A/N: This is the sequel to Phoenix Rising and before that came Cullen's Pride. Please see my profile page to read those stories prior to this one so it all makes sense.

Thank you so much for reading this story. I hope you find something to interest you in it.

I do not own Twilight, Stephanie Meyer does. I am just lucky enough to get to mess with her wonderful characters.


1.

EPOV

From Phoenix Rising ~ "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.

BPOV

I placed my daughter in my mothers arms and watched as she cooed and crooned over her new granddaughter. It was a lovely moment. One I'll remember always.

Everyone was congratulating us, the noise was deafening but didn't seem to bother Renesmee. She just stared, wide eyed, up at whoever was holding her at the time. Her eyes darted, as if cataloguing the faces, from one to another, her little mouth pursed in concentration. I wanted her back, wanting to smell her, hold her against me again, but I knew that everyone else needed time to meet her too. I'd get my chance when I took her home to the cottage.

Edward moved through the assembled crowd – a curious mix of human, vampire and wolf – and was clapped on the back and congratulated prolifically. I'd seen Seth sitting on the ottoman and wondered at his separateness from his pack. Normally, if more than two or three of them were together anywhere they stayed close to each other. It was strange to see Seth apart from his brothers, and his sister Leah. They crowded around the back of the sofa and leaned over to see into the blanket as the baby was passed from person to person. But Seth stayed on the ottoman, his head buried in his hands.

I wanted him to come to me, to hug me, to congratulate me. I wanted Seth to meet my daughter. I was about to move towards him and demand his attention when Edward beat me to it.

I watched as Edward put his hand on Seth's shoulder and then I quirked an eyebrow as he told the young boy that he'd help him, that 'it' was all right.

That was confusing enough, but when Seth turned his face upward I saw the tears running down his cheeks, the hurt and pain in his eyes, when I saw that Edward was trembling in response, I began to panic.

Something was wrong.

I opened my mouth to ask, but Seth spoke first.

"Renesmee, she's mine."

My question dried in my throat and instead I choked out a strangled sob.

EPOV

For once I didn't know what to do. I wanted to go to Bella, to comfort her, to tell her that she mustn't panic, but at the same time I didn't want to abandon Seth while he was so desolate.

I took half a second to catalogue who was in the room and who was thinking what and then I acted.

"Sam, take Seth." I called and then fled to where Bella now stood with her mouth agape, staring intently at Seth.

I pulled her around so that she was facing the foyer, away from where Seth sat. Her anger and confusion was palpable, I could feel her temper rising, raising my hackles as she hissed menacingly over her now exposed teeth.

Her mother and father sat only two feet from where she stood and they needed to be gone if she lost her temper like this. That, or Bella needed to leave the house while she vented.

Renee and Charlie were still seated though they were now looking quite upset, Renee's thoughts were ragged, panicked. They were the only people in the room who didn't understand Seth's declaration. They soon would though.

'Take her outside Edward. I'll explain.' Carlisle told me. He'd read the situation expertly, thank god. I threw him a quick nod and turned my attention back to Bella.

"Sweetheart, come outside for a moment." I said in a quiet, careful voice.

She just blinked back up at me as if she didn't understand me. She was growling steadily, the low rumble emanating from her chest as though it was out of her control. It probably was, she was so stunned.

I tried again, "Bella, let's get some fresh air." I pulled her hand into mine and led her to the front door, hoping she'd just let me take her out there. She did. She shot a look over her shoulder to where the baby was lying in Renee's arms but then she turned back to me and stepped across the threshold and out into the driveway.

Once we were both standing on the gravel she whipped around and went straight into her crouch, as I knew she would. I wasn't worried or offended, this was instinctual and Bella was nothing if not an instinctual vampire. She was also utterly lethal, I reminded myself before approaching her.

Palms up, my usual pose of supplication where Bella was concerned, I advanced towards her carefully. "It's all right love. It'll be okay. I promise." I offered gently.

"How can you say that?" She snarled, licking her teeth to bring on her venom. "We nearly lost her today and now he thinks she's his? She's barely ours Edward!" She roared, swinging her head from side to side, venom sprinkling the dusty ground.

"I know it feels that way but it's not, I promise. She is ours love. She'll always be ours. He won't hurt her. He loves her." All I wanted was for her to calm down so we could discuss it but she was hell bent on letting her anger consume her.

"Of course you'd side with him, you're the same, you did this too!" She swept a hand gracefully across her body as if to punctuate her point.

Her point had pissed me off, however. If it was anyone besides Bella who'd just said that to me I'd have lunged already. I fought the urge and rolled my shoulders and tilted my head first left then right to release some of the angry tension I felt forming in my muscles there. I swept a hand through my hair, buying myself a few more seconds of precious time before I exploded at my wife.

The only time we'd really fought since Bella had been changed had been when she believed I was having an affair with Rosie and that had been Bella against Rose and me defending.

This was different. This was Bella angry at me and me angry with Bella. This could go very wrong, very fast. She was a newborn but I had a century of skilled practice, I didn't want to hurt her but my resolve not to was stretched tight, like a thin film of self-control. I fought to contain it a little longer.

"I didn't side with anyone Bella." I whispered. It was the only thing I could eek out between my lips that wouldn't enflame her further.

It obviously wasn't what she wanted to hear because she whirled again and came at me head on. If I had've been able to read her I'd have seen the move in her head before she did it, but I couldn't read her so she hit me in the chest and I let her push me backward until I was lying back against the stairs. I refused to fight back and unless she bared her teeth at me I'd let her pummel me all night long if that's what she wanted.

It was.

She flailed against me, cursing a blue streak. Her fist caught my jaw over and over. She kicked and punched me all along the length of my body as she railed.

She let her anger at me consume her. She yelled and swore, cursed me for understanding him and not agreeing with her, she pushed and punched, kicked and fought because I wouldn't fight back. Her rage spewed out of her in angry accusations, her inability to come to terms with what had occurred flew out of her in angry bursts of violence. She tore at me, using her nails to try to penetrate my skin. She couldn't, of course, but she tried.

I could hear the others offering assistance, but I ignored them. This was between my wife and I and I was perfectly able to control the situation as it was.

I let her come at me again and again, feeling her anger abating with each strike.

Her snarls began to change as she unclenched her fists and turned to slapping rather than punching.

Her ragged breaths began to change as her tirade changed from anger to anguish, she was giving in to the pain of what she'd just learned.

I'd let her pin me to the stairs the whole time knowing that when she was spent she'd fall against me and then she'd let me comfort her.

Eventually she did. She punched me in the gut one last time, slapped my cheek one last time, spat at my feet one last time then she stood away a little, looked down to where I laid and let her head fall into her hands.

With a last wail that broke my heart in two she collapsed against my chest and I enveloped her in my arms, holding her tightly to me.

"Shhh, its okay, shhh." I told her over and over. "She's ours love. Shhh." I cooed trying to calm her as she sobbed and sobbed against me. "Shhh, its okay Bella." I told her over and over as she steadied.

We lay there on those steps for more than an hour. Bella sobbed for a good portion of it but said nothing.

Nobody wanted to disturb us but the wolves needed to leave. They had to get back to the Rez and face the elders to explain what had happened today and tonight. Carlisle told them to go through the back and I heard their mental goodbyes as they ran towards the river and phased before running west towards the Rez. Seth's mournful exit hurt me more than I'd ever admit to anyone. I could identify with him more than I ever could before and I was hovering somewhere between the need to flog him and the deep, deep desire to comfort him. For now he'd go back to the Rez and I hoped Sam would take it upon himself to watch over him until I could get there myself.

Emmett and Rose were asked to go to Charlie's and retrieve some things for Bella's parents and to bring it back to the house. They'd stay with us for a few days until things settled down a little. Renee was reluctant to leave Bella and Charlie was reluctant to leave Renee. They'd stay.

Alice and Jasper had excused themselves when I'd taken Bella outside. The emotions of the gathering were affecting Jasper deeply. He'd had to contend with all the terror of the fight today then the euphoria of Renesmee's birth and then all this anger, combined with Seth's anguish. He was spent. Alice would take him hunting and they'd go far enough away that they'd not encounter another living soul, for a few hours at least. Maybe a few days. They'd been known to do that from time to time.

That left four very proud grandparents with their granddaughter. It was now three in the morning and Charlie and Renee were almost spent. Esme handed Renesmee to Carlisle and ushered the two exhausted humans to the guest room on the ground floor. They'd be asleep in seconds.

When Esme returned to the living room she took a moment to watch Carlisle with the baby. Through her thoughts I too could see a very proud man staring down at the copper haired bundle wrapped in pink in his arms. She was staring up at him with wide eyes and he was thinking how perfect she was, how lovely, how loved.

As yet we'd not had a chance to tell anyone of her gift and nobody had discovered if for themselves, so my family and I had a secret again. At once I felt powerful and proud.

I left their thoughts and returned to Bella. Let them have this time with the baby, to discover her, for her to discover them.

I had been stroking Bella's hair, she was tucked into the crook of my neck but she'd stopped sobbing a while ago. Now she just lie there, quite still, just snuggled into my arms where she belonged. I didn't want to speak, to break the lovely calm I now felt, but I knew we had to talk at some point. I kissed the top of her head then whispered "Bella, sweetheart. Let's run a little, we need to talk darling."

BPOV

I was so, so angry I couldn't help myself. I'd hit him! Oh my god. I'd just beaten my husband!

I couldn't look at him. I couldn't speak.

He wanted to run with me, to talk, but I was glued to his chest, unable to face what I'd just done.

"Bella, please." He begged, attempting to lift me off his chest a little.

I only clutched him tighter. If he saw my eyes he'd know, he'd know how guilty I felt. I wasn't sure what I wanted anymore. I couldn't face Edward but I wanted my daughter. I couldn't go inside and face my family, they'd all heard what I'd done. I couldn't face Seth or the pack.

The more Edward tried to soothe me the angrier I got. Each time he called me love or sweetheart I had to swallow the venom pooling on my tongue. When he stroked my hair I cringed internally. I wanted to twist my way out of his arms, latch onto his fingers and snap them.

How dare he side with Seth, over me, his wife. How dare he try to placate me, tell me Seth wouldn't hurt her, that she was still ours even though Seth had just claimed her for himself. How fucking dare he!

Edward reached down my body and pulled my left hand to his lips. He kissed my wedding rings and held my hand to his chest. "Bella, let's run a little. Come on. Renesmee can hear us if we talk here." He tried again.

I leapt away from him then. He was worried that our daughter could hear him condoning what he'd already pretty much agreed to let happen? Oh that was rich! "We won't be far" I said so as to let Esme and Carlisle know and then I turned and headed down the driveway, through the trees and towards the meadow.

He was following but not running beside me as we usually would. At once I didn't regret the loss of being able to read him. I didn't want to read him anymore. Not if he was thinking the foul, vile thoughts he was. He was willing to let a wolf have our daughter! Our less-than-one-day-old daughter at that!

I stopped running when the tree with our initials carved in it came into view. I stood for a few seconds staring at it. I ran my fingers through the carved letters and sighed. Things had felt so uncomplicated then, despite my having fallen in love with a vampire. He loved me, I loved him. We had our future spread out in front of us, we were enjoying each other, and learning about each other still when he'd carved this for me. He'd assured me that the wolf problem would sort itself out and we'd be together. It really had felt very simple then.

"Do you still?" He asked as he came to stand behind me.

"Do I still what?" I asked rather caustically.

"Do you still love me Isabella?" He choked out. I could hear the fear and pain in his voice as he asked but couldn't quite bring myself to play my part to make it all disappear for him.

Instead I turned to face him, "I do love you Edward, but right now I don't like you very much." It was the best I could do without wanting to hit him again.

"I expect you don't." It wasn't the response I expected. I assumed he'd beg for my forgiveness. I thought he'd grovel. I wanted him to grovel. I wanted him to fall to his knees and tell me that I was right, that it was a stupid idea, that he'd never allow Seth to have our daughter.

Instead he stood and faced me square on. Defiance, pain and fear on his face. His anger was still barely contained under his skin. His fists clenched and rigid at his sides.

He wasn't sorry.

"You're not sorry." I said, matter of factly.

It wasn't a question and he didn't answer it as one. "No." Was all he said.

"You're going to let this happen no matter what I think?" That I posed as a question. I needed him to be very, very clear about this and I told him so, "Be very clear with your answer Edward, it will matter." I warned.

"It doesn't matter what we think Bella." Again it wasn't the answer I'd expected. "It's done. It's not a choice, for him or us. We can't stop it because it can't be stopped, love." He said it softly, closing the distance between us minutely. "He couldn't help it and he felt so fucking sorry for feeling it in the first place, he was terrified of our reactions. He couldn't help it anymore than I could the day I saw you." He whispered against my temple, his hands coming to rest on my shoulders. "It was so powerful that it was already done simply from her scent Bella. He didn't even need to lay his eyes on her, it was done from scent alone. You can't fight that."

I whimpered as he folded me into his arms. We couldn't stop it. I knew it was the truth. But I didn't want it to be.

EPOV

I felt the fight leave her body as she fell against me once again. She knew how this worked, she just didn't want to have to face it. I hated to be the one to remind her that Seth had no choice in how he felt now, but I'd had to do it anyway. I saw the fight, the fire, drain from her face as she surrendered to what she knew was the truth.

I pulled her to me and hugged her fiercely.

There was so much to say, so many things I could tell her to reassure her but all I wanted was to hear her say she loved me.

I waited until her trembling calmed a little and then I began to speak slowly, carefully, and reverently. I wanted to talk, not fight. "He has no choice Bella. But that doesn't mean Renesmee has no choice. You know that. I told you that when it was us going through this. You had a choice, she'll have the same choice, love." I let that sink in before I continued, "This was powerful Bella, this began before she was born, way before. His draw to you, the way he looked at you, the need to protect you, it was her Bella. All along. It was Renesmee." I could feel her nodding against my chest as she took in what I'd said. She knew it was true, she'd felt it too. "You don't feel about him the way you did before do you? You aren't drawn to him like you were, are you?" I asked. I hoped I was right. I'd hated the way she sought him out, the way he drew her aside so they could be alone all the time. I'd loathed the way they were so insular. I hated that she would hold his hand, let him touch her belly, tell him she loved him. If I was wrong now that may never cease and I'd have to spend eternity dealing with it.

"You're right Edward. I do feel differently." She admitted and I let go the breath I'd been holding.

I smoothed her hair again, kissed her temple and kept going. "See? That's a good thing. Because the whole time he thought as though he should be protecting you he inadvertently needed to protect Renesmee. That's a good thing Bella." I told her, hoping she could see my logic. She nodded a little and that spurred me on, "Okay, so it's changed for you just the way it's changed for him. That's as it should be. But I have to say this now, so you can make sense of this for yourself Bella. You saw something in Seth, you grew to love him because he protected you, because he cared about you. Aren't they things you want for our daughter too?" I was treading very cautiously and hoped she'd see reason.

"Of course they are, but we've only just got her ourselves Edward. Already he's going to want to protect her, do things for her." She whined.

"He wants the same things we do for her. I know this because I've been there. He wants her to be happy, to have everything she needs, everything she wants, he just wants what she wants and he wants to be the man to give it to her. That's all for now."

"It's the for now part that bothers me Edward." She whispered.

"I know. I know it is. It's that part that bothered Phil too, remember? But you are a testament to that Bella, how that works. I never made myself known to you until you had reached maturity, and while Seth and Renesmee will know each other her whole life, he won't see her that way until she's ready to be seen. You have to believe me. Do you honestly think I'll let him anywhere near her if it was any other way? Until you turned seventeen I didn't see you that way either. I swear it." I told her. The burning ache I'd felt for her all her life had never been a sexual hunger until just this past year. She knew that, we'd discussed this. She'd even talked through this with Emmett and Carlisle.

"I'm sorry I hit you." She mumbled and I smiled.

"It's okay. I won't bruise." I chuckled.

"I know, but I'm still sorry. And for the things I said. I didn't mean them, mostly." She clarified.

"I think you and I both know that's a lie Isabella." I laughed lightly. "But you were right. I am the son of a bitch who's going to let a wolf near my daughter. I am the motherfucker who's going to lose her to him eventually. And most sadly of all, I am the fucking bastard who'll help him get through it. I wish I could say I was sorry for that, but I'm not, not really. I'd be a hypocrite if I was."

"I didn't mean it, if I could take it back I would." She whispered against my chest.

"No you wouldn't." I chuckled. "I know you think I'm being disloyal by saying I'm going to help him, but I cant let him spend his life thinking we hate him for something that's out of his control, love. I remember how it felt, to be apart from you when there was absolutely no way I could be near you safely for some reason. He's going to be spared that pain if I can help it. Give it some time, please?" I implored her.

She pulled away from me then and I thought I'd said something to set her off again, but she just went to sit on the big rock. I went too but I stood between her knees and held her hand in mine. When she looked up at me, finally, her face was calmer, more serene. "Okay Edward. I'll give it some time, for now. I really am sorry for hitting you, for the things I said. I just lost it. Can you ever forgive me?"

I smiled my bestest ever crooked smile, "I tell you what, if you can find a mark on me I'll say there is something to forgive. Where do you want to start the search?" I waggled my eyebrows and she giggled. It was the most beautiful sound I'd heard for hours.

She swatted my chest with her fingers but all the anger, the stress, the pain was gone from her features now. "You're incorrigible Edward." She giggled again.

"Hey, I'm a lot of things" I marked them off on my fingers as I listed them, "Insatiable, creepy I think you once called me, a smart ass if I remember correctly, a freak but that could've been Alice, I don't remember. I definitely remember you calling me annoying at one stage, was it you who said I was an Emo? I bet it was. Oh yes, you once said I was desperately hot if I recall it right. Now you're saying I'm incorrigible? Oh Bella, you have no idea."

With that I swept her off the rock and deposited her on the long grass and covered her mouth with mine.

"I love you Bella." I told her as I peeled her jersey away from her skin.

"And I love you too Edward. Always." She told me as my lips descended to her now exposed, pitch black and highly raised tattoo.

BPOV

"So I guess that answers that question?" Edward chuckled as we rolled to our sides.

"Yeah, I guess so." I laughed.

We'd both been wondering if, now that I couldn't read Edward's mental voice, that meant we couldn't 'hear' each other during sex now too. We could.

It was just as amazing, just as connected, just as scintillating as it had always been between us.

"So, when you meet Eleazar and he catalogues your gift you're going to be mighty embarrassed Mrs Cullen." Edward had teased.

"Who or what is Eleazar? And why would he be cataloguing gifts?" I asked as I pulled my jeans back on and straightened my jersey.

Edward laughed again and stood, offering me his hand, pulling me up against him. He kissed me softly on my temple, grabbed my hand and began walking with me back towards the house. "Eleazar is a vampire obviously, he and his mate Carmen are occasional members of the Denali coven. They were unable to come to the wedding because they had already agreed on a trip to visit the Romanians, but Eleazar has assured me that both he and Carmen will come soon to meet both you and Renesmee." He told me as we walked. I'd heard of them of course, but I hadn't heard of these Romanians before.

"Eleazar can feel gifts?" I asked, not sure what the right terminology would be. Did one feel someone's gift or read it, or see it or what?

"Yes he can. Straight away, he's very good at it. He knew immediately what I could do and Alice too. He'll be able to know what Renesmee can do the instant he meets her. So that won't stay a secret long." He chuckled. "He used to be a member of the Romanian contingent though he's been with Carmen for centuries now. He was a spotter. He could feel what a human would bring with him or her if they were changed. If he'd met me as a human he would've known I could read minds once I was changed. I wonder what he'll make of you." He mused.

The sun was coming up before we made it back to the big house. I felt so bad for the way I'd behaved and then, after all that, we'd buggered off and left the baby with her grandparents on her very first night!

So far we sucked at being parents.

We went in through the front doors and both stopped and sighed happily at what sight greeted us.

Carlisle was lying on the sofa on his back with a sleeping Renesmee on his chest. She was still wrapped in the pink blanket and I assumed she was still totally naked. She was snuffling contentedly as she slept and Carlisle was running her curls through his fingertips as he watched her. He had the most peaceful look on his face.

Esme was in the kitchen, I could hear her moving about. The rest of the house was silent except for my fathers snores. Alice and Jasper hadn't returned and Emmett and Rose were out too.

I moved toward the sofa and Carlisle looked up at me and mouthed the word hello as I came nearer.

I ran a hand over my sleeping daughters back. "Thank you" I whispered to Carlisle who smiled warmly and nodded.

I turned back to Edward who was making his way towards the sofa now too. "I'm just going up to our room, I'll be right back." I told him and he nodded.

I flew up the stairs and grabbed my camera out of its bag from my desk. I took it with me, setting it up on the way, and when I came to the top floor landing I leaned over so that I could see the entire living room beneath me.

I began clicking shot after shot. Carlisle's face as he watched Renesmee sleep. Edward's face as he watched her, the look that passed between father and son as they held a silent conversation.

Esme's expression when she came back into the room and sat near Carlisle's head. I snapped a shot of her hand as she smoothed Renesmee's curls. I took another of the utter devotion on her face as she watched my daughter sleep on her husbands chest.

I stood for a few more minutes just watching the scene and I thought about all that Edward had said in the meadow. She was ours. All of ours, but most especially mine and Edward's. But I also knew that in a few short years she would be Seth's. All parents, at some point, had to let their child go and be with whom they wanted for themselves, I knew that. What was bitter sweet for me, as I watched Renesmee wriggle and wake on her grandfathers chest, was the fact that most parents got a good eighteen or twenty years to come to terms with that sad fact of life. I didn't even get one day.

EPOV

Of course we could all smell and hear Bella on the high landing but we all ignored it, knowing that the whirring and clicking noise was her capturing this glorious scene for all posterity.

Carlisle was especially blissful as Bella captured him lying with my daughter on his chest. His thoughts ranged from how envious he was to how proud he was of Bella and me. He was astounded at Renesmee's beauty, how she'd seemed to have inherited parts of both Bella and myself and combined them. He was shocked how serene she was, how content to lie there with him, how trusting she was of all of them. Of course he didn't know yet that she knew them all, quite well. That she was extraordinarily intelligent, capable of conversing with me, able to communicate with everyone in her own way already. I knew that when he did learn that he'd fall impossibly further in love with the tiny creature that now stirred on his chest.

Nessa – I'd heard Seth call her that in his head last night and I'd liked it straight away – stretched her little arms languidly. She opened her eyes and stared at Carlisle as though she was ready for him to start chatting with her. She looked so expectant I couldn't help the low chuckle I let out.

Bella was giggling softly as she came down the stairs to where the five of us sat in the living room. I moved off the end of the sofa and came around to kneel on the floor beside where Carlisle lie, so I could see Nessa's face. I smiled at her.

'Hello daddy.' She told me and my heart soared!

"Hello beautiful girl." I told her and dropped a soft kiss on the top of her head.

Bella came and sat beside me and stroked her back. "Good morning little one."

I looked to Bella, I wanted desperately to ask if we should explain our baby's ability but she beat me to it. "I see you've met your grandparents already? Can I see?" Bella asked.

Carlisle and Esme were confused but watched with interest as Nessa uncurled her tiny fingers and reached for Bella's cheek. Bella closed her eyes as the baby showed her her memory of meeting Carlisle and Esme for the first time. I watched through Nessa as she matched their scent to what she already knew of them from what I'd told her before she was born. She showed Bella how the others had told her goodbye before leaving her with only Esme and Carlisle. How they'd wrapped her tightly and warmly in her little blanket after checking her over first. How Esme had sung softly – Renesmee recalling in perfect detail every sound Esme had made – as Carlisle had rocked her to sleep on the sofa.

Renesmee stopped the vision with us as we were right then, sitting in front of her while she laid on Carlisle's chest and Bella let her hand fall back down. "Thank you sweetheart" Bella whispered and stroked Nessa's curls once more.

She sat back on her haunches and then stood, taking the seat I'd had before.

Carlisle and Esme had no idea what they'd just witnessed but they were both dying to ask. Esme broke first. "Edward?" She pled.

I smiled then laughed. "May I?" I asked Carlisle, who nodded. I scooped Nessa up into my arms and sat with her on the sofa next to Bella. I held her to my chest, keeping her warm in her blanket. "She's gifted." I told them blatantly.

"Of course she is." Carlisle crowed, laughing heartily. "With parents like you two she was bound to be."

"I guess she was." I told him as I kissed her mop of copper curls. "Nessa, sweetheart, can you show grandpa when you first met him, please?" I asked her gently. She smiled, showing me her little teeth and I chuckled as Carlisle gasped loudly.

"Hang on, what did you just call her?" Bella demanded before I had a chance to hand her to Carlisle.

I laughed, I knew this was going to be an issue. "Nessa, I called her Nessa. Don't you like it?" I asked.

"Actually I do, its sweet. Do you like it little one?" She leaned over and asked the baby. Bella looked to me to confirm or deny the baby's reaction to it.

"What do you think baby girl? Would you prefer Renesmee or Nessa?" I asked.

She scrunched up her tiny nose and concentrated hard for a second. 'Nessa, till I'm grown, then Renesmee.' She answered without hesitation. Even I was shocked. She was so startlingly intelligent. It scared me a little.

"If I told you how she'd worded this you'd never believe me, so I'll just say she likes Nessa." I looked around at the startled faces in the room and then asked Nessa to show grandpa her memory.

I handed her to him and he settled her in his lap. She held out her fist to him and he looked to me. "I just let her touch me, right?" He asked and I nodded. I watched through Nessa's thoughts as she showed him the same scene she'd just shown Bella. He jumped slightly at first but as she moved through her recollection of the lovely meeting a wide smile came over his face. "Thank you Nessa." He said warmly, as though she was decades old and not just one day. He immediately knew and understood the depth of her intelligence. "Can you show grandma too?" He asked politely.

Esme reached for her at the same time she reached for Esme and I heard both Carlisle and Bella sigh in happiness. Esme followed Carlisle's lead and let Nessa touch her chin. She too startled slightly but soon she was happy to let the little girl show her their first meeting. Esme kissed Renesmee's cheek and hugged her tightly when the memory faded. "Thank you Nessa." Esme told the smiling baby in her lap. "She's so incredible Edward. I'm so happy for you Bella."

I couldn't have said it better myself.


A/N: If you would be so kind, please review, it would be most appreciated. Thank you for reading.