The Field

The most beautiful person in the world was lying next to me right now. My husband. My soul mate. “Damn it,” Edward growled, as he kissed hungrily at my neck. “I will never get better at this.” It’s easier now to let Edward inside my mind since I’ve pretty much perfected it. Unfortunately, Edward still struggles trying to resist kissing me while he reads what’s going on inside my mind, though he enjoys it very much. “You’ll get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect, remember?” We’ve been going at this every few months since December five years ago, when one of Carlisle’s friends explained that my vampire talent was a shield, and that’s why nobody could mess with my mind. The sun suddenly rose up over the horizon, shining on mine and Edward’s faces, having them glitter like smooth diamonds. I guess today will be one of those rare sunny days we have here in this gloomy town of Forks, Washington. Edward automatically scooped me up from the bed and ran us into the closet in less than a second. It only took two seconds more to get dressed. Edward looks amazingly eager today. I wonder why… We walked slowly to our daughter’s bedroom, which looks pretty much the same from when it was first finished, right after she was born five years and five months ago. The only thing that has changed was the replacement of the crib to a queen-sized golden canopy bed. Renesmee is very unique, being half-vampire and half-human. She grows much faster than any child ever has. She spoke her first word, which was “Momma,” exactly one week after she was born, and started walking just three weeks after that. At three months she looked like a small two-year-old, and could read books without any hesitation. It was hard to endure watching her grow so quickly, thinking she would be an adult just four years after her birth, and an old lady after fifteen. But I soon figured out she will stop growing when she’s seven years of age, thanks to Nahuel. Nahuel is the only other half-vampire that we know of. Alice and Jasper arrived at the clearing where the Volturi were confronting us five years ago, with him and a few other friends to prove that Renesmee is not the only half-vampire, and that she will not turn out dangerous. I thought all this through in just a fifty-eighth of a second. My new, enhanced mind helps

me think more quickly and easily; it became much stronger after I became immortal. It’s like I was born to become a vampire… Edward and I paced into Renesmee’s room, where her chocolate-brown eyes were following the lines of an advanced book. Edward subsequently looked into my dark golden eyes, remembering that they used to be that same chocolate-brown color before I became a vampire. He sighed, but afterward smiled his crooked smile. Renesmee’s grown a lot since she was born, when every vampire was involved with our encounter against the Volturi to protect little Renesmee. Now she’s older, maybe the size of a thirteen-year-old, and her hair now about half-way down her back. It’s still hard thinking about the rate in which she’s growing, but I’m relieved she’ll stop after she’s fully grown, so she can live forever with us and the rest of our family. Renesmee looked up at us and smiled. “Hi,” she said. “Good morning,” I greeted. “You ready?” “Yeah.” Renesmee smiled at me, like she was expecting something was going to happen. “What?” I asked. She laughed. “Nothing.” I looked at her curiously, then at Edward. He just shrugged. He glanced at her, and she jumped off the bed, walking past me, trying to cover her face. I tried to ignore it. We all walked out the front door of our own cottage in the woods, which our family had made just for us. Sure, it’s little, but it’s just what we want and need. We raced home in the cool February wind, each of us holding one of Renesmee’s hands, following our everyday routine. Edward and I ran a little slower than usual so Renesmee could keep up with us. I saw the images she was dreaming of pop up in my head (she has a special gift where she could let everybody know what she’s thinking by placing her hand on someone’s cheek). Edward was watching, too, since he is able to read minds. We saw our faces the most, and next came Jacob’s, who is our best friend. He is a shape-shifter who can turn into the form of a horse-sized wolf whenever he wants. Ever since Jacob saw Renesmee it’s been almost impossible for him to look away. He imprinted on her, which is sort of like love-at-first-sight. You would sort of feel like how a blind man seeing the light for the first time would feel. Once a wolf and their soul mate look into each other’s eyes, they feel like they’d rather die than stay away from them. …It’s hard to explain. At first I was infuriated with him for thinking he had some kind of “wolfy claim” to her, and I

almost ripped his head off. But he has helped us so much these past few months and all I can feel is gratitude toward him for being the best friend (for now, anyway) Renesmee could ever have. We reached the Cullen house in a few minutes, and then walked through the front door. Jacob was right there, as usual, holding his warm hands out for Renesmee. She crashed into him, hugging him vastly. “Hi Jake!” Edward left and strolled into the kitchen. Renesmee’s hungry again. “Hey, Nessie! Did you sleep well?” That was the nickname that he came up with for her after he imprinted. “Yeah, my bed is always very comfortable.” Edward then came back with a small glass of donated blood. Since she is half-vampire, she prefers to drink blood instead of regular human food, and I can’t blame her. That stuff smell’s horrible. When vampires eat human food, we end up throwing it back up later, not that I’ve ever tried. Edward had explained this to me while I was still mortal. But half-vampires like Renesmee can’t throw it back up. I’m guessing it’s because she’s technically half-human. Jacob let Renesmee go, so that she could have her breakfast. Unexpectedly, Edward let out a soft giggle. “What?” I questioned. “Renesmee is extra cheerful today,” he answered. “So are you,” I noted. “What’s making you guys so happy today?” Edward glanced to Jacob and Renesmee, then gave a slight nod of his head to advise them to go in another room. His gaze flowed back to my eyes, mesmerizing them, and he smiled my favorite crooked smile. “It’s Valentines Day,” he spoke in his velvet smooth voice. He reached into his pocket and took out a small box, flipping it open. Inside was the most beautiful necklace I have ever seen. “Oh, Edward…” I was lost with words. In the middle of the silver chain was a heartshaped crystal, which was glistening with the light coming from the open window. I was fascinated by the precious beauty of it. Edward gently took hold of my shoulders, not looking away from my stunned eyes, and turned me around to face the other direction. The next thing I knew, he was placing the necklace around my neck, and clipping it together in the back. He spun me back around, facing him again.

His golden eyes continued to hold mine, and he smiled my favorite smile once more. “Edward, I—” he wouldn’t let me go any further. He moved his lips to mine and kissed me passionately. I didn’t pull away. Instead, I grasped the small of his back and pulled myself tighter to him, kissing him back. My strong vampire hands pulled him just tight enough against my body so that he couldn’t back away. “Ahem!” a voice yelled from the top of the stairs, which I recognized as Emmett. “Having fun?” he joked. Edward and I glared at him. “Get out of here, Emmett!” Edward growled. “Fine, fine. But just so you know, everyone can hear you.” If I was still human, I probably would have blushed. “My Bella,” Edward soothed when Emmett left. “I am yours forever, and whatever you wish for, anything at all, I will get for you.” I would have cried if I could have. “Edward, I’m so sorry. I’m so careless.” “Don’t call yourself that, love. You’re perfect in every way. Now, can I ask why you’re apologizing?” “I’ve been so oblivious to where the days have gone. I had no idea today was Valentines Day, so I don’t have anything to give you. …I’m so stupid,” I explained. “Stop calling yourself names, Bella. And you don’t owe me anything, you already gave me you, and so I couldn’t ask for anything more,” he soothed. Before I could reply, he scooped me up in his arms and maintained to kiss me. I grabbed the back of his neck and pulled myself closer. I was naturally distracted. I caressed his neck with my lips, moving up to his jaw line, and finally making it up to his lips, where they stayed. Somehow, we made it to the door of the kitchen, where he set me down on my feet. My eyes questioned his, wondering why we stopped. Edward read my confused expression and laughed. “Nessie wants to spend some time with us, and we have to give her her Valentines Day present. Jacob already gave her his present.” I wondered what he bought for her, and Edward gave another soft chuckle at my confused expression. We both opened the door and walked into the kitchen. Jacob and Renesmee were sitting at the table. Once she saw us walk in the room, she smiled. I walked up to her. “Look what Jake got for me!” Renesmee showed me the new bracelet that was on her

wrist. There was one charm on it, and it was a small wood figure of a reddish-brown wolf, the color of Jacob’s skin and fur. It was almost exactly like the one he gave me for my high school graduation present. My smile answered Renesmee’s smile, and she laughed. “Thanks, Jake,” I mouthed silently. He smiled and then nodded once. “You know what, Renesmee? Mom and Dad have present for you, too,” I told her. Her eyes widened, twinkling. I looked back at Edward, and he walked toward us, holding something small. He placed small crystal earrings in her palm, and she beamed. Renesmee loved sparkly things. I pecked Edward on his cheek, thanking him for remembering everything. “That’s actually not a bad idea, Renesmee,” Edward thought out loud. “It could be a lot of fun.” “What does she want?” Jacob asked curiously. “She wants to go play in the park with us,” Edward explained. Jacob tried to hide it, but Edward and I both saw the sadness in his eyes. “Oh,” Jake muttered. “Well, have fun.” Renesmee saw it, too, and quickly placed her palm on his face, showing Jake that she wanted him to come with us. His expression lit up, and he gave his huge wolfy grin. “Of course she wants you to come,” I explained. “Why wouldn’t she? We all went down to the garage and climbed into Edward’s Volvo. The rest of the family was going out to hunt. I was in the passenger seat while Edward was driving, and Jacob was in the back with Renesmee, both noticeably excited. We got to the park within five minutes. Once we got to the field, we started playing games. No one was nearby, so we didn’t hesitate to run full speed. We played tag, though Edward was clearly the best at that game, considering that he is faster than all of us. The game was very pleasurable, though. Renesmee started as the tagger, then after thirty-two seconds she tagged Jacob, who wanted her to tag him. Jake started running after me, but it took a full two minutes and forty-seven seconds for him to actually catch up to me. He was fast, but I was faster. He eventually got me on my back, making me the tagger. So then I started running after Edward, smiling along the way, knowing it would be very

difficult to even get close to him. So I decided to make him stop, myself. I’ve been getting better at opening my mind. Now I can get it open without holding Edward’s face. So this ought to be fun. I forced the shield out from my mind so Edward would be able to listen in. I started thinking of my first night with him as a vampire. That caught him off guard, and he stopped racing through the field. I continued running toward him and then pounced on top of him playfully when I got close, making us both fall to the ground. “Gotcha!” I laughed, pecking him on the nose. “Hey, that’s not fair,” he accused sarcastically. We both got up off the ground and saw Jake and Renesmee laughing and crying their eyes out on the grass. Edward gazed at me with excited eyes, then put one finger over his lips, motioning for me to keep quiet. I nodded and chuckled soundlessly. He leaped quickly and landed in front of Renesmee, picking her up from under her arms. “Tag, you’re it!” he whispered in her ear. Renesmee laughed even harder, then jumped to the ground on her feet. “C’mon, Jake! Go run!” she yelled. Jake got himself up and started running. Renesmee was right behind him when he came to a sudden stop. She crashed into him and stumbled back. I caught her before she could fall down, and hugged her against my side. “Jake! What’s wrong with you?” I screamed at him. “It’s okay, I’m fine, Mom,” Renesmee assured. Jacob hadn’t moved from where he suddenly stopped. He was staring into the woods. Edward was suddenly right in front of me and Renesmee, blocking us from whatever was in there. I wondered what was going on, and Renesmee was becoming nervous, like me. I questioned again what caused Edward and Jacob to act this way. But then I smelled his scent. “Demetri?” My bell-like voice spoke with no air, yet it still sounded perfect. Demetri was part of the Volturi guard, the ones who try to keep our world from being exposed. He, in particular, was a tracker, and I was scared to even think about why he was here. Edward noticed my tension and softly caressed my face. “Everything will be okay. No

one will touch you or Renesmee. I’ll make sure of that,” he comforted. It didn’t help that much. His cell phone suddenly vibrated in his pocket, and he answered it quickly, keeping his eyes on mine. “Alice, why is he here?” his strained voice asked. Alice was Edward’s sister. She had the power to tell the future, but only when someone decided the path they were going to go on. Through the phone, I heard her say, “He wants to make sure that Nessie is still growing. And…” she stopped. “What, Alice!” Edward pleaded. “Caius, Jane and Alec are with him.” I froze, everybody froze. I held Renesmee closer to me, trying to calm her down. “Where are you guys now?” Edward asked impatiently. “We’re still in Canada. It will take forty minutes for us to get back. …Damn, we shouldn’t have gone so far out. We didn’t think anything like this would happen. But we’re all on our way now.” We heard the wind in the background rushing past them. “Thanks, Alice.” He hung up the phone and put it back in his pocket. “Jake, do you think you could—” “I’m already on it,” he rushed. Jacob changed to his wolf form and alerted his pack, then Sam’s, in his mind. Wolves have special connections with each other that allow them to talk to other members of their pack within their minds. But they have to be in their wolf forms to communicate. Jake used to be part of Sam Uley’s wolf pack, but then he left and became a true Alpha—which is the leader of a pack. Jake glanced at Edward, who answered his unspoken question. “The Volturi members will be here in four minutes. Can the wolves get here on time?” Jake nodded, and Edward relaxed only the tiniest bit. He turned around to face me and Renesmee. “Everything will be okay, trust me. They will not touch you.” We all remembered Caius, Jane and Alec, even Renesmee did. Jane’s power was dangerous. She could make you feel like you were in terrible pain, though you really wouldn’t be. Alec’s power was just as dangerous as Jane’s, as he could make you feel nothing at all by

taking away all of your senses. And Caius was just terrifying. I flinched. “Bella, everything will be fine. And remember, your mind can and will protect you,” he calmed me. “Edward, I promise I will protect you and—” he cut me off. “Don’t worry about me. Just protect Renesmee and yourself, nothing else matters to me. But don’t worry, nothing will happen, anyway.” I wasn’t going to listen. I will protect his and Renesmee’s minds, and all of the wolves’ minds, even if they don’t want me to. Jane and Alec won’t get through to them. I smelled them before I heard them. I crinkled my nose from the wolves’ horrible smell. Edward smiled faintly at my reaction. Twenty wolves emerged from the other side of the woods. Half of them I didn’t even recognize. They walked forward and formed a line next to us. Sam was one step in front of everyone, and then Jake left to go stand next to him. The four Volturi members had no chance of winning if they were planning to fight. Jane and Alec’s talents wouldn’t even work against us thanks to my shield, so they would only be able to use their fighting skills…against twenty-one wolves and Edward and I. I relaxed a little bit, and so did Edward, who was probably thinking the same thing. “Here they come,” Edward whispered. I moved Renesmee behind me, out of sight from the oncoming vampires. I saw them coming toward us from the woods now, one-hundred-thirty-four yards away. Edward gave a low hiss between his teeth, and some of the wolves growled, including Sam and Jacob. Demetri, Caius, Jane and Alec reached the edge of the woods eighty-two yards away, and froze, shock on their faces from all the wolves. Only Caius walked another few steps closer to us. Edward slowly drew closer to me, still half-blocking me from their view. He gave another low hiss. They all still looked exactly the same. They were still wearing those long black cloaks around them. Caius then took one more small step toward us, and wouldn’t come any closer when Edward’s low hiss became a growl. “Where is the child?” Caius asked. “Mom, just let me go by myself, I’ll be fine,” Renesmee whispered to me. “No, Renesmee,” I ordered almost silently.

“Mom—” “We are only here to make sure the child still grows, and nothing more. But I need to see her up close. Just Bella and the kid, if you will,” Caius taunted. He raised his hand and motioned for us to come closer. My eyes widened, and I looked to Edward for help. He nodded once, stiffly, not taking his eyes away from Caius. “He’s not planning to hurt either of you. He only wants to observe.” Edward whispered so softly that only I could hear. I slowly walked forward two steps, then looked back at Edward, who motioned for me to keep walking further. I kept Renesmee behind me, keeping her as far away from Caius and the others as I could. I stopped ambling when I was a full six feet away from him, making sure Renesmee wouldn’t move away from me. “Well, that wasn’t so hard, now was it?” Caius sneered. All I could do was glare at his dangerously beautiful face. “I said, ‘that wasn’t so hard, now was it’?” Jane, Alec and Demetri moved closer near Caius. I heard Edward give out a long, perilous hiss. “No, Caius, it wasn’t,” I answered lifelessly after a second of silence. “Let’s now see that pretty face of hers,” Caius scorned. He reached toward Renesmee as if to grab her face. I immediately backed away, pushing my daughter along with me, and crouched, snarling, “Don’t touch her!” I heard Edward and Jacob take one step closer, growling noisily. Demetri, Alec and Jane took another few strides closer, now right behind Caius. “Now, now,” Caius criticized. “No need for a fight. But I must see her face.” I glared at him for a full ten seconds before turning my face toward Renesmee. She looked at me, and from her eyes I could tell she wanted to help in any way. I nodded reluctantly and unwillingly, and she carefully moved to my side and unfeelingly looked him in the eyes. My arm firmly curved around her stomach, restraining her from walking any closer to Caius and the others. Just to be extra cautious, I effortlessly forced my shield to cover her, and I immediately felt her beautiful light in my protection. I did the same for everyone else behind me, and so now I

felt Edward and all of the wolves’ lights in my protection. I learned that December five years ago, during that frightening encounter with the Volturi, that once my shield covered the leader of a wolf pack, everyone within that pack gets protected. It’s very strange, but also extremely helpful. So now everybody I cared for was safe. “Yes, we see now that she grew,” Demetri spoke for Caius. “That’s all we came here to do. No harm done.” They all turned and started walking away. Demetri had to push Caius forward a little. Jane and Alec, the witch twins, looked disappointed that they didn’t have a chance to work their talents. My feet felt like they were glued to the ground. As soon as Caius and the others went back into the woods, I heard Edward and Jacob hurry to my side. “C’mon, Bella, let’s go.” Edward had to push a little to get me moving toward the car. I pulled Renesmee back in front of me, while Edward tightly held my waist with his right arm. I couldn’t tell what Renesmee was thinking, her face was blank, staring at nothing. “Everything is okay now, my loves. Don’t be frightened,” Edward tried to soothe. We went back to where the rest of the wolves were standing. “Thank you so much, my friends,” Edward said. “I’m sorry we had to call you here.” The wolves left, all except for Jake, who stayed another few seconds. He provided a long glance at Edward, and then left with the others. I looked at Edward with puzzled eyes. “They’re just going to make sure Caius and the others really left, and that they won’t turn back around,” he clarified tensely. “The Volturi are going to come back another time, aren’t they?” I guessed. He stalled for a long minute before he finally nodded stiffly. “Yes. They will be back.” We returned to the house in a few minutes. Edward refused to take his arm away from my waist, and every so often he would lean down and kiss the tops of mine and Renesmee’s hair. The rest of our family hadn’t made it back home yet, so we sat on the couch, not paying attention to the T.V. that we turned on. Renesmee was on Edward’s lap, playing with her hair for something to do while watching the T.V. It was quiet in the living room until Renesmee spoke. “When will the rest of our family be back?” Edward hesitated one moment before answering, “Soon.” “Okay,” she sighed.

The time went by slowly, and exactly twenty-one minutes and fourteen seconds passed by before we heard the door open. All of the Cullen’s rushed inside, panic on their faces, all except for Carlisle’s. “What happened?” Carlisle asked calmly. Edward then immediately looked at Alice. “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t see clearly, what with the wolves and Nessie there.” Renesmee looked at us all apologetically. “I’m sorry. I’m the one who always causes all the trouble,” she pouted. “No you are not, Renesmee. You’re a very special young girl,” Rosalie assured. “Thanks, Aunt Rose,” she replied, still not convinced of herself. “So what happened?” Emmett yelled. “I can’t believe I missed the fight!” We saw Esme cringe faintly. “There was no fight,” Edward reassured. Emmett flung his fists in the air and yelled, “What?” “They were only there to observe,” Edward explained. “Observe what?” Jasper asked. Edward glanced at Renesmee, then said, “To see that she is growing. They wanted to make sure that they weren’t being fooled last December.” He spoke that last part between clenched teeth. Everyone gasped at what he said. Esme clutched at her silent heart. “What happened when they got there?” asked Carlisle. Edward started giving details again. “Well, first we asked all the wolves to come, just in case. There were twenty-one of them, including Jacob. Their population is growing quickly. “Anyway, Caius was the first to step up. He asked for Bella and Renesmee to walk up to them. They were eighty yards away,” Edward choked. He closed his eyes, pain entering his face, remembering the torture he had to go through on having to let me go. I caressed his face with my hand, trying to smooth away his stiff expression. He flashed his dark golden eyes on mine, then to Renesmee. Edward quickly composed his face and continued with the story. “Caius searched Renesmee’s face for any kind of change. He saw that she grew, then left with the others. Jane, Alec and Caius were disappointed they didn’t have a reason to have a little fight. Caius was thinking about how…” Edward didn’t continue.

“Go on,” Carlisle said, cautiously. Edward didn’t say anything more, so I looked to examine his face. It was clear to me that he wouldn’t say anything more, so I finished for him. “They’ll be coming back. The Volturi will come back,” I explained, but apparently I missed something because Edward finally spoke up. “That’s not all,” he said. “Next time…Aro and Marcus will join, along with some others from the Volturi Guard.” Edward stared into my eyes, not looking away. “But why?” Esme questioned. “What reason would they have to make themselves come again? We have already proved that Renesmee isn’t a vampire child…” “I don’t know, they kept that part out of their minds,” Edward responded. “But I do know they have some sort of reason.” “How much longer till they come?” Emmett asked excitedly. He was always up for some game. “I’m not sure exactly when,” Edward said. At that moment, Jacob bolted through the front door. “I’m up for some competition!” he unexpectedly added. “Yeah!” Emmett bellowed. They punched each other’s fist and laughed. Rosalie rolled her eyes at their childness. Jacob saw her eyes roll, and asked, “Have you heard this one, blondie?” he laughed. “Why is it okay for blondes to catch colds?” Rosalie ignored his joke and went to go sit at the bottom of the stairs, with Emmett following. I guess Jake took that as a “no.” “Because there’s no need for them to worry about their brain’s blowing out!” Jake cracked up. “You better watch it, dog,” Rose threatened. I can see that their relationship hasn’t changed one bit. But there were more important things to worry about right now. I looked into Edward’s eyes, which were gazing into mine. “If we are going to stumble upon the Volturi again, Edward, I want you to teach me how to fight…and I mean physically this time.” “Bella…I can’t. I just can’t do that. Maybe Jasper can…but later, not today. When it’s a bit closer to when they come, then maybe,” Edward stammered nervously.

“You can teach me, Edward. You’ll be able to, I know you can.” “Please, Bella, have someone else do it. I can’t bear to look at you as a target.” “You can at least give me some tips, that won’t hurt.” I tried to persuade him. “We’ll talk about it later, love. Not now.” Edward looked very nervous. I wonder what could make him act this way. It couldn’t be about me. “Why are you-” I was cut off. “Later.” Edward glared at me, and I didn’t say anything more. It was starting to get a bit late, and Renesmee had fallen asleep. Edward had no expression on his face, so I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. “Do you think we should go put Renesmee to bed?” I asked Edward, who was supposedly looking out the window. He only nodded. His face was still expressionless, as I could tell by his still god-like reflection. He slowly turned around and walked toward me. He helped me up from the couch gently, and placed his arm around my waist, picking up Renesmee with his free arm. Then, unexpectedly, he leaned down and kissed the top of my head. “Let’s go,” he said. We walked out the door after saying goodbye to everybody, then raced home as usual, Edward being careful not to jostle Renesmee. We got at our little cottage in just minutes, and after walking into Renesmee’s room, Edward set her into bed and we kissed her goodnight. Then we paced slowly to our bedroom next door. I walked over to the bed and got myself settled. Edward stayed by the door, watching me. “C’mon,” I murmured, taking his hand and pulling him closer, onto the bed. “We can figure everything out while sleeping together.” A slight smile came upon his face as he softly took my face between his hands and pulled me tightly against his chest. He placed his lips to mine and we floated away… The sunrise came too quickly, yet again, but this time it was hidden behind a cover of clouds and rain. I guess the sun won’t be back for a while now. We followed our regular morning procedure, yet this time it went a bit differently. When we sauntered into Renesmee’s room, her eyes were staring out her window, but now her eyes were on ours. She gave a quick, shy smile. I looked to Edward for help, to figure out what she was thinking. He looked like he was concentrating hard on her, but he couldn’t seem to find anything. Edward focused his almost

charcoal-colored eyes on mine, then shrugged. The last time we hunted was almost three weeks ago, since we never expected Caius and the others to come. I guess it’s time to go out again. Edward glided over to Renesmee’s bed, and smiled at her. “Good morning,” he said. He picked her up from under her arms and set her lightly on her feet, taking her left hand. They started walking back toward me, still by the door. When they reached me, I grabbed my daughter’s other hand, and we left the little house. We walked the whole way to the Cullen house, swinging our arms. I took a few more minutes than usual, but it was worth it. Just little times like these are very precious to us. Our little family alone is full of love, but when we add in the rest of the Cullen’s and Jake, we’re as happy as we could get. Some of the birds were starting to come back from the warm South, and the rest of the animals were almost finished hibernating. It’s still quiet and calm, though, just the way we like it. I’ll have to remind Emmett the bears are almost done sleeping. The bear is his favorite animal to hunt. We arrived at the big house a few minutes later, meeting Jacob on the front porch. I immediately let him take Renesmee inside, while Edward and I followed. Jake, Renesmee and I sat on the couch while Edward went into the kitchen to fetch some breakfast for Nessie. “So how’s it been going, Jake?” I asked. “Really?” I felt like I haven’t talked to him enough. “Everything’s cool,” he answered in his husky voice. “Besides the bloodsucker’s coming yesterday, everything’s good, for now, anyway. Caius and the others actually left, like they said they would. We searched the whole area afterwards, though, just in case.” “Oh.” I had nothing more to say. “Stop worrying so much, Bells. There’s no reason to.” “I know.” “Don’t worry, love,” Edward suddenly said, coming back into the room. “They can’t get to us.” He handed the cup of blood to Renesmee, who starting drinking it hurriedly. She’s acting very strange this morning. I wish I could hear what’s going on inside her mind so I can figure out what they are. “Mom? Dad?” she finally spoke up in her high soprano voice. “They won’t hurt you or

my family or Jake, will they?” “Of course no-” I flashed Jacob a look and he quickly cut himself off. I didn’t want Renesmee to get the wrong assumptions. “They’ll probably only come to observe, sweetie. They should have no reason to,” I explained. Renesmee only nodded and continued to drink her breakfast. I looked over at Edward, still standing, who didn’t seem to be paying attention. It looked like he was concentrating very hard on something. But right now didn’t seem like a good time to bring it up. I’ll mention it later when we are alone. A little while later, I decided that Edward and I should spend some time in our meadow, then do some hunting while we’re out. We let Jacob watch over Nessie, who were both more than willing to spend some time with each other. We got to our meadow a few minutes later, the sun behind a cover of clouds in the middle of the grey sky. At least the rain had stopped. Our meadow looks the same as always, and most of the flowers were starting to bloom. We lay next to each other in the soft, damp grass, gazing into each others eyes. I was curious about what he was concentrating on before, so I started talking about that. “What were you thinking about before, when you gave Renesmee her breakfast?” “It was nothing, just thinking about you as always,” he quickly replied. “Edward, you were thinking of something else. I could tell.” “Bella,” he pleaded. “You really wouldn’t want to know.” “What was it Edward?” I repeated. “Just tell me.” He wasn’t happy on where our conversation had started. It took him a few seconds, but he finally decided to answer my question. It wasn’t what I expected it to be at all. “It’s Renesmee,” he muttered. “What about her? Is she okay?” I asked tensely. “She’s fine, for right now anyway. But she was thinking something…something none of us would ever want to hear from her,” he spoke slowly. “It caught me off guard that she would even consider it.” “Edward, please,” I begged. “Tell me what she was thinking.” A minute passed, and he still said nothing. “Edward,” I pleaded, wanting him to continue.

“You know how Renesmee is always blaming herself for everything terrible that happens to us?” “Yeah,” I answered cautiously, becoming nervous. “Well, she was thinking that the next time the Volturi come for us, she’ll…” Edward wouldn’t continue. But I think I knew what he meant. I suddenly sat up and started to break down. “Renesmee would—? She can’t! She can’t do that! …Edward, we mustn’t let her!” I started shaking. Edward bolted upright and took me in his arms. “Shh, Bella,” he tried soothing. “Not one of us, nobody would let her sacrifice herself.” The pain in his eyes were equivalent to mine. But he was also thinking that he shouldn’t have told me. The pain I was enduring was torturing him. And now his torture became mine, for hurting him. It took a few minutes to calm myself enough to stop shaking. “I’m sorry,” he apologized a few minutes later. “I shouldn’t have clued you in. This is too horrible.” “No, because now I know what to expect from her,” I said, beginning to touch the edge of my control again. “Everything will be okay, love. She won’t get hurt, no one will let her. I promise.” He began to rub my back, and it felt really nice. He leaned his head down to kiss my hair. “Edward?” I started after few minutes. “What is it, my Bella?” “Can you teach me to fight? Please? I need to know so I can protect my family better.” “You already can protect us.” “You know what I mean, Edward.” “I know,” he confessed with a sigh. “It’s just the thought of you fighting along with us… it doesn’t seem right to me.” “You know I’m not a human anymore, so it should be easy. I’m part of your family now, so I want to fight alongside you, not stand around waiting for the fight to end.” “I know, Bella. But I don’t know if I can teach you. I don’t think I’ll be able to.” “Just try to. C’mon, we can do it right now,” I said, standing up. Edward unwillingly got himself up. I remember doing this once before, soon after I became immortal. It didn’t turn out so good. I remember him pinning me down after just one

second, then immediately leaping away. He told me it was unbearable for him to think about all the ways to attack me. “I don’t know about this, Bella,” he said nervously. “C’mon, what can happen?” Edward sighed. “Okay, do you remember the night when Jasper was giving us tips on how to fight the newborns? It was hard to remember since I was still human when that happened. All I know is that it was very dark, and all the Cullen’s were there with me and the wolves. The memory was too blurry for me to remember anything else. “Not really, I can’t see it clearly enough,” I confessed. He only nodded. “Never go for the obvious attack, try to catch them off guard.” “Okay,” I said. “What else?” He paused. “Are you sure you want to do this, Bella? You can always change your mind, you know.” “One-hundred percent positive, Edward. I want to fight alongside you.” He paused for a minute, then sighed. “Fine, then. …Try to separate them; don’t let them protect each other. And you already know how to destroy them, so…” he explained. I could tell he didn’t want to talk about it, anyway. “Basically, fighting is pretty much like hunting; just keep your eyes on the opposer.” “Can I have a few practice runs?” I asked, not expecting anything, but still excited. “I don’t know, Bella,” he answered slowly, still hoping I would change my mind. “Please?” I used the full force of my eyes to try to persuade him, then placed my hand on his cheek and kissed his lips slowly. I felt his warm breathing on my face. “Ah, that’s not fair,” he noted smoothly, kissing me back. I leaned away and took a step back, something I very rarely did. “Let me practice…and tonight will be extra-special,” I played. “You know that is not fair,” he accused, clearly wanting more. “I know,” I said playfully, smiling. “So can we practice?” “Fine,” he said, defeated. “But I still don’t like this idea, it makes me nervous.” I grinned and backed up a few yards, preparing to fight, thrilled that I got my way. “Ready?” Edward called. I nodded, trying to concentrate. We both positioned ourselves and crouched, both of us

ready. This first attempt was horrible. Edward pinned me down in two seconds, then leaped away quickly, still detesting this idea. “Again,” I said. “I can do this.” He sighed and leaped at me again, but this time I actually dodged it! And the next one! But then he got me again. “Dang, I almost had it,” I complained. “You’ll get the hang of it,” Edward promised. “Let’s try again.” We went at this for another hour, and I progressed to dodging his lunges for a full twelve seconds. “Can we do it once more?” I asked when Edward stopped. “That’s enough for today,” he said in a hard voice. “I can’t do it anymore; I’ve already pushed myself too much.” So then we went out hunting, not straying very far out. We wanted to stay close to the house, just in case anything unexpected was to happen. So because of that, we didn’t have a great variety of animals to choose from. All we had were some deer close by. Those weren’t the best kind of food out there, but I guess it had to do. I was as graceful as Edward now when we hunted. I never got any blood on my clothes anymore, and it was much easier to tell how many animals there were and where, so I couldn’t get confused. We each had a few deer, then when our eyes became a light gold again, we headed back home to where our family was.


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