“Momma, was Daddy the only man you ever dated?”
We’d been sitting alone in the living room of the Cullen mansion reading. The rest of my family - my Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, aunts and uncles - were hunting, and Jacob was spending the day with his dad Billy. I’d been reading a book about a girl who dated tons and tons of guys and had unexpectedly fallen into the arms of her true love - the classic happily ever after.
My mom looked at me as though searching for something in my face. “I guess you’re finally old enough to hear this story. But first I want you to know that I don’t love anyone in that way except your father, and that will always be.” She sighed, “Just wait until you fall in love, Nessie, find the man who completes you, makes you who you are, the man you’d die for in an instant, knowing he’d do the same… it’s truly a miracle.” She finished with a bit of a dazed look on her face, thinking of my dad, of course.
My parents loved each other more than anyone I’d ever met. They constantly acted like they were on their honeymoon, often forgetting there were other people around. I used to find it gross and annoying, and sometimes I still do, but it was really quite romantic. I wanted a man to look at me the way Dad looks at Mom, along with all the other things my mom mentioned. I’m sure every girl dreams of love like in the fairytales, but I’ve got a living example.
I had to snap my mom out of her reverie so she could tell me her story. I was quite curious about this other man. “Momma, you can dream about Daddy later, what about the story?” I asked. Her eyes came back into focus; they were burgundy with gold flecks because she’s a newborn vampire, but they’d soon turn golden like the rest of my family’s.
“Oh, sorry, Ness,” she said, giving me one of her beautiful smiles. I had to smile back. “Well, you see, about a year after your dad and I met, he decided that the best way to protect me was to leave me. He was still deeply in love with me, as I was with him, but he convinced me otherwise. He thought I could just forget about him, move on, and marry some human. He was wrong. I was devastated. For months I lived in a sort of fog, incredibly depressed. Your Grandpa Charlie was very very worried.
“During this time was when I became friends with Jacob. Your Daddy once said that he left me bleeding, and Jake was the one who stitched me up. We became best friends, and he began to fall in love with me.”
I nearly gasped. Mom and Jacob? I was shocked. “Oh,” I said, “go on.” I wanted to hear the whole story.
“Well, I guess in a way I had feelings for him too. But we never dated really. Then, your dad was back. The details of that is a story for another day. Now I was left with a choice. I always knew in my heart that Daddy was the one. But Jacob was a huge part of my life now, and I felt I couldn’t ignore my feelings for him. Once your dad came back, I felt like I was whole again. I could finally breathe. I chose him. Jacob was still in love with me. He was angry that I chose Daddy - they hated each other. At one point, Jake wanted so badly to change my mind, he… well, he kissed me.”
This time I really did gasp.
“Yeah. That was less harsh than my reaction; I punched him in the face!” she said, grinning at the memory.
“But you were human,” I said, confused, “and he’s-“
“Exactly,” she said. “I broke my hand. After that, I kept getting closer and closer to shutting the ‘Jacob drawer’ forever. I finally made my choice. Your dad and I got engaged soon after. Jacob ran off and I didn’t see him ‘til the night of our wedding. It wasn’t easy, but we reunited and became best friends again.”
“I see,” I said, still unsure of what I thought of all this. A strange feeling was starting to come over me.
“So you see, sweetheart, Daddy is my only true love. I’ll never want anyone but him, ever,” she finished, a smile returning to her lips.
Daddy had come in before that last thing she said, but she hadn’t noticed. He grabbed her and jumped onto the couch with her on his lap. She started to kiss him. This was my cue to leave.
“Hi, Daddy! Bye, Daddy!” I said. He grabbed my hand and squeezed it gently as I went by, still kissing my mom. I went out the back door in search of Jacob.
<3 <3 <3 <3
In the backyard, I found the rest of my family, back from their hunting. My Grandpa Carlisle, Aunt Alice, and Uncle Jasper were throwing a football around. My Grandma Esme was watching with a contented smile on her face. My Aunt Rosalie was sitting on my Uncle Emmett’s lap, giggling when he whispered in her ear. I sat in the chair next to Grandma Esme.
“Hi, pumpkin,” she said, “have fun with your mom?”
“Yeah,” I said, “it was fun. Hunting was good?”
“Oh, yes, Emmett wrestled a bear, of course, and we found a good variety of other animals. And the forest was lovely.” She smiled. Grandma Esme was only happy when her family was happy.
“Nessie!!!” I was suddenly grabbed and squeezed from behind by a small pair of arms. Aunt Alice spun me around to face her and put her hands on my shoulders. “Good thing you got outta there” - she pointed back to the house - “when you did. They’ll join us out here in about an hour, once they remember we exist. I think Jacob will be here in a few minutes; he’s still fuzzy as far as I can see. You’re going to tell him something important?” she finished, cocking an eyebrow at me.
“Oh,” I said, embarrassed and blushing. “Mom told me about her past with Jacob,” I confided in both my Aunt and Grandma. “I’m going to tell him I know, I hope he takes it well.” I turned to Aunt Alice.
She stood quietly for a moment, searching. “Well, I don’t see him getting angry or anything. But I’m sure he’ll take it just fine; Jacob’s your best friend,” my aunt said, squeezing my hand. “In fact, I think he’ll be here very soon. Why don’t you go meet him in the driveway?” she finished, giving me a push, which I needed. As I began to walk around the side of the house, Uncle Jasper must have felt my nerves. He winked at me as I went by and I felt a wave of calm wash over me.
Alice was right, of course. Jake was making his way toward the house when I saw him. I ran over and linked my arm with his.
“Hey, my parents are being all mushy in there, let’s go this way,” I said, leading him away from the house and to the bench between the trees, a little way into the forest. “How’s Billy?” I asked.
"He’s great. We went fishing, talked, ate - the usual,” he said, smiling as we sat beside each other, still arm-in-arm. It was totally normal for us to be touching like this, but today it just felt different. I wasn’t sure why that was. “How was your day with your mom?” he asked.
“Good,” I said, “she told me a story actually, about you and her.” I looked at him tentatively, not sure if he understood where this was going.
“Oh?” was all he said. He got it. I had to say something.
I decided to act casual about it. “Well, she said that when Dad left, you guys became friends, and you loved her, and Dad came back, and she had to choose.” I was now talking very fast. “And you kissed her, and she punched you, and she broke her hand, but she had made her choice, and she and Daddy got married, and you guys reunited and became best friends again, and you know, happily ever after.” I finished and looked up at him, realizing I had been staring at the ground the whole time. He looked anxious, thoughtful, and a bit indecisive, but thankfully not angry.
“Wow,” he finally said, now looking slightly relieved. “Honestly, I was getting used to it when they got married, and everything changed as soon as I - oh, uh…” He looked as if he had made a huge mistake, like he'd said something he shouldn’t have. What was he going to say? What was it that had changed everything? As soon as he…what?!?!
“Jake…” I hesitated. What could I say? Instead, I reached over and put my hand on his cheek, trying to express how much I wanted him to tell me, and that he could trust me as he always had.
He peered up at me with a strange look in his eyes. “Nessie, I…” he took my hand and gently held it in both of his. “The day you were born, the first time I saw you, I loved you. I imprinted on you, Ness. But even if I hadn’t, I know I would’ve loved you anyway. It had always been a friendship kind of love, but lately it's been turning into so much more… I think I’m falling in love with you,” he finished, looking hesitant.
I sat in a state of shock for a moment. It all made sense now. I had felt a slight change between us lately… something was different. He'd just explained what I’d been feeling. I was falling in love with him too. All the stuff my mom had said about me having a man love me like Dad loves her… she knew. Everyone knew. And now I was in on the big secret.
Jacob… it felt different to say his name now. He had imprinted on me. We were destined to be together. He was my destiny. I was his. We could have our own love story, our own fairytale, our own happily ever after. Happily forever after.
I looked at his face. He looked extraordinarily nervous. He also looked extraordinarily beautiful. I had known this, but it had a completely new meaning now. I needed to tell him.
“Jacob… I’m falling in love with you too.”
He instantly broke into the biggest, most beautiful smile I’d ever seen. I laughed in relief. “Really?” he asked, as if wondering whether he might be dreaming.
“Yeah,” I said with a smile, “I’m not sure I knew why, but I’d felt different around you lately.” I put my hand on his cheek again and showed him a few moments from the last few weeks. “So when you said that, it all made sense.”
“You’re okay with the imprinting thing?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said, “the way I see it, it means that we're made for each other. You are my destiny.”
“And you are mine,” he said happily. “I’m glad you understand all this. Man, I can’t believe this is really happening. That it was so easy. That I’m not dreaming.”
“I know,” I said. “It’s amazing. This may be the best day of my life.”
Then, just like a fairytale, I kissed him. He put one hand on my waist and the other in my long hair as I wrapped my arms around his neck. I was right - this was the best day of my life. Our first kiss didn’t last too long, but it was just enough. I kept my arms around him and hugged him tight.
“I was wrong,” I said. “I’m not just falling in love with you.” I pulled back a little so I could see his face. “I love you, Jacob.”
He pulled me into a hug again and whispered in my ear, “I love you too, Nessie.” He kissed my neck tenderly.
I couldn’t believe it.