I was not normally one for public displays of affection but I couldn’t help myself. Reluctantly, I pulled myself away from Jacob. Even in my sorrow I still couldn’t help savoring the moments
between us. I could feel the rest of the pack keeping their distance from us
out of courtesy, but the curiosity still lingered in the air.
I pulled my arms free, and wiped the tears from my face tying desperately to compose myself. Jacob hovered over me still smoothing my hair, his face crumpled in fear, but still strong and
“Please tell me what happened,” he begged.
I didn’t realize till that moment that the warmth and safety I felt with him, even in such a brief moment, was so vital until now. I could feel my very sanity slipping away with the fear that
engulfed me. My eyes darted from side to side, focusing on nothing as I spoke.
“I-I…it’s over…they’re coming for me,” I stuttered.
Jacob’s hands moved from my hair to my shoulders, rubbing them frantically. The literal heat between us normally was scorching. If he kept this up, I imagined we’d set the forest on fire. In the
interest of pubic safety, I reached up, meeting his wrists with my hands, and
pulled them down softly to my sides. I gazed up into his eyes and he flashed
the wide, goofy grin I loved. Even though it was an obvious distraction I
couldn’t help but smile back.
“It can’t be that bad,” he said encouragingly. “What are the mastermind bloodsuckers up to now?” he asked playfully.
I knew he was trying to keep the situation light, but the lingering threat of the coming debacle was too much for me to keep my composure. I looked around at his brothers and let the story
unfold, word for word as I had heard it earlier. The more I talked the more the
tension built among the pack, until they all stood, side by side, with their
hair standing straight up on their backs. I could visibly see the anger rising
inside Jacob until he was shaking violently beside me. I took a nervous step backwards.
Sam walked over and put a hand on his shoulder to steady him.
“We will all fight to protect her Jacob, you know that.”
Jacob looked at Sam and took a deep breath. His trembling slowed, and then eventually stopped, and he reached over and took my hand in his.
“C’mon,” He said tugging on my arm. “We're leaving. I need to talk to Edward so we can coordinate our strategy.”
I knew his apprehension was making him hasty. The Volturi wouldn’t arrive for at least a few days, maybe a week, but I followed him anyway. I didn't have the strength to argue with him. I pulled my silver cell phone out of my pocket and called my father, relaying his instructions to Jacob that we would all reconvene at our old house in Forks.
We took the same way I came back through the woods, and Jacob struggled to match my speed in his human form as we cut silently across East over the river. Every once in a while Jacob would voice his thoughts aloud. Mostly they consisted of pack strategies he would talk to Sam about. I managed to tune him out for the most part, pretending to ignore him until we arrived in Forks.
It had been nearly a year since I had seen my old house, but the sight of it sitting at the end of the vast lawn made my heart soar. The familiar white wood looked almost gray in the lingering fog, and my father had hired someone to keep up the grounds so they looked exactly the same. We slowed to a walk as we made out way up the driveway. I could hear my father already inside waiting for us when we arrived, along with everyone else.
The atmosphere in the room was more relaxed than it had been when I left the new house. Alice and Jasper were sitting on the bottom of the steps flipping through a magazine, and Esme and
Carlise were upstairs in his office talking quietly. They were discussing whether or not to let the Denalis know the situation despite Felix’s urging them against it. I shuddered at the thought of it.
I walked over and sat by my mother who was reading again on the couch. I plopped down a foot away from her, but threw my legs across her lap. She put her book down and smiled at me.
“You seem to be in a better mood,” she arched her eyebrows, obviously pleased.
I must not have looked as awful as I felt. I did feel a little better having my family and Jacob nearby. On the other hand, I wanted Jacob to stay in La Push where he and the wolves would be
safe, but he would never have listened to me. It was pointless to argue with
him. I knew he would never want this situation to happen, but he also never
turned down a chance to miss a fight.
“Don’t worry, it won’t last long,” I responded rolling my eyes at her. I threw my hand in the air gesturing behind me. “You could practically hear his battle cry on the way over,” I explained.
She looked past me to where my father and Jacob stood by the doorway to the kitchen. They had their heads tilted close together talking softly, but everyone in the room could still hear
“I just don’t think that is a good idea Jacob,” my father said sternly. “If it escalates to another situation like last time, then we will certainly want you involved, but being camped outside with
your entire pack when the Volturi arrive is not exactly brilliant.”
“I won’t leave her here unprotected. We simply won’t stand by and- ” Jacob was insisting, but another voice interrupted his argument.
“I’d listen to him if I were you.”
I snapped my head around as Felix piped up from the recliner. He had been so still I’d forgotten he was in the room. He leaned his head around the chair, breaking away from the program he was watching. It seemed strange that he would be doing something so ordinary.
He spoke with such formality, and had such a regal presence, I imagined him
sitting on a throne barking orders at people- which would be fitting given the
fact he was terrifying. His brow was furrowed, and his words came out like a
warning rather than advice.
Jacob let out a low hiss and took a step toward him, but my father put his steel arm out to stop him.
“I’ll handle this Felix,” my father replied firmly. My reaction wasn’t much better. I felt my body stiffen and I growled in the back of my throat.
Unaffected, Felix looked over at me and winked. Even though I was furious at him for provoking Jacob, I couldn’t help but stare back. A huge grin spread across his face revealing a row of
perfectly white teeth. It was completely disarming. He was as beautiful as anyone in my
family and his smile reminded me a little of Emmett. Maybe he wasn’t so bad,
after all. Maybe he was here to help. He shrugged, but kept the smile on his
face, as he turned his attention back to the TV.
“Or don’t,” he continued, shrugging his shoulders dismissively, “but you know how intrigued Aro was by the idea of guard dogs last time,” he chuckled under his breath.
“Felix….!” My father warned but it was too late.
In a less than a second Jacob had ducked under my father’s arm and cleared half the distance to Felix. I watched in horror as Felix flung his massive form into the air landing less than two feet from Jacob. The recliner rocked violently, almost turning end over end.
Without thinking, I spun around on the couch, and as soon as my feet hit the floor, I sprang over the coffee table and wedged myself in between them, placing one hand on each of their chests. I
could hear my Esme and Carlisle sprinting down the stairs.
Instantly, my entire family was on their feet crowded in a circle around us. I tried pushing Jacob back but it was futile. I knew I wouldn’t have any luck with Felix, but I balled up my fists and pushed against them with my forearms, so they wouldn’t forget I was there when they tried to kill each other.
“Back off Jacob!“ Carlisle warned him, but Jacob wasn’t listening. He wasn’t as hulking as Felix, but Jacob was still nearly a head taller. He stood looking down on Felix, who
stared back at him with a wicked grin.
“That’s right, Jacob. Listen to you master. Now, why don’t you be a good boy and go lay down,” Felix taunted him further with three short bursts of whistling that mimicked an owner calling a
back a dog to heel.
Jacob snarled and a loud roar erupted from him. He became a blur as his temper overtook him. I knew he would phase at any second and this was the last thing we needed on top of everything else. It was one thing to have a member of the Volturi after me, but I was not
about to let a war erupt between them and the wolves.
Quickly, I un-balled my fists, and flattened my palms against their chests, squeezing my eyes shut. I made myself focus, and, using all my concentration, I pushed the command with my mind.
“NO! SIT DOWN!” I put as much authority as I had in me behind the thought as it flowed out of me and into them. My body wend rigid as I felt the actual weight of my thoughts traveling from my mind through my arms, and down to my fingertips, like a warm tingling current, as I
let out a little huff of exertion.
The tension immediately dissipated, as if it was abruptly cut with scissors, and recoiled back towards each of them like a rubber band. Felix shook his head, and blinked quickly a few times, but relaxed his stance. He took a few steps back and sat down in the recliner. He
was calm now, but thoroughly confused.
Jacob straightened up and rocked back on his heels. He shook his head back and forth a few times, but regained his focus. He looked down at me stunned and then his expression turned to rage. He slapped my hand off his chest and stepped away from me with a betrayed
expression. It wasn't until that moment when I realized that I had broken my promise to him.
Felix still had not put two and two together, and remained a little stunned, but Jacob was familiar with commands like this. I imagined it felt like the Alpha commands when Sam gave them. Ashamed, I dropped my head, unable to meet his gaze.
“What the hell, Renesmee!” His hands curled into fists at his side. “How could you? You promised!
“I’m so sorry, I...“ I tried to get the apology out but he shoved through the circle of family members and marched up the stairs.
I slouched down onto the floor crumpling my legs under me. I couldn’t believe I had just used my gift on Jacob. I had only intended to help, but that was no excuse- I had completely betrayed his
trust. I thought back his hurt expression. He had never yelled at me before. Ever.
It felt like I had been slapped across the face. I sat on the floor too stunned
to speak and bowed by head into my hands.
My family was blithely unaware of my distress, for the moment, as they buzzed with excitement over what had just happened. Felix was still sitting in the chair with the same blank expression on his face, but he was definitely listening to their conversation.
“That was remarkable!” My father boasted. “I’ve never seen her command anyone like that before. It was like a light switch….one second chaos and the next second perfectly calm.”
“Probably because she got scared. You know like fight or flight?” Alice chimed in.
“I wouldn’t doubt it.” My mother had joined the conversation now. “My shield is always more vivid when I’m angry.”
They continued to go back and forth with their banter, trading stories, theories, and future possibilities. Not one of them was concerned for Jacob. I let out a loud groan and pushed myself up
off the floor.
“Where are you going?” my father asked.
“To bed. At least if I’m sleeping I can’t cause anymore trouble.”
I slowly trudged up the stairs to the third floor where my bedroom was. I had to pass by Rosalie and Emmett’s room, but the door was closed as I walked by. While they were gone, Jacob had taking to sleeping in there whenever he stayed over. I stopped in the hallway,
debating whether or not to try and talk to him now, or wait till the morning. I
couldn’t stand the thought of going to sleep without at least trying to apologize, so I walked over to the door.
I could smell his soft scent coming up under the crack in the door as I pressed my forehead against the frame. I tapped lightly with my fingertips knowing he could hear me.
“Jake?” There was no answer. I dropped my hand from the door and sighed.
“I know you’re mad at me, but I just want you to know how sorry I am. I didn’t mean to do it…well no, that’s not true. I did mean to, but I didn’t mean to upset you. I got scared and just
reacted. I should have thought it through.” I paused hoping he’d answer me but
it was silent. “I really am sorry, Jake.”
My voice cracked on the last word. I could feel the tears welling up behind my eyes. I wanted him to forgive me but I knew I didn’t deserve it. I leaned my head away from the door, defeated, and ready to head upstairs. I turned to go, and
then, as soft as a whisper, his voice floated through the door.
“Good night, Renesmee.”
The next morning I woke up a little groggy. I had been rehearsing what I would say to Jacob all night in my head and couldn’t fall asleep. I rolled on my side and peered over the edge of the
bed where I had strewn the numerous shopping bags my Aunt Alice had put on my
bed the day before. I knew it was silly, but I thought the apology would go
over better if I dolled myself up a bit.
I hopped up and started tearing through the piles of designer clothes. I settled on a cotton baby-doll dress. The style of dress was a little girlie for my taste but the color was pretty. It
was a deep violet with a lighter lavender trim. I looked through the boxes of
shoes and found a pair of silver flats and slipped my feet into them.
I made my way into the bathroom to evaluate my appearance. I pulled my hair down from its usual ponytail and let it fall loose down my back. I fiddled through the make-up, but I didn’t want to
give the impression of tying too hard, so I skipped it. I owed him a real
apology and I did want forgiveness, but not because he thought I looked pretty.
I bounded down the steps to the second floor and the door to the bedroom was opened. I peeked inside and saw the room was tidy and the bed had been made. Panic washed over me as I realized he may
have already left. I flew down the rest of the stairs and stood in the living
room looking around frantically.
It was dead silent and nobody was home. I looked down to check my watch to make sure I hadn’t overslept, but it was still early. Dejected, I went into the kitchen to eat. I figured venturing
out to hunt alone would not go over well with my family so I opened the
refrigerator and peered inside.
Only a lonely pitcher of lemonade sat on the top shelf. I preferred to hunt rather than gather, so we didn’t keep much human food…or drinks, for that matter, in the house. Lemonade was one of
the few human beverages I could tolerate so Esme always made sure to have some
on hand. I pulled the pitcher out of the fridge and poured myself a tall glass.
I knew I couldn’t go anywhere but I didn’t want to sit inside. I made my way out the back door to the porch. The sky was a pale grey and the dew was still on ground, but luckily it wasn’t
raining. I shut the door behind me and went to sit in the rocking chair. I
nearly jumped as I turned around to find Jacob already in the chair.
“Geez! You scared me to death.” I yelled.
His back was to me and he turned around to respond. I could tell he was still mad. He pursed his lips together and scowled, but he couldn’t help his eyes from widening as he took in my
I opened the door again and went back inside to make him a glass of lemonade as well. He seemed determined to be angry and I didn’t want to feed the fire by being rude. I walked out and sat in
the chair beside him setting his glass of lemonade on the table between us.
He took it silently and continued to stare straight ahead. I was nervous to begin but I didn’t want to prolong his pain. I took a deep breath, ready to start my carefully rehearsed monologue,
but the nerves got the best of me and the words just tumbled out.
"Jacob, I really am sorry! There was no excuse for my behavior. It was just a reflex reaction.” He sat still for a minute toying with a loose thread on the end of his shorts before he responded.
"It's okay, I know why you did it.” he admitted quietly. His deep voice was so low I could barely make out his words. “I’m sorry I was so angry. It’s just that ever since I became a…well
what I am, I’ve always felt like I never have a choice in what happens to me. I
just hoped there would be one aspect of my life where I had control of my
thoughts and actions, but now, it is obvious that I don’t even have that much.”
His eyes briefly flickered over my face and then he stared at the ground. My heart nearly burst with sorrow. I had never known he felt this way and I had made it worse. I couldn’t imagine how
frustrating it would feel to be under that level of control. He was forced to
obey Sam, he was tied to me inexplicably through imprinting, and now I was able
to control his thoughts, if I so chose. I couldn’t stand to see him so
"Jake, you know I would never do that to you intentionally. You know that!" I pleaded with him, desperately wanting him to understand. “I only did it to protect you. I promise I will NEVER do
that to you again, I swear.”
"I know, it sort of just sank in, you know? I suppose I don’t mind it so much. I’m actually flattered that you put yourself in that position just to protect me. You did a good job too, and if
I was able to control my temper better, this wouldn’t have happened in the
first place. So, feel free to do it again if I step out of line.” He teased.
“Okay, no problem,” I said matching his playful tone, “I’ll be sure to include something in it for myself next time since I have your permission now. Hmm, let’s see what
could I have you to do? Buy something expensive perhaps? Maybe wear a dress…?”
I looked away from him pretending to deliberate on my diabolical plan, tapping
my fingers on my chin in mock concentration.
He rolled his eyes but then he started chuckling too. At the same moment, I felt something very cold and wet hit my cheek and I gasped in shock. I looked down at the ice cube that had
bounced off my face and landed in my lap. I narrowed my eyes, plotting my
revenge. Jacob threw his head back howling with laughter.
Without any warning, I sprang out of my seat and launched myself sideways at him. The momentum sent us both toppling off the porch and onto to ground. He tried to pinion me with the
weight of his knee but I was too quick. I twisted my body away from him and
pulled him down to the ground, and rolled on top of him, holding him down with
both my hands on his shoulders.
"Gotcha this time!" I giggled loudly in his ear. "I win!"
"No fair!" he said indignantly. He squinted his eyes and the corners of his mouth turned up a devious smile. With one fluid movement he grabbed my wrists and stood, pulling me off
his chest, and slung me gently over his shoulders. He spun me around facing the
house ready to head back inside but stopped short.
Nahuel was standing only inches from us on the doorstep. Mortified, I climbed off Jacob’s shoulders, pulling my dress back into place. I smoothed my hair, trying to regain my composure and welcomed Nahuel.
"Hello Nahuel, we didn’t expect you so soon!"
He smiled shyly as I reached out to shake his hand, but held my gaze firmly. Thankfully, he didn't comment on our childish display when he spoke.
"Sorry, that it is without a pleasant reason." he said dimly.
I couldn’t help but look him up and down. I had a vague memory of him from my brief childhood, but it didn’t do him justice. I had forgotten how striking he was. He had rich olive skin and dark brown hair. His skin was darker than any of our kind I’d seen, but it had the
same shiny luster, and he was just as beautiful.
”Where is Demetri?" I asked, pulling my attention away from his beauty. “Felix said he went to fetch you and your sisters…and Zafrina.”
"Well, it's rather a long story, and I would rather Carlisle and the rest of your family was here before I tell it. I usually say things better the first time around."
“They left a few hours ago to hunt,” Jacob said abruptly. He was staring down at Nahuel menacingly. I shot him a scornful look, disappointed in him for being rude to our guest. He
shrugged arrogantly and snorted. I glanced back over to Nahuel and smiled
warmly trying to smooth over the rebuff.
"Of course, and you must be tired from your journey? Please come inside and we can discuss this more comfortably."
"Thank you," he said. He motioned for me to follow him around the side of the house towards the front door. I took over the lead while Nahuel walked along next to me. Even though
our fight was over I noticed Jacob moping after him. I kept looking over my
shoulder at him but he continued to stare at the ground.
There, waiting for us by the door, were Nahuel’s sisters, but no sign or scent of Demetri or Zafrina. The girls stood very close together like they were connected by some invisible thread.
They didn’t say a word, but smiled at me in the same shy manner as Nahuel when I passed them.
“Please make yourselves comfortable. Carlisle should be home soon.” I opened the door for them as they filed in and smiled back, but I was beginning to become
nervous. This was definitely not part of the plan Felix had explained…