Enough. Did that mean stop? That was what I wanted to convey.
Then the one who held me spoke again, "You look tired," and the one I pulled answered, "Dead beat." The high voice replied to that, but I couldn't make out the words. I tried to think about those I'd already heard. Tired. That was the important one, I decided. That was what she was trying to emphasize. I wished she would say more, or that I could learn more from what she said.
I heard the low melodious voice then; it wasn't as longing as before. Maybe like me, the one he needed was here. The low voice and one who held me were talking to each other, and I couldn't keep track of the words, but I tried so hard to hold them. I needed her words. The low voice said something else, "loves you," and then the one who held me yelled.
SO LOUD! I reached for the one I pulled, kicking out.
"Baby," I heard from the one who held me. I was sure she meant me. I understood something! I was learning! I was baby! The low voice had used that word too. Now the one who held me made loving sounds and I heard warm, safe and loved. Those were things that I had. I tried to match them to things I knew, but I had no way of knowing if I got it right.
"EJ." That was a name. The low melodious voice sounded full now. It was much nicer. The high voice was back asking for another name. Renee, Esme, Renesmee and Edward. Someday I would know what all these names were associated with. I wanted to see, to know. I wanted to be with them. Which one was the one who held me? Which the one I pulled? I loved them so much; I needed them.
The low voice was pained again. What was wrong? Then the one I pulled was gone. The low voice was quickly back and that appeased me some. More names were given, Rosalie and Bella. I kept listening, thrilled to be learning. It helped fill the hole left by the one I pulled. I finally discovered that Rosalie was the high voice, and Edward was the low one. So who was Jacob then? I put it together when the angry voice came in. She used that name often. Jacob was the one I pulled. The one I needed. I kicked out before remembering I shouldn't do that. The one who held me began to make a terrible sound and I realized that she was in pain, more than I had caused. The other voices became angry too. Edward and Rosalie finally chased the angry one away and came to comfort the one who held me. She was Bella. They crooned her name as they consoled her. Too much... Their musical voices lulled me into sleep.
The one I pulled, Jacob, I reminded myself, was back. I settled happily inside Bella. He was speaking with Bella.
"...sorry..." What did those words mean? They were said with amusement. I reached with my mind for Jacob, knowing reaching with any other part of me would hurt Bella. Suddenly I was being moved, much more vigorously than I was used to. Usually when Bella moved it was drifting. This was jerky. I tried very hard to stay still, knowing it hurt her when I moved.
"One more day," Bella said. There was relief in her voice. That meant soon.
Then there was a much more violent jerk and a new sensation reached me. I had never had an urge to breathe before. Everything I needed came through Bella. Now that connection was gone. I was in trouble. I was in pain. I started to fight, to kick. It was awful, knowing it would hurt Bella, but I needed to get out. My chest ached. I tried to pull in the fluid around me, but that didn't fill me. Jacob? Yes, I needed Jacob, but that wasn't what I was trying to take in. As I thought of Jacob, I was aware of the voices again. Edward and Rosalie where shouting. I kept fighting.
"Get him out!" Bella was screaming now and it pummeled my ears. Soon was not soon enough. I pushed my legs harder, stretching as much as I was able. I'd hit a wall. I tried to think of a way through. The voices were still shouting. I pushed again. I heard Edward and Jacob once more. I heard the ripping, the grinding, and then there was light. Everything was so bright, I couldn't make out anything at first.
I heard Jacob telling me to stay with him now. Except he was calling Bella. I pulled air into my lungs. For the first time, I saw a face. From the voices before, this was where Edward would be. "Renesmee," he said, and confirmed my guess with his voice, low and melodious. Was I wrong? Was I not baby?
"Give her to me," Bella demanded. I saw another person standing over her. That would be Jacob, but he was intent on Bella and so was I. She was beautiful. She was the one who held me. She was my world up until now. She held me again, but being held on her outside instead of her inside was very odd. Suddenly I realized there was something else I was lacking now that our connection was gone. I needed to fill my mouth the way she had before. I filled my mouth with her, hoping to find what I needed. I did! It was warm, thick, metallic. It was wonderful to taste! Bella tasted wonderful! Suddenly, I was being pulled away from her.
"No, Renesmee," Edward told me. Apparently that was me, and I had done something wrong. Jacob was breathing into Bella. I understood that now. That was what I had needed. Of course she needed it too. I was so glad Jacob was looking after her.
Rosalie returned then. "Give me the baby," she was saying. So I was baby and Renesmee? I still didn't understand. I didn't want to leave Bella and Jacob, but I was tired again too, and I knew Rosalie. She would watch over me until they were back. I fell asleep in her cool arms.
I opened my eyes again, feeling something wet on me. I saw water splashing over me, and where it fell, my skin was white. Before it was red, now it was white. How strange. Then I was wrapped up and Rosalie held me. I pulled for Jacob and Bella. Were they still well? Rosalie wouldn't be here if they needed her, would she? But maybe her love for me was not love for them. Bella. Jacob. Edward. They were all away.
Rosalie cooed, "Here you go," and held out something to me. I didn't understand, but as she popped it in my mouth, I tasted it. I had smelled that all over the room with Bella and as she washed me. This was what I needed, what my body craved. I sucked greedily, feeling stronger with every mouthful. Bella tasted better, I remembered, but Edward had said no. Did that mean I'd hurt her again?
Then I felt him. He was coming closer. Jacob. I pulled with my mind again. I smiled at Rosalie and she smiled back. She laid cold lips on my cheek. She lifted me into the air and it occurred to me that moving didn't hurt Bella anymore. I could reach for him with my arms, my legs. I knew he was close. I looked up into his eyes, finally seeing them without Bella to pull my attention away. He was beautiful, dark, unlike Rosalie or Edward. He was huge. He was perfect. He was mine.
Rosalie pulled me closer to herself and I needed Jacob back. As I could no longer reach for him, I reached to her, filling my thoughts with my need for him, that moment seeing him. Rosalie gasped and froze. Jacob had come closer and I turned to him. He knelt next to us so that his eyes were level with mine. Rosalie still hadn't moved. I stretched a hand to him and she finally shifted, holding me tighter. I didn't understand. Why couldn't I reach him? I touched Rosalie again.
I hadn't taken my eyes from Jacob's face and now it bore lines over and between his eyes. Then a small curve came to his mouth. I learned what these expressions meant as I examined them. The first, I was sure, was confusion. It looked like how I felt trying to understand. The second, I felt through his eyes as they glittered, amusement. My mouth copied his before he spoke. "Thinking too hard about something, Blondie? Didn't strain anything I hope." Blondie. That was Rosalie. Blondie was Rosalie. Was that how I was Renesmee and baby? That made sense and comprehension caused my mouth to curve wider, my own amusement reflected in Jacob's. I reached for him again. He looked back at me and reached for me too.
Rosalie continued to hold me back. I was becoming annoyed with her. Hadn't I explained that I needed him? But they used voices. Maybe she hadn't understood me. As I started to reach back to her again, Jacob asked, "May I?"
This seemed to be what Rosalie needed. She grunted. "I don't trust you with her, Dog. You've been fairly clear on what you think of the baby. Why should I think you won't kill her when I let go?" I only understood part of that. I recognized concern, and I was sure she directed it at me. And 'Dog' was Jacob. I tried to keep these second names straight so I would know who was talking to whom in future.
"You're faster than me," he admitted reluctantly, "so stop me if I make a move you don't like." He reached for me again and I stretched one arm to him.
Being held by Jacob was easily as wonderful as being held outside by Bella. Not quite as perfect as being held within her, but I had more room out here and I could see and understand so much more. This was better. He was also warm. He bent his head over me and I saw a white hand catch his chin before it came any closer. I reached past it to his cheek, which was finally within reach. I filled my thoughts with him. His laughter and voice while I was in Bella, his eyes just now for the first time. I remembered him telling us to stay with him. Well, telling Bella, but I was sure he could tell I included myself. He flinched then, separating my hand from his cheek. The hand on his chin pulled his face up. Rosalie and Jacob were looking at each other now.
"You saw it, too?" she asked him. "I knew something had to have put your face in my mind; it's usually your smell that lingers." She wrinkled her nose.
"That was her?"
"What else could it have been?"
Success! They could understand me.
"I'm so sorry. Sorry I didn't see how amazing you would be."
I felt his affection. It made me happy. And I understood sorry, regret. That was how I felt when I hurt Bella. Jacob kissed my forehead and Rosalie made a low sound.
"Settle down, Blondie. I'll never hurt this little girl. I won't let anything hurt her. She's my world now." His voice was husky and serious, full of emotion. He held me tighter.
I heard another hushed sound; it was one of the voices I didn't know as well. Looking in her direction, I saw the small person with spiky hair. "Edward told me about this..." She suddenly disappeared up the stairs.
Rosalie dashed after her - how did they move so fast? - and Jacob followed with me. His feet seemed to drag in comparison.
Edward was in the same room as before. The small one was hissing at him and he had a hand on his face. Rosalie was shaking her head. There was something lying behind them. Rosalie came up to us. "Well, perhaps I can trust you after all, Dog. But remember that we all love that little girl." Then she strode out. The one with spiky hair followed and we were alone with Edward. And Bella, I noticed. She was still on the table. But she was so different, I didn't recognize her. She didn't look different, but she was lacking everything that made her the one who held me. Just as I was no longer inside her, it seemed nothing was.
"Listen, Edward, you know this isn't something I chose, right?"
"Yes." He didn't raise his head. "She called for you. I couldn't understand, tried not to understand." He growled and raised his flat back eyes. Jacob's arms tightened on me. Was he afraid?
"Yes, Renesmee, he is afraid." Edward had answered me. He could hear me without me touching him. I leaned to him. What else could he tell me? "But he needn't be. Hurting him would hurt you. I can't do that. But, Jacob, I would appreciate some time alone with my daughter."
Daughter, that was me too. How many things was I?
"Of course. I should, let the others know... everything. And," Jacob yawned hugely; I thought his chin was going to bump me. "I could really use some sleep."
Edward took me into his cold arms, and I watched with a little sadness as Jacob left the room. Edward growled quietly. That made me turn my attention and eyes to him. Edward, the low melodious voice, he loved me and Bella.
"Yes, you and your mother are the most precious things to me." He could hear me. Someone came in.
"Don't let me disturb you. I just thought I'd... clean up a bit." The one with the spiky hair was back, and she carried a mop and bucket. What were they for?
"That's Alice. She's going to use the mop to wipe the blood from the floor." Edward was perfect! Now I knew the words for so many things! Blood. That was what tasted so good, what gave me strength, what I needed most after breathing. Alice. That was the name of the one with the black hair. I squirmed in his arms with pleasure.
He smiled down at me. "Any other questions I can answer for you?"
"I know Alice. Thank you," Edward said next. I was sure Alice hadn't said anything. Was he hearing her like he heard me? "Yes I can hear her, too."
The floor was white again and Alice came over to smile at me. "You like it now, kid. Give it a decade, he's terribly annoying." She stuck her tongue out at Edward and left the room again.
He laughed at her and then kissed my head. "She's right. You'll wish you could hide your thoughts like your mother before long."
I couldn't imagine that. It was wonderful being able to make myself understood. And with Edward that was so easy.
"Prepare yourself, you're going to meet the rest of the family." There were new sounds below us and then bodies surrounded us. This was family.
"Yes, Carlisle. Everything seems to have gone as well as we'd hoped. The morphine seems to be working for her." Edward turned to the body on the table. He handed me to a woman with dark hair. Why had he let me go? Could he still hear me? Who was this?
"That's Esme, Renesmee. My mother, your grandmother. Straight into her heart, but I still augmented in the major arteries. Jacob used manual compressions to keep her going until the venom took over, but I think it worked. Alice seems sure. I was worried when she didn't react to the pain, but that must be the morphine."
I stopped listening to Edward, who obviously wasn't talking to me anymore, and focused on Esme. Her eyes were warm gold. Her smile was warm, too; only her arms were cold. "So you're Renesmee. I'm very happy to meet you." I reached for her neck, showing her herself and that I liked her.
She gasped. "It's all right, Esme. That's her form of expression." Edward spoke to us before returning to his revision of recent events with the one he had called Carlisle. "The placenta, I kept, it's over here..."
I reached for Esme's throat again, this time thinking of the other man behind her, the one next to Rosalie. He was big, but not in the same way as Jacob. "That's Emmett. He is Rose's husband and your uncle." She passed me to Emmett, who held me awkwardly. Rosalie laughed at him.
His arms were rigid and he didn't hold me against him as the others did. I showed him how they did it and he relaxed a little bringing me to his chest. "That's just weird," he complained. Weird. What did that mean?
Edward answered me with a laugh, "Around here, it doesn't mean much."
He and Carlisle had returned to us. "Renesmee, this is Carlisle. She understands us. She is very curious and learning quickly. Carlisle is my father, your grandfather."
Father. Was that what Edward was? "Yes," he answered simply but pride seemed to beam from him to me.
Carlisle took me from Emmett with ease. He held me only a second before passing me again to Esme. Did he not want to hold me? I was almost hurt.
Edward chuckled, "I'm sure he'll hold you again soon, but he needs you to hold still right now." I did as Edward instructed and watched a yellow tape stretch from my head to my toes. Then it wrapped around my head.
"Well, I'm going to hunt now that you're all back. Edward? Are you going to join me?" Rosalie looked at Edward with meaning. Hunt. I remembered that word. It was important.
"We hunt for blood, Renesmee. No, Rose, I will not be joining you; I will stay with Bella."
Rosalie sneered at Edward and then spun on her heel. What did that mean? Would Jacob be back soon?
"She's just grumpy, and as for Jacob..."
"Jacob?" three melodious voices asked together.
Edward growled again. Why didn't he like Jacob? He growled louder. I didn't understand, and Edward wasn't answering, so I asked Esme, who still held me.
"Um... this is very odd. I think she loves Jacob. But that doesn't make any sense. And Edward isn't going to hurt Jacob. I think he just wishes you didn't feel so strongly for him."
"Yes." Then he relaxed a little. "Although that benefit might just make it worth it. Apparently, the one a wolf imprints on is untouchable by any of the others. We won't need to worry about Sam or the rest of the wolves once Jacob explains that he has imprinted on Renesmee." He put his hand back on his face, his nose, as he spoke. He didn't like this... imprinting. Was that Jacob and I? Edward nodded without removing his hand.
I heard a loud laugh. "Jacob's in love with the baby!" Emmett started to double up with laughter. "I'm sorry, Edw..." he couldn't finish the name for laughing so hard. He nearly stumbled out of the room. We could still hear him laughing outside.
"May I?" Carlisle asked Esme. She passed me back to him. I was glad to have another chance to see him closely. I smiled at him after a few minutes. Then I showed him my memory of Bella. I wasn't sure why he'd want to see that, but after talking so long with Edward about my birth, I thought he might like my view of it.
"Amazing! She was cognizant before birth? Poor Bella. You did excellently, Edward. Quick, direct response. I couldn't have done any better myself. I might have been a better assistant than Jacob, though." He smirked.
Edward finally took his hand from his face to look at his father. "Undoubtedly."
"And you say she's learning?"
"As quickly as she can. She likes to hear us talk; our words help her name the concepts she has. She is also working to identify words and concepts she heard before she was born. Right now, her biggest hurdle has been understanding names, nicknames, and relationships. She is Renesmee, baby and daughter, for instance."
"Carlisle, if there is nothing more to examine right now, perhaps we should give father and daughter some alone time?" Esme suggested.
I liked that idea. I wanted to focus on Edward; he could help me understand. He took me and walked over to Bella as the others left the room. He cocked his ear as though listening to something. I couldn't hear anything particular. Well, Emmett, he was STILL laughing downstairs.
"It's not that funny," Edward moaned. "You can't hear your mother's heart beating? That's what I'm listening to. It's steady but changing. Soon she will look different, and she will be cold like us."
But not me, I thought, I'm not cold.
"No," he agreed. Then he spent a moment looking into my eyes, and I learned his face. It was very pale. His eyes were black like Jacob's, but he had very dark circles under them. What colour were my eyes? Black? Gold?
"Brown, like your mother's."
I liked that. It made me smile. What else did I have that Bella had?
"You are beautiful like she is."
I liked that too. I liked the sound of his voice. I was starting to realize just how long the day had been, the light wasn't coming in the window anymore. Why was that?
"That's the sun. It sets at night, it will rise again at dawn."
Dawn. I held that word and the idea of coming light.
Then Edward began to hum and eventually sing to me. I could concentrate on nothing but the music. I had never heard music before. The voices of my family were melodic, and I recognized the different tones, but I had never heard them arranged like this. I learned the scale, thirds, fifths, rhythm. And as before, the overwhelming knowledge rushed me off to sleep. The last thing I heard was Edward whisper, "That's my girl."
I woke in Rosalie's arms. I sat up. She seemed startled by that. I guess I hadn't done that yesterday, but my body could now.
"Good morning, Renesmee. How did you sleep?"
I wasn't sure how to answer that. I touched her cheek and showed her some of my dreams: bright colors, warmth, Bella, Jacob.
She grunted at the end. "Nightmares."
I didn't understand; that sounded bad, but everything I'd shown her had been good. She ran her hand through my hair and kissed the top of my head. It felt nice so I let the confusion go.
As Edward had promised, the sun was rising and giving new light to the day. What would I discover today? I was excited to find out. Before I'd gotten ready to ask Rosalie where Jacob and Edward were, Carlisle entered with the yellow tape again. He wrapped it around my head. I reached for him as he did so, asking why he did this.
"We want to know how quickly you're growing." His brow creased and I knew my growing wasn't good. I didn't think that was something I could stop, though. "Will you lie down for me, Renesmee?" I complied and he stretched the tape along my body again. He shook his head. "It's not surprising she's sitting up given her size." He seemed to be muttering to himself. Did that mean I was big or small? Big, I guessed. I felt bigger than before. My arms reached further.
I reached to Carlisle again, asking for Jacob. He was a little flustered. "Um... I don't know where Jacob is. Maybe still asleep."
Asleep. That was what Rosalie had asked me. I had been sleeping and Jacob was asleep. I logged this concept with the others. I sat back up and began looking around for more information. I saw the blond man I hadn't been introduced to last night. Carlisle had turned away from me to talk with Esme so I asked Rosalie who he was.
"That's Jasper. He's Alice's husband. He and Emmett are your uncles." Uncles and husbands, men. I logged that too. He was with Alice. Just like Emmett had been with Rosalie when I'd met him. That was what husband meant, I decided.
For the first time today, I noticed that I wasn't wrapped in one piece of cloth anymore, but several. I had one around my waist and between my legs, one over my legs and one over my torso. As I looked at myself and then Rosalie, Esme and Alice, I also discovered I was attired more like them. I liked that. I wondered what the words for these things were.
Where was Edward? He would have told me if he were here. Rather than ask Rosalie about clothes, I asked her about Edward.
"He's with your mother, sweetie. I don't imagine he'll leave her any time soon."
Could I go to him? I asked.
"Well, I suppose you could." She hesitated in her words. She didn't want me to. Well that was all right, I supposed. I could learn other ways. I tried to listen to words around me. Alice and Jasper were talking about wolves. I wonder what they were. Edward had used that word last night too, when he talked of Jacob and me and imprinting. There were wolves here. I wondered what a wolf looked like. They were dangerous, but some were friends.
I was thirsty. I hadn't had blood yet today. I reached to Rosalie again. "Of course! I should have gotten that straight away." We were in the kitchen and she filled a bottle with blood. I bit the end off, sending blood all down my new clothes.
"Graceful like her Mama."
I turned to Jacob, sending blood down my arm, too, and reached for him. What had he said? Mama. Who was that?
Alice chided him, "Please, Bella was clumsy, but never so messy."
Bella was Mama? I liked this word. It expressed her so much better than mother. Mama was the one who held me. I threw my arms to Jacob, trying to stretch right out of Rosalie's reach. She grumbled, "I think she wants you."
"Course she does." He tossed me in the air and the rush was wonderful. There were gasps all over the room. "C'mon, people, you've never seen anyone do that before? Yeesh! Have a good sleep, Renes... what a name. Ness?"
Ness. I liked that. I could be Renesmee and baby and daughter. Why not Ness?
"Jeepers, kid, how fast are you growing?" I felt frowns on us from all around the room. I was growing too fast. I still didn't think I could stop that. As Jacob cradled me to him, I touched his cheek to ask him if there was anything I could do.
"You can't, kid. Bah, I grew fast too, and there's nothing wrong with me." I heard a snort from Rosalie. "Don't listen to her if she tells you otherwise," he whispered to me.
"Let me have that," he told Rosalie, reaching for the broken bottle. He popped the nipple off and let the blood dribble slowly into my mouth. I put my hands on either side of it, controlling the flow.
His nose wrinkled. "Can't say I'm thrilled with the diet, kid, but I like feeding you anyway."Thrilled. That seemed to be something like happy. Feeding was what I was doing. What was diet? Could it be what I was eating? That would make sense. Of course Jacob would help me learn.
I finished the bottle quickly and then showed Jacob the sunrise. "Yeah, let's do that. I'm gonna take Ness outside, anyone wanna come?"
Rosalie joined us as Jacob carried me down the steps and sat in the green.
"Edward says she understands us and is trying to learn," Rosalie said.
"Then she'll love this." Jacob set me belly down in the green. Rosalie had her cold hands on my waist, but they were knocked away. "I swear, none of you leeches know anything about babies. They're supposed to spend time on their stomachs. That's how they learn to roll over. Also, how's she supposed to learn what grass feels like if she doesn't lie in it?"
Grass. That was what the green was. Lots and lots of little blades brushing my arms and cheeks. It smelled good.
I pushed myself up on my arms to see over the blades. I could see the sun shining in the clouds, more green on the horizon, a different shade. I could hear music, but not like Edward's, less styled, wilder. Then I saw one. The little brown creature stood on two legs, ten or twelve body lengths away. It opened its mouth; that's what it must be, but it was hard and pointed, not like lips at all. The sound came from it. I held myself up on one arm and pointed.
"She's strong," Jacob commented. "I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure two-day-olds can't do that."
He laughed. "That's a sparrow, Nessie. A bird. Do you like his song?" He lay down beside me, seeing with me.
I tried to pull myself forward but fell on my face. Grass smelled good, but it tasted terrible. I tried to spit out a blade but it seemed to be stuck to my chin and lip. I spluttered, trying to shake it off.
Jacob laughed again and wiped my chin with a finger. The sparrow jumped down into the grass. It hopped toward us as Jacob whistled to it. How did he do that? I shaped my lips the same way, but nothing happened. Suddenly, the bird spread its wings and flew off. That was amazing! How did it do that? I watched it fly until craning my neck made me flip onto my back. I looked up. The sky was a mass of clouds. I looked at the dark and light patterns outlining where one cloud ended and the next began. What were they made of?
I saw Rosalie standing at my feet. I tried to roll to Jacob. I kicked my legs, nothing happened. I flailed my arms, nothing happened. Then Rosalie picked me up.
"Did a good job scaring the birds away, psycho."
"Oh, please. It wasn't going to come any closer anyway. She got a good look, didn't you, Renesmee?" She seemed to emphasize my full name. But I liked Ness. "What else can we show you?" She walked to the river nearby. I heard the bubbling as we approached.
Jacob was at her side. "Oh yeah. Good one." He sat on the shore and stuck his bare feet in. "Take off those silly leggings, though." He tugged at my toes and I felt the cloth sliding away. The air on my legs was lovely.
Rosalie sat beside him, lifting her skirt a little to keep it out of the water. She held me upright facing her and let my toes dangle in the stream. The water was moving. It was cold. Then it was in my face. I spluttered again.
"Oh, jeez, sorry, Ness. I just wanted to hit the blonde."
"Lovely, I'd return the favor, but dog is bad enough. I don't want to experience wet dog." Wet. I was wet. Then I was wetter. Jacob had jumped in the water, splashing both of us. I felt my hair clinging to my forehead.
He tossed his shirt beside Rosalie. "Here, give her to me." He cradled me and pulled off the dress, leaving the cloth between my legs. Then he laid me on my back, holding only onto my neck, under my head. My legs were pulled up by the water and I was floating. It was almost like being inside Bella again. A lot colder and a lot roomier, but similar. I kicked my legs and made splashes of my own. Jacob let go of my neck and I drifted with the stream, right into his stomach.
He laughed. "Thought you'd like that." I squirmed some more and he set me down again, one of his long arm lengths away. I drifted into him again.
Rosalie's cold hands snatched me from the water and wrapped me in Jacob's shirt. "Don't want her to get cold."
Jacob frowned and muttered but didn't try to stop her, just jumped onto the shore and followed us into the house.
I saw Carlisle through the windows talking to a man almost as big as Jacob. Who is he? I asked Rosalie.
"Jacob, she wants to know who that is."
"That's Sam. He is, was, my Alpha." Alpha. That sounded like a person in charge, sort of like father. "Why isn't he wolf, though?"
Wolf. I thought wolves were bad.
Alice answered. "Edward refused to translate when Sam arrived; he isn't leaving Bella. Sam doesn't seem too put out by it. He trusts us more than we thought."
"Yeah. He wouldn't send the pack after you as soon as Bella was back. That's what I wanted. Thought you'd broken the treaty already then. But you hadn't, didn't. You aren't our enemies. We understand that. He was only averse to letting an unknown danger come into the area."
He looked at me. I was danger? But danger was bad. I wasn't bad, was I?
"Of course I was right to stop him. The unknown wasn't dangerous at all. She is amazing." His smile warmed me. "Should I go out and... mediate or something?"
Jasper answered, "No hostility out there at all. Don't think they need a mediator. You might want to join your pack, though. They've got their hair up."
"Both of them?" Jacob asked. "Or just Leah."
Jasper snorted. "Yes, just the female."
Jacob sighed. "I'd like to just let her stew, but she's already miffed at me for going to La Push alone." I looked around Rosalie's shoulder to watch Jacob pass through the back and into the greenery.
Rosalie held me while we watched Sam and Carlisle talk. I was sad that I couldn't hear what they said. I could tell the others did. And since they weren't talking, I wasn't learning. I searched the room for something to take information from. I found interesting pictures on the walls. I spent the time looking at each one. I was examining the colors contrasting in a picture of something I couldn't identify. I was pretty sure nothing like that actually existed. The lines seemed to wrap in impossible ways; it made me think of how my mind held so much information as I learned.
That was when Carlisle offered me a new cup. It didn't smell right.
"This is human baby formula. It is what human babies drink. They don't drink blood."
Why would they drink this if they could have blood? I didn't understand. Then Carlisle was tipping the cup to my mouth and I was tasting the pale, thick liquid. Bleech. It was terrible. I flicked my tongue out, trying to expel everything that made it in my mouth.
"You are part-human, Renesmee. I'm not sure you shouldn't have some human food in your diet."
I closed my mouth tightly.
"Maybe you'll give it another try later." Not likely, I thought, unless the smell and taste change.
Now that everyone was in one place, they began talking again, about treaties with wolves, territories. It was great. I could learn from this. Then Jacob returned and brought something from the kitchen. He held a plate of food and began using a fork to lift it to his mouth. I questioned Alice, who held me now.
"He's eating. That's human food." It looked a lot better than what Carlisle had given me. Smelled better too. I asked to sit beside Jacob on the couch. I was glad Alice held me now, Rosalie probably wouldn't want to let go of me. Alice was much better about letting go. "You don't mind an observer, do you, Jacob?"
"Not Nessie, no." He grinned again and put the fork in his mouth once more.
I touched the things on his plate and he named them for me. Potatoes were soft and fluffy. They didn't smell like much, and when I stuck a finger of it in my mouth, they didn't taste like much either, but at least they didn't taste bad. Nothing else was in a form I could feed myself. When Jacob lifted a pea for me, they kept slipping away from my fingers, it tasted sweet. I didn't mind them. Not as good as blood but they were nice. The meat he ate smelled... wrong. Like it had had blood and someone had let it all out. Why would you want it after that? It wasn't in a form Jacob could give me, anyway. He drank from a glass of clear liquid. I was pretty sure it was water, though usually I saw water moving, from a faucet or in the river. He saw me staring and put the glass to my lips, too. Water had no taste, but it felt nice on my tongue. I took several swallows before pushing the glass away.
Carlisle came in then with his tape again. Was I growing? I hadn't felt myself growing, but I hadn't concentrated on stopping it, either; I was too busy learning. I laid down on the couch before he reached me, knowing what he wanted.
"Thank you, Renesmee."
"That's a good girl, Nessie," Jacob encouraged me. He saw the crease on Carlisle's forehead. "What's up, doc?"
"As I'm sure is evident to you, she is still developing VERY quickly. I worry what happens if it doesn't slow soon. If it accelerates."
Jacob frowned too now. "Any theories?"
"We're looking into the legends but they are scant and very little help."
I pushed to my shoulder, remembering my inability to get off my back earlier. This time I was able to turn my shoulder and leg in such as a way that the momentum pulled me over. And then I was in Jacob's arms. "Careful, Ness. Developing all right. She wasn't able to do that a couple hours ago." I realized now that I had rolled off the couch and he had caught me. What pulled me to the floor? It was inescapable, I realized. Even now, if Jacob's arms did not hold me, I would fall to the floor. That was like how I pulled Jacob. But what was pulling me?
"I wonder how quickly she digests," Carlisle was asking. "Has she had any..."
I felt something between my legs. It was wet. It did not feel nice. I kicked my legs and wrinkled my face.
"If you were going to say wet diapers," Jacob wrinkled his nose as well, "I think this is the first."
Rosalie was there instantly and held a new cloth. She pulled the wet one from my legs, for which I was grateful, and lifted my ankles to put the new one in place. Jacob held me as she did all this, securing the diaper around my waist.
"There, that's better, isn't it, sweetie?" She lifted me from Jacob to kiss my cheek and hold me to her breast.
Carlisle held the wet one. "I'll be back." He went up the stairs.
"I don't want to know what he's going to do with that, do I?" Jacob asked.
"Just analyze the composition. See what she doesn't digest," Rosalie cooed. It didn't match the words she used. I wished she wouldn't do that; it made it harder to understand.
I was thirsty again and Rosalie brought me the blood I requested. With a full tummy, I drifted off to sleep.