“Morning,” Renesmee said as she peaked her head around the door to our room. I was glad that she sounded like her normal self still after a good nights sleep.
“Morning sweetheart,” Edward replied. “Are you ready to spend the day in Seattle’s he asked?”
“Of course,” she laughed, “are you two?”
I smirked for a split second and as fast as I could, flew from the bed; “we’ve been waiting for ages,” I said playfully. “Shall we go now?” Nessie turned around and laughed at me. I’d moved so quickly that she hadn’t caught on fast enough that I was now standing behind her.
“Race you to the car,” she said; And before I could reply she was out the front door.
I went to look back at Edward sitting on the bed, but before I could barely turn my head I was met with a quick kiss on my cheek as he flew past and out the door after Nessie. “Game-on,” I thought to myself as I slammed the front door behind me.
The drive to Seattle was fun and relaxing. Nessie was laughing almost the entire way as we joked about things. I loved that we could all relax again, the news about Seward had given me reason not to be so upset about Nessie and Jacob’s future too.
“So what do we have planned today?” Nessie asked. I wasn’t too sure of the answer to this, I was just happy that the three of use were able to spend this time together.
“We are going to observe,” Edward replied.
“Observe?!” Nessie said, “observe what?”
“Humans,” Edward answered, chuckling to himself. “How else are you going to be prepared for being a part of the community in Seward?”
She was quite for minute, and I could see in the side mirror of the car that she was thinking about this. For her entire life she has been sheltered in our small knit family, and any exposure to others outside of this was generally not with other humans.
“Its going to be fun Nessie,” I said. “You have nothing to worry about, but there are certain characteristics that humans have, that naturally don’t come out in us.”
Edward pulled off the main road into a parking lot for one of the many malls in Seattle.
“What is this place,” Renesmee asked.
“Its called a mall,” Edward replied. I forgot how much Nessie didn’t know about the outside world. In fact, I had never really thought about how she wouldn’t know about certain things that as a human I had always taken for granted. She was smart, and would most likely be the top of her classes at high school, but was well behind in her connection to mainstream society. “Its where people buy things from, where teenagers hang-out outside of school,” Edwards contempt smirk was comforting as I wasn’t sure whether I should be worried about Nessie’s lack or not – I could tell that Edward was confident that she would be just fine; she was a fast learner after all.
We followed Renesmee as she led us around the mall. Edward told her to explore, to go wherever she wanted to and that we would discuss things later on. I could tell that Edward was as equally fascinated by our daughter just as I was. She was adorable to watch as she explored the different facets that the mall had to offer. We followed her into a large electronics store where she appreciated the salesman a little too much by getting him to let her test almost every product in the shop. Edward brought an ipod from the man, and as we were leaving the shop he whispered in my ear, “so Nessie can be up to date with the latest music, plus, she was starting to make him a little too desperate!”
After a few more hours of exploration Edward suggested that we head back to the car. “So, what did you think of the mall,” he asked Nessie when we were inside the shiny black Volvo.
“The people that work in the stores are so friendly,” she chimed.
“Their paid to be like that,” I said, laughing a little. I was amused by her innocence.
“Its good that your are now more familiar with an important part of teenage culture. Did you notice anything else? Anything about the type of people that you will be going to school with?” he asked.
She thought about this for a moment, then her eyes lit up again, “Girls love to shop – and not even buy stuff sometimes, just look for things that they want; and guys can be really annoying!” she said. I remembered thinking this myself when a particular group of guys shouted sleazy remarks to Nessie and I when we came out of a makeup store; had they gotten even more immature since I was at high school last?
Nessie’s face turned unexpectedly serious, “are you guys thirsty?” she asked. I realised that she must have been fighting the desire for blood in the mall today; the fact that she hasn’t been around anywhere near this amount of humans before must have slipped Edwards mind as well – at least in regards to blood – as his face became serious too.
“Nessie we’re going to go straight home,” I started, “Edward – “
“Its fine,” she interrupted. “I didn’t touch anyone did I? It was good practice for me!”
I knew that she was right, but I still felt bad that we didn’t make sure that we had hunted this morning. We were all too excited about going to Seattle. I hated the thought that she was suffering from restraint, restraining from what we desire the most, what we kill for – blood; I could feel the mild burn for it in the back of my own throat now too.
“Nessie,” Edward broke the silence, “I am so proud of you, you really are just going to be fine in Seward!” The tone in his voice was filled with awe.
I was a completely confused by his reaction, I knew he was right but I didn’t understand how he could just disregard the fact that she had the desire to kill, and that we had put her in that situation by being so careless in the first place. He was usually the last to forgive himself of something like this! “Edward – “ I began, but stopped as I didn’t know what else to say. He knew what I was feeling thou as he placed his finger to my lips.
“Bella,” his voice showed that he was still taken-back by something; “she has your will.”
“What?” I asked, really confused now.
“Remember when I took your on your very first hunt, and we came across that hiker’s scent?” his eyes were dark and wild with intensity as he spoke. I nodded.
“Bella, Nessie has your control! Its in her genes. Bella you are one of the very few Vampires in existence who has ever had that kind of restraint around a human before in the slightest of ways, being young and thirsty; and you are by far the most controlled vampire of the few that I have ever heard of. Carlisle for example was in utter torment when he restrained himself from feeding on human blood when he was made. You have a gift, a soul and a conscious that can rise above this ingrained desire and so does Nessie, she’s going to be fine in Seward!”
If my tear ducts were not frozen then I would have had tears streaming down my face. I loved that Nessie was controlled, but at the same time I hated it, as I knew the pain that was involved. Its not just about being self controled, our natural desire to feed was always in conflict with an even stronger desire of not wanting to cause pain. Control is not a choice for me, it’s a part of me. I felt sad that Nessie would always be in pain no matter the choice she makes. Pain of giving in to desire, and pain from constant thirst quenched fully only through human blood. I leant over the front seat to embrace my daughter, “I love you so much,” I said.
We decided to head home, as we all needed to hunt. Seattle had turned out to be more than just a small learning experience for Nessie. She had proven to everyone that she was ready for Seward.
“You can’t get too attached to people,” Edward was explaining how we would need to approach our role as high school students. “After we graduate we have around a year, sometimes two before we relocate again. Its easier and safer not to be attached to people as you will have to cut all ties with them.” This explained a lot in regards to how the Cullen’s were seen as Forks High School. It wasn’t just the beauty that came with being a vampire; it was the fact that they, we, couldn’t get to close to people as it could compromise our hidden identities.
“At least we have each other,” Nessie said, “and Jacob.” She was right. We would go insane if we didn’t have each other.
“Nessie,” I said, “how is Jacob feeling about all this? We are all more immediate family, but he’s leaving his behind.”
“He’s sad, but also excited. The pack is settling down which makes him feel a bit uncomfortable. He doesn’t like the fact that most people his real age are having children, a family of their own; and he feels somewhat looked down upon by choosing to be immortal, like he is being really immature or something. He’s excited about living with us, a real immortals life, but also grateful that he can visit Billy so often.” I couldn’t help being surprised at how much Jacob had confided in Nessie; this was a new Jacob to me.
“I’m glad that he’s not unhappy,” I said, “you’re both really good to each other.”
For the last stretch home we sat in silence. I thought about everything at once, and I guessed that Edward and Nessie were doing the same. I thought about Jacob and Nessie, how good they were together – despite not wanting them to be together yet; I thought about Seward, and imagined what it was going to be like, would it look like Forks? What would the hunting be like? What did the school look like? How overwhelming was this boarding house going to be? I just pondered, letting my brain scope over all of these thoughts, never committing to focusing on any one thought in particular.
When we hit the driveway to our home in Forks I began to notice the dry burning sensation in the back of my throat. We were all thirsty, and our eyes were dark. After parking the car in the garage, we ran in silence until we were close to the Canadian boarder, “meet back here is ten,” Edward announced. It would usually only take us about five minutes to feed, but we had gone without for a little while longer than usual.
We split up to find our prey and I caught a scent to my left. I could tell from the smell of its blood that it was a panther, one of my favourite animals to hunt, as it was my first. I let the fire in the back of my throat consume my humanity, as I became the vicious hunter I kept locked away inside of me. I slowed dramatically as I came closer to the animal, and crouched low to ground as I approached it. The panther was in the thick grass, crouched also as it was stalking an elk. I leapt from my position, landing on the panthers back and sank my teeth into its skin. The warm liquid flowed into my mouth, cooling the scalding fire at the back of my throat.
© Copyright to Jonathan Cameron