Author's Note: Hello, lovely people! Thank you for being so patient I love you all!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything
But if I had you,
That would be the only thing I'd ever need
Yeah if I had you,
The money, fame and fortune never could compete
-If I Had You, Adam Lambert
The Melting Festival turned out to be one huge gathering of locals and tourists. Renesmee figured the name probably had more to do with the large icicle shaped mascot than anything else actually melting, since she learned it was warm and sunny in Mammoth Lakes for the better part of the year.
There was a ferris wheel and a few other low tempo rides for children, but the true highlight was the long line of booths in what was dubbed 'Sticky Sweet Alley'. Funnel cake, cotton candy of every flavor, and the specialty of the festival, dewdrop ice cream, abounded. There were also plenty of vendors, most of them consisting of local artisans, who plied everything from homespun glassware and rock paintings to elaborately designed gossamer wings for children and adults.
Jacob purchased a huge pair of white angel wings, and murmured in her ear, "I can't wait to see you wearing these as you ride me."
All day he'd been whispering things like that, or crowding close so he could kiss or touch her. She felt ready to scream because she knew he was deliberately putting her on edge. Flushed, she turned away, looking for an escape as he made arrangements to have the item delivered, and spotted Jenna and her young friend, Rowan. Waving, she called them over, smiling at the glittery paint covering their faces.
"Well, don't you two look gorgeous."
"Chloe did it," Jenna said, flicking her hand in excitement at the two huge balloons on her cheeks.
Rowan not to be outdone showcased her whiskers and cat nose. "I wanted to be a cat."
Renesmee laughed. "I see. Actually, the more I look at you. I'm thinking with your red hair and green eyes, you should change your name to Calico."
Rowan grinned, and pointed up at her face. "You should get one too, Renesmee. I mean not a cat or balloons, but maybe something like a heart or flowers because you're so pretty."
"No way am I prettier than you two munchkins," she enthused, tweaking each of their ears.
Both girls laughed happily, before grabbing her hands and pulling her toward a large booth with a queue of children in front. She didn't need to look over her shoulder to know that Jacob had followed. She could feel the heat of his stare traveling over her like a caress.
After waiting in line for nearly twenty minutes, with Rowan and Jenna chatting away about the upcoming talent show, Renesmee sat for her face painting.
Chloe was a young woman with a multitude of tattoos and streaked purple and black hair. From all appearances, she'd look to be society's biggest rebel, but the huge smile and open, unguarded look in her eyes reminded Renesmee of someone who wanted to experience life to the max regardless of what people thought.
Peering down with the vivid regard of an artist sizing up a canvas, she chuckled. "I don't really see you as the hearts or flowers type. I'm thinking ... exotic, mysterious." Chloe looked over to Jacob, who stood at the edge of the booth smiling benignly. "Am I right?"
Jacob shrugged. "She's always been a mystery to me."
Turning Renesmee's chair to the left, away from the glaring sun, she swirled a clean brush in a jar of thick, bright, glittery blue paint. "I've got the perfect design," Chloe said, grinning.
The grazing touch of Chloe's paintbrush against her skin was cold and Renesmee jumped a few times from the tickling bristles. Jenna and Rowan were allowed to stand inside the booth, and she judged from their wide-eyed stare that whatever Chloe was meticulously weaving across her face was exciting and fascinating to the girls.
After five solid minutes, Chloe finally leaned back, waving an arm like an effusive Italian. "This is soooo perfect. I gotta take a picture." Before Renesmee could protest, she'd snapped a Polaroid. "You look so hot. I'm not even going to charge you for this. It'll be worth the price when everyone gets to see it. It's like friggin' free advertisement."
Feeling like a dressed up Christmas ham, Renesmee swung her gaze in a wide arc. "Would you mind giving me a mirror?"
"Oh, yeah, here you go," Chloe volunteered, handing her a large oval shaped mirror.
Sure she was going to have to run to the nearest bathroom, Renesmee was entranced by the beautiful, pagan markings along the right side of her face. She looked like a tattooed Amazonian princess. The swirling, interconnected patterns highlighted her doe shaped eyes and high cheekbones.
Rowan and Jenna clapped with enthusiasm, reaching up with eager hands to touch.
"No way kiddies, it has to dry first," Chloe gently reprimanded.
Jacob, who so far had stood silent, stepped forward and lifted her chin with one long finger.
Raising her gaze, Renesmee was seared by a flash of heat. He looked ready to fuck her on the spot. If there weren't a ton of people milling about, along with curiously fervent children near by, he probably would have.
"So, what do you think?" Chloe asked, moving back some to let Jacob view his fill.
"She looks wild ... untamed," he answered, his voice low and guttural.
The wealth of hidden meaning in his words wasn't lost on Renesmee, and the images careening through her mind made her aware of every aspect of his masculine, commanding persona.
Chloe chuckled, making her start like a guilty child caught with a hand in the cookie jar. "Give it ten minutes to dry before any kind of strenuous activity, okay?"
Knowing her cheeks were probably beet red, Renesmee glanced at Rowan and Jenna, who thankfully were occupied elsewhere.
Even though she and Jacob insisted on paying, Chloe remained steadfast. "No! Just walk around and tell everyone to stop by. Besides, you're helping me, really. You're the first adult I've had all day, plus you're drop dead beautiful. It's like free advertisement. When folks see you they'll be sure to line up for real tattoos at the shop."
Renesmee became convinced of the validity of Chloe's suggestion later after several gaggling teens, and a few old timers, remarked on the intriguing design. Following orders, she pointed them to Chloe.
She and Jacob continued to walk around the fair after Rowan and Jenna had run off to be with some of their other friends.
Renesmee kept stealing fleeting looks at Jacob, before finally voicing the thoughts rolling around in her head. "You're really enjoying yourself, aren't you?"
"Frankly, yes. It's hard to imagine the rich and powerful Jacob Black as the festival type of guy."
Jacob nodded, as though accepting her assessment. "I'd be lying if said I did this on a regular basis, but I think everyone is entitled to a moment to stop and smell the roses."
"Is this what you're doing? Stopping to smell the roses?"
"On any given day, I usually work about sixteen hours. There are thousands of people, directly and indirectly, depending on me for their livelihood. Simple luxuries like this," he waved an arm around, "are a blessing."
"But you have enough money to never have to work."
He laughed. "Can you really picture me jet setting around the world?"
A couple of days ago, she wouldn't have had a problem seeing that, but the more time she spent with him, the more Renesmee found it hard to imagine him as a flagrant, about-thetown play boy. "No, I guess not," she murmured. "You're too dynamic to just sit on your ass all day."
"Why Renesmee, I think that may be the first compliment you've ever given to me."
Pinching him, she teased, "Don't let it go to your head, buster."
"Oh, I'm sure you'll never let me get too full of myself."
Jacob's comment, while on the surface flippant, underlined a deeper meaning she was finding harder and harder to resist. "I don't know how I can stop that when you're already full of yourself."
"Confidence, my dear, it's only confidence."
Renesmee smirked. "Yeah, right." Shaking her head, she motioned toward the stage in the center where a mike and speakers were being set up. "I promised the girls I'd root for them. Let's go."
The talent show was open to anyone with guts enough to get on stage and perform. Everyone was applauded equally for their spirit, even if they weren't very good.
Renesmee struggled to contain her giggles through two horrible performances of Earth Angel and Brown Eyed Girl, the latter song by a besotted husband to his very pregnant wife in the crowd. Rowan and Jenna danced to the Jackson Five's, Rockin' Robin, like two little adorable sprites, and for them, Renesmee cheered the loudest. But, the competition was blown away by a tall, ebony skinned beauty who belted out a rousing rendition of Destiny Child's, Survivor.
Margie was the emcee, and she presented everyone who had performed with a small, plastic icicle. The winner not only got the trophy, but a two hundred fifty dollar gift certificate to Miller's General Store.
Renesmee winced, heat suffusing her face, as the paunchy Jeremiah Miller stepped on the stage to hand the winner her certificate.
Jacob laughed at her shocked expression, and kissed her gently. "You're blushing."
"And it's all your fault. I can't believe you closed down the store to-to screw around. He probably told the whole town I'm some sort of tart."
Cavalier like only the truly rich could be, he shrugged. "Jeremiah would never say a word."
"How can you be so sure?"
Looking over, his gaze became hard like flint. "Because he wouldn't like the consequences if he did."
There wasn't a doubt in her mind that Jacob was deadly serious either. She didn't know everything about him, but she was positive very few people ever attempted to cross him. The power he held over others should have frightened her, but she found herself peeking at him under the veil of her lashes, vividly imagining his raw animal magnetism. Deepseated yearnings unfurled in her belly as her breathing accelerated to match the rampant longing crawling through her limbs.
Jacob narrowed his eyes, cocked his head to the side, and Renesmee could see the change—the dominance—overtaking his body.
"Are you ready to go?" Even his voice had taken on a commanding note.
Falling deeper into a chasm of lust and submission, she was prevented from answering by the timely—or untimely—arrival of Rowan and Jenna, flushed with happiness from their talent show performance.
"How did we do?" they both squealed at the same time.
Wide eyed, Renesmee took a hasty step away from Jacob. "You guys were great!"
"My dad said even though we didn't win, we were the best," Rowan chirped.
Jacob smiled, though his eyes lingered a moment longer on Renesmee before looking down at the two cherubs jumping up and down in front of him. "And your dad was right."
"Next is the auction for the heart foundation. You have to stay for that too. Granny said I could go up because Grampy's going to bid on me. You can go up too, Renesmee. I'd bet you'd get a million gazillion dollars," Jenna steamed ahead as usual, issuing orders like a well-trained, four-star Admiral.
Renesmee shook her head, peering first at Jacob then Rowan and Jenna. "Wait a minute, slow down. What is the heart foundation?"
"It's a charity for people with bad hearts. They give them money so they don't get sick," Rowan volunteered.
"Oh please, you gotta go up, Renesmee. Don't be shy," Jenna pleaded, jumping up and down.
Staring down at the angelic faces, she tried to think of a plausible excuse the two determined six year olds would accept. Mentally grasping at straws, she jumped when Jacob smacked her rump, urging her none too gently toward the stage.
"Go ahead and go up. You might just fetch a million gazillion dollars," he said, winking.
Renesmee didn't like the sound of that, especially knowing he could give a million gazillion dollars without batting an eyelash. "Don't you dare," she whispered furiously over her shoulder.
"It's for charity," he called, laughing at her thunderous frown. "Don't worry. I won't let anyone else buy you."
"That's very reassuring. Why don't you go up there?"
"Perish the thought. Who would bid on me?"
Who indeed? A hunk like Jacob would probably start a riot. Laughing at the image of little old ladies digging out their pocket books, she grinned at him evilly. "Afraid?"
"Mortally," he answered.
Rolling her eyes, Renesmee walked away with Rowan and Jenna to stand behind the stage, listening intently as Margie extolled the terrible facts associated with heart disease.
"Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It affects men, women and children equally. The sad fact is many of the diseases can be prevented or offset by early detection. Yet people often ignore the warning signs because of the high cost of treatment and care, which can range anywhere from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars. The Save a Heart Foundation offers free testing and services for low-income families, or anyone who needs it. This year, to help raise some of those much needed funds, we've agreed to hold a small auction." The crowd began to cheer and Margie raised her hands for silence. "Now, don't think of it as buying someone. The Melting Festival is definitely not promoting that! Think of it, instead, as a chance to save a heart, with the added bonus of proving your love. Okay ... so I'm going to start the auction with a wonderful little girl who is the sparkle of my eye, Jenna Michela Neri, my granddaughter."
Margie motioned for Jenna to come on stage, and Renesmee smiled as her short little legs literally skipped up the stairs.
Someone from the crowd yelled, "One hundred dollars."
"Two hundred dollars!"
Renesmee, watching like a spectator at a tennis match, listened with one ear as Rowan provided the play-by-play, explaining that the two men bidding were Jenna's dad and Grandfather.
"Sold to the handsome man in the back for five hundred dollars," Margie preened, smiling fondly at her husband.
Next up was Rowan, who was the subject of a bidding war between her mother, father and a good looking young man who had to be her brother. Next was a teenage girl who waved excitedly at a well-built lad wearing a green and gold lettermen's jacket. He offered fifty dollars, but was quickly out done by the girl's scowling father. The muffled, "Aww Dad" made the crowd and Renesmee laugh.
After her was the serenading crooner, whose pregnant wife volunteered the highest sum yet, one thousand dollars. A thunderous burst of applause sounded, and Renesmee tried to scoot further back as the 'line of auctioned' began to thin. She'd always been a good sport for charity, but she'd rather write a check than go out on that stage.
Finally everyone, except her had done their part, and she began to breathe a sigh of relief until Margie's booming voice singled her out.
"I think we're missing someone." Frozen in place, Renesmee tried to blend into the wood next to her, but Margie's eagle eyed gaze found her easily. "Bring your butt out here, young lady. If my six year old granddaughter could do it then you can bet your bottom dollar you can."
"No, I'm going to write them a check. Actually, I've got cash so they won't even have to go to the bank," she said, waving her arms in denial.
Margie fixed her with a relentless stare, pointed at the stage, and said in a no nonsense voice, "Get out here."
Startled by the changing of a woman who'd gone from matronly auctioneer to demanding and hardnosed in a matter of seconds, she walked up the few steps leading to the platform of the stage.
"Oh look," Margie praised. "Doesn't she look like a goddess with that beautiful design on her face?"
The crowd murmured an agreement as a yelping howl of joy sounded from the back.
Chloe ran up, undaunted by the amount of attention she stirred. "And if anyone wants to know, I did that! You can have the same if you come by my booth. Or ... if you'd like something more permanent then be sure to come by Chloe's Tattoo Parlor, located on the corner of Bartley Street and..."
Margie frowned, but looked like she was trying to contain a bout of laughter. "Thank you, Chloe."
Rebuked, the eccentric vendor faded back, but not before giving Renesmee a huge thumbs up.
Well, at least she's enjoying this!
"Okay, so now that we've got the plugs out of the way, why don't we start the bidding?"
"Fifty dollars!" This was from the young guy in the lettermen jacket, who promptly received a punch to the arm from his disgruntled girlfriend.
"One hundred dollars," Two childish voices chimed at once, and Renesmee smiled as she waved to Rowan, Jenna and their respective sets of parents.
Unsure who yelled the amount; Renesmee peered around the crowd looking for the mysterious bidder until her eyes clashed upon a dark, heated stare.
"One hundred thousand." Jacob didn't even need to shout, his voice carried with the silencing effect of a trumpet blast.
Margie, who looked completely floored, recovered with amazing aplomb. "Well ... since I don't think there are any other takers, please give a round of applause to Jacob Black and his beautiful companion Renesmee Cullen for their generous donation. And-and many thanks to everyone who participated, this is sure to be a-a day to remember for Save a Heart and the Melting Festival."
With the crowd parting like the red sea for Jacob's tall stature, Renesmee waited, helplessly reminded of another stage, and another time when she had looked down on him. Then she'd been naked and weary, afraid to lose his dominant nature, but now she stood waiting—hoping to unleash it.
Sneak-preview of the next chapter:
"Did you touch yourself?" Jacob asked, already knowing the answer to his question, the thought of her deft, nimble fingers caressing her pussy without his permission hitching his desire upwards by a notch.
Renesmee looked away, blowing out a breath. "Yes."
"You were taking too long."
Normally, he might have let a transgression like this slide, or only punished her for a minor infraction, but he knew Renesmee was testing his will power—testing the levels of his control.
-Please Review! Isn't Jenna adorable? ^_^-