This has got to be the quickest story I had ever done. There is a lot of Bella's reflection at the end, so I hope it doesn't get too boring. Please review and tell me your opinions.
"So what happened then?" I asked, just as engrossed in the recount as Seth was. We were both subconsciously leaning towards each other. I noted that Seth had the same odour as Jacob, though it was still distinguishable. I had to fight to keep my nose from wrinkling in disgust. It truly was an unpleasant smell. All the times I had thought Edward and Jacob were just being petty made sense now. Of course I probably smelt pretty bad to Seth as well, though he showed no signs of repulsion. Maybe he was used to it by now.
"Right," Seth said, completely oblivious as Carlisle pulled parts of the brace in place on his arm and shoulder. "So Sam knew everything about Renesmee, thanks to this way Jacob found he could communicate with him. And Sam's pack would have heard through Sam's head about Renesmee, so their previous plans to attack were off." Seth was so caught up that he didn't notice my wince as he mentioned the packs previous route to destroy my only child. Edward, however, did notice. He ran his fingers across my cheek, leaving a spark of fire behind. It was clear Edward had known about this plan before Renesmee was born, and I understood why he hadn't told me at the time.
"Jake thought it would be the best time to tell Sam about your transformation at that point. We didn't know how they would react to the breaking of the treaty. He was pretty sure that with Nessie's situation, things would have changed, but he still wanted to tell Sam well away from home," I ignored the stupid nickname again, a bit surprised as Seth said 'home'. "It was just a precaution, really, but Jake didn't want there to be any chance Sam would be able to get to you. You were still in the early stages, at that point." I didn't really know how to respond to Jacob's actions. He had still tried to protect me. I had thought imprinting made everyone else disappear. It warmed me a little to know that Jacob still cared about me, loved me, even. Just in the right way now. That warmth was quickly replaced with anger, remembering Jacob outside with Renesmee.
"So Jake told Sam that Edward had changed you. He told him enough so Sam knew that there was no other way to keep you alive. Naturally, Sam wasn't too happy about the breech, but at least he understood, sort of. And he couldn't get mad at Edward or you or anyone else, cause Jake gave Edward permission to change you, speaking as the true Alpha." I looked at Edward curiously. He had never mentioned this before.
"Why didn't you tell me that?" I asked him, curious. Surely it would have helped the situation, having me know.
"It happened in the minutes before Renesmee's birth. Quite good timing, actually. I don't know what Sam would have done if he believed we went back on the treaty," Edward explained, speaking for the first time in a while. I realised just how much I owed Jacob, how much he had given up to save me. I wouldn't in my wildest dreams have ever thought that Jacob would be giving Edward permission to turn me into something which should be his enemy. I didn't like the feeling of gratitude towards Jacob. I just wanted to be angry at him. The conflict was confusing, especially because my new brain could feel more than one thing at once.
"Since Sam couldn't get mad, because technically the treaty hadn't been abandoned, Jacob convinced him to come back here and talk to Carlisle. Leah and I tried to come with him, but Jake wanted us on guard in case one of Sam's pack misunderstood or hadn't heard Sam cancel his attack. That's when Jake phased, so we didn't hear much of what went down back here. Edward can probably give you the details now," Seth said, signalling for Edward to take over.
"Jacob came back to the house with Sam in wolf form. Nobody downstairs knew that Sam wasn't intending to attack, so they were all defensive. Jasper managed to calm things down enough for Jacob to phase and explain himself what had happened. Everyone knew that Jacob would never put Renesmee or you in danger, so they believed him quickly when he said Sam wasn't a threat," Edward explained, his eyes focused on his memories.
"Sam needed to talk to Carlisle with Jacob to discuss where they all stood with the treaty, but I couldn't leave your side to translate. Sam phased back into his human form, and everybody else relaxed a bit more. Obviously, the treaty could not remain as it were, so Carlisle, Sam and Jacob came up with some sort of arrangement to renew the treaty. Now that there was less aggression between the two packs, there were less territorial disputes. Some things have stayed the same, like the Quileute land, for instance. We cannot cross into their territory, but Jacob, Seth and Leah are free to come and go whenever they please. With our permission, the wolves are also allowed onto our land if it becomes necessary. There is no animosity between the packs, either, so no one needs to worry about the packs turning against each other anymore. The rule about not biting humans is still in place, although with the permission of the Alpha, we can change someone if necessary. Not that anyone has any plans to do so. Nobody wants to start a war, so it seemed fitting that there is some leeway" Edward explained. It was a lot to take in, but my new mind seemed to be able to deal with large chunks of information.
"All of this happened in just two days?" I asked, incredulous. The time had seemed so much longer to me, but I didn't imagine that much could happen while I was out. I was still toying with the idea that the feud with the wolves was over for good.
A couple of good things had come out of the events which occurred between the packs. First and foremost, Renesmee was safe and untouchable. That was the most important thing. Secondly, Jacob had used his alpha ability to allow my change. The familiar feeling of gratefulness versus anger returned. Then thirdly, the relationship between the Pack and the Cullen's had changed. I had never imagined that this prejudice between them would end, that they would be able to come to an understanding together. It was a huge relief to have all the enemy nonsense dealt with.
"Renesmee certainly did bring about a lot of change," Edward said, the familiar tone of awe in his voice. I wondered if that was how I sounded when I spoke about our daughter. The amount of devotion and adoration in everyone's voices when they talked of Renesmee was unmistakable. I could understand Edward's words so easily now. She truly did have everyone wrapped around her little finger. Her personality was even more unique than her existence, if that could even happen.
It was quiet for a little while. Seth was breathing evenly beside me as Carlisle continued fixing his shoulder and collarbone. Rosalie and Jacob were bickering outside, though I didn't bother to focus on what they were saying. Trying to tune out Jacob was hard enough without knowing what he was saying to my daughter. The possession was clear, even in my thoughts. Renesmee was mine and Edward's, not Jacob's.
Even Rosalie understood that Edward and I were her parents. Amongst everything else before Renesmee's birth, I had wondered what things would be like with Rosalie once she was born. In that short amount of time we had become close, I had become certain she wouldn't just go back to ignoring me once Renesmee's life was no longer tied to my own. But I did wonder whether our strange friendship would last. I knew that Rosalie was only really protecting me to save the baby, and I was okay with that. Rosalie had experienced something like parenthood for the past few days. It wasn't the same as knowing that the baby she held in her arms was hers, but I was sure the maternal instincts would have been there.
What would it feel like to Rosalie now that I am able to take care of Renesmee myself? Of course Renesmee had a bunch of people caring for her, every one of them like family. But Rosalie had been by her side for the longest, ever since I told her I was pregnant. It was Rosalie who wanted Renesmee right from the beginning, no matter how little we knew about her. Her longing for a child had shone through. I hoped that Rosalie could be happy now. She might never have a child of her own, but I hoped Renesmee would be enough for her.
The phone suddenly rang one loud, trilling beep. Carlisle continued fixing Seth's brace, Jasper didn't move from his place by the stairs. Only Edward moved, leaning over the edge of the couch. He glanced quickly at the phone, then at my eyes before looking to Carlisle.
"Charlie," Edward said softly. A spasm of pain went through my body at the sound of his name. Charlie, my father. At least before I had been able to talk to him, to reassure him to some extent that I was okay. Now, I didn't know what would happen. My ringing, musical voice was of no resemblance to how I sounded before. Even sick and croaking I had sounded more like myself. As painful as it was, I could not answer the phone.
"Let it ring," Carlisle said to Edward, glancing at me quickly before returning to Seth's arm. I tried to turn my mind to something more pleasant, like Edward's arm around my waist or Renesmee's fluttering heartbeat only a few yards away, but every loud buzz of the phone was like a scream in my head. I was reminded of all the heartache I had caused Charlie, all the pain I was about to cause him. Because there was no way I was going to be able to see Charlie, to talk to Charlie at the moment. Super-control or not, my changes would be too much for him. I at least would have to wait until my eyes have faded before I could even consider seeing him again.
Finally, after a long, dragging minute, the phone cut off. I let out a sigh of relief much too soon; the phone started again less than thirty seconds later. Nobody looked at the caller I.D. We didn't need any proof of who was calling. Again, we just let the phone ring. Blurry human memories flitted back into my head. Again it was fuzzy, like looking through muddy water. I hadn't known it would be so uncomfortable to remember, but there were things I didn't want to forget, ever.
This time the memory was one from our honeymoon, Edward and I sitting at the tiled table while I ate breakfast. It was the morning after he had finally given in. The morning after I had woken up crying, this now explained but then uncontrollable fit of tears pushing Edward into sleeping with me again. Through weak human eyes, I could see Edward's smile as he realised we were truly going to Dartmouth; I would stay human a little while longer, for him. Even through weak human eyes, I had been unable to miss his excitement and utter joy at giving him a little while longer before I changed.
"I'm sorry I took away your time," I whispered into Edward's ear, though everyone else could probably hear. It seemed to be more real now, knowing that everything I said would be heard. I had known it before as a human, but now that I could hear every little thing too, I truly understood the lack of privacy. I guess it is just something I would just have to get used to.
"Time?" Edward asked, confused. His eyes bore into mine, still that beautiful honey gold they had been right after our hunt. I wondered what my eyes looked like to him. Edward still stared at me as he always had, so I assumed they mustn't have been as bad to him as the appeared to me.
"Time before I changed," I explained. I was aware that Carlisle, Jasper and Seth could hear our conversation, even Rosalie, Jacob and maybe Renesmee, but they were all politely ignoring us.
"Don't apologize," Edward said softly, kissing the top of my head. I leaned into his chest instinctively, like he was the opposite end of a magnet, pulling me closer. "I wouldn't trade Renesmee for anything in the world." I lay there for a while, remembering. I took another moment to run over my human memories- the good ones- while everything was silent. Too scared to lose anything, I focused on every minor detail.
As I got to recall our honeymoon only a split second later, I waited for the blush to rise on my cheeks, my heartbeat to speed and my breathing to become embarrassingly loud. It felt slightly off when my usual reactions didn't arrive. Although they had been a pain at the time, I didn't realise how much Edward had been counting on them. But here he was, completely oblivious to what ran through my mind, no blush or heartbeat to give away my thoughts. Of course that only meant Edward would be asking me more often than usual what I was thinking. Not that I minded all that much; making Edward happy was my top priority.
My speedy vampire mind was able to correct itself instantaneously. Edward still is my top priority, only now Renesmee is too. I felt a strange sense of extra responsibility. Growing up, I had always been the responsible one, taking care of Renée as soon as I was old enough to talk her out of her crazy plans. I hadn't exactly been the responsible one when it came to my relationship with Edward- physically at least. But I always saw myself as somewhat aged and mature. The usual teenage problems had never really seemed that important to me, like friends gossiping behind your back or fighting over who gets the boy. Even my mom called me her middle-aged child from the time I turned ten.
But this was different. Now that I am a mother myself, there is a new responsibility as a parent. Sure, the mother-daughter relationship between Renée and I had been reversed most of the time, but I hadn't felt totally responsible for Renée and I do for my daughter. This little life had made me grow up in so many ways. There was an overwhelming urge to protect her, the way I would imagine every parent would throw themselves in front of their children to save them. I had already shown that I would give up my own life to save Renesmee's, but the sense that she simply had to survive despite what happened to me was still there, now even stronger, unbelievably.
I wondered how Edward felt now, about my pregnancy. At the time, I knew he was trying to hide his emotions from me, not wanting me to worry about what he felt. Edward had a lot of practice with keeping things to himself, but I could see how my pregnancy was destroying him. In the beginning at least. It took a lot of strength to look at his face, which seemed it had become permanently set into a mask of pain and helplessness.
Obviously I had tried to reassure him, explain to him that I was unable to harm our child. I told him I couldn't hurt what was growing inside of me anymore than I could hurt him. But Edward could only see our child as a monster, the monster he thought he was. Like him, I had imagined our child being more like Edward than like me. It was easier that way. I didn't want his beautiful face to have any interference from my own. It all seemed strange how vital that vision of the beautiful green-eyed baby boy had become, so much so that I couldn't see myself giving birth to a girl. A miniature Edward, not me. That was what I had hoped for. It seemed unreal that Renesmee could be such a perfect mix of both Edward and I, and my features had only heightened her beauty. It was hard to wrap my head around.
I hadn't put much thought into it earlier what gender Edward thought our child would be. It hadn't been long before my birth when Edward finally stopped calling our little miracle an 'it' or a 'foetus.' Still I felt no resentment towards him. He was only trying to save me, to keep me alive. I was reminded of a saying I had once heard. A woman becomes a mother as soon as she knows she is pregnant. A man doesn't become a father until he sees his child for the first time, or in this case, hears his child for the first time.
With that first little nudge, I was tied to Renesmee the way any mother would be to her child. It was no more complicated than that; I couldn't do anything to harm the life inside me. It was a hard balance, trying to explain to Edward how I felt whilst understanding his point of view completely. If he was in danger at all, I was sure I would have done anything to keep him alive, no matter who would have to be sacrificed so I could live. The thought disgusted me, but I knew the truth in it. Edward didn't understand our child like I did. His fear of me being hurt kept him from seeing our baby for who he-now she-was.
And then he heard her thoughts. I could still see the look on his face clearly, despite the fuzziness of the memory. Was that the same look I had when I felt Renesmee nudge my stomach the very first time? The complete look of shock and unconditional love? It wasn't hard to believe so. I had spent the next few hours asking Edward every thought our child had. It finally occurred to me why Edward would ask me how I was thinking so often. At that moment, the picture was completely right. I could imagine Edward, our child and I living happily forever. It felt complete, realising I had a family truly my own, all related by blood and genetics. Me, Edward and the product of our love. Everything fell right into place.
It is beyond ironic that everything felt destined to end up this way. All we had been through, to get to this point. It made me chuckle to think that I had been destined to marry Edward so I could have this child-our child. The puzzle pieces were finally fitting together, after months of trying to match things up, but not able to get the pieces to fit properly. Now everyone fit perfectly together. Even Jacob, someone I had been convinced I would say goodbye to along with my heartbeat.
Only a few days ago, it felt like Jacob and I would never be able to fall into place. There was this love between us which was both unexplainable, and unbreakable. I had to be around Jacob, and he had to be around me. Now that I knew it was really Renesmee, things made a little bit more sense. I hadn't been able to place the irrational need to have Jacob near in the later stages of my pregnancy. All I knew was that somewhere inside me, things wouldn't feel completely right until Jacob was around. I didn't know whether the knowledge that it was Renesmee all along should make me feel relieved, or angry. It wasn't difficult to feel both emotions intensely at the same time.
But everything was so in place now, it was hard to believe life could be so perfect. It didn't hurt to be around Jacob anymore, and even more importantly, I wasn't causing him anymore pain. It was easier to focus on that aspect than the reason why he felt so differently towards me now. I had never thought that Jacob and I would ever have been able to go back to being best friends, since finding out we loved each other much more than we should have. But now we were best friends without all the complications. It was just Jacob and Bella again. The thought was reassuring. Never had I imagined I would be able to keep Jacob in my life as soon as my heart had stopped beating. It just proved to me that miracles could happen, if Renesmee hadn't already shown me that.
So I would try and knock the negatives out of my mind. I would have plenty of time to focus on them later. For now, I would just try and be happy with how beyond perfect everything is. I have a daughter who is loved and cherished by everyone in my family. Jacob and I can finally go back to how things were before, effortless, without all the hurt and pain I had brought into our relationship. And I would be with Edward, forever. Nothing would ever seem more magnificently perfect than that.
I hope you enjoyed this little break almost as much as I did. Vampire Bella is so fun to write, so getting this out of my system was amazing. Please tell me what you thought of this chapter, and the rest of the story. Love 24vampiregirl.