Blood on My Hands

March 15, 2011

Renesmee is getting more like a teenager every day. She has the body of a nine year old, and sometimes, the curiosity of the three year old she is. She asks difficult questions; some I can't answer in one sitting.

Last night as she was getting read for bed, Renesmee asked, "Why do we hunt? There are animals like my Jacob that I would never want to hurt. Why do some animals live while others don't?" Cricket, Cricket. I had no clue how to answer her. I told her we'd talk about it as a family tomorrow. I had to buy myself some time, because I didn't know the answer. Later that evening, I spoke to Edward and Carlisle about Renesmee's questions.

Carlisle smiled, "I've been thinking about that since my existence." I know he was trying to lighten the atmosphere, but it failed miserably.

We continued to talk about it throughout the night and into the morning. Ever since becoming a vampire, death is a topic for discussion, and today being the Ides of March, I ponder more and more about it. In order for a vampire to survive, we need blood of animals or humans. They are sacrificed so another can live. In order for a human to live, we needed the flesh of animals and living plants to keep us strong, so Death is a part of life that we accept as a part of living. Not philosophically, comparing human blood to animals is hard to live with. It makes vampires look arrogant; some are, given, but like my family and the Denalis, we live within the human world hoping to make the world a better place. Both Edward and Carlisle believed this explanation would satiate her for the time being, and we would have a family discussion with Jacob, of course, at "dinner." Unfortunately, the discussion never happened.

After our discussion, Edward and I decided to hunt and get the excess energy out of our systems. It was normal routine, and it was a time for us to be a couple and not parents. We knew Nessie was going to wake in a matter of hours, so we dressed and brought nothing else with us. Edward and I wanted to be disconnected from the outside world.

We arrived on Quilette land two hours later, and we wanted to talk to Jacob about Renesmee's questions. Edward, Jacob, and I have talked more in detail about the next couple of years and how confusing and how different Nessie will be as a full "teenager". Edward had recommended that Jacob go to college and let Nessie be a teen, and not let the imprinting get to her head.

Edward dreads the idea that Jacob already has a "claim" on her, but she needs to go through a "typical" teenage life and her feelings will change. Right now, Jacob is her buddy and her best friend. Distance and time will help her transform her feelings in more positive and normal way than the pedophile waiting for his victim. More and more, I see Edward's maturity and experience as an asset and make me love him more than I can describe. Jacob thought this may be a good idea, but it had to be discussed with Nessie as the fall semester approaches.

Jacob was waiting for us. His muscular arms were crossed, and he looked pissed.

"Hey, Jake, you okay?"

"Not really…when someone doesn't bring her cell along?"

"We never bring our cells in the morning…"

"Today you should had. Your dad has been calling the Cullens and us since you left. "

"Dad? What's wrong with Charlie? Is he okay?"

"As far as I know, he sounded worried or stressed. It seemed he really wanted to talk to you."

"Cell. Now." Jacob handed over the cell and dialed Charlie's number.

"Jake?"

"No, it's Bella, Dad. You wanted to talk to me?"

"Something's happened and you need to come to house."

"Why can't you tell me over the phone?"

"Because…because it's complicated. I don't want to talk to you about this over the phone." He stressed, this, which meant it was bad news. "I've talked to Carlisle, and Esme and Rosalie will take care of Renesmee. Please."

"We'll be there in a couple of minutes." I hung up the phone, and Edward's face was grim. "What do you know?"

"Intuition mostly. He had the "cop" voice. I can't read minds on the phone, Bella."

We sprinted to Charlie's house, slowed enough to a human's pace, and walked to front porch. Sue answered the door and let us in. She mirrored my thoughts, and I saw Dad hunched over on the couch.

"Dad, you okay?" Charlie didn't respond. He seemed to be in deep thought. "Dad?"

Charlie looked up with teary eyes, "Hey, kids, have a seat." This time, I didn't argue. "I wanted to talk to you in person, so I can give you some details. Some of this the public doesn't know, and it's still being investigated by the county. Last night, Jessica Stanley and her fiancé were murdered."

I didn't want to believe it. Jessica called me two weeks ago telling me she was engaged. Her fiancé Steve and she met in college, and they decided to get married. Ironically, as much as Jessica wanted to leave the small town, Steve was enchanted, and they bought a house in the outskirts of Forks. They had just finalized the paperwork; the house warming was two weeks ago.

I dug my fingernails so hard in the couch that the cushions started to shred. Edward grabbed my hand and slowly released it from the torn cushions. Charlie looked even more freaked out than ever. "Bella, I know, you're upset; however, I don't want you to take care of it. I want this to be a normal human investigation. The killer cannot be tracked down and provide you lunch. He or she has to go through due process, have a trial, and serve a sentence. I understand she was your friend; however, this has to happen this way."

So many emotions raced through me, and my vampire mind and body couldn't release tears—just anger. Was this how Irina felt after hearing Laurent had been killed? How Kate and Tanya felt as the Volturi killed Irina? I could only say, "Why?"

"So far, we know it was a staged break in. Things were scattered; nothing taken. Jessica and Steve were shot several times—mostly Steve. We believe he may have been the target. As in motive, it's still unclear. I excused myself from the investigation to keep it objective. I've known the Stanleys as long as they have been here, and I didn't want to put my emotions in this, either."

"We could help. With Edward's abilities and Alice's premonitions, we could find the killer and bring justice faster. I can control my emotions; it's part of my …"

Charlie didn't want to hear it, and he looked into Edward's eyes. "Bella, your Dad is serious. He's dealt with this for a long time, and he's right. We can't get involved. If something would happen, it would be dangerous for us, especially for Renesmee. I don't want you to have blood on your hands out of revenge." Edward knew Renesmee was the key word; he knew my weakness. Damn.