:Twilight character names belong to Stephenie Meyer. All characterisations, plot lines, descriptions and additional details belong to the respective author. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without personally written authorisation. ©2011 Jezzyem, [03/05/13]. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jenna's screaming and the octaves that ripped through the air, combined with Riley's cries as he was shredded didn't deter me from my target. My line of sight was filled with the one image I never wanted to witness. With fire outlining my vision, I stared at Victoria holding a knife to Renesmee's jugular. I could hear her heart pounding fearfully, the pulse from the artery clinking against the tip of the knife, not strong enough to penetrate. Renesmee was horror-struck by what had happened to her best friend: her palms were shaking, a tell tale sign that she needed to calm down.
I stalked forward, my eyes on Victoria, flicking rapidly between her face and her hand, a growl resonating in my chest, threatening to spill out. I couldn't mask my fear. I tried, I truly did, but this was my daughter, my flesh and blood. It was her life hanging in the balance and if there was one life that was the most important in the world, it was hers. Victoria knew that and she was playing on it.
Victoria noticed my approach, halting me with a growl and a glare. She stuck the knife deeper, pushing Ness' heart rate into double time – faster that a foetus'. I stopped, terrified of the building consequences.
"Don't come any closer!" Victoria screeched, the slight shrill of her voice bouncing off of the cliffs like the faint cry of a cat. Her eyes were frantic, impossibly large as she surveyed the congregation behind me, staring down at her. Not that I noticed them. My attention was fixated on my daughter, and despite what Victoria had revealed, it wasn't the forefront of my mind right now regardless of what it may or may not have changed. My main focus was to remove the threat and keep my daughter safe, something that in these past few hours, I'd failed to do. I'd failed as a mother; that thought deflated me.
I felt a presence step to stand by my left, his cold body warming. "It's over, Victoria!"
He was calm, but the sinister side that I found impossible to not fear as a human surfaced and it was the only time I felt protected.
"No!" Victoria screeched, getting to her feet, pulling Renesmee with her. I held back a growl and Edward held back me as I saw Ness wince at the brutality of Victoria's actions "It's not over until I say it's over!"
If time could slow down, it did in that moment, but sadly so did my reflexes and reactions. I watched in horror as Victoria pulled back her lip and bought the knife across Renesmee's throat, painting a perfect red line in her creamed skin.
I saw almost immediately, the pain resonate through Renesmee's body, her eyes glazing and rolling as the knife flung away from her neck, spearing droplets of blood in all directions.
A strangled cry fell from my throat as my mind caught up with what had just occurred. Victoria took my moment of despair to push Renesmee over the side of the cliff face, her body hurtling toward the rocks and water below.
My actions caught up and instead of reacting to the triumphant smile on my enemy's face, I pulled away from Edward and dived over the cliff after my daughter, not caring about the protests or what would happen.
My mind screamed for one thing and that was her; Renesmee, Renesmee, Ness, My Ness, Nessie...
My body hit the water, feeling warm as it enveloped me in its trenches. I was too strong for the current, forcing my way into the depths. I frantically looked around, determined not to leave the depths until I found her. I let out the air that was situated in my lungs in the form of a frantic sob. Despite my eyesight, I couldn't see her; I was panicking. The depths of the water were a midnight abyss completely obscuring the raging waves that overtook on the surface.
I swam deeper looking for anything: minute air bubbles, a flash of light against the dark from the pale green shirt she was wearing, paying no attention to the noises that I could still hear above the surface. Being able to hear that but no echoing heartbeat scared me.
Then I smelt it; diluted in the water. Blood, and lots of it. I tried reassuring myself that this process of osmosis made it seem like there was more blood because of the cells bursting, but as I swam deeper, the blood became darker. I kept my mouth closed and my sense of taste and smell shut off.
There she was...resting on the bed of the ocean. She looked peaceful, and so young, save for the trail of blood that still seeped from her neck. The water was causing her hair to flair, pulling the curls into the current and stretching them into a black underwater twister. Graceful –a twisted image. Her eyelashes rested on her cheekbones and her plump lips lay central on her square jaw. She looked asleep, save for the lack of the usual rose tinge her lips held; they were as pale as her face.
I swallowed a cry and gently cradled her. Her body was limp in my arms, the up thrust of the water making her weightless and lifting her muscles. The movement swirled the blood, creating a circle of red mist around us.
I kicked up, pulling us out of the deep; swimming with my legs and using my strength to propel us through the water until it became too shallow to swim.
I broke surface, standing to my height and ran until I reached the shore, not taking my eyes from my daughter's immobile form. Without the interference of water, I could hear clearly. Her heartbeat was faint, extremely faint and slow but she wasn't breathing. Now in the light, she looked ghostly. There was no blood in her cheeks, her skin was cold and her lips had a blue tinge to them. And the blood, the water hadn't made it look worse; it was seeping steadily from her neck, her shirt soaking it up into a black puddle at her chest.
I couldn't think, my chest felt heavy and I was choking on breath, my throat constricted at the sight that lay before me. My hands flew around her not knowing where to rest for the best. My baby girl-she looked dead.
I had to stop the bleeding. Venom pooled in my mouth but it made me feel sick. I swallowed it back, letting it coat my tongue before I made the decision. I leant over her and licked the slit, sealing in the blood. Pulling back, I licked again to heal the indentation. But that time her body convulsed, her chest rising as if she'd been electrocuted.
Completely distracted in trying to save my daughter, I didn't feel the force that knocked into my side. My body left the ground before being slammed back down into the sand. I growled, bearing my teeth, my initial reaction telling me it was Victoria. I swung my arm, pushing my weight up and flipped myself over, throwing their weight off of me. From my peripheral, I saw a body kneeling by Renesmee and panicked. I ran forward only to be grabbed by my waist and flipped over a shoulder. I steadied myself and spun, a snarl erupting from the base of my throat. Fury pulsed in the veins behind my eyes, until I saw who it was.
Edward stood in front of me, his body poised for fight and his jaw clenched. The wind frayed his copper hair sending the smell of him toward me. I growled and went to move past him but he took hold of my wrists, keeping my stationary.
"Let me go!" I yelled, pulling my arms out of his hold.
"I can't let you, Bella, you'll kill her!" He shouted back getting in my face, forcing my eyes to meet his. His sweet breath overruled my senses but my anger overrode my desire.
Clenching my teeth, I spat, "How dare you insinuate I can't control myself, you don't know me-"
"Your eyes aren't dilated." He commented. It sounded like a question-directed at himself not me- as if he couldn't quite understand what he saw. My eyes weren't dilated because I wasn't hunting. I felt my brow furrow to match his expression. The only difference was that my face was filled with anger and fear; his was merely confusion.
"Of course they're not."
I pulled away from his grasp and pushed past him running back to Renesmee, fast so that he wouldn't stop me again.
Carlisle was with her, checking her over, calling her name trying to evoke a response from her.
I landed hard on my knees, putting myself up by her top half as she lay unmoving. A sob escaped me again and my vision clouded, eyes stinging as venom tried to force itself out as a release of the pressure building in my head from the exertion of emotion.
I jumped and snapped my head to Carlisle, letting a growl fall from my lips, as he ripped open her shirt, "There's too much blood, Bella, and I need to be able to see clearly. Her heartbeat's slowing and she's not breathing. I can't do anything else until her lungs work again. Help me perform CPR?"
I nodded eagerly and skirted around her head to her face waiting for Carlisle's indication, "Are you sure you can handle this? You're still considered young."
I glared at the blonde haired vampire I'd always respected, "She's my daughter. I'd die before I lost control around her."
He started the chest compressions, circling her blood around her body. It was audible. As he completed his thirty compressions, I pinched her nose, wrapped my lips around hers and blew in a deep breath of air, twice.
As Carlisle resumed another round of chest compressions, I looked at my angel. She was so innocent in all of this. She was the result of this mess-the mess that was created in my final human year. None of this was her fault, she didn't ask to be part of it, yet right now she'd been treated the worse. An innocent party treated like cattle. She suffered because of my callous mistake ten years ago when I was stupidly naive to one person-to a whole family in fact.
All around me I could hear the waves, birds screaming, the wind howling. There was a whispering too, overshadowed however by another, more painful noise.
I kissed her forehead, brushing the hair away from her face, praying to whatever God or deity that was real that she survive, that she be okay because I wouldn't know how I'd survive if she didn't live through this.
I didn't realise I was shaking until I was gently pulled away. My eyes refocused and I saw Edward. He was looking at my eyes, his hand cupped my cheek and his mouth was moving.
The whispering-it was him. And then I realised, that the painful noise was me. I was crying, hyperventilating, but the fact that I didn't need oxygen curdled the noise, scratching it against my dry, unnecessary windpipe.
"She'll be okay, we'll save her...You're okay..."
His words were muffled, even to my ears like sound passing through a phone with low signal, the crackling cacophony bouncing the real words until they were hardly discernible.
He took my place by Renesmee's head, supplying her with the air she needed to regain breathing individually.
I wasn't perceptive to how much time had passed: nanoseconds, seconds, minutes, hours. I was conscious of the light dimming slowly as it did every day, but nightfall never fell. I was also aware that no one else came to find us.
Whilst my instincts noticed this difference, my eyes, mind and heart remained with one person: the small girl who was being resuscitated by the two men I equally detested, but trusted to save her. As Edward supplied her lungs with air, Carlisle relentlessly pumped her chest to kick-start her heart. My hand went to my mouth to silence my much needed cry. I'd watched this cycle countless amounts of times, waiting for that one exhale, that one compression that would revive her.
My turmoil quickly morphed into a burning anger. A fire that burned throughout my body, igniting the pit of my stomach as if it was hell itself and the devil happily resided there. The flames wrapped my heart like barbed wire, puncturing my long dead organ to allow the blood that still lingered in the tissue to fall and feed my body-the monster.
I wanted her dead. She needed to be. All the others that had remained on that cliff top, should have taken care of her, but at the same time I wanted to kill her myself. Never before had I felt this urge, this unwavering desire to kill someone. If she'd died at the hands of someone else, I wanted to revive her and kill her all over again just so she could feel an ounce of pain that she'd bestowed onto me.
Edward inhaled sharply, snapping me back. I looked over and was at Renesmee's side in an instant, panic surfacing at the possibility that the next words would be the worst I would ever hear.
But then we heard it. The double beat of a heart; followed by a shaky, wisp of an inhale. The cry I'd been holding back fell from my lips as I took her still cold hand. I listened as the air in her lungs curdled and came to the surface full force, expelling the foreign substances in her body. Her head lurched up with the force as she coughed up blood and sea water. My hand shot to the back of her neck to support her head as her body convulsed with the force of her vomiting. She took a few deep breaths before it regulated into a continuous pattern. Her eyes never opened.
I lifted her hand and kissed it before resting it against my cheek, treasuring the fact that she was still alive.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, "Bella?" Carlisle spoke softly, "Bella, we need to move her to the house, she needs monitoring."
I flicked my eyes up to him. She wasn't going back to the Cullens'; she was coming home with me.
Clearly seeing the stubbornness in my eyes, he explained, "Her body temperature is far too low for a human, I need to check her over so she doesn't get sick."
"She isn't just human." I protested.
A small smile of compassion appeared on his face, his eyes full of worry, "I'm aware of that. But she is clearly still as vulnerable as one, and as of now, I need to treat her like I would any other patient and make sure she is fully recovered before I can let her out of my care."
He was only doing what was best for her welfare and health and I had to respect that. I nodded and kissed the palm of Renesmee's hand, then placed it across her torso. Carlisle immediately scooped her up and cradled her against his chest and ran in the direction of the house. My breath faltered as he lifted her; her body slumping against him flaccidly as if she were nothing more than a well-worn dolly.
I felt Edward take hold of my right hand as he came to my side, giving it a gentle squeeze. I looked at him -I really looked at him for the first time. His face was a mirage of emotion, his eyes flicking wildly around my own. He swallowed, and then tugged on my hand, not letting his eyes leave my face. It was all he needed to do. He was comforting me without being overbearing and allowing me to maintain my distance from him - both physically and emotionally -to an extent. He tugged again and took a step in the direction I so desperately wanted to follow.
I took off, Edward by my side, my hand secure in his, tracing the path that was tainted with Carlisle's scent. We didn't speak. The only thing that we could hear were the light sound of our steps as we ran in unison. The same sounds that I'd heard approaching the house a few hours ago were the same; birds, the stream, the heartbeat. The heartbeat that was no way near as prominent as it was.
Inside the house, murmurs came from the lowest floor, all voices I easily recognised. Carlisle flittered about on the second, moving medical equipment no doubt. Running up the porch I let go of Edward's hand and headed to the stairs. Our approach was expected, either that or the audience lining the foyer to the staircase had heard the commotion when Carlisle entered the house less than a minute ago. I ignored their burning gazes and ran into the room next to Carlisle's office.
The low fuzz of machinery appeared louder than I'd ever heard it, especially with the repetitive beep reverberating through the white room, monitoring her heartbeat. Carlisle had placed Renesmee on a white bed and had already connected her to the monitor and was currently attaching her to an IV drip.
I walked to her other side and took her hand. Her top was still ripped open revealing her bra and pale skin; blood still stained her skin and the delicate white lace. Looking closer I noticed hundreds of goose pimples littered her skin; every surface possible. Through the lace, her nipples were prominent in response to the cold. A blue hue could be seen at her hands, nose and lips. And she was shivering, violently.
I cleared my throat, "Carlisle, what's wrong with her?"
Still intent in injecting chemicals and medicines into her IV, I would have suspected he was ignoring me if it weren't for the quick reply, "It's winter, the water temperature was below 50 - low enough to kill a human," I couldn't contain my gasp of shock. I didn't pay attention to the footsteps that advanced, "She was in the cold too long while we tried to resuscitate her. An estimated guess is that she's developed moderate hypothermia."
"How estimated is that guess?" I asked sharply - far more sharp than I'd intended.
He stopped his movements; his eyes met mine, "I'm fairly certain."
I nodded in understanding and resignation. It was hypothermia; he just couldn't confirm it without written proof. He continued, "It's not life threatening yet because her organs are still functioning-"
"What do you mean 'yet'?" I hissed, not caring about manners or dignity or professionalism. He was implying my worst fear, "She can't die, she's immortal!"
"You don't know that for certain, Bella. You saw what happened a minute ago," His voice was soothing – doctoral, "I told you I was treating her as I would a human patient."
Silence passed between us, neither one of us breaking gaze until the tension subdued. A movement from the doorway caught my eye. I turned and saw the Cullens at the threshold. Not all of them were visible, but I knew they were all witnessing this.
"What did you mean by 'yet'?" I asked in a voice so small that a human wouldn't have heard.
"Our priority now is to warm her up so that her vital organs don't fail. When body temperature drops severely, blood surrounds the vital organs to keep them warm - that's why her hands and lips are coldest. However, she lost a lot of blood, meaning that her organs might not have enough blood to keep them at the required body temperature, and I can't give her a transfusion because her blood is completely different to a human's." He explained, "Her temperature needs to return to normal and the nutrients need to re enter her body so that she can re develop the blood she lost. I can't judge which needs to be prioritised, but we're running out of time."
I nodded then turned to the door and someone stepped forward. I turned and saw Esme stood just forward of everyone else, holding some folded blankets and clothing in her arms, a look of compassion - or pity - and worry on her beautiful face. "I bought some clothes for her to change into, and some blankets, I thought they'd help." She hesitated, not certain of my reaction, "I also bought some spare for you too, Bella, you can't be comfortable."
Her eyes flickered down my body and back up again before a small smile spread across her face in a friendly gesture. I followed her gaze and noticed my own clothes heavy with water, droplets falling and pooling around my feet. I forgot that I too had been in the water, except the plunge didn't affect my life.
I nodded in thanks before I asked, "Where's Jacob?"
Her eyebrows furrowed, so I asked again.
"As soon as it happened"-indicating to a comatose Renesmee- "Victoria took off. Jacob led both packs after her-"
"Someone find him, he needs to be here. He can help." I ordered. Small footsteps ran out the door at my words, closely followed by another set–Alice presumably, along with Jasper.
"That dog is not coming in this house." Rosalie hissed.
I growled at her and narrowed my eyes, "If you don't want to see him then leave. This is about what's best for my daughter-"
"And Edward's too, apparently!" She spat.
"ENOUGH!" Carlisle yelled...for the first time ever. His eyes were blazing, a molten gold, "We don't have time for this! We all have questions, yes, but right now, this is not helping a dying girl." I whimpered at his words, "Everybody leave! "
He directed the order at the door so I knew he didn't mean me. Esme quickly came forward and deposited the load she carried at the foot of the bed. She gave me another look before she walked out the door, pulling a scowling Rosalie with her to the floor below.
"I'm staying." Edward remarked, crossing his arms as he entered the room.
Carlisle began to protest, as did I, but he stood firm, closing the door behind his and repeating, "I'm staying."
I turned away and set to work, ripping the rest of her tattered shirt off. Carlisle disconnected the IV so that I could remove her bra and re-dress her in the baggy white t-shirt Esme had supplied, swiftly. He reattached the IV as I ripped off her jeans. Edward came forward then and draped a folded blanket over the top half of her body, shielding the rest of her from his and Carlisle's view as I tore at her wet underwear and pulled on a pair of thick sweatpants. I pulled the blanket over her completely and tucked her in as if she was two years old again. I pulled her wet hair from underneath her and began to pat it dry with a towel.
"Bella, do you know her normal body temperature? I suspect it isn't the same as a regular human." Carlisle asked and he took her axillary temperature.
I answered without hesitation, "Ninety-four."
Then we heard a commotion downstairs. Edward moved toward the door and wretched it open before Jake appeared in the doorway. As usual, he was just wearing a pair of cut-off jeans, his torso and bare feet on display. Except, his eyes were wild and full of pain, his hair stood is disarray and the after math of his phase still lingered in his body: his palms shaking, his chest muscles flexing and his jaw tensed.
His eyes darted around the room before they landed on Renesmee- his Nessie- and his entire body deflated. His pained expression matched mine as he found my gaze. I could see myself clearly in his shining, black eyes: wet, haggard, utterly broken.
"She's too cold, Jake, she needs to be warmed." I whispered; the agony evident in my voice.
Understanding filled his features before he strode forward and came to my side of the bed. I took a step back, allowing him enough room to pull back the blankets and climb onto the bed with her. He wrapped his body around Renesmee's; his arms pulled her against his torso until he was flush against her from head to toe. He gently tilted her head with his hand, letting her face rest in the crook of his warm neck. He hissed minutely as his bare skin touched her frozen body, completely dwarfing her.
I looked up at Carlisle, a smile playing on his face. The look in his eyes conveyed everything: he understood what Jake was doing and wasn't protesting, he'd done what he could for now, he had faith. I looked over at Edward and saw a scowl on his face as he fixed his gaze on the two forms on the bed. Next to him was the doorway and in it stood Alice. Her arms were folded over her chest and a frown sat somewhat elegantly on her petite face.
"Bella, why don't you get changed and meet us downstairs?" She suggested, "I think we all need some answers."
I hesitated, looking at everyone in the room, my eyes settling on Ness before looking back at Alice.
"She'll be fine." Alice stated with conviction. Carlisle nodded in agreement before he walked to the door.
I whispered to Jake that I would be downstairs if he needed me but he didn't appear to be listening, his priority and focus remaining with Renesmee.
I nodded my consent to Alice and she flittered down the stairs, closely followed by Carlisle. Edward hesitated, unsure of what to do or if he should approach me.
"You can use my room to get changed if you'd like." He offered, pointing his thumb over his shoulder to where his bedroom was situated across the hall from Carlisle's office. I knew where it was.
"Thank you." I replied then moved past him, taking a final glance over my shoulder before stepping through the door to his bedroom.
Everything was the same, a shock to the system actually: the floor to ceiling windows, the music collection, the black couch, the white rug on the floor...if I were human still, I'd be blushing as I looked at that final unchanged item. Shaking my head out of memory lane, I changed out of my wet clothes into dry ones and prepared to face the music.
I stepped out the room, descending the stairs at human pace before I stepped into the living room. The members of the Cullen coven were stood solitary, much like they were before, except this time it was only me that stood as offence.
My eyes passed over each and every one of them before settling on Edward, the person who seemed the most distracted - avoiding my gaze. His arms were folded, his top hand rubbing at his jaw.
I hung my head and sighed, "You said you had questions, so..."
Edward was the first to speak, a deep, sorrow filled sigh giving him away, "Is what she said true Bella? What Victoria said, I need to hear it from you."
My eyes met his and of all the emotions on his face, I couldn't extract one that was identifiable. He spoke slower, using his hand for emphasis. "Please, I need to hear it from you...is she...?"
I nodded, straightening my shoulders before looking directly at him, "Yes, she's..." How do I put this? "Biologically..." Is that right? "Renesmee is our daughter."
That was it. Simple and honest. It was the first time I'd spoken it out loud.
"She's our daughter."
I ask two things of my readers: Pretty please review and follow me on twitter Jezzyem, or at least have a look at the fandom on twitter. It's full of recs and competition alerts and stuff that are controlled by the readers of fanfiction.
Again I'm not going to post the smileys but if you want to use them then you're more than welcome. I've found that most people are using words.