Chapter 64 Renesmee
Edward slipped into the bed beside me and we were totally quiet for a long, long time, just watching the sleeping angel between us.
I'd lowered the baby onto the mattress between us, not wanting to hog her all to myself. I knew from Renee that new dads sometimes felt left out of the budding relationship between mother and child, so I was careful to share her.
She was still naked in the little blanket so when we were totally sure she was sleeping as soundly as possible we unwrapped her. We checked she had all her perfect pink toes and all her stubby little fingers. Her fat little belly rose and fell with her breaths making us smile at each other across her sleeping form.
We wrapped her back up to keep her warm, her heart beat so she'd be able to feel cold or heat, although we didn't know yet if either would affect her.
When she was once again swathed in the pink blanket Edward ran a hand over my cheek. "I love you Isabella. Are you well?" He asked with a trembling voice.
I smiled as widely as I could, "I love you too Edward. I am well. Completely." I nodded so he'd know that I really was okay.
"And your wound?" He asked hesitantly.
I lifted the covers off myself and shuffled until I could slide the hem of the gown up far enough to show him the tiny pink line across my abdomen. It had faded to almost nothing in the hours I'd laid on the table downstairs waiting. Carlisle theorized that it would disappear completely over the next day or two.
Edward reached across our sleeping baby and traced the jagged line with the tip of his finger. The surge of desire that ran through me shocked me. I wasn't prepared to feel that so soon after having had the baby. We'd not thought this far ahead. To wonder what would come next, with us, after the baby was actually born. I knew that Edward had resisted having to think about it. And then I gasped.
Edward startled and rose up onto his elbows.
"What is it?" His eyes were darting around the room looking for the next danger point to come at us.
I hung my head to whisper, "I can't hear you."
"I asked what was wrong love. I don't smell or hear anything. What do you hear, smell?" He asked, preparing to get back out of the bed.
I took a deep breath. "No Edward. That's not what I mean. I can't hear you anymore. It was her, I could hear you because of the baby." I sobbed, already missing that connection I had to him.
A sweet smile came across his face as he processed what I'd said. "Well then, I guess we're back on an even footing then, aren't we darling?" He laughed lightly.
"I guess we are." I mumbled. "Did you really hate it that much then?" I wondered out loud.
"No, not really. But I must admit I am happy you can't read me anymore. I'll be able to surprise you again. You won't have to listen to me worry. And I'll be able to hide some of these entirely inappropriate lust filled thoughts I'm having." He chuckled.
Well, well, well. She couldn't read me anymore!
I was only just pushing down my excitement over that when I realized what that might mean. If all along Bella's ability to read me was because of the baby did that mean that the baby could now hear me?
I leapt off the bed in such a hurry that both my girls startled. Bella flinched and the baby stirred. Bella soothed her by rubbing her curls and soon she was snuffling softly again.
Bella looked up at me with pleading eyes. "What if she can read me?" I hissed softly. "That will be a hundred times worse."
"Why?" Bella giggled.
"Because I can't think the things I'm thinking about you when a tiny baby can hear and understand me, can I?" I said through gritted teeth.
Understanding dawned on Bella's face and she grimaced. "Okay, well don't panic, we don't know for sure if she can, do we?" She was, as always, the voice of reason. "Edward, we can't keep calling her 'she', we need to give her a name." She said softly, turning back to the baby and stroking her hair again.
I went back to the bed and sat down beside Bella. I took her hand into mine and rolled her rings through my fingers. It never ceased to calm me, having that tangible evidence that Bella was mine. "I guess we do. Any thoughts?" I asked.
"Some." Bella admitted but didn't say what they were. I watched as she scooped the tiny sleeping bundle up off the bed and cradled her again in her arms.
She held her out towards me and deposited her into my waiting arms.
I gazed down at her, marveling at her beauty. I was holding my daughter, my own flesh and blood, in my arms for the very first time. I couldn't put voice to how it felt. There were no words to say that could describe it.
I felt her stir slightly and I held my breath to see what she'd do. Her thoughts were coming to her faster now and I realized she as about to wake up. A slight panic overcame me as I toyed with whether or not to hand her back to Bella.
I watched, fascinated, as her dream changed from swirling colors to shapes. As she came back to consciousness her dream changed again.
I clearly saw Bella's face, then Carlisle's, as he looked her over. She registered the others in the room at the time as they crowded around and looked down at her. But the face that was clearest was mine. I gasped. She knew me. She knew I was the one who'd gotten her away from James, although she only registered James as being 'wrong'. I saw, through her eyes, as she 'met' me for the first time other than only as a voice. She recalled how she'd struggled in James' arms; how she hoped if she held her arms out I'd take her from him.
I looked to Bella who was watching me with wide eyes. "She knows me." I told her. "She knows you. She loves you, she adores you actually." I told her and she smiled.
"Of course she knows you Edward. You've talked to her everyday since we knew she was in there. Hell she knows all about you, remember?" She asked.
I'd spent hours talking to her when Bella rested or slept. Of course I had no idea she was a she at the time, it didn't really matter to me. I told her all about myself and her mother, our family and our friends. I could see from her thoughts that she knew us, already.
Her little lids fluttered once, twice, then she opened her eyes and I was faced with a pair of gorgeous chocolate brown eyes the exact shade her mothers had been when she was human. "They're yours." I mumbled.
"What?" Bella whispered, moving towards me and leaning over to look down at our child as I held her. "Oh." She gasped when the baby turned her face to see her and she could see for herself what I meant. Bella stroked her curls and the baby sighed contentedly. "And this is yours." Bella whispered as she fingered the springy curl once more.
"Poor little thing." I chuckled.
"Hush." Bella admonished me playfully. "I love your hair Edward. She'll love it too."
The baby began wriggling around and I loosened the blanket to let her arms free. As soon as she could she moved her tiny hand to Bella and I watched in awe as the little fingers reached towards her mother, touching her lightly on her chin. Bella leapt a foot in the air a few seconds later and I was left wondering what had happened.
"I saw myself Edward. And Carlisle. What was that?" She was panting hard, frightened.
"What do you mean? When she touched you, you saw things?" I was beginning to connect some dots. I reached down with my free hand and took her tiny fist in my hand. I leant over her and bent my head far enough down so that I could put her hand to my cheek. To me it was just as if I was reading her thoughts, as I had when she was coming out of her dream state. But I knew what it was. "Bella, let her touch you again love, don't be frightened."
I looked down at the tiny baby and asked her to please show her mother again. A perfect row of snow-white milk teeth greeted me as the baby smiled. Bella shuddered visibly at the sight. I laughed. Of course the baby had teeth. She had a unique ability, she knew who we were, she could scent mark and she would grow fast. Why wouldn't she have teeth? I couldn't help but laugh louder.
I leaned away a little and watched as the baby moved her hand towards Bella once again. As she touched Bella's cheek Bella's eyes flew to mine. Her mouth formed a little 'o' and then she smiled. "That's her, showing me that?" She asked incredulously.
The baby had just replayed the last half a minute to her mother. As plain as day she showed Bella me smiling down at her and herself smiling back up at me. Then my facial expression when I'd seen her little teeth.
"It was indeed my love. It seems she has a talent all of her own. Quite apart from being so beautiful, of course." I leaned down and nuzzled her little face. She smelled so wonderful. A curious mix of the two, human and vampire. Her skin was perfectly pale, though not as pale as ours. She was perfect.
"She needs a name." Bella said again.
"Tell me your thoughts." I insisted.
"Renesmee." She whispered and I quirked an eyebrow. It wasn't a name I'd ever heard before and I wondered if Alice had found it in one of her confounded baby names books. I didn't get a chance to ask before Bella continued, "Renee and Esme. Renesmee. R-E-N-E-S-M-E-E. Ruh-nez-may." She spelled it out and then said it phonetically.
"Renesmee." I tried it out and the little teeth below me came out as she smiled. She clasped her tiny fist and moved it towards me. "Show your mother." I chuckled, having already seen what she wanted to show me.
The tiny girl turned her fist to her mother and Bella, already getting used to this game, took it and pressed it against her own cheek. The baby replayed her name falling first from her mothers lips and then from mine. She liked it. She already loved both Renee and Esme and she wanted it to be her name. Bella just gasped and looked at me with wide eyes.
"Renesmee." She whispered.
I heard Alice approach and knew our privacy was done for now. It was never going to be enough time anyway, no matter how long they gave us to be alone and discover our daughter for the first time.
When the knock came neither of us was surprised. There was no door left so she was just standing in the frame where it used to be.
"Come in Alice." I told her.
She came in quietly and then she stood and looked at the scene before her. Edward with his new daughter in his arms and me leaned over watching them both. "You look so happy. Is everything okay?" She asked.
"We are happy Alice, and yeah, everything's fine." Edward told her.
"I know you're never going to want to come down and share her, but the wolves need to go back to the Rez and your mother's arrived and well, we just want to meet her too." She pouted prettily.
"It's okay Alice. Let me get changed and we'll bring her down." I told her as she began to hop from foot to foot and clapped her hands excitedly.
"Five minutes Alice." Edward said sternly and she backed out of the doorway.
I patted Renesmee's curls once more and then got up to change. I threw the putrid hospital gown into the trash bin beside our desk and went into the bathroom to wash up. I didn't have time for a shower but I would've loved to have had one. The shack had been horribly dirty and James and Victoria were hardly clean, although Laurent was dressed impeccably. They made a very, very strange trio. I hadn't given them a thought at all since Rose had bought the baby to me.
I went back into our room and stood behind Edward. I put my hand on his shoulder and watched him as he cooed at the baby for a few moments. "Edward." I whispered.
"Yes love." He answered quietly.
"What happened to them?"
"It's done Isabella. That's an end to it, it's done." Was all he said and I knew they'd not be coming near our family or me again. The details were just details. It was done.
"Should we dress her love?" I asked as Bella made ready to go downstairs.
Another blast of white-hot desire flooded my system as I watched her dress. I was so torn between being appropriate with the baby with us and wanting to be the vampire I was and celebrate, rather carnally, todays victory with my mate.
Bella chose for me when she came and sat beside me on the bed. "Let's just take her down as she is. I have no idea where anything is here and I don't want it turning into a 'lets dress the baby' thing for Alice. Let them fawn over her for a bit and then we can sort out the rest."
Right. I'd be Renesmee's dad for now. And later…later.
"Okay love." I told her and handed Renesmee into her waiting arms. I put an arm around her waist and walked them downstairs to meet the family.
When we got to the last landing, the entire house stilled and quieted.
They all stood. Everyone was there. Charlie and Renee stood beside Carlisle and Esme. Rose and Emmett were stood beside Sam and beyond them were Alice and Jasper. The entire pack stood a little off to one side, Sue Clearwater among them.
I kept my arm firmly around Bella's waist and I bought us to a stop on the second to last stair. "We'd like to introduce you to our daughter. Everyone, this is Renesmee Carlie Masen Cullen."
A cheer went up and Bella took the last step and was quickly folded into the crowd as everyone milled around to get a look at the beauty in her mothers arms.
I stood on the steps, looking for Seth.
I found him sitting on the ottoman. Head in his hands. He was shaking from head to toe and when he lifted his eyes as I came to stand before him I could see how confused and exhausted he really was.
I moved closer and put my hand on his shoulder. "Seth, son, it's all right. I'll help you." I told him. I knew the agony of what he was feeling. I knew how the rest of his life was going to pan out, I knew the frustration, the pain, and the waiting he was about to embark on.
He lifted his head, stared me in the eye. "Renesmee," he whispered reverently, "She's mine."
I nodded solemnly.
The only sound in the house after that was a quiet sob from Isabella.
A/N: A big thank you to all who have read and reviewed. I hope you have found something of interest in my story.
I have a third book planned, but am unsure of exact details as yet. I wrote these two in fairly quick succession, a grand total of eleven weeks for 700,000 words, so I'm taking a little break. (At which point my family scoffed and promptly went out and bought me two new reams of paper, knowing full well i would begin the thrid book straight away, bloody families ;))
Thank you again for reading, kind regards, maxi xxx