I was staring at her again. I knew it, and I didn't care.
Alice and I were both sitting on the floor with Renesmee while she demonstrated her impossibly advanced logic skills. A couple of months ago Nessie was a baby, and now she was the physical size of a fifteen month old toddler with the appearance of a four or five year old—despite her small size—and the mental capability of an adult.
Even intensely tutored five year olds couldn't play games like this.
"I'll raise," Nessie decided and pushed a few chips forward.
Yes, we're playing poker with her to pass the time until tonight.
Once again, I snorted a laugh at the simple way she said things that she technically shouldn't even know. My eyes however didn't move off her aunt.
"I'm in," Alice agreed, tossing a couple of chips in, too.
I glanced down at my hand quickly then added my own chips, agreeing to stay in without speaking.
Just two seconds later, Nessie started squealing gleefully and jumped to her feet. "I win! I win! I win!" she cheered.
"Wait, what?" I looked over to her cards. Pair of three's? "How the hell does that work?" I dropped my cards down to show my king and ace.
"Because I win!" she declared once more.
"I'm sorry, are we playing backwards?" I looked over to Alice then back to the still bouncing Nessie. "What the hell? That's not fair."
"It doesn't matter." She giggled then pounced down on the chips and ran off with the whole pot.
Okay, so clearly some part of her is still a five year old...
I looked back to Alice for a moment before the nervous laughter began. "I can't decide whether that's the best technique ever invented, or if it truly is as stupid as it seems."
She shrugged and started packing up now Nessie had decided that we were done. "I'm not taking her to Vegas with it, but I guess if the other players don't mind."
"I mind. I had that hand." I gestured to my cards before she picked them up.
"Poor puppy," she teased. Normally I would have argued at least a little, but it was so boring now I just didn't bother. Even Blondie didn't bug me much anymore. We just ignored the insults like they were terms of endearment instead.
"Where did she go?" I asked while craning my neck to see over the back of the sofa.
"She's in her toy room, hiding the chips no doubt."
I listened more intently and heard her fast and excited breathing. She was probably putting one chip per spot so it would take longer to find them later.
"Hey," I whispered to get Alice's attention. She looked up smiling and quirked her eyebrow, then slowly shook her head. I beckoned her forward with my index finger, but she still didn't move.
Again, I listened to Nessie's fluttering heartbeat three floors above us. She was still darting around frantically.
"Jake, no..." she whispered. I rolled onto my knees and leaned over the remaining poker chips.
"No?" I leaned closer to her face. She said no, but she was still smiling wider by the second.
I raised my left hand and brushed her hair back from her cheek gently. "Yeah we can." Just inches apart, I leant further forward and pressed my lips to the tip of her nose quickly. Her head turned towards her shoulder, but her eyes stayed fixed on mine.
"Just for a minute," she compromised.
My smile widened a little as I turned her face back towards mine with my left hand. Her smooth, cold lips tickled over mine as her head turned then, she came back with a firmer kiss.
I let my hand drop back down to the floor and moved closer still until she was forced to lean back onto the ground. A quick hum of protest echoed in her throat, but it disappeared the second my tongue touched her lips then slipped between them.
Her fingers threaded into my hair and twisted tightly back into fists, but just as suddenly as she put them there, she yanked them—and several strands of hair—away.
My eyes flickered over to the door then closed tightly when I saw Nessie and her perplexed expression looking back at us.
This can't be for real... I denied, but knew it was.
Quickly, I pushed myself off Alice then got to my feet and walked towards Nessie.
"Nessie, can I explain?" I asked, then realized I couldn't really.
"Why was Aunt Alice trying to bite you?" she inquired, not listening to my words.
"Because he said he was going to take you to La Push so he wouldn't have to share you," Alice interrupted, speaking louder than I was.
Nessie frowned. "I love Aunt Alice," she told me firmly.
I looked between both of them a couple of times then sighed. "Fine...I won't fight with her anymore."
Alice's lip twitched and her eyebrow raised for a fraction of a second. "Suuuure. C'mon, Ness, let's go find those chips so we can pack up." Alice decided and stood up quickly. Nessie held out her hand and Alice took it on the way past, then the two of them scampered off with equal enthusiasm up the stairs.