Disclaimer: I never have and never will own anything mentioned in SM's Twilight. I am but a poor student. She is a God. Enjoy.
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Our lives find strange paths to follow. As soon as I had my first hunt, Edward answered my questions concerning my change and Renesmee's first days. I had spent just under forty-eight hours "unconscious" (at that point I had yet to say anything about the effects of morphine) and Renesmee had already progressed to pushing herself up on her own, sitting, and holding her bottle. She could understand what her father said, and obeyed. Stranger yet, she was gifted beyond our wildest dreams. All of us held conversations with her through her strange power of "showing" things.
Her first steps, words, and sentence came in quick succession. Soon enough, my little girl joined us in hunting.
Finally, overcome with fear and doubt, we left the house in La Crosse and went south by train. Carlisle rented a sleeper car for us and we arrived in Mexico in just under a week. From there, we ran through the jungles until we came to Chile. We hired a human guide to communicate with the locals on our behalf. The somewhat besotted man readily went from village to village inquiring about the "libishomen," as we came to know the Chilean vampire legend.
After nearly a month of searching, we came across a scent like Renesmee's: a strange mix of human blood and sweet perfume of our own species. We followed and soon encountered the miracle that made us breath a sigh of relief.
Nahuel and Huilen were as astounded as we were when we explained the fear we had been living with and how we came to find them. They readily answered our questions and Renesmee bounced with joy at my admission that we would never, ever part. She spent the remainder of the day wrapped in my arms, happily singing the word "forever" over and over again.
Edward smiled more beautifully than I had seen since my vampire birth, and I rejoiced in the alleviation of our fears. After extending an open invitation for the two to visit us in the future, we turned back toward Mexico and swiftly made our way north.
We finally settled in Rochester New York, where Carlisle took up a position as a doctor and Edward began attending Rochester University and I went with him.
To my greatest relief, I found that my change had elevated my physical beauty beyond my wildest imaginations, and that Edward's previous estimate of my age was correct: I really did not appear a day over twenty. Happily, I wore my wedding ring to my first day of classes with Edward.
With Renesmee nearly fully grown after five years of life, we were happy to enroll her in private tutelage with girls of her apparent age. She resembled a fifteen-year-old, and her growth had slowed enough that the minor changes in her figure could be explained by an age-appropriate growth spurt. She enjoyed the experience immensely, though Edward's temper soured once the occasional dandy began walking her home. Esme, for her part, often welcomed Renesmee's suitors into the house for tea and cake or whatever snack she kept on hand. Unfortunately, Renesmee's tastes tended to lean toward sweet things while she sated her nutritional needs during our hunts. During the day, Esme otherwise occupied herself with volunteering in soup kitchens as the Great Depression worsened.
During the winter of 1933, Carlisle burst through the door and the scent of blood overwhelmed us. I immediately held my breath and held Renesmee's to me. Esme covered her mouth and nose with her hand while Edward glared at his father angrily.
"You've bitten her?" he demanded, his beautiful voice lowered into a dangerous growl.
"Not now, Edward, get some towels, please! I need your help," Carlisle begged. Edward did not move as I looked between he and his father. I gently patted Renesmee's hand in a silent reminder to control her thirst. She looked to Esme and the both of them ran from the back door. I took one more look at my furious husband before rushing to Carlisle's side. I pushed the burn in my throat to the back of my mind as I helped Carlisle cleanse the prone form of Rosalie Hale of her blood. I allowed myself to inhale slightly.
"She's been raped," I gasped in horror, cradling her lovely blonde head in my lap as Carlisle bit her inner elbows and wrists.
"The King boy," he said in disgust as he tore the remainder of her ruined clothes from her poor, bruised body.
"Royce King? Her fiancée?" I hissed as the girl began to convulse in pain. I knew what she was now experiencing.
"And a few drunken friends, I'm assuming. I crossed their path earlier…"
"I'll find some clothes for Miss Hale," I murmured as the girl's eyes flew open and she began screaming. Carlisle attempted to calm the girl as he cleaned her up. I returned within a few moments with one of my dresses. Carlisle helped me dress her and I took over comforting her as Carlisle took Edward to the adjoining room. I stroked her heated, purple cheek as I held her still.
"Rosalie, Carlisle's trying to help you… He's a good man. He didn't want to see such a wonderful young woman die… Please forgive us, Rosalie," I whispered such sentiments repeatedly and soon enough she stopped screaming. Silent tears streamed over her face as her skin healed. She continued to tremble and jerk through the day. As the third day turned into night, she finally stilled and opened her flaming red eyes.
After a month, after Royce King was discovered mangled beyond recognition in the newspapers, we left for a cabin in Tennessee where we hunted often and enjoyed a life of solitude as Rosalie became accustomed to her new body. She was sad, and bitter, but rejoiced in being an aunt to Renesmee. They played dress-up as Renesmee matured into a beautiful young woman. To everyone's surprise, she experienced menstrual cycles just before she turned seven, and the cycles continued every two months afterward.
She had been mortified and frightened when they first occurred, as none of us had thought to even consider the possibility. Edward walked about with a Cheshire cat grin on his face after we had "the talk" with her – and I assumed that it had everything to do with the continuation of his family and the opportunity to be a granddad someday.
Rosalie felt even happier at this, and took it upon herself to become a bosom friend to my hopelessly teenaged daughter. Through the experience, Rosalie healed. And when she came home in early 1935 with a giant of a man in her arms, Carlisle did not hesitate to change him for her. To everyone's relief and happiness, Emmet gladly accepted his place as part of the family, though he had more difficulty adjusting during the first year.
In 1936, we moved on to Washington, where the fairly new city of Forks was in need of a doctor. Scarcely days after finishing the renovations of our colonial era white house in the woods, we found ourselves in direct contact with creatures I had never heard of before. The appearance of Renesmee in the upstairs window halted the three dark wolves' advance as they registered her heartbeat and scent.
The following conversation established a treaty: the Cullen family would agree never to bite a human being and the Quileute nation would not wage war on them. A boundary line was established, and we lived in peace for several years.
In 1940, Renesmee expressed a desire to go to college so we relocated to Maryland. Esme, Renesmee, Rosalie, and I all enrolled in the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. We studied until the completion of our baccalaureate and then the family moved northward again.
In 1950, Alice found us, and it was as if she had always been there. Edward and I came home from hunting to find our things moved to the garage. Renesmee sat laughing on the porch as her "Auntie Alice" danced about, arranging things upstairs. To our joint bemusement, we found that the little psychic had seen our immediate relocation to somewhere tropical. Edward, seeing it as an opportunity to celebrate nearly a half-century of marriage, took it upon himself to arrange a belated honeymoon for the two of us. Though we missed Renesmee dearly, our time spent at Isle Esme relaxed us both beyond what we thought possible. When we rejoined the family it was to find that an addition had been added to our home for Edward and I.
The years passed, so quickly, it seemed, and became a blur of happiness and laughter. The only sadness we encountered was that of other covens. We met Tanya, Irina, Kate, Carmen, and Eleazar and learned of the loss of their mother. We mourned with them for a while, glad that we had yet to experience any tragedies, and learned of the danger our Renesmee would have once represented. It was during this visit that Eleazar approached Edward about my possible abilities and Kate began training me. After nearly a year of living with the Denali coven – a year of learning to defend myself and my family – the biggest threat we had yet to experience found its way to us.
Fear found us again when the Volturi extended its invitation. Alice, foreseeing no issue with accepting, urged us onto a plane and to the Volterra court. Aro was intrigued by my gifts, enchanted with Alice's and completely astounded by Renesmee. The only true tension we felt during the visit occurred when Felix expressed a desire to court our daughter, to which Edward and I reacted almost violently. My sweet daughter, seeing the danger, politely refused and begged Aro to accept our united refusal to join their ranks.
Grudgingly, Alice later admitted, Aro allowed us to return home.
But the visit raised other issues. Renesmee, since maturing, had not found an interest in any vampire we had come across, or any human she had met. As the century turned, we all began to worry as our darling girl descended into a depression of sorts. Her lips would smile and her eyes would show nothing but longing. I cried tearlessly into Edward's chest many a time for our daughter's loneliness. Her dreams, which I watched so often, began to resemble nightmares. For the first time in years we feared for her.
In 2003, we returned to Forks, Washington. The treaty, as it stood, seemed to no longer be in effect. No scent of wolf passed through the woods, so we assumed that the line had died out. Rosalie, Emmet, Edward, Renesmee, and I enrolled in Forks High School. Emmet and I attended as juniors, Rosalie as a sophomore, and Edward and Alice as freshmen. Edward and I watched worriedly as Renesmee grew in popularity. Her loveliness, her bright personality, and the fact that she was obviously unattached drew the boys to her in droves. Edward often found himself growling at the thoughts of the adolescent males in the vicinity, so I began extending my inner shield out to encompass Edward. During these times, he would give me a relieved smile and mutter something about dismemberment.
In 2006, Renesmee disappeared. It was during class. Edward had texted me that our daughter was leaving campus, running to find something. We had worried that perhaps she had found someone too appealing to resist, as Emmet had experienced twice before. Frightened for her safety and that of our family, I called the school to have Edward released from class, but we had already wasted precious time.
Edward and I ran side-by-side, too quickly for the human eye to follow, as soon as we left campus. Our daughter's scent trailed close to the woods and went south, towards Quileute territory. We both gasped as we skidded to a halt just outside of the border, amazed at what our noses told us. The wolves hadn't disappeared. They had increased in number, and our little girl was on that side of the line. Edward held me to his chest, both of us trembling with worry and fear. We took turns trying to call her cell phone in vain. Both of us listened hard for any sign of her voice.
An hour after we arrived, a black Volkswagen came up the road. I sighed in relief at the sight of Renesmee in the passenger side of the car. When the scent of the driver reached us, both Edward and I reacted by pulling back into defensive crouches.
"Renesmee Elizabeth Carlie Cullen get your butt over here RIGHT NOW!" I shouted, my voice ripping through three octaves. The figure beside her cringed and I grinned at his fear.
"Mom, it's fine!" she called back, her smile disarming me. I had forgotten the last time she had smiled like that. To my surprise, the boy driving the car went around to her side and opened the door. They held hands as they walked toward us and I reluctantly slid back into a standing position, though I kept my arms crossed over my chest.
"What do you have to say for yourself, young lady?" I demanded, my voice back to its normal range of volume. "Skipping school? We thought that you had had an Emmet accident," I continued, forgetting myself and pulling her to me. I wrapped my arms around my warm, breathing daughter, free of the scent of fresh blood, and sighed in relief.
"I found him," she chirped happily.
"Who is he?" Edward growled, eyeing the dark-skinned, black-haired boy beside her. He had yet to let go of her hand. "He's a mutt," Edward growled.
"DAD!" Renesmee yelled in protest. Edward winced and I smiled at my spirited girl.
"Hello… Um… I'm Jacob," the boy said, obviously nervous. He was huge in comparison to either Edward or I. He had to be closer to seven feet tall than six. His kind, nearly black eyes shone with concern for the girl whose hand he held. He pulled a little nervously at his shorn hair as I stroked my Renesmee's beautiful locks to reassure myself of her safety.
"Hello, Jacob," I answered in confusion. He definitely was one of the Quileute pack.
"Momma, this is Jacob Black…"
"I love your daughter!" he blurted suddenly, his russet cheeks turning dark red for a moment. I looked in surprise from Jacob's bashful face (it was somewhat disarming on top of his huge, muscular body) to my daughter's radiant smile.
"Well then… I suppose you should come to dinner, Jacob Black," I said with a laugh. Edward expelled a low curse.
"Hey! I heard that, bloodsucker!" Jacob growled, crossing his arms over his huge chest. Renesmee extracted herself from my arms to punch him lightly just above the elbow.
"Be nice! That's my daddy!"
"I don't like him, Renesmee," Edward growled sullenly. I had had enough at this point. Renesmee's smile faltered and her lower lip trembled. I took the warning signs and grabbed Edward hard by the arm and tugged him several yards away. Behind us, Renesmee shifted to Jacob's side and he wrapped his arms automatically around her.
"Edward Anthony Cullen," I growled, jabbing my husband in the chest with my finger as I glared up at him. "Your daughter is obviously happier than she has been in years and you want to spoil it? Weren't we just talking about how we want her to find someone?"
"Bella, love, he's a werewolf!"
"And, obviously, that would be a problem if he seemed to mind that we are vampires, but he doesn't. So suck it up, and tell your daughter that Jacob can come to dinner or you'll regret it," I threatened, narrowing my eyes. Edward seemed as if he was going to argue but wisely decided against it.
That night, we learned about imprinting and Edward's fears, for the most part, were laid to rest. From then on, Jacob Black became a part of our family as much as Alice and Jasper had. Alice bemoaned the fact that Jacob was as much of a blind spot to her as Renesmee, but did not pout for long. Rosalie had the biggest problem accepting Jacob, but soon enough their animosity morphed into some semblance of camaraderie. To my immense surprise, Jacob became my best friend aside from Alice. We talked about almost everything, and Renesmee happily supported our relationship. Edward, even, found himself liking Jacob.
On April 15, 2007, Jacob proposed to Renesmee as she sat in his lap at the Quileute council campfire. With their nuptials in the following year, Edward and I stopped worrying about our daughter's happiness. With the birth of their first child – a little boy with black hair and peachy skin they called Eddie – we found ourselves so drunk with joy that we could ask for no more.
And we didn't, though Edward and I became the happy grandparents of many children, and their children, and theirs. Through it all, we remained amazed at how our love had birthed so much more. We rejoiced every day, and gave thanks every day, for our luck, our fortune, our accidental fairytale.
And it had all begun a century before, on a windy street in Chicago, once upon a time in 1917.
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A/N: So, here is the conclusion of our journey. I am so grateful for those of you who have stuck it out until the very end. Thank you for reading, and those of you who have reviewed have warmed my soul between chapters. I hope I can continue to entertain you with my inner musings.
I am downgrading the rating of this story to "Teen" after reading through it again. As to the romance, I'll be relating them in a "diary" separate from this story. Hope you enjoy that as well. It is still a work in progress, as I still don't want it to be utter smut. I'm sure you'll enjoy it either way.
As always, I hope you let me know what you think.