The Twilight Saga

    Hi!  I'm new to the whole internet social media (no I'm not old I just don't care to use them very often) so forgive my lack of etiquette while I stumble through the first post.  

  As with many of you, Twilight had a pretty big impact on my life and I wanted to share what exactly this impact did for me.  A few years ago I wrote something, a continuation or maybe more like a next generation thing really, but it was only a couple of days ago that I stumbled onto this site.  I felt the universe wanted me to share with other fans (outside of my friend) what the Twilight books gave me so here it is...sort of.  It's not all here so if anyone reads this and wants to read more I'll post more but until then it will only be the first chapter today and the next chapter in the next post. 

Please excuse the weird formatting, everything copy pasted over funny from word. And also please excuse the length, since I don't know how to attach a pdf to a blog if that's even possible, this is what I'm stuck with. 

Enjoy!!!

"First Light"

written by me, Sarah Marshall (pen name)

based on the characters and writings of Stephenie Meyer.  

Chapter 1: You’re walking at graduation, like it or not.

 

            “Rebecca Allen” 

            A nice female voice announced over the loud speaker.  

            “I can’t believe I agreed to do this…” I smiled as I listened to Jacob grumbling from where he stood in line.  Even though we were sitting in the last row, I could hear him clearly over the low mummer of the crowded auditorium.  It probably helped a little that I had freakishly super hearing. 

            I quickly pulled out my camera and snapped a shot of him blowing the tassel out of his face.

            He had been extremely adamant about not walking for his college graduation; protesting that the New Hampshire community college was nothing compared to Dartmouth – where my mom and dad had just graduated from last week.  Right, like I was going to let him get out of this.  So as usual I ignored his complaining and told him nicely that he was going across that stage whether he was being carried or walking on his own two legs…his choice of course.  Graduating college was a big deal, even if it was just a “stupid community college.” 

            Luckily mom was on my side.  My eyes wondered over the crowded auditorium and I smirked as I remembered that conversation.  She told Jacob that if she had to walk so did he.  She even threatened to do the carrying.  I bit my lip to keep from laughing at the mental image of my five foot four inch mother carrying my six foot seven inch Jacob.  She would do it too, which is why it was so funny. 

            “Eric Bailey” 

            Oh good they were already at the ‘Bs’.  I looked back up at Jacob.  He was pulling at his gown.  Poor guy, the gowns were not made for people that abnormally tall.  It was a little too short on him.  “I’m not a miracle worker,” Alice had protested when I asked her if there was any way she could make it longer for him.  She would have been able to fix it if Jacob hadn’t refused to order his cap and gown hoping we weren’t going to make him walk.  So we had to have a rush order placed…he got them this morning. 

            Silly Jacob, he knew how stubborn mom and I were, he didn’t stand a chance.  When the two of us set our minds to doing something, we were an unstoppable force of nature. 

            I took another picture and smiled down at it on the screen.  I still thought he looks nice. 

            I looked back up and saw the girl standing behind Jacob grab his hand and tug on it.  He turned and she whispered “Can you believe we did it Jakey?” as close as she could get to his ear. 

            Jakey?  This girl was calling my Jacob ‘Jakey’?  That’s a terrible nickname.  He’s not a Jakey, he’s my Jacob.  Why would anyone think to call a Jacob, Jakey?  I stared at her as she fidgeted with her gown.  Who did she think she was?             

            Suddenly Seth elbowed me in the ribs.     

            “What?”  I snapped as I turned my head to glare at him.  I could see that my parents had become absolutely still.    

            “You were growling.”  He whispered keeping his eyes forward. 

            “Growling?”  I felt my mouth fall open as he nodded.  I quickly glanced at the people sitting in front of me, but they did not appear to have notice. 

            What!?  I didn’t remember giving myself permission to growl.  I quickly went back over my thoughts to see what might have set off my not so voluntary reaction, but I was stumped.  As far as I was aware, I was always in control of when I did or did not growl. 

           Fantastic…

           I wonder if there was anything else I did without my knowledge.  Did I talk out loud, completely clueless of having a whole conversation with someone?  Maybe I broke out into song and danced blissfully unaware, or what if I drove without knowing it…taking out unsuspecting mailboxes along the way? 

            I chuckled to myself at the images flashing through my mind.

            Now I was just letting my overactive imagination take over.  I’m certain the mailboxes in Hanover New Hampshire are perfectly safe from the likes of my clueless alter ego.  I mean, people hum without knowing it, right?  It was probably the same thing. 

            I snorted.  Yeah, because growling was totally absentminded normal human behavior…everyone does it.   

            But I still found myself annoyed by this.  I had never growled without being aware that I was doing it.  I usually knew what set me off.  Was I going nuts or something?  Is that even possible for a half vampire, half human?  Oh yikes, what if the human side of me went crazy and the vampire side had to watch helplessly as my human side spirals out of control.  I shuttered a little at that particularly dark thought.  

            “Jacob Black.” 

            The announcement cut into my thoughts.  Seth and I jumped up - applauding, hooting and whistling - as Jacob practically ran across the stage.  I had my camera out instantly and got every inch he moved.  Did he just roll his eyes at me?  I frowned a little; he was trying to ruin my pictures.  He hated having his picture taken unless I was in it with him.  Well too bad for him I’m going to document his first college graduation whether he likes it or not.

            He kept his face turned down until he was safely across.  But as he went down the stairs to take his seat, he caught my eyes and raised his eyebrows.  I looked away.  Crap, he had heard me.

            “Carey Blaine.” 

            The girl that grabbed my Jacob’s hand walked across the stage and then back to her seat…next to my Jacob.  She was five foot seven and had board straight golden blond hair cut shoulder length.  It looked like she had tried to curl it but was unsuccessful.  I quickly ran through all the people that I had seen in Jacob’s dorm, but didn’t remember seeing her.   

            Well okay, I guess I wasn’t exactly a frequent visitor.  It was hard to pass as his little sister since we looked nothing alike and it would have drawn a bit of unwanted attention if he was toting around a random little kid.  So I had only got to go there when my parents were helping him move in and out.  Plus, he preferred to hang out at our house anyway so he was hardly ever at his dorm room. 

            Maybe blondie had just been in some of his classes.

            …whatever…    

            I forced my eyes to wander back over the crowd.  The place was packed.  I scanned the people standing along the walls and wonder what all these normal humans would think if they knew there were two and a half vampires crammed in here with them.  There would be a lot of screaming and trampling going on that’s for sure.  Lucky for them they were not on the usual menu. 

            I had to admit, I really admired my family for being “vegetarians.”  While animal blood kept the burning at bay, there was no substitute for human blood.  I knew by just being here my parents’ throats were aching with thirst and it was difficult to ignore that feeling; especially in a crowded room such as this.  They didn’t even have to be thirsty, just the smell of human blood would trigger that response.  I glanced over and both of them seemed perfectly at ease, like they were surrounded by hundreds of bloodless vampires instead of hundreds of humans with pumping hearts.  Dad had his arm around mom’s shoulders and she fit perfectly against his chest.  You knew they were made for each other just by looking at them.  

            I beamed at them.  They were a picture of perfection.

            I, on the other hand, only had to deal with the burning in my throat when I was thirsty…or hungry.  I noticed if I ate human food, I would be fine but I didn’t really care for human food much, except eggs.  They tasted okay but I truthfully didn’t like to eat them much; it was just one more thing that made me different from the rest of my family.  Instead I hunted deer or elk or whatever Jacob and Seth ate since I hunted the most with them. 

            I had actually grown out of drinking human blood.  I use to prefer it when I was a baby but then I read about the Donner Party and felt that there were just too many similarities.  I’m sure if I tasted it again all bets would be off, but the thought now kind of made me queasy.  I was part human after all with my own beating heart and pulsing veins.

            I looked at the faces of all the people around me; I could smell their blood - seeing the slight movement under their skin near their veins.  And I could hear the squishing sound their hearts made with every beat.  I concentrated on the woman sitting in front of me and inhaled deeply letting her scent fill my nose.  I imagined the dryness in my throat; the tightening of my muscles as I leaned over her should to gently press my lips to her neck.  I even went as far as to imagine the warm feeling her blood made as it pooled into my mouth, but didn’t feel the slightest bit tempted. 

            My dad cleared his throat.  I peeked over and saw his nostrils flaring as he fought to calm the thirst.  

            Oops, sorry dad. 

            Sometimes I forgot he could hear my thoughts I was so use to it.  It was just part of who he was.  Most of the time I thought it was cool that he could hear what I was thinking; we could have private conversations that way.  I knew he and Alice did, I had seen them do it plenty of times.  I could even read what his responses were sometimes; like the slight movement of his eyes or the inconspicuous way he nodded his head. 

            It was actually pretty neat to watch because unless you knew what to look for you would never know they were communicating.  In fact no one else seemed to have a clue – well maybe mom did.  But she had memorized dad’s face so completely and she knew it better than I did.  I imagined that if I could detect their private conversations so could she.  

            Bored, I shifted in my seat and my eyes wandered over to a small girl, maybe three or four years old, sitting in her mother’s lap.  I couldn’t stop myself from staring at her.  She had straight dark hair that was cut to her chin and framed her little round face perfectly.  She had a big pink bow on the top of her head, which she was resting in her mother’s chest.  I could barely see the rest of her little body because her mother’s arms wrapped around her completely blocking my view, like a blanket. 

            She shifted slightly and her mother’s arms moved the exact same moment to compensate for that shift.  The movement was so perfectly in sync it was like they had a string connecting them.  The only other two people I had ever seen move like that were my parents. 

            I sighed. 

            I couldn’t stop myself from feeling slightly envious of that little girl.  I had grown up so fast I had not been able to sit in my mom’s lap like that for very long.  I mean I could still sit in her lap – she was incredibly strong – but now we were the same size and it just wasn’t the same.  I couldn’t stop my mind from thinking back to how it felt to be in her arms; like we were in our own little world of just the two of us.  Now I kind of felt disconnected from her, like our perfect little world had spun out of its circular orbit and was moving in some weird elongated oval. 

            I reflexively looked over at her.  She had a slight smile on her face as she watched the graduates.  I smiled a little as well.  It was hard not to, I adored her.  I couldn’t think of anyone in the world better than her.  She was breathtakingly beautiful and thoughtful and…and well just perfect. 

            I’m not sure why, but I suddenly thought about the first time I wanted to read to her.  I was only a couple of months old at the time and I wanted to prove how smart I was; I wanted her to be proud of me.  But I also remember the slight sadness in her eyes and I realized I should have just hung onto my childhood as long as I could.  I was never going to be that little again.

            I watched her till she glanced over at me and smiled.  I smiled back and made myself look up at the ceiling, trying to think of something else.  My eyes traced the tiny cracks in the plaster all along the ceiling.  It looked like it hadn’t been painted in a while.   

            Of course I could still curl up in my Jacob’s lap.  I looked at the back of his head and smiled as I pictured his arms wrapping around me.  They could completely engulf me.  But that just wasn’t the same.  He wasn’t my mother.

            I was glad he was close to the beginning of the alphabet, I already had a short attention span and I had completely stopped paying attention.  I sat there thinking about anything but my mom with the ceremony droning on in the background. 

            But the longer I tried not to think about it, the more I did.  And the more I did the more I felt disconnected with not just my mom but my whole family.  Everyone else was one hundred percent vampire and Jacob and Seth had a whole pack of people like them. 

            I was just me…a lonely half breed. 

            Then a thought crossed my mind.  I could finally attend high school.  Everyone in my family had been to high school numerous times, well except mom but even she’s been once.  Now I could finally go too. 

            I had not been able to go to any school before because I grew too fast.  I would have started kindergarten the same size as all the other five year olds and ended the size of an eighth grader.  Ha, that would have freaked the teachers out.  Plus with everyone in my family holding multiple masters and PDH level degrees, who really needed to go to school? 

            I was home schooled…sort of.  I actually just picked up their text books and started reading them myself or the internet or really anything I could get my hot little hands on.   

            I began to picture what roles everyone could play.  And would we go back to high school or college?  College was a little bit of an easier for my family - unless someone they knew attended the same college – because they could be more themselves. 

            These past four years, my parents were able to attend college as a young married couple, which they were; Jasper and Carlisle taught at Dartmouth but Alice didn’t want to take classes so she spent her time with me and Esme.  Emmet and Rosalie also decided to play a young married couple but skipped taking classes and went right into the work force. 

             I wonder who I could be.  It would be weird having to play my parent’s sibling.  I mean we did look the same age so we would have to.  My dad and I could pass as brother and sister better than anyone else because we looked so much alike but that would still be very weird calling him Edward instead of dad. 

            And what about Jacob?  I mean, he looked nothing like any of us.  It would be hard for us to go to high school with him and pass him off as a sibling.  Plus he put up such a huge stink about going to college in the first place that I’m not sure I really want to deal with that again.  I rolled my eyes.  He could be so difficult sometimes.        

            Another issue was that the only high school I wanted to go to was Forks High School.  And since it had only been seven years since my family had been there, that was not likely going to happen.  But that didn’t stop me from planning it out.  I would have to start as a junior because I had my driver’s license and didn’t want to give that up.  It wasn’t quite a full four years, but there was plenty of time for that.  And I could act like a teenage girl, or at least mimic what the other girls did.   It would be so much fun!

            No one would think anything of it if my parents returned because Charlie still lived there but Carlisle certainly couldn’t go back to the hospital looking exactly the same as he had left and none of my aunts or uncles could go back to repeat high school.

            I wonder if they would object to hair dye and makeup…   

            But then again Emmet and Jasper would get bored going back to the same old place and complain and that right there wasn’t worth the trip.  When those two got bored they got way too creative and the rest of us got the brunt of that creativity.  Well everyone except Alice because she had the luxury of seeing it coming and my dad because he could read their minds.  

            Maybe I could just live with Charlie and Sue and be his niece or something.  He seemed okay with anything as long as he got to see mom and me.  I could just go back alone, attend high school for two years and meet up with my family wherever they were when I graduated.  After all, it would only be two years.  I could do that.

            I looked at my parents from the corner of my eye.  Um, that was the worst idea in the history of ideas.  I had never been away from them or my family…ever I don’t think I could pull it off for a full two years.      

            Oh well, it wasn’t a very good idea anyway. 

            I guess I shouldn’t worry about it everyone’s been doing this long enough.  I’m sure they have thought it all through already.  But I couldn’t help but let out a little sigh of disappointment.            

            The woman’s voice over the loud speaker congratulated the graduating class and the entire audience erupted into cheers and applauds, tearing me away from my thoughts.  My eyes zeroed in on Jacob just as that Carey girl stood on her tippy toes and planted a kiss on his cheek.

            I suddenly heard myself snarl and I froze.

            Out of the corner of my eye I saw Seth jump.  Holy smokes where did that come from?  But I didn’t have much time to be shocked because the couple in front of me had heard this time and were now looking at me like I had grown a third eye. 

            Why yes, you did just hear me snarl.  No, you’re not crazy at all…but apparently I am.

            “Oh, excuse me.  Did I sneeze on you?”  I asked looking shocked and embarrassed.  Okay, it was a terrible explanation but I was too startled to think of anything else. But they weren’t buying it.  I gave them a timid smile.  “I am so very sorry.”  That seemed to work.  They both smiled at me and turned back around, continuing their applause. 

            I stood there staring at the back of their heads, stunned.  What happened?  I wasn’t technically a doctor but I was definitely seeing signs of losing my mind.  I could feel mom, dad and Seth’s eyes staring at me.  My face heated up and without looking at them I turned and walked out of the auditorium.  I was grateful I had been sitting in the aisle seat; it made my escape much faster.

            It was sunny outside so I went straight to the car.  My parents had been luckier with their graduation ceremony.  It had been nice and overcast and perfect for a pair of vampire graduates and their entire vampire family.  But today they were going to have to get out quickly before anyone noticed the brightly sparkling couple walking through the parking lot.

            Again, I didn’t have the same issue.  I had no problems being in the sun.  I was only slightly luminous which I thought just made me look weird, not beautiful like everyone else.  But I could go outside because to a human’s eye I just looked very pale.  It was just one more thing that made me different from the rest of my family.

            I was glad only my parents and Seth were attending.  I was embarrassed enough as it was, I would have been mortified if the rest of my family were there.  Jacob’s dad Billy couldn’t make the trip, Charlie left after mom graduated, and because of the sun, everyone else thought it best to stay indoors; which greatly pleased Jacob.  He had even fussed when we flew Seth out but I told him Seth was my best friend and had nothing to do with him graduating.  But I knew Jacob secretly liked having Seth there because he thought of him as a kid brother - though he would never admit it.  

            I stood there leaning against the car door, dreading having to explain myself.  I had never done that before.  What’s wrong with me?  There is no excuse for this behavior.  But I had no idea what triggered it.  I was watching Jacob, the girl kissed him on the cheek and then…BAM!  I mean I would never snarl at Jacob, that girl wasn’t threatening him…in fact no one in that auditorium posed a threat to any of us. 

            Maybe it was the sudden uproar of the crowd? No, normal humans were not physically dangerous to me.  They were awkward and goofy when they fought.  No match for my lighting fast reflexes and incredible strength.

            Maybe it was a smell then?  But I didn’t remember smelling anything that could be mistaken as hostel. 

            There has to be a reason…think Nessie.  The only conclusion I could come up with was I had a screw lose or something.  Apparently too much rough housing with Seth had shaken something out of place.  But I didn’t get to see Seth that often.  At least not as often as I wanted too now that we lived on opposite sides of the country. 

            While Jacob was finishing high school, Seth became my best friend; probably because everyone else thought of us as “the kids”.  We would hang out almost every day, wrestling and getting into all kinds of mischief.  We were just about evenly matched in strength only I was faster.  But we never got that rowdy, which might actually have had something to do with Jacob threatening Seth’s hamstrings after I ended up taking out a window, part of a wall and some poor unsuspecting saplings.  I had a few bruises and scratches for a couple days, certainly not worth Jacob flipping out the way he had.  After that Seth took it easy on me, which I was still a little bitter about because I never saw what the big deal was.  I healed almost as fast as they did.  

            Ugh, this is driving me crazy!  How could I lose control in front of all those people?  I guess I should have been freaking out more about the fact that I almost exposed my family.  But teenage girls were supposedly emotional train wrecks anyway.  I’m sure no one would think twice if I threw a tantrum and let out a few inhuman sounds in between my ranting.

            Unfortunately my biggest concern at the moment…having to explain myself to my parents because I honestly had no explanation for what happened.  It just popped out.  Geez!  I hope this wasn’t going to turn into a common occurrence.  I mean first with the growling, which I didn’t even know I was doing, and then the snarling.  I would be forced to stay away from people for a while until I could get this under control. 

            I would be under house arrest…yuck.   

            I usually was very good around normal humans.  I mean I was part one for crying out loud.  I fit in with them better than the rest of my family did.  It probably helped to be warm, squishy and have a pulse.  But snarling like that was totally unacceptable and completely out of character.

            I shook my head, sighed heavily and buried my face in my hands.  Maybe dad will go easy on me since I’m losing my mind.

            “What was that about kid?”  I was so lost in my thoughts that Jacob’s quiet voice startled me….sort of.  I figured he had heard me I’m just surprised the whole stinking auditorium hadn’t.

            “Jacob.”  I bounced over to him, pretending nothing happened, and wrapped my arms around his waist.  His arms were instantly around me, squeezing me close to him.  I buried my face in his gown and inhaled, that always made me feel better. 

            I took another deep breath and looked up. 

            He was watching me intently…so I smiled at him.  I wasn’t going to ruin his big day.  Even though he said he didn’t care I knew deep down that he was pleased with himself, as he should be.  He just liked to keep his cool guy image intact.   

            “I’m proud of you Mr. College Grad.”  I grinned wider at him as I realized I could totally give him his present now.

            “Yeah, thanks…” He said smiling.  “Still can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”  He stared at me a minute and then his eyes narrowed.  “What are you grinning about?”  He knew me so well.

            “Presents.”  I said lifting my eye brows two quick times.  He stepped back, but without letting me go.

            “Oh no, I said no presents.” He was frowning down at me.

            “Since when do I listen to you?”  I replied rolling my eyes at him.

            “Nessie…” He started to protest.  I reached up and pressed my index figure against his lips. 

            “Too late.”

            He started to say something else but I caught sight of Seth walking towards us.  “Seth!”  I called and waved.  Seth knew where the car was I just didn’t feel like listening to Jacob anymore. 

            I turned to see mom and dad climbing in the shiny silver Volvo.  Oh goodie, time for my lame excuse.  I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Cullen, your daughter needs to be institutionalized.  It appears that a few marbles have rolled out of her head.

            I climbed into the back seat with Jacob on my right and Seth on my left.  Before anyone said anything I blurted out “I’m sorry for my inappropriate behavior.  I won’t let it happen again.”

            “It’s okay honey.  No one really heard you and you seemed to handle that couple in front of you, er, well enough.”  My dad said looking at me in the rearview mirror.

            “Yeah, if you can’t explain it, gross them out.  Right Nes?”  Seth chuckled nudging me a couple of times.  Seth was the only one allowed to call me Nes; it was a best friend privilege.  “You really couldn’t come up with something better inside that big vampire brain of yours?” 

            “Hey, I bet you couldn’t have come up with something as good that quickly either.”  Mom turned to look at first Jacob then Seth.  Seth slightly shrunk back in his seat and looked out the window but Jacob ignored her as usual.

            “I bet the look on their faces were priceless.”  Jacob chuckled. 

            I gave him a quick side glance but otherwise ignored them both.  I was watching my dad’s eyes in the rearview.  I couldn’t tell if he was upset with me.  But he didn’t say anything as we pulled out of the parking lot.  Either he figured out why I snapped – in which case I would have to ask him - or going crazy was a legit excuse. 

            No one said anything further about it.

            As we turned into the neighborhood, I started bouncing in my seat. Presents!  I was careful only to think of Jacob’s gift.  I had kept my parent’s presents a secret up till now and I was not about to ruin it with only minutes left.  

            “Geez Nessie, you are going to rattle my teeth out.”  Seth complained as he sat up.  It usually took more than that to wake him up, he slept sounder than Jacob.  I stuck just my tongue out at him. 

            They both had managed to fall completely asleep despite our commute only being ten minutes.  I looked over at Jacob who was still snoring lightly and smiled, he was use to me moving around a lot; I rarely sat still for very long even when I was sleeping, my bouncing didn’t wake him anymore.

            When we all moved out to New Hampshire four years ago,  dad had wanted to buy mom a house so he purchased a small two story traditional suburban home about five miles away from Carlisle and Esme’s house, where Jasper and Alice lived as well.  Emmet and Rosalie also bought a place in the same neighborhood, only all the way on the other side. 

            I would spend the days with Alice at my grandparent’s house since dad had insisted that mom get the full college experience.  They took a full load every semester with the summers off. We would usually travel then.  Mom and dad would drop me off in the mornings and pick me up after their classes.  Jacob usually slept at our place three out of the five week days and then all weekend.  We always fell asleep snuggled up on the couch.         

            It seemed to take forever to go the two miles through the neighborhood, even though I knew it was only about a minute.  I sat there debating how I was going to wake Jacob up.  I was either going to have to shake him or jump on him, depending on how deep asleep he was. 

            As I sat there looking at his peaceful face, I found myself staring at his lips.  They were a pale pink and looked soft and warm and I started wondering what it would be like to kiss them. 

            Whoa… I stopped myself before my overacting imagination took over.  What am I thinking…kiss Jacob!  That’s absurd!  This was Jacob I was thinking about. 

            I looked forward.  I just can’t go around kissing him he was…well he was Jacob for crying out loud.  He would have thought I was acting weird and I never would have lived that down.  But I still felt curious so I turned to look at Seth’s lips.  Nope, didn’t want to kiss him so I turned back to Jacob. 

            Nothing… 

            Oh yeah…definitely missing some marbles. 

            Since I didn’t seem in control of myself today and I had no idea what I was capable of doing, I settled on nudging his arm till he swatted at me.  “Wake up.”  I didn’t want to get to close to his face.  Better to remain a safe distance away than have to deal with another embarrassing event.

            Jacob sat up and mumbled about being glad he survived the day’s event.  I rolled my eyes at him.  “You liked it.”  Dad got out and was at my mother’s door instantly holding it open.  Seth and Jacob climbed out and I followed out Seth’s door, still a little weirded out. 

            I wasn’t sure how I felt about kissing Jacob.  I had never thought about it before.  I had never actually thought about kissing anyone for that matter.  I mean I had only ever been around people I was related to or who were more like siblings.  Wasn’t it illegal to want to kiss your relatives like that?   

            Gross, stop that.

            I needed to focus, it was present time.  I started dancing along behind everyone unable to contain my excitement any longer.  Presents, presents, presents!  Presents, presents, presents! I chanted in my head.  I was so proud of myself; I had picked out everyone’s present on my own and I knew no matter how much they would protest they were really going to love them.

            Dad opened the door.

            “Happy Graduation!”  Alice, Jasper, Esme, Carlisle, Emmet, and Rose yelled.  They were all standing in the living room. 

            Of course no one was actually surprised; what with the freakishly super hearing and sense of smell it was hard to get anything past anyone.  Heck I could smell everyone when we got out of the car.  But that didn’t matter.  I danced around behind mom and dad and threw my arms around their waists.

            “Congratulations!”  I said and kissed them both on the cheek. 

            “I thought we all agreed no more surprises.”  Mom said. 

            “Bella, first off, you were not surprised.  Second, when do we ever listen to you?”  Alice said rolling her eyes.  She took my mom’s hand and dragged her across the room and over to the sofa.  “This is the first time you graduated college, you had to know we weren’t going to let it pass without doing something.” 

            “A girl can hope can’t she?”  My mom sighed. 

            “Oh just open your present.”  Alice said handing my mom a pretty green – specifically Dartmouth green - wrapped box. 

            “Alice…” Mom groaned.

            “Yeah, I know I know.  But honestly Bella, you should know better by now too.”  Alice chided.  “It’s from all of us.”  I cleared my throat and Alice frowned at me. “Okay, fine, Nessie got you both something else.”

            I nodded my head and beamed at them.   Mom just eyed me as she ripped off the shinny green paper.

            “You are going to Isle Esme on a long awaited second honeymoon!”  Alice sang.  Everyone had gotten them open ended tickets to go down to my grandmother’s island. 

            I was just as excited as Alice was.  My parents had not been back there since their original honeymoon seven years ago.  As much as I was going to miss them, they had not had real alone time since I was born.  And since they no longer had the excuse that they were going to miss me growing up, they could go and fully enjoy themselves.   

            “Wow, um, thanks everyone.”  Mom smiled and glanced at my dad, who was grinning.  He winked at her and her eyes grew playful.

            “Yes, thank you all very much.”  Dad walked over and sat next to her, wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her cheek. 

            I loved watching them together.  It was amazing how they moved like one person or like there was an invisible string between them.  It felt like a watching a dream.  I was convinced that no one in this world was as in love as my parents and it made me happy.

           “My turn, my turn!”  I had wrapped mine as soon as I got them and put them on the floor next to the sofa; trying very hard to ignore them. 

            “Renesmee, you really didn’t have to get us anything.”  Mom said as I handed her her present.

            “I know, but I’m just as proud of you as everyone else.”  I said quietly. 

            “Thank you sweetheart.” My mom pulled me close and kissed my cheek.

            “Quit stalling and open it.”

            I almost took it out of her hands and opened it myself but she finally got it open.  I watched as her eyes lite up when she opened the box and found the little locket in there.  It almost looked exactly like the one she had given me for my first Christmas, except it was a little larger and was a heart.

            “Open it.”  I encouraged her.  I had put two pictures in it; us then and us now.  She stared at it without saying anything at all. 

            “She had it specially made.  Turn it over.” 

            “Alice.” My dad snapped.  My aunt stuck her tongue out at him.

            “’My heart began in your.’” I could barely hear my mom’s voice as she read the engraving.  She suddenly grabbed me and held me fiercely to her.  “Oh, Renesmee, it’s the most beautiful present every.  Thank you so much.”  She kissed my cheeks and my forehead.  

            “So you like it?”

            “Like it…no I love it.”  She let me go and put the locket on.  She looked down at it handing around her neck and smiled. 

            “Good.” I beamed.  One for one.

            “Now you dad.”  I started thinking of Jacob’s present so my dad couldn’t pick it out of my brain.  No one else knew what it was either and I made Alice promise not to think of it till after he opened it. 

            It was hard work surprising a mind reader. 

He chuckled as I handed him the green box, focusing on the shiny green wrapping paper.  He took it and began to open it. 

            “Oh...”  He said as he pulled out the pocket watch. 

            “It’s an antique from 1901.  She did some research and apparently it was a very sought after little accessory back then.  Anyone who was someone had one of these.”  Alice rattled on.

            “Alice, will you please let my daughter explain my present to me?”

            Alice stopped talking.

            “It’s okay dad.”  I said. “Do you like it?” 

            “It’s beautiful.  I like it very much. Thank you.”

            “You didn’t tell him the best part,” Alice frowned.  His eyes widened and dropped to the watch. 

            “My dad?”  He said quietly. 

            “Might have owned it, or at least one like it.  It is very hard to tell.  But I must say, when your daughter gets an idea in her head, she doesn’t let up.”  Alice chirped on. 

            But it didn’t look like my dad was listening.  He was staring at the watch with a blank face.  I know he didn’t use a watch, but I knew his dad had one.  Plus I couldn’t think of anything else he might want that he didn’t already have.

            His arms were around me instantly.  “I love it.  I never would have guessed…I’m just shocked.  This is such a thoughtful gift.”  He kissed the top of my head.  “It’s hard to remember.  I know he use to carry one, but I really don’t know what happened to it when we were in the hospital…memory is kind of fuzzy.”  He flipped it over and over, examining it closely.

            “Grandpa helped a lot.”  I looked over and Carlisle smiled at me.  “I’m glad you like it.  I know you don’t use a watch, but it could be an accessory or something.”  He kissed the top of my head again.  Two for two.  And at least I wasn’t messing this up.  No weird, uncontrollable behavior. 

            My dad squeezed me tighter. 

            “Jacob’s turn!”  I bounced away from my dad’s arms.  Jacob was going to absolutely love his present.

            Jacob and Seth had taken the two oversized armchairs and were stuffing their mouths with as much food as would fit.  He stopped in mid bite when I sang out his name.  He was giving me a pleading look as I stopped right in front of him.  I interlaced my fingers together, held them over my mouth and started jumped up and down in front of him.  He closed his mouth, still holding the sandwich in place, swallowed and eyed me with one eyebrow raised.  He was probably debating whether he should just put down his plate or keep eating and ignore me.  He knew I wasn’t going to interrupt him but he also knew I would stay right there jumping in front of him till he was done. 

            Either way he was going to get his present. 

            With a sigh, he put his plate down on the side table and stood up, defeated. 

            “Yay!”  I jumped on his back and covered his eyes.  “Mom, can you lead him?”

            “Nessie...”  He started.

            “I don’t want you to peek.”  The theatrics probably weren’t necessary, but I wanted to be absolutely sure he was surprised.  As it was I suspected he might have already known what he was getting. 

            My mom came over and took his hand and began to lead him to the garage.  I knew he’d put up a bigger stink if it was anyone else.

            “Stop!”  I cried once we were in the garage and dropped off his back. 

            I was glad I stuck my camera in my pocket because his face was priceless.  He stood there with his mouth open like he was trying to catch something.  He had had no clue.  I snapped about twenty shots before I realized his expression hadn’t changed. 

            “Well,” I said impatiently.  “Do you like it?”

            “You’ve got…to be freaking…kidding me.”  Okay, that was not exactly the reaction I’d pictured in my head.  But maybe he’s just overwhelmed with emotion.  Even though his voice sounded flat, I could still see the excitement in his eyes.  At least it looked like excitement.

            “Wow.”  Seth said joining us. 

            I impatiently started jumping up and down, hoping my excitement would catch on. “So do you like it?  Do you like it?”

            “A car…”  That wasn’t a question and still not the response I was thinking of.  Where were the ‘hell yeahs’ and fist punching? 

            “It’s a Maserati GranTurismo S. Black on black with red accents.”  He was not responding at all.  “It’s supposed to be really fast.  I don’t know if they make it as a convertible.  And I wasn’t entirely sure about the exterior color.  I thought maybe granite would look good, but then I thought you would like the black better.  Now that I see you next to it, I think you will look wicked awesome.  But we can totally change it if you don’t like it.”  I was babbling because I still couldn’t tell if he liked it or not.  I hadn’t planned on him not liking it so I was getting a little nervous.   

            “No…I….Nessie, the color is great.” He stammered.

            “You don’t like it?”  I tried not to whine. Don’t get upset.  “I had picked it out myself but I probably should have just asked dad.  I know you hate it when he reads your mind but at least he would have known what you liked.  We can trade it in for any one you want.”  I was trying hard to keep the tears out of my voice.

            “No, no the car is perfect.  But…but I can’t accept it.”

            “Why not?  You said you liked it.”  Well, in so many words.

            “Baby, it’s too much.  I could never…”  He still hadn’t taken his eyes off the car, but he also still hadn’t moved.  I could feel the tears welling up.  He didn’t like it.  He was just saying that so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings. 

            “But I want you to have it.”  I said quietly.  I must not have been hiding my feelings anymore because his eyes flashed on me.  He reached out, wrapped his arms around my wait and pulled me into a bear hug.  “I’m sorry….”  His hand was covering my mouth. 

            “No way!  I’m not about to let you apologize for getting me a freaking car.”  He was looking at me like I was crazy.  My verdict was still out on that.

            “Well, we can get one you like…”  I said after leaning my head back so his hand was no longer hindering my ability to speak.

            “I love the car Nessie, but I can’t ever compete with a gift like this.”  He said looking down at me.

            “Compete?  I didn’t think you were into racing, but I’m sure we can get you a track car if you want that instead.”

           “No, no, I mean I could never buy you something like this…” He gestured to the car with his hand as his voice trailed off.

            I blinked at him.  “I already have a car.”  Did he have a screw lose too?  He knew my dad just got me a Ferrari California – Azzurro California blue with Blu Scuro interior.  I loved it!  It was super fast and wicked hot. 

            “Something that costs this much…”  He actually looked embarrassed. 

            Oh, is that what this was about.  Jacob had a little complex about not having as much money as my family…or me.  It was like he felt he wasn’t good enough or something.

            “Don’t be ridiculous.  I don’t want you to.”

            “But that’s not fair.  You can buy me awesome gifts and I can’t afford to buy you…well anything really.”  He looked away toward the ground, his lower lip sticking out slightly.  Aw, he was super cute when he pouted.

            I hugged him tighter.  “Whatever, you make me stuff and that’s better than anything anyone could ever buy me.  They are completely one of a kind…and priceless.”  I said smugly holding up my wrist and pointing to the little woven bracelet he had made for me; the first present he ever gave me that I never took off.  He rolled his eyes.  “Please Jacob, don’t worry about the cost.  It wasn’t expensive at all.  I promise.”  Expensive was a relative term anyway.  He snorted.  “And you know you are going to have to take me for a ride whenever I want, right?”  I saw his eyes light up with absolute excitement and he grinned.  

            I grinned back, reached into my pocket and pulled out the keys.  He chuckled as I dangled the “Keggy the Keg” keychain in front of him.  He got a huge kick out of the unofficial Dartmouth mascot.  He dropped his arms from around my waist as I dropped the keys into his open hand.  He then walked slowly over to the car like it was going to drive away without him if he moved too fast.  He looked back at me still grinning, reached out and ran his hand  along the top of the car. 

            “Oh man, Jacob, you going to take it for a test drive?  Can I drive it?”  I had forgotten Seth was there.  Jacob frowned at him and Seth quickly amended “Er, after you drive it first, of course.” 

            Hhmm, I would have to get Seth one when he graduated.  At least he knew how to appreciate a gift.

            “So, do you want to keep it?”  I asked now knowing what the answer was.

            “Hell yeah I wanna keep it.  It is a present from my favorite girl.” 

            “Well then quit stalling and get in!”  I bounced over to the passenger side door.  I had the door open and was sitting in the seat at the exact same time he got in the driver side.  I watched his face as he looked over the central console and brushed his finger tips lightly over the buttons of the audio system. 

            Oh yeah, I’m good…three for three. 

            This was the best feeling, I loved giving presents.  I should make up reasons to do this more often.  Of course I’d have to get creative to make everyone actually open them, but that seemed worth it.   

            A small movement in the window caught my eye.  I looked up and frowned.  There was a pine tree air fresher hanging off the rearview.  “Real cute Aunt Rose!”  I didn’t need to yell for her to hear me.  I heard laughing from inside.  I rolled my eyes, pulled it off and threw it out the window.  If Jacob noticed he didn’t say anything.  I still had no idea why they thought he smelled bad.  I inhaled and smiled. 

            He smelled great to me.

            “You just going to stare at it all day?”  I asked still unable to take my eyes off his smiling face.  He was smiling my favorite smile, the one that stretched from ear to ear and light up his whole face.  His eyes widened and he put the key in the ignition.  The car purred to life.  He sat back in the seat with his hands on the stirring wheel.                      

            “You going to let Seth get in?” 

            He frowned.  “Oh fine.”  I jumped out of the passenger side door and flipped forward the seat for Seth to climb into the back.

            We sped off.

 

            The entire ride, Jacob and Seth talked about torque, horsepower, suspension, blah, blah, blah.  I hadn’t paid much attention.  I had been watching Jacob’s face the entire ride.  As he pulled his car into the garage, I was still high from his excitement. 

            “That was awesome.”  Seth said stretching after climbing out of the back. “You ever gonna to let me take it for a spin?” 

            “Hell no.” 

            Seth’s face fell a little.

            “Don’t worry Seth he’ll let you when the new wears off.”  I said.

            “No I won’t.  He’ll scratch it or something.”  Jacob protested as we all walked into the house.

            “Fine then, I’ll just have to get Seth one when he graduates.” I winked at Seth who just blinked at me.  “Or maybe sooner since Jacob won’t share.”  

            Seth may have been frozen at fifteen but he looked more like twenty, so he was able to get a driver’s license.  And Jacob, who was frozen at sixteen, could easily pass for early twenties.  I was a little disgruntled by this because I was physically frozen at seventeen, older than both of them, but I would still look only seventeen…well forever.

            Where was the justice?

           “You have fun?”  Dad asked walking down the stairs with a smirk on his face.  Of course he already knew the answer, which was probably why he was grinning.

            “It was awesome.”  Seth answered.  For some reason Seth had always bee really awed by my dad; some sort of hero worship thing from before I was born.  I thought it was sweet but his pack brothers teased him mercilessly about it.  

            “Yes, her mother and I agree with you.  She is absolutely amazing.”  Dad said in response to something probably Jacob was thinking.  I looked at him and he was looking at me with that awed look he sometimes got; like a man had been in the dark too long and was finally able to see the sun again. 

I felt my cheeks grow warm.  Good, I’m glad he really liked his present. 

“Well it was very generous.”  Dad said to my unspoken comment. 

“Everyone else already leave?”  I said looking away and quickly changing the subject.  I already knew the answer seeing as I couldn’t hear or smell anyone else.

“Yes, they were going to...er, yes they left.”  Dad answered. 

He was hiding something.  What’s going on?

“Sorry honey,” He said coming over and wrapping his arms around my shoulders.  “I thought it was such a great idea and then Alice saw us all back there.  I was going to let you ask but…”  He shrugged. 

Back where? 

“Forks.”  Dad answered

Forks?!  He smiled at me.  Duh, he was able to hear me earlier.  I had not even thought about it since I dismissed the idea earlier as being ludicrous.

I don’t have to go alone do I?  I asked suddenly remembering why it was a terrible idea. 

“Of course not, we all think it’s a great idea.  I think of all the places we‘ve lived, that was everyone’s favorite by far.”  He ran his finger along my check and held it lightly under my chin tilting my head back just a little.  “We got the best additions to our family there.” 

I blushed again and Dad chuckled.  He loved it when I blushed because he said it reminded him of mom.  Unfortunately for me Emmet did too but that was just because he thought it was hilarious.

“Will someone please fill in the non-mind readers?”  Jacob grumbled.

“Renesmee wants to move back to Forks so she can attend high school.”  Dad answered without looking away from me.  I looked over at Jacob to see his reaction, but he said nothing.

“It will be great having you guys back.”  Seth’s voice was filled with excitement.  I knew he had missed everyone, especially Jacob.  I’d imagine it was hard being part of a pack when your alpha was all the way across the country.

Jacob’s little pack had been temporarily assigned back to Sam when we moved here.  But once Emily was pregnant with their son, Sam stopped phasing.  That left Jacob as the only alpha.  I knew it bothered him at first but I think it got easier on him once some of the guys had stopped phasing and the pack shrunk. 

Jared and Paul stopped when they got married and their wives were still aging and not at all happy with that arrangement.  Leah had wanted to stop phasing from the beginning and I think there were a few more that just stopped as well.  Jacob really never talked about it much but I think there were only eight wolves now; down from the sixteen it had been.  It probably had a lot to do with the Cullens moving out of Forks.

Oh no, what will us returning do to the giant wolf population?  Was Jacob nervous about that?  He didn’t seem to be thrilled with this plan.  Maybe he was right, this is a bad idea.

“No, it’s a great idea.  Jacob’s thoughts were along the same line as mine.”  Dad answered his arm still around me.  Jacob snorted.  He really hated it when dad did that.

“Sure Nessie, it’ll be nice to be back home for the next four years.”  Jacob said.  But I still wasn’t completely convinced he agreed with dad.

“Actually only two years.  I’m starting as a junior.  You know, since I can drive and all.”  I was still watching Jacob’s face. 

“So when are you going to head back?”  Seth asked. 

“Tomorrow.”  Dad said as he dropped his arm. 

“Tomorrow?”  The three of us said in unison.  It was way sooner than we were expecting. 

“We were actually packing when you came home.”  Translation, everything was already ready to go.  “And why wait?  We need to get transcripts made up and Charlie needs to get you enrolled.”  Dad explained.   

Okay, how was this all going to work out?  I tried to think of what everyone would do.

“Carlisle and Esme think since their granddaughter has finally stopped growing it would be a good time to temporarily retire and travel some.  They had both been really dedicated to their work for far too long.  Plus they think it’s something grandparents should do.  Carlisle has some old friends he wants to visit in London.”  He smiled.

And everyone else?

“I think they will probably do a lot of traveling as well.  But like I said, they liked Forks.  They are actually excited to go back.  Besides, most of the students that we knew moved away anyway.”

But you can’t attend with me, most of the teachers would still be there.  My dad and aunts and uncles had been played the adopted kids of Carlisle and Esme when they first came to Forks.  But they had only graduated seven years ago.  They couldn’t go back, at least not yet anyway. 

“That is true we really shouldn’t but don’t worry about that.  You are going to be Charlie’s niece and live with him.  Bella has already called him and he seemed genuinely excited.  We can come up with details later.”

            “Well, I guess I’d better go get my stuff together.”  Jacob broke into our one sided conversation.  He sometimes got annoyed when dad and I had conversations like that...made him feel left out.  Personally though, I think it still weirded him out.

            “Emmet already took care of that.”

            “He better not have broken anything.”

“Carlisle went with him.  Your stuff is already in the other room.”

            “Oh…well thanks.”  He shrugged and went back to his sandwich, which Esme switched for a fresh one. 

            Okay, why so soon?  Then it hit me.  Oh right, you have tickets to go on your second honeymoon.  I saw my dad smile.  Good I’m glad they were going.  They deserved it.

            Dad went back up stairs, Seth sat on the couch and turned on the TV but I just stood there watching Jacob.  I could tell he wasn’t thrilled with this idea but I didn’t know why, and he was ignoring me which just confirmed my suspicions.  But he also looked like he wasn’t going to say anything about it so I was going to have to pry it out of him.

            When he finished his sandwich, I walked over and stood in front of him, right in front of his view of the TV.  No way for him to ignore me.

            “Jacob.”  I said.  He looked up at me and smiled.  I could tell he was going to be difficult. 

            Growing up I had learned to read his face and I could tell mostly what he was thinking, and right now I knew he was hiding something.  I hated knowing he wasn’t happy about one of my ideas.  It was rare which is why it bothered me so much.  I also knew he would try to give me a hard time, arguing something about as long as I was happy he was too…blah, blah, blah. 

            “Jacob.”  I said again folding my arms. 

            “Yes?”  He smiled wider and batted his eyes like a guilty person playing innocent.

            “What?”  I asked firmly.  I didn’t need to say anything else; he knew better now than to try and pretend.

He grabbed me and pulled me into his lap.  Without thinking I wrapped my arms around his neck. “Nessie, I really think it’s a great idea.”

            I waited.

            “The pack will be fine.  I’m the alpha now remember.  Plus I really don’t think there are any boys left to turn into giant wolves.” 

            “Hardy har har…”  I looked at him flatly still waited.

            “Fine, why do you want to go back?”

            I frowned.  “Everyone else got to go to Forks High School, I want to go too.  Plus you already have two degrees now…I’m falling behind.”  I was competitive by nature so it would seem like an actual reason I would say.  I wasn’t about to tell him the real reason.  He wouldn’t understand.

            “Trust me you’re going to end up with way more degrees than I will ever have.  One college degree is enough for me thank you.”

            “Aw you don’t want to keep me company while I rack up the certificates of knowledge?”  I was actually a little disappointed at his statement.  I had had visions of dragging him through every major possible.  And we would be in every class together for whatever degree we were getting that time.  

             “It’s bad enough I had to walk once.”  I looked at him hopefully.  “You’re killing me here kid.”  He kissed my cheek and smiled slightly at me.

            “So that was it?  You were only concerned about why I wanted to go.”  I said watching his eyes.

            “Is there another reason?”  His eyebrow rose indicating he wasn’t really buying my reason.  

            “Nope, high school just seems like fun.”  I planted a huge kiss on his cheek.  Seth snorted from the couch.  I tuned myself around to look at him.  “What you didn’t think high school was fun?”  At the same moment Jacob leaned back in the chair so I was able to relax into his chest. 

“Heck no, but I know you will.  You are the happiest little freak I’ve ever met.”  He teased.

            “It’s called looking on the brighter side of things, you giant fur ball.” 

           “So are you blind from staring straight at the sun then?” 

            “Ugh, Seth that was a terrible joke.”  I said lobbing a pillow at him which started a pillow fight and then turned into a wrestling match.

            “Hey, take it easy you two.”  Jacob said after I let out a low growl at Seth, which sounded a little less playful than I was intending. 

            Seth instantly let up and I shot Jacob a pouting look; he stood in front of the chair watching us.  He held out his hand to me and I happily skipped over.  I playfully pounced on him hoping he would want to wrestle with me.  I had actually only intended to push him back into the chair but I must have still been a little keyed up because the force knocked the chair over and we toppled backward.

           We hit the floor with a loud bang.  I didn’t feel it because Jacob was holding me in a way where he took the entire impact.  But when we were done moving I was less than an inch away from his face.  I could feel his warm breath caressing my cheeks.  I found myself once again staring at his lips…they were very, very close to mine.  My heart began to beat faster.  I felt myself lean a little closer to him and it took a lot of will power to stop myself from pressing my lips to his.

            “Would you two mind putting the chair back the way it was?  I rather liked it that way.”  I heard mom ask from the stairs.  I looked up and Jacob’s beautiful eyes were looking at me intently. 

            “Sure thing mom.”  Jacob teased after a moment.  Without taking his eyes off me, he reached back with one hand and pushed the chair upright all the while holding me tightly to his chest; my face still only an inch from his.  The chair thudded to the floor and he looked up and smiled at mom.   

            “Show off.”  Mom said rolling her eyes.

            “You asked me to put the chair back didn’t you?”  He frowned a little, almost like he was actually offended by her words, almost. 

            “Sure sure.”  She said and disappeared back up the stairs.

            I sat there blinking at him.  He wasn’t prone to theatrics so that was definitely showing off.  I felt myself smile…I liked it.  He smiled back at me and winked. 

            “So, who are you going to get to drive all your cars?”  Seth asked from his new spot on the floor.  He hadn’t moved from where I had pinned him, he just flipped over so he was now lying sprawled out on his stomach.

            Jacob rolled his eyes and I giggled.  “You can drive my Ferrari since I’ll be riding with Jacob.”  I said without looking at him.  I didn’t need to turn around to see his face light up but I still watched his reflection in Jacob’s eyes.     

            The next morning we headed back to Forks.

 

(to be continued with Chapter 2...)

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Comment by Sarah Marshall on December 1, 2012 at 7:54pm

Thank you very much!  I'm re-editing every chapter before I post, but I'll post another chapter shortly.  I appreciate your comment a lot! 

Comment by Trish Clemenchita Sualoa Faasulu on November 30, 2012 at 6:29pm

Well, Sarah you gotta be kidding me, this story of yours seems so real. It was totally interesting. I LOVE IT.......

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