I did not live in Washington anymore and neither did the Cullens. We didn't want to leave; the Olympic Peninsula had special meaning to all of us. It was where Edward realized he didn't have to be alone anymore. It was where Bella had become my best friend and where she realized she was meant for more than a mundane human life. Alice had found herself an unwilling shopping partner. It was where Esme and Carlisle watched their family grow (in more ways than one). It was where Nessie, my entire reason for existing, had been born. It was where I had been born. It was home.
But we couldn't stay there.
The Cullens couldn't age anymore than I could. There was an important difference though: They had to be seen. I could move into the woods and become a recluse, not many people would question it, and most would suspect the reason why. But the Cullens had been seen and they had been seen for several years and people were beginning to realize that none of them were aging. Each passing year left their faces unaffected. I suppose for most of the legions of the undead, being seen isn't really a necessity, but then most vampires are not the Cullens.
My pack had come with me, all but one. Quil couldn't bear to be separated from his Claire. I didn't blame him; I knew he stayed behind for the same reasons that had force me to leave. Imprinting. Leah had been furious with me when I announced my decision. She ranted and raved, and when she was done, she begrudgingly agreed to go with me. What choice did she have? Go back to Sam's pack? Yeah, right, like that would ever happen. Stay behind? That would be foolish and she knew it. It was no good to be alone.
And Leah would be alone because both Seth and Embry had refused to stay in La Push while I chased my imprint to Maine. Sue was honeymooning with Charlie and, might I add, good for him. And Billy? Well Billy was coming too.
I could hazard a few guesses as to why my dad wanted to come. For starters, Charlie had not been the only one with his eyes on Sue. Then Sue had made her choice, and she had chosen Charlie. As far as I could tell, Billy harbored no ill will toward either of them, despite the sting, but his best friend was now busy with the whole newlywed kick. My sisters were gone too. Rebecca was still in Hawaii and Rachael and Paul had finally gotten their own place. Not to mention he had grown attached to the Cullens and their little mutant member. Nessie really was easy to love.
It actually was kind of convenient that he came. Leah was now my older sister. Embry was my younger brother. Seth was younger still. One kid for every grade high school has to offer. Billy was our grandfather. He didn't take that news very well, but the logic behind it couldn't be denied… He had aged, we hadn't.
The Cullens had their lies down too. Edward, Bella and Nessie were brother and sisters. Adopted. Nessie was starting freshman year, while Bella and Edward played sophomores with Alice. Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett played juniors, although the three looked like they should be teaching as opposed to learning. I bet Emmett would teach wrestling. There was sure to be many injuries on that team, most of which were probably accidentally inflicted by the coach. Anyways, they were the fosters.
They weren't the Cullens anymore either. A new move meant new aliases. The Cullens had become the Boulays and Bella had freaked out over that new insight. Bella Boulay? Jasper and Rosalie were still pretending to be twins although now they were the Stanleys. Three guesses where the inspiration for that name came from. Emmett was now Emmett Douglas. I guess it's true after all: The cheese stands alone.
Maine was chosen because it was heavily forested, of course, for the Boulay family, that meant prime hunting grounds. It was also sparsely populated which meant more time to do top secret vampire and werewolf activities without getting a cover blown. Like sunbathing for example. Or exploding out of one's clothes, for another. The downside was that it didn't have quite the same comfy climate that my extended family used to enjoy. Translation: Every season was not rainy season. That meant the vampires were home schooled with the exception of Nessie. Luckily, Carlisle managed to pull a few strings, strings that would allow his children to attend certain social gatherings… like school dances. I hate to admit it, but I was impressed. Vampires sure knew how to finesse.
I had asked Nessie to go to the winter formal with me. As my date. Our first official date. I was already sitting at the Boulays dining room table in my tux waiting for Nessie to finish getting ready. I kinda wish I hadn't been early because sitting across from me was a very unhappy Edward Boulay. Okay, unhappy was the understatement of the year.
I had never seen anybody glare at another person the way Edward was now glaring at me. Not even Blondie and that is saying something. His teeth were clamped so tightly together I was astonished that they didn't crack from the pressure. His mouth was a tight, squished little line. His eyes were wide and unblinking as he stared me down. His entire body had been frozen like a statue, but in a tense sort of way that made him look like he was about to spring at me at any moment's notice. To make matters worse I was beginning to get a horrifying urge to reach out and poke him, you know, just to make sure he was still in there. I resisted that urge. I wanted to keep my fingers.
Edward and I had been doing really well for a while now. We were friends and on rare occasions I had started to think of him as a short, pale brother in badly need of a bath. Then Renesmee had turned sixteen (sort of) and things had turned… Stressful. I don't see why he's so surprised; he had to know this day was coming…
Gees, look at that face! I bet Bella's bloodsucker is just dying to kill me.
In response to that thought, Edward's lips relaxed a little, creating a hair-raising dreamy looking smile that didn't quite go with the anger in his eyes.
I sucked in a sharp breath as I realized what it was. Edward was imagining it! Edward was actually imagining killing me!
I remember all the times I sat with Bella on the beach, or in my garage, cockily claiming to be able to take on Edward. Of course then I hadn't had Renesmee, I hated Edward, and I wanted Bella. I honestly thought I could take Edward out of the picture if I wanted too. Now looking at the frightening glare on his face, watching him imagine my death, it made me wonder…
It was just a date, honestly! I had even promised to have her home by ten thirty! What was the big deal? It's not like we were doing anything a normal parent wouldn't want their normal kid to be doing. Of course, there was nothing normal about our situation, but really… If this was how he was reacting to a school dance, what was he going to do the day Nessie and I did decide to take it to a physical level…
Edward lurched an inch forward at that thought. I flinched back an inch. His eyes tightened and his left cheek began twitching, twitching, twitching. The twitching cheek caused his left eye to look like it was resisting the urge to blink. Of course, he didn't blink. I began to worry a little at this. Was he having a stroke? He looked like he was having a stroke. Could vampires have strokes?
"Bella!" I called out, without taking my eyes off him. "Bella!"
Bella was there in a flash. Her gold eyes flickered between my face and his and then she yelled, "Jasper! Dining room! Now!" Then she was at Edward's side.
Bella was taking the news pretty well considering she tried to kill me that first day she found out I imprinted. I remember wanting to put off telling Bella the news. I should have known that I wouldn't be able to hide something like that from Bella. She might have been a newborn vampire but she was still Bella. And Bella was never stupid. Naïve, yes. Stupid, no.
"Edward, we all knew this would happen sooner or later," Bella kind of crooned at him. "Edward, you need to calm down." She kneeled next to him and stroked his face, trying to soothe him.
Where the hell was Jasper?
"Edward," Bella tried again. "Think of Nessie. You have to accept this for her. If you can't get over this, it will hurt her…"
At the mention of Nessie, Edward's face melted. He looked at Bella. I breathed a little easier. If there was one thing Edward couldn't do, it was hurt Nessie. She was his little girl.
"Yes she is, mutt," hissed Edward.
I knew what that really meant. That meant, "Hurt her and die, freak!"
"Yes it does," said Edward, speaking through his teeth.
The fact that he didn't look at me either of the times he spoke, didn't go unnoticed.
Alice's voice called through the tension, "Presenting… Miss Renesmee-"
"Auntie Alice!" We all heard Renesmee interrupt in more subdued tones.
"What?" Alice whispered back.
"Nessie. Jake likes Nessie!"
My heart soared when I heard her whisper that. Yes, Jake definitely likes Nessie. Then I caught sight of the glare on Edward's face, aimed once again at me. I wiped the grin off of my face pretty quickly.
"Presenting…" Alice called out, louder still, "Nessie Carlie Boulay!"
Nessie walked slowly and gracefully down the stairs, followed by Alice and Rosalie, dressed in such a way that my jaw dropped to the floor. She was beautiful. Not that she wasn't always beautiful, but… I mean… wow.
I was vaguely aware that the rest of the vampires had joined us, but I couldn't force my eyes off of Nessie. She twirled around to let us all get a good look.
The dress she wore was of the darkest blue imaginable, just a shade above black. The shiny fabric twisted around Nessie; skin tight at first, and when it reached her waist it flared out ever so slightly and continued to spiral to the ground to hide her feet. A strange glitter was sewn into the fabric - or maybe they were miniature rhinestones - making Nessie appear to be wrapped in the night sky. With her luminous cream skin and her rosy cheeks, she looked unbelievably celestial.
Her bronze hair was not in some outrageous hairstyle as I had expected it to be - How had Alice been talked out of that? - Instead, the curls were pulled out of her face with a modest barrette and allowed to run down her back. Another detail caught my eye just then; the dress was so tight up top because it was strapless. I was suddenly aware of the fact that I had never seen Nessie's cleavage before this moment, and I was aware enough to wish I had not had that particular thought.
What are you doing to me Ness? I wanted to shout. Right in front of your dad? But I sighed; it wasn't her fault I couldn't control my thoughts.
"Honey, you're beautiful!" Bella exclaimed.
"Sweetheart, you're amazing," Edward said in that soft voice he saved just for her. For the moment, he didn't look angry. He looked like a father who loved his daughter.
However, Nessie looked at me, barely acknowledging their compliments. "Jake? What do you think?"
I told the truth, of course. "I think… I think you look like an angel."
She must have liked that because then she broke into that breathtaking smile of hers that nearly knocked me off my feet.
I reached my hand out to her, and she placed her hand in mine. It fit so perfectly, I never wanted to let go. I could just kiss her, if it wasn't for this particular audience, if it weren't for the fear of not knowing how I would be received, I could crush my lips to hers and be content to never remove them.
Edward cleared his throat. From my peripheral vision, I could see him looking at me. He was not glaring now, warmed by the presence of his daughter, but I could see his cheek starting to twitch again. Nessie noticed too.
"Dad? Are you okay?"
Edward opened his mouth to speak but Bella got there first.
"Your father is just fine. You kids should get going, don't want to be late."
I cringed at the word kids. Who did Bella think she was? She was barely two years older than me. I took the hint despite my annoyance. Edward was ready to crack or he was ready to crack me…
"Where the hell were you?" I muttered to Jasper as I passed by him.
He just chuckled in response.
Nessie and I were almost to the car when we heard it. A loud crash came from inside the house in conjunction with a kind of bonging sound. My best guess was that the grandfather clock had seen its last sunset. We both froze at that sound and looked at each other with sheepish grins. We both knew who had broken something and why. We were then startled by a sound never heard before. Esme's anger.
"Edward!" Esme shrieked at the top of her lungs. "That was an antique!"
Nessie giggled. "C'mon Jake, before my dad decides to make you a fur rug…" She tugged on my hand.
I chuckled back.
"Sure, sure," I replied.
I held the door open for her while secretly wondering if Edward was about to charge out of the house with a skinning knife in hand.
If you're a follower of mine, you've probably been to my blog an known this story was coming. If you're discovering me for the first time, I hope you enjoy my story!
Maine Events is prewritten and completed. There will not be a long wait between updates, I'm thinking there will be a weekly update.
Don't be turned away by the new aliases (they really aren't important in the grand scheme of things).
As for the other incomplete works on my profile, I am working hard to get them editted and completed...Pop by my blog for more info on that process.