5 years after Breaking Dawn: Edward and Bella enroll in college courses at Dartmouth once Renesme is fully grown. Now that he is a husband and a father, Edward is no longer content to hold onto his previous assertions that vampires are automatically damned. He chooses to study theology, delving into the spiritual mysteries that Carlisle accepts so readily, looking for answers to his own questions and fears of the future.
A second story is intertwined with the first involving an "Anne of Green Gables-inspired" romance between Jacob and Renesme and her search for the meaning of love. They experience their own growing pains as their relationship evolves.
The Volturi launch a new attack on the Cullens, with the goal of capturing and turning as many of the ‘talented’ family as possible. And it isn't until Bella is snatched away by something much darker than himself, that Edward must really rely on the faith he once shunned.
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Here is a guide to where to find the chapters:
Page 1 - Chp. 1-14
Page 3 - Chp 15-16
Page 5 - Chp 17
Page 6 - Chp 18-19
Page 8 - Chp. 20
Page 12- Chp. 21
Page 17- Chp. 22-23
Page 21- Chp. 24-25
Page 26- Chp. 26-27
Page 33 - Chp. 27-29
I found Nessie lying on the grass in the sun with a book, her dark silky curls splayed out like a chocolate river around her. I reached out and pulled one of the springy curls.
“Owch!” She cried, her chestnut eyes flashing.
She wrinkled her nose at me and then beckoned me to her. She touched my hand and she allowed me to see what was happening in the story, the characters were wearing nineteen hundreds outfits and the scenery looked like Prince Edward Island. Nessie’s gift of projecting her thoughts into my head was definitely better than reading the book myself!
“Hey, Is that Anne of Green Gables?” I asked.
“What a total chick novel!” I laughed. “ So what do you think of Gilbert, the guy Anne grows up with? Do you think she’ll marry him?” I asked teasingly.
“I don’t know” she replied, “I haven’t gotten to the end, but I don’t think so. He irks her. I mean - he is just like a brother to her. How can you fall in love with a guy who was around when you were practically toilet training??” She rolled her eyes.
I suddenly became cold, which is hard for me to do since my temp usually runs a regular 108.9 degrees. I sat in shock for a moment. Ness was describing us. I mean I had been there when she was born for crying out loud. However, I never aged, not as long as I was regularly changing into my wolf form and back again. She however, was aging quickly. After just 5 years of life she was nearly full grown, with the look of a 15 or 16 year old. She was a one of a kind half human, half vampire. Well, nearly one of a kind. There were only a few others like her in the world. I loved her like nothing else mattered. But what did she feel about me? Was I really just like a brother to her?
“Renesme!” A call from Nessie’s mother Bella, and my best friend, interrupted my thoughts.
“Race ya” Ness challenged, throwing her book aside. We sprinted to the cottage her mom and dad, Edward, lived in.
“Beat ya!” Ness yelled with a smile as she opened the door. I was too preoccupied to really run my best right now.
“We are going to have a family meeting if you don’t mind”, said Edward, eyeing me.
“Jacob’s family, too”, said Nessie. Bella nodded her assent.
We all sat down as Edward pulled out a packet of papers.
“As you know, Bella and I were accepted at Dartmouth College a few year back, but then you came along”, he said looking at Nessie.
“We’ve honestly overstayed our time in Forks. Your granddad Carlise should be looking over thirty by now and he still looks the same 23 years old he did when we came here 10 years ago. There have been several staff at the hospital with growing concerns about it. The rest of us are in the same situation – except we all still look like teenagers. We feel it is finally time for us to move on – to college.”
“What about me?”, Nessie asked, suddenly concerned.
“You will be going to college too. We had thought to enroll you in a high school but realize you would be so incredibly bored it wouldn’t be worth it. I took some of the essays you had written in homeschool and sent in an application for you.” He paused, judging her reaction. “You were accepted, of course.”
“Where?”, Nessie beamed.
“Dartmouth”. was the reply.
My world started spinning. That was clear on the other side of the United States. New Hampshire??? Could they move any further without going to another country??? What about me! I couldn’t leave the pack. Was this another tactic to loose me? I suddenly got up and stormed out the door.
“What’s gotten into him?” said the melodic voice of Renesme.
Chp 2 Jacob
I sat in our favorite spot, overlooking the cliffs, the beach and the ocean. All of my time
with Nessie was spinning through my head. The brighter-than-sun smile on her two year old face when I gave her “wolf rides”, her tinkling laugh as she grasped my fur and I ran with her for miles.
Her five year old mischievous face when she watched at me from the corner of her eye to judge my reaction when she ran and jumped off the high cliff into the ocean. How we splashed around at the bottom of the cliff, exhilarated, making faces at each other under the water.
The way her kitten like face looked at me when she had once climbed too far up a spruce tree and did not think she could get down. Then the trust in her eyes when she leaped into my arms.
The hours I spent tutoring her in her schoolwork at the Cullens house, though, really she ended up tutoring me. “No Jacob,” she would say, her 8 year old voice sounding more like an adult, “The answer is 469. You forgot to multiply first, then add.”
The thousands of walks along LaPush beach, building extravagant sand castles and having water fights. Her shrill screams of delight when I would chase her and tickle her mercilessly.
I loved her with all my being. I awoke every morning with only her on my mind and slept every night with the vision of her before me. But now that she had developed and matured into nearly a woman, only two years younger, physically speaking, than I was, I wanted more. I wanted her forever. I wanted her physically – ever fiber in my being cried out for it. I wanted her to love me as I loved her.
Just then Nessie placed her hand on my back, and warm shivers ran up my spine. In my mind I saw my face from her perspective and saw the sadness and grief in it. The picture changed and she showed me my face just hours earlier when we were teasing and talking about her book, my face full of delight and adoration.
“No, Nessie,” I murmured, “It is not so simple as that. I can’t help the way I feel right now. I feel like I am losing you.” Then I turned to her, my mind made up to let her know how I truly felt.
“Ness-“, I started, taking her hand, on one knee before her looking up at her face. “I love you. I want you to be my wi-“
She withdrew her hand, looked away and turned her body to the side. “No, Jacob,” she said, “Please don’t say anything more. I don’t want things to change between us.”
“So you truly do not love me?” I faltered.
“No, I do love you Jacob, but not the way you want.”
“Do you think you would ever change your mind?” I whispered.
She looked out over my head to the place where the ocean met the sky, her eyes moist and wistful. “No, I can’t promise anything, Jacob. I have dreams and things I want to see and accomplish. I want to see diamond sunburst and marble halls. Find my Romeo and be swept off my feet. Those things can’t happen here” she said disdainfully. “I will always love Forks, I will always love this place, but I can’t stay here forever. I’m still searching.”
My face fell as she walked away and I felt acid wash down my insides.
Pulsing with anguish, I phased into my wolf form and ran into the darkness of the wet, verdant forest. Why was this happening to me? She was my imprint. I had spent thousands of moments from her earliest days adoring and cherishing her! How could she reject me? I couldn’t just let her go! She belonged to me! I slowed my run as I padded up to the stream running across my path. I lowered my head to see my reflection in the water.
As I studied myself, I saw selfishness and greed written all over my face. I wanted Ness to make me happy. Would she truly be content away from me? Probably could be. I had made her mother pretty miserable in the past. I sighed, but it came out like a whimper. I folded my paws under my torso and lowered my head to the soft, mossy ground.
Time to think about doing something right. What was right anyway? Ensuring Renesme was happy. Taking her by force, sulking, whining or demanding were all out. They would only serve to manipulate her emotions resulting in her resentment of me. Following her would only frustrate her. She did not want someone who reminded her of a brother following her around like a lost puppy. The reflection I saw in the water resembled just that, a dog with a solitary tear running down its cheek. I sighed or rather whimpered again. I knew what love had to do. I had to let her go.
Chp 3 Bella
The three of us, Edward, Renesme, and I, were walking down the steps of McNutt Hall of Admissions with our class schedules. We had just arrived in Hanover, New Hampshire. The fall weather was crisp and invigorating, the leaves were just beginning to turn. It was a cloudy, overcast day, so we were able to move about freely outside.
Carlisle had taken a position as a professor of medicine at Dartmouth. I knew he would be a great teacher. With his experience, the students here were really going to benefit. Alice and Rosalie had found employment working in fashion and design nearby. Jasper and Emmet had taken positions as junior park rangers for the vast forest that surrounded the outskirts of Dartmouth College.
I tried not to think about Jacob. His face at the airport was almost too much to bear when he saw us all taking off. I promised him we would visit but that did not seem to console him much.
Renesme was undecided on a major, but was taking 5 languages, including Spanish and Portuguese, since she loved to communicate. She often felt handicapped when she was not allowed to use her special gift of communicating with her mind with humans. She hoped learning more languages would help. I had chosen literature as a major, since I still loved to read and could do so much more quickly and retaining much more than I ever had before I became one of the Cullens. Edward’s choice surprised me. I thought he might choose music or medicine, but it turned out he already had two degrees in medicine and several in music. This time he had chosen to study theology.
“So you are still worrying about your soul?” I asked Edward regarding his choice of major, a crease of concern coming across my face.
“I suppose you could say that”, he replied not meeting my gaze.
“How can you be so concerned?” I half –laughed, “We are immortal, after all”
Edward became serious then, like a heavy weight was on his shoulders. “I have been thinking about this quite a bit.” He paused, not sure how to go on.
“We do not die as easily and as quickly as human, but we can die.” Emotion flashed across his face. “Do you not remember Irina? How she was killed nearly instantaneously before our eyes? Or what of Bree, the newborn who only lived as an ‘immortal’ only a few weeks at most?”
“Yes, but the Volturi did that.” I argued. “We stay far away and we have no reason to worry.”
“No,” Edward stood his ground. “Even if we stay away, we always will live with the fear that they will come back. I saw in Aro’s thoughts how much he wanted you, wanted Alice. I saw how Caius wanted to destroy Renesme. They are afraid of what we have, our family and our way of life. They feel threatened that we, and others like the Denali, can live without the bloodlust they have. They resent our close ties. They want to annihilate that.”
“No, Edward. Please stop you are scaring Renesme”
“What I am saying is true. And she is of age. She needs to know.” Then he deliberated a moment. “I too am responsible for taking the life of so-called immortals as well.”
“What? If you mean James and Victoria, how can you be sorry about that?” I raised my voice.
“No, my love”, his voice softened, his golden eyes glowing. “I will never be sorry about stopping them. But there was always the chance that I or one of my family could’ve been the one to lose the fight.”
“So you need to find out what happens after this life?” I said gently, realizing that there was no stopping Edward once he decided on something.
“Yes, and I want to make sure it will be with you” He stopped on the steps there and reached out to grasp my hand in his left and Renesme’s in his right, his angelic face nearly glowing with determination.