A/N: Six years have passed since the first book (Twilight Forever), the Cullens and Quileutes tackle being parents to extraordinary children. Double imprinting has its drawbacks for Jake and Ness and so much more…let the games begin.
JoshKn4 pointed out something about this chapter and I just want to clear up any confusion that anyone else might have…Sometimes I use terms like venom and they have to do with a person's fury not that they have venom pooling in their mouths…the good vamps in this story are all hybrids meaning they can't spread the disease anymore…basically cured with all the benefits…another trademark of some of my stories…I did this the first time with Rohan from my Voltron fic. The first fic that I ever wrote a long, long, time ago like during class sophomore year while I was bored out of my mind.
Sorry about the previous rough draft, but I think I've ferreted out all the kinks now.
Hope all of you enjoy this next arc of TF.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the characters and storyline that I created. This has turned into an obsession of mine. You could say that the story sings for me now.
:: Telepathic communication
** or italic is character thought
WSU, Pullman WA (May 2013)
Nessie lowered her designer sunglasses down her nose, eyes narrowing to slits. That raven haired vixen Lidia Stine was hanging all over her Paris again! All five foot nine surgically enhanced inch of her was plastering herself against her Jacob! She'd been leaching herself to him for the last four years, the worst of the Co-ed's intent on landing her man.
*Over her dead body! Jacob was hers!*
Nessie bared her teeth in fury, growling low under her breath. The witch was putting her hands on forbidden territory.
Lidia wrapped her arms around his neck, snuggling closer for a hug. Jake easily disentangled her before she could grab his ass, but not before she stole a kiss on his cheek.
*God! Would he be glad when this six year hell was over.* School wasn't the problem, it was the girls not taking no for an answer that drove him mad. He sighed with relief when Lidia slithered off to her class. He had just aced his last final an hour before and registered to take his Licensing Exam.
Narrowing his eyes, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, as if someone had sent an electrical charge at him. "Aw, crap! Not again! She's gonna be sent off to Bram's for sure this time!" He muttered under his breath, spying his angel sitting cross legged on the hood of her Daddy's…
*Holy!? That's a 2013 Aston Martin V12 Zagato! No way?! Was that car even out yet?! Was it even street legal in the States?!*
"Hell, she's beyond dead this time. Jacking Edward's new pride and joy and there's only like one-fifty of them in existence." Jake groaned. If only she could've been a little more patient. He'd be home in a few days and then he could finally focus on her.
He walked across the green to the visitors parking area and his girl. "This is like five Fridays running, Ness. They're bound to notice seeing as Garret, Jacen, Maggie, and Jazz all work at the High School. One of them is bound to call Bells or Edward."
"I had an excuse, so I'm not being truant from my afternoon classes. It's Friday anyway and I wanted to see you instead of attending Prom Committee or Practice. You were a love and took me to the Taylor Swift charity concert, so I thought I'd return the act of kindness by treating you to RDJ." She'd masked her expression to sulky and not borderline murderous as it had been moments before.
"This was sitting in the driveway just begging for someone to drive it. Its new car scent was an irresistible lure, so I threw caution to the wind and here I am. Daddy and Momma are at meetings all day. Then the boys have Little League practice and Rory has toe class after school. That puts everyone arriving home later on this evening. He'll be too distracted to even notice…"
"That his new toy was jacked from Cullen central before he's even had a chance to worship his new ride? Not likely, Ness. This Movie may just be your last taste of freedom until Christmas." He steeled himself against her sulky why-aren't-you-happy-to-see-me look.
"You loved the last two and raved about Avengers last year…You've been studying so hard. I know finals are looming, so I wanted to…" She sniffled, breath hitching, one big fat tear spilled down her cheek and he was a goner. Putty in her hands.
He scooped her up into his arms for a toe curling cuddle.
*A girl had to use all of her arsenal during times of crisis and what she'd seen a few minutes ago was a code red situation.*
"Shh…it's gonna be okay, Renesmee. I'll smooth things over with your Dad. Promise." He crooned soothingly against her hair, gently rubbing her back. He wasn't immune to her charms, not in the least. Touching her set his system off like he'd touched a live wire and it took everything in him not to kiss her mindless.
She snuggled her face into his shoulder and he bit back a groan at the thought of sitting in a dark theater for two hours without his brothers there as a buffer between them. It was difficult enough sitting with her on the couch, this was gonna be a living hell.
"We'll stash this million dollar masterpiece at the brownstone and take my Jag." He carefully set her in the passenger seat, before rounding the car and after a quick seat adjustment slid behind the wheel.
*Drat! He was being big brother again! Why couldn't he draw on his bad boy arrogant half, like he had with her mom! Why did he always have to be so noble!* Nessie folded her arms across her chest, glowering in silent fury out the window.
She'd researched her battle strategy. Choosing the perfect arsenal. Skinny figure hugging jeans, a Victoria Secrets Cami, body hugging hoodie zipped up to reveal just the right amount of cleavage that the built in bra in her Cami was creating, and sky-high Jimmy Choo's. All in his favorite color blue, she'd gone with electric blue. Added just the right touch of allure for make-up and left her waist length mane cascading down her back in a sexy windswept look.
*And still nothing! He wasn't even sweating and she knew that her look stopped traffic! She'd more than seen the proof on her drive to Pullman! It was that infuriating promise he'd made to her Dad that was the problem. Kissing wasn't against the vow or even hand holding would be nice.*
He focused on getting the priceless, sports car to his Brownstone and not on what Nessie's man killer outfit was doing to his blood pressure. *Was she trying to kill him?! How the hell did she get by Edward dressed like a Hollywood starlet from the party scene?! Was she trying to be a Miley, Lindsey, or Kardashian follower now?!*
His grip tightened on the steering wheel, gritting his teeth at the idea that she was becoming one of the Hollywood starlet or starlet wanna-be cult followers. She was perfect. Nessie didn't need to dress like Lidia and all those other disciples to that fake sex kitten scene.
"We've got time to kill. How about I take you shopping? We'll go to the mall and buy us some Movie T-shirts and some new Kicks too. They've got limited edition ones to go along with the movie…" He risked a glance at her, becoming immediately alarmed that she was sulking and there were tears burning in her eyes, the mirror image of her mother when she wasn't getting her way.
"What's the matter with what I'm wearing? It's on trend. Your girlfriends all slink around in them and you don't have a problem with it?" She folded her arms, sticking her bottom lip in a pout.
"Acquaintances and they aren't you." Jake kept his tone neutral. "Lidia and the others choose to follow what the Hollywood set is into like a cult. It lacks individualism. It's fake. All the things you aren't."
"Like you would know…" Nessie muttered under her breath.
"They spent a fortune trying to achieve what comes so naturally to you. Flawless, effortless, beauty. On them it all comes off as fake." Her words stung. Yes, he was under self-imposed exile, but that was ending in a few days.
Stopping for a red light, he reached over, took her hand in his, and kissed it. "You are perfect just the way you are…Don't ever think that you have to change who you are on the inside or out." He gave her hand one last squeeze before turning his attention back on the road.
"It's just that you have such a loyal female following here. It's like every time I visit you have one panting after you…" Nessie glared straight ahead even though the top of her hand was tingling where he'd kissed it.
"So do you back home, but I don't let it get to me because I know that we're solid. We have love, loyalty, trust, forever, which makes both of us able to trust each other, even when we're apart. I know it's been a long road, but we're in the homestretch." Jake tried to remain patient with her.
"Collin and I have a mutual understanding with each other. He makes the perfect buffer, best friend, and bodyguard. Boys don't dare hang on me like Lidia Stine and the others frequently do to you. Then again you don't have someone to guard your body do you, Jacob? No, why would you. I mean, you being a big strong, fearless, Alpha… can handle it all by yourself. Then again what girl wouldn't want an Olympic/ X-Games champion as her boyfriend." Nessie's voice oozed with false sweetness and sarcasm as she took out her phone to see what was up.
Collin Wilder: Doll face?! Have you lost your #$% ing mind?! Jacking your Dad's kickass car was bad enough, but he's gone nova over you ditching class again to spy on big brother. Your Mom is in it deep too. He tossed your Mini and found your stack of get out of school free cards. Seriously, brat. Dentist. Shrink. Eye and Allergy Docs?! Spill now! What do you have on Bells?! How the hell did you get passed Garret, Jace, Mag's, and Jazz?!
Nessie smirked at his nickname for her, answering him back, fingers blurring across the touch screen of her smart phone.
Nessie Cullen: What's the big deal, Iceman? I'm perfectly sane, Friday was Prom Committee…:P Mom and me have a private arrangement, but I'll take the flack if Daddy's gone around the bend. ;) Do I need a flak jacket?
Collin Wilder: Is the sky Blue?! You #&! ing JACKED his new wheels!? This is like major NESS! We're talking grounded until eternity here! He's VAMPIRE scary mad! I just faced off with him and need to change my….. I seriously liked that board too. Hawk signed it when I won my first comp…
Nessie bit down on her lip, she'd have to replace that…Drat…those competitions were so lame and no challenge…nevertheless, she needed to make amends to Collin…so attend one of the events where Hawk was attending and win it she would. That her father was on the warpath didn't bother her…she knew how to handle her Daddy…it wasn't at all nice to take his temper out on Collin….
Nessie Cullen: I'll make it up to you…Promise. No worries, I can handle my Daddy…he's just stressed over Auntie A and Momma's latest vision about the boys….My taking the Zagato just reminds him of that…It was begging to be driven…The excuses are necessary, after all I am half-human and it is common to attend annual wellness appointments…Ms Cope didn't even blink over it…Uncle Jace and Aunt Maggie have afternoon classes…Uncle Jazz is booked solid with the usual end of the year school drama…he asked for it becoming the school shrink…Uncle Garret was off with the junior class on a fieldtrip to Seattle… :P
Collin Wilder: The words PROBATION come to mind…what if the Omni Grandparents or High Council see this as you rebelling again? Do ya really wanna spend a year in Switzerland?! I still haven't forgiven you and Lori after what went down in PARIS! Not that I wanna know, but did you find your target?!
Nessie rolled her eyes…Jake was in bounds…He worried too much…and Paris had been necessary…
Nessie Cullen: (Rolls eyes) You worry too much…Jake is not out of bounds…Paris was a means to an end…much needed Intel…Grrr…I found that LIDIA all over him again! Jake's brushing it off like it's not a big deal…my new look was a dud…:( It made him mad…I'm prefect the way I am and all that… ~~; Blast his scruples and that PROMISE! He didn't even flinch when I mentioned you as my boyfriend! :(
Collin Wilder: Leave me out of it please! I prefer living! Edward isn't your normal everyday Dad…He's like kickass first and take names later…you're his baby girl…Jake ain't an idiot…He's got graduation on the brain too, brat…The guys say that these last four years have been a bitch for him…Gotta Jett...V's glowering at me for texting while on duty at the Sports Center…XOXOX, baby sis…
Nessie glanced over at Jake through her lashes…White knuckled hands on the steering wheel…clenched jaw…grinding teeth…not good.
*Boyfriend?!* Jake gritted his teeth. *What the hell did she mean by that!?* He fumed, pulling to a stop in front of his garage doors.
He barely checked himself as he threw open the car door to get out and go through the motions necessary to access the garage. *Why the hell was she answering a Text from him, after laying down that zinger!? Collin was Rory's just like he was Nessie's that made him safe, right?*
He ignored his own Smart phone which had been alerting him nonstop in his jacket pocket and he couldn't help but hear the phones going off inside. All he could think of was all the details that Collin had been leaving out during his check-ins after taking Nessie out with the other teens. He stalked back to the car, got in, shoved it into gear, and floored the Zagato into the garage, screeching to an earsplitting halt next to his Jag. He'd left his Harley back on campus. The cavernous underground lair seemed empty without his brothers' own rides to crowd it. Meaning that they'd gone out, which was fine by him he didn't want nor did he need an audience. He shoved the key fob into his back pocket and got out of the car.
Nessie Cullen: Cripes…I stand corrected…Jake's giving off all the signs of being supremely pissed…I'll take your thoughts into consideration…Don't work too hard… XOXOX, Big Brother….
"I've gotta grab a quick shower and change before we head out. When you're done with the 411 you know where I'll be…" He rounded the car, opening the passenger door, growling down at her, his tone just above a snarl.
Nessie stared wide-eyed and innocent up at his furious face. "I meant boy as in friend, Jacob. Not boyfriend! As if…Collin is my best friend like you are with my Mom! That'd be like making out with my brother…gross…Jacob!" She cringed. Silently doing cartwheels that he was jealous! *Finally a reaction she could work with! Well, Wolfe you went there so you asked for this!*
"Adolphus Blake from Julliard and the Sorbonne maybe…but never Collin…he's Rory's." She pocketed her phone back into her hoodie before he could pluck it out of her hands.
Instead he hauled her up out of the car and over his shoulder.
"Kidding! Jacob! I was just messing around! He's an annoying blue blooded prat! Brilliant yes, handsome no question, but I already have enough Alpha personalities in my life!" She squealed when he swatted her derriere.
"Good, because I was seriously contemplating dismembering the Bastard piece by piece. I still might if he put the moves on you!" Jake took the backstairs three at a time until they stopped at the top and the door leading to his flat. He keyed in the entry code to the back door and in seconds he was striding into his place.
"If you're finished playing caveman, being carried like this is causing distress to my…" She had to force herself to keep the sulky pout, because he was now cradling her in his arms.
He arched a brow at her, shooting her a smoldering look that translated into something that had her blushing. He'd never looked at her like that ever.
"Next time don't keep pulling my tail and you won't get them, uh, squished." He grinned wickedly, placing a playful kiss on her nose, before dumping her unceremoniously onto the couch.
"There are snacks in the Fridge if you're hungry. If the phone rings don't worry about it Voice Mail will get it." He headed off to his bedroom, taking out his phone and risking a glance at all the texts and missed calls. Over 70 and climbing, all from various family members most from Bells and Edward. *Yep, his angel was toast.*
He tossed it, his keys, key fob to the Zagato, spare change, and his wallet into an ocean blue bowl that Nessie had made him for his 21st to remind him of home. He glanced down at the phone vibrating like mad in the bowl. The tally was up to 100 now, so he bit the bullet and answered it on his way to the shower.
"Talk to me. I've got ya on speaker. I'll still be able to hear you while I shower."
"Jacob?! Why the devil are you ignoring your phone!? Is Renesmee with you?!" Edwards's fury radiated from the phone.
"Raiding the fridge, yes…with me not so much, I value my existence…" He winced when he heard something shatter in the background. "Look, big brother, I'm as pissed at her as you are, well, maybe not that pissed, but close. Nice ride. Handles like a dream…the hell with that…since when do you let Renesmee run around dressed like a sex kitten in sky-high heels!?" He sent him the pic that he'd snapped with his phone.
"She's what?! The hell with the car! My daughter is not dressing like one of those Reality TV tarts!" Edward roared in fury.
"She's mimicking Lidia. I talked to her about it. We're going to stop by the mall on our way to the movie and get her something with more coverage like a t-shirt and kicks to replace the heels."
"She's been black-mailing her mother. Keeping a secret that Bella wasn't ready to tell me yet. Taking full advantage of her all month long. The twist being, I've known her secret and kept quiet about it until she was ready to tell me herself. She thinks I'll take away her freedom, but seeing as it's just one miracle this time round and not three, I'll be less of a basket case…It's a girl…thank heavens."
"That's freaking great news! Bells and the baby are healthy, right?"
"Dad gave them both a clean bill of health, so far our newest little princess is right on schedule. Bella's just starting to show, so we're talking sometime this summer. It's all up to Andromeda Elizabeth, but for now she's taking her time…"
He could hear someone sniffling beside him… "Dude. She's pregnant and you are prone to freaking out whenever something big is up with Bells…"
"We're fine, Jacob. Bella's just trying to plead Renesmee's case to me. I refused to listen, so she's sulking about it. Renesmee Carlie is gonna be under House Arrest for an underdetermined period of time. I'll allow the movie…I figure running there will have cooled my temper enough not to take her over my knee. Right now I'm leaning towards sending her off to…"
"Jake's making her crazy! It's the only reason she's acting out! Prom's in a week! She's surrounded by couples making goo-goo eyes at one another! Friday's been Prom Committee all this month, so yes, I gave her a stack of excuses to give to Ms. Cope for when it got to be too much for her to handle! Duh, I'm a Mom! My Baby is miserable, so the hell with the rules! You ditched all the time, so I let her think she was blackmailing me. Going to see you used to make her happy, but after she comes home she sulks for days, because you won't even hold her hand in public! What's that about, Jacob?!" Bella snarled menacingly over the phone.
Taylor Swift was blaring from his entertainment system and Nessie was singing You belong to me, so Jake caved and spelled it all out for them.
Several minutes later…
"I take it back, son. You truly are worthy of my daughter…How, uh, long has this failsafe measure been in place…" Edward was virtually speechless.
"Jeeze, Jacob! That's like above and beyond…talking about drastic measures…" Bella finally found her voice.
"She sings for me, it's just that simple. To anyone else, I'm broken. Dori came up with it, so I just went along with it. It's like that classic movie Love Potion Number Nine…with Sandra Bullock where the guy is so gone over her that if some chick makes a move on him…it like repels…" Jake's eyes narrowed Breathe was blaring now…*Shit…he had some damage control to do.*
"That Lidia chick put the moves on you!?"
"It's this freaking Alpha pheromone! It attracts them like bees to honey, but Dori's plan worked like a charm. Lidia's just a spoiled, rich, debutant who sees me as a challenge. Sel says she's like half-elf or something and she's drawn to me cuz I'm a Were. That's not far off the mark, it seems like this state is Shining One central…This place is crawling with need-to-knows…most of them are cool…" He raked his fingers through his hair.
*What was with these song choices?! Now it was about not speaking…This was going from bad to worse…*
"Look, your car is safe…I'll see ya when you get here…"
"Your car, Jake. I can't risk having anything that dangerous or tempting around the boys…It was supposed to be a surprise. I wanted Rose to look it over first that's the main reason I'm upset with Ness about driving it. I don't trust human engineering, not completely. It was either that or an I-8. I went with the Aston, because you favored the Vanquish. I timed it to arrive right before your graduation; it's been modified for street use here in the States…" Edward corrected him.
"Mine!? That masterpiece is mine…" Jake was in shock and disbelief that it was his. "Jesus…guys…I don't know what to say…"
"Six years of putting your nose to the grindstone. Working your tail off studying to achieve your goal in record time. You've more than earned that car, son. I still want Rose to thoroughly check it over, but it will be waiting for you when you get home." Edward was beyond proud of him.
"Act surprised when we do the big reveal…crap…I'm just gonna make picking up the kids…Love ya, Jake. See you soon! Ace your finals and at least let Renesmee hold your hand and cuddle with you! Jeeze, you're worse than Edward was on that…" Bella was off to collect her brood from school.
"Enjoy the movie…I'll see you in a while…and holding hands and cuddling was not and has never been out of bounds with Nessie." He ended the call.
"Focus on Ness, savor the car later…" He chanted under his breath, as he hastily dried off.
He'd forgotten to grab his clothes out of his closet. The music was blaring still, Fearless was playing now, so he risked stepping out of the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist.
"Jacob? What's taking you so long? I've…" Nessie stood in his bedroom doorway, eyes wide as she drank in the view in front of her.
*Had her heart stopped beating for a second or two? Goodness was he gorgeous…like a fine wine, he just got better with age…which was impossible he didn't age, but he seemed more virile now for some reason that completely escaped her. Like some kind of bronze statue from the…Cripes! Her brain was shutting down!*
She worried her lower lip, face flushed, caught in his wary gaze. It was as if he was afraid of her somehow? *Was he as confused about all of this as she was or was he thinking about the awkwardness of this moment?*
She was afraid to look the easy way. The idea that he might reject her was far too much pain to fathom. "Um…sorry…the door…"
"Wasn't closed. Yeah, uh, I wasn't really thinking. Just force of habit, I guess. I'll, uh, be out in a few. I just forgot to grab my...clothes before I hit the shower." Jake reined in the urge to rush over to her side and...What? Comfort her in his towel? I mean, yeah, her eyes were definitely drinking in the view…his inner wolf was stirring. The way she was worrying her bottom lip with her teeth was driving him mad.
*He just wanted to…Rein it in Jake or you'll scare the crap out of her and have to start all over again…Yes, she smells like heaven and dessert rolled in to one... Where the hell was that chocolate cherry scent coming from, it was driving him insane!*
She bit her lip again and his eyes narrowed on her mouth. He fisted his hands at his sides fighting back the urge to grab her and kiss her senseless. *It was her lip stuff?! She'd taste like a cherry-cardinal…No! Step back into the bathroom and lock the door! Now…!*
"I'll, um, let you get dressed then…see you in a bit. I borrowed this jersey from the clean pile of clothes on your wash…" She felt like bolting and pouncing. It was entirely disconcerting, so she did the sane thing and backed out of the doorway, closing the door behind her.
"That's fine, Nessie…I'll be out in a few…you left your sneakers here. I think they're in the guest room…"
"Thanks! I've been looking all over for them. I forgot that I left them here." She called back. "Um, take your time! I bought a block of tickets so we're set time wise."
"Good call!" He blindly grabbed jeans, a Seahawks jersey, boxers, and socks out of his walk-in-closet then raced back into his bathroom for another icy cold shower.
Ness had Katie Perry blaring and was singing along to Teenage Dream. It had his mind going in all the wrong places and he wished desperately that his brothers hadn't gone to the Mariners game. He needed all the buffers he could get.
Half-hour later his wish was granted in spades. Seth, Embry, and Quil were rocking out to Guitar Heroes with Nessie, Dori, and Sel.
:You didn't think we'd bailed on you, did ya, big brother?: Seth grinned at Jake from behind the drum set.
:It's Friday. Nessie's been on the prowl every Friday for over a month.: Quil smirked.
:We felt your, uh, emotional spike. Hell, the whole pack did. She's not playing fair anymore is she?: Embry shot him a knowing look.
:She's jealous of Lidia and the others. It's crazy…she thinks I like the whole Reality TV tart craziness…:
:No wonder you sent out the all paws alert and Ness went into a huddle with Dori and Sel. She's sulking because you didn't go all Alpha mode on her.:
:She's ready to defend what's hers. I'd say that's all the sign you need, big brother.:
Jake narrowed his eyes at his brothers, face flushing red. :Jesus, Seth! I don't need a pep talk about…Shit…I am not going into this like the girls do! Christ, even Edward and Bells think I'm chicken! Like he can talk. He was a boy scout around Bells. It's Nessie! Not some college co-ed! My Renesmee! My Princess!:
:She jacked her Dad's wheels, Bro. Just to try out her inner vixen on you that's her making the first move.:
Jake ignored that last remark; instead he walked over to wrap his arms around Nessie's waist. "Looks like the gangs all here. Do ya mind or we can still go alone?" He bent down to growl softly in her ear.
She snuggled closer to him. "Promise to sit by me this time?" She tilted her chin up to look into his fierce brown eyes, all the signs were that he was still in a temper.
"Deal." He kissed her nose.
"We're doing the whole movie experience." Dori handed the two of them a shopping bag. Each containing movie themed gear.
"Alice sent us a text," Sel grinned.
"I'll bet she did." Jake rolled his eyes. * A little heads-up would've been nice, but Alice was on Team Ness. Hell, everyone was, so was he, but he wasn't gonna rush things. They had eternity.*
"I'm making her something Epic for her and Uncle Jazz's anniversary. Of course she knows this. It's impossible to surprise Auntie A, so to counter her nosiness I'm being inconclusive, and it's driving her crazy." Nessie reluctantly let Dori and Sel drag her off to the Guest Room to change.
A few hours later…
Furious, Nessie stuck her ear-buds in her ears and glared out the window. *Was everyone against her?! She'd been stuck sitting between two Marvel Comic fan boys with Jake sitting two seats away. She'd showed them tickets for the other showings, but Jake had wanted to see the movie now, like it was his last chance or something!*
"Renesmee, I know you're pissed at me for not waiting for the next showing and breaking my deal with you. I get that the only reason you wanted to go was for me and I adore you for having to endure Ollie and Harvey's enthusiastic reactions to the movie…" Jake tried to get her to talk to him. He reached over to stroke her hair, but she batted his hand away.
"Every girl likes getting sticky, disgusting, soft drinks spilled all over her clothes and hair. Why? Because her seatmates enthusiasm about a battle scene on the screen. The yelling was even better. Oh, look, I missed some Goobers that went flying in all directions when Oliver jumped out of the seat and Harvey's popcorn as well." She snarled sweetly, plucking snacks from the sticky strands of her hair.
"I'll make it up to you. I swear…we'll go see The Wanted…" Jake tried to appease her, but it wasn't gonna be nearly that simple.
"I don't know if I'll be in Forks…" She muttered darkly. "Paris is lovely in the summertime, as is New York…"
"Julliard…Sorbonne…" Tightening his hands on the wheel, Jake gritted his teeth.
"Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cambridge, Stanford, Brown, Duke…sky's the limit when you're a Cullen." Nessie's tone oozed with venom.
"Why? Can you just tell me that? Did you wish to be separated from me so badly that you couldn't wait a half-hour for the next showing?! Is being next to me so…" Her voice broke. "Don't you even love me anymore, Jacob or am I just a burden shackled to you because of fate?! You were so my Paris around the others back at your flat…was that all for show?!"
"No! God! No, Renesmee! You're my everything! None of that was for show…I swear it! I was gonna sit by you like I promised, it's just that…" Jake's eyes widened with alarm when she burst into tears as they pulled into his garage.
"Then tell me what's wrong!" She sobbed miserably.
"We were on a time schedule…"
"Time schedule?! That's crazy, Jacob! I had tickets for every showing today!"
"I know, but I didn't wanna risk…" He was cut off by an all too familiar furious growl.
"Me having to come collect you from the theater…" Edward opened her door.
"Daddy!?" Nessie bit down on her lip in complete mortification. She'd acted like a spoiled baby over nothing.
"Out. Now. There are fresh clothes and emergency beauty supplies for you upstairs in the guest room. We leave as soon as you…What in Oberon's name happened to you? You're a sticky mess?" He plucked her out of the car and set her on her feet, getting sticky pop residue all over his hands and vintage leather jacket.
"I'm a disaster because you ruined everything!" She glowered up at him.
"Lower your tone, young lady." Edward warned, he was not in the mood.
"None of this…" He fingered a sticky strand of her hair. "Is my doing. You brought this all down on yourself. Cutting class, stealing, and fleeing the county to drive across state...Dazzling officers as you go to avoid speeding penalties, because you're insecure about your feelings is all on you!"
"I will not lower my voice! You ruined everything. Giving Jacob a time deadline is why I'm a complete sticky mess! One date! Sitting next to him while he enjoyed his movie that's all I wanted! To be able to hold hands, share popcorn like a normal couple! Was that too much to hope for?! Instead I get Ollie and Harvey's enthusiastic company!" She ranted at her father.
"I'm seventeen, Daddy! Not six! I've lived in New York and Paris! I think I can handle a drive across the state to see Jacob, even if he is mirroring you when Mom was my age and you first met! He's mine! No Co-ed floozy is gonna get her fangs into him ever!" She raced up the back stairs in tears.
"Explain!" Edward ordered darkly.
"I told you. She's jealous of Lidia. She's my version of T. The woman can't take no for an answer and just friends isn't even in her vocabulary!" Jake stalked over to take his frustrations out on the heavy bag hanging in a corner of the garage. "She was hanging all over me, after ambushing me in the Quad. Lidia has this uncanny knack for popping out of nowhere…"
"Every time or just when Ness calls on you?" Edward narrowed his eyes.
"Usually when…" Jake swore under his breath. "Lycan…"
"She sounds like that annoying prat Adolphus Blake. Jace has linked him to one of Lycan's top Lieutenant's. He's pursued Nessie ever since Julliard. It's highly feasible that Lidia Stine is also linked to Lycan, particularly when your deterrent isn't deterring her in the least." He held the bag while Jake pummeled it.
"Yeah, Nessie mentioned the bastard after she got all pissy that her vixen look didn't work as planned. I lectured her instead, so she texted Collin while I was driving the Zagato here. Adding boyfriend to the mix got my hackles up. I was seriously gonna dismember Collin… she realized that I was taking her seriously and went on about him being like her big brother/best friend. Like me and Bells. I was good with that until she mentioned this Dolph guy…he was possible make out material. Something snapped in me…I had her out of the car and over my shoulder in less than a minute that's when she really went into damage control. I was seconds from chucking my exam and going hunting for the blue-blooded bastard." Jake winced when he heard his entertainment system blaring again. Fifteenthis time.
"Get in line. The irony is that Renesmee's loyalty to you is absolute and unwavering, as is your own to my daughter. Your sacrifices have more than proven that, so don't take her snit personally. Senior Prom's next week and she's sensitive about it…"
"I know and I wish that I could take her myself, but I'm booked solid until next Sunday. I take my licensing exam that Saturday afternoon…" Jake lied through his teeth, he was planning on surprising her.
Edward narrowed his eyes, looking for any of his tells, finding none. "Collin's got an event as well, but he cleared it to be there in case she needed him to escort her to the dance." He gauged Jake's reaction. Pleased to see his jaw set and eyes flare with leashed temper.
"Six years are riding on the next few days. It's not like I have any control over finals or the licensing exam, anymore than she can move the date of her Prom."
"This entire conversation is moot anyway, as she'll be under House Arrest, and I may well ban her from the Prom."
"Alice would dismember you for denying her the joy of styling Nessie, Lori, Luce, and Lace for Prom. She's exactly like Bells was with you, zero self-esteem. No confidence at all. Not that I blame her any, my busting balls here year-round to get my schooling out of the way while she grew up…Collin being her rock and sounding board kinda complicates things. I left. To her I turned my back on us by letting her test her wings without me there to catch her. I wasn't nearly as miserable as she was and it stung, so she chose to run instead of talk things out with me." Jake raked his hands through his hair.
"I was in hell. I've just gotten to be a master of my emotions. It's how I survived all of my life, well, since mom died anyway. Before that I was a happy kid. Then my childhood ceased and I had to grow up in record time, because my sisters shut down, dad's MS accelerated almost overnight, and I had to roll with it. I didn't want Ness to skip what little time she had trying to keep pace with me. It wasn't fair to her, you, Bells, or us. It hurt like hell when she took off across the country and then across the pond, but it was her choice. I kept myself so swamped with school when all I wanted was to chuck it all and go see her." He continued to pummel the bag, as he vented his pent up frustrations to Edward. "Love. Trust. Forever. She has to believe in us. In me." Love Story was blaring upstairs.
"Her professors marvel at her works. That someone so young can express such gut wrenching sorrow or torrential rage in her music boggles their minds. How frustration and anxiety are expressed in her pieces. Heartbreak, not joyous love. All dark in nature. Brilliant, phenomenal, but they have no inkling as to why that's all she composes. I'll give you the recordings when you come home. Her art is even darker in origin. Breathtaking seascapes of the storms that First Beach is known for. Fierce storms that she captured in New York and Europe. All with her camera, she rarely, if ever, puts brush to canvas these days. She prefers the rush of adrenaline. Taking risks, because it distracts her mind from the root of the problem. You." Edward left him with those words to go collect Ness from her duet upstairs with Adele. Make you feel my love was soulfully playing now.
"Dark Ness. Wonderful. I've got a lot to make up for as soon as I get home." Jake hadn't any clue how much his princess had changed and not for the better. Her impromptu entries in several extreme sports competitions made perfect sense now. She got a rush out of pushing herself to the max. Like mother like daughter.
He'd have to crash at the Rez. Aiden had given him no set time to set up at the ranch and now he knew why. Ness needed him more than focusing on setting up his clinic.
Julliard…Beginning of his second year after she'd taken college courses at WSU that summer. Elly Reisa had been his stalker at the time. Way worse than Lidia. The summer of his Freshman year when Nessie and Lori had taken Pre-College courses and surprised him. Elly had been at her worst, springing from nowhere. Nessie had barely been there three weeks then called it quits to go visit Renee and Phil in Florida. She'd wanted him to go too, but he'd taken on double the course load. Ness had left in a snit.
Two months later it's 'Hey, I'm off to New York City with Lori. See ya when I see ya'
He'd been at the library working on a paper. Shelia Lola this time, a minor stalker, had been sitting by him. He'd leaned over to tell her to leave and she'd snuck in a kiss. Was she a minion of Lycan too? He'd tossed all of his books, and laptop into his pack and chased after Ness. Bella had seen it too, but her only focus was on Lola his unwanted shadow, while he tried to smooth things over with Ness.
Shelia transferred out a week later to the Tacoma campus.
Ness had played it down, chalking it up to him being a hunk then broke the news about Julliard. A professor summering in Florida had heard her and Lori playing. Then the call from Julliard. It was too much of an opportunity to pass up. Peter and Charlotte had a lovely townhouse there, so they'd be with family. They were leaving in two days, but she had to say goodbye to him first and tell him why she'd been so distant.
He'd lied. Saying he'd understood her reasons, wished her luck, hugged her fiercely, and that had been that. No Ness. A void of unspeakable loss for the first month. He'd researched schools on the East Coast. Looked into transferring, because it hurt to have her so far away and it was worse when the two of them were estranged. That had been a pipe dream. Ness had been the one to leave. Cried the need for space so the Grandparents had leashed him to the state of Washington. Edward and Logan had talked him down after all, his dream was just as important as Nessie's was and he couldn't throw it all away because Ness was focusing on the arts. It'd been a month or so after she'd left for New York, but Ness had resumed speaking to him again like always. He'd buried himself in his classes. That had been the routine Holidays at home, class, catching a weekend game, movie, or concert with his brothers...Sometimes with Ness…
It was only then did he have to duck and cover from his female stalkers. All of their crazy antics made sense now. Luring him away from Renesmee had been their impossible task. He was busting his ass for Renesmee. She was his focus. Why he kept at it. None of them stood a chance with him, but they'd caused distance and tension between them. A distance that in less than a week's time would be erased.
The music had stopped upstairs. He didn't feel Ness or Edward either. He turned to his left. No sweet ass car. The Grandparents must've heard about her joyride to see him and zapped the car and his company back home to Forks.
He eyed his watch, it was going on seven. He'd take a run. Go get his bike. Order in Chinese and hit the books. He was gonna ace that Licensing exam even if it meant studying up until the last minute.
His phone vibrated in his pocket. He took it out to see who was calling or texting him. He grinned. Nessie was home sulking in her room and it was him that she was venting to not Collin.
Nessie Cullen: No fair. Great-Grandpa ported us home. On lockdown. Can Grandpa Charlie really tether me with an ankle monitor?! House Arrest?! So bloody unfair!
Jake shot off a response on his way out the door.
Jake Black: Uh, yeah, baby…He can. You jacked your Dad's car. Be grateful it wasn't worse. Hang in there. I'll spring you. I promise, as soon as I get home.
Nessie Cullen: That's like forever and it's not his car…Cripes! Forget I said that I'm just…incensed….~~;
Jake Black: Do tell, angel mine. If it's not his then who's the lucky owner?
Jake chuckled. "Poor baby thinks she just blew the big reveal."
Nessie Cullen: Sorry my lips are sealed. Drat…Daddy's even confiscating my phone! Gotta go. Think of me in my unlawful imprisonment…Love you….
Jake Black: House arrest beats the Double C or Sanctuary…I'll be home before you know it. Hang tough…Night, baby. Sweet dreams. Love you.
Nessie Cullen: True. Night, Wolfe. Don't study too hard. I have all the confidence in the world in you…Miss me…
Jake Black: Always…
He felt better now that he'd smoothed things over with Ness. He was ready to ace his exam and finally pack it up and come home.
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