1. Boring Is Good
~ Edward ~
Bella and I walked into the house with Renesmee. It felt so empty now that our friends had left. I hadn’t been able to think this clearly in weeks. I had known that Bella was keeping something from me and it had been slowly driving me insane. I was grateful that Alice and Jasper left directions for Bella, and I knew why she couldn’t tell me what was going on, but I was slightly irritated that Alice left without telling me anything. My relief that Alice and Jasper found Nahuel overshadowed my irritation, and I felt extremely grateful to them.
“Where’s Nahuel?” Bella asked Jasper as we entered the living room.
Jasper looked up from his book and turned to face her. “He left early this morning with Huilen to return home. Carlisle and Esme went to the airport with them to see them off.”
Bella’s face fell. “Oh, I was hoping to talk with him today. I feel bad that I was so uncomfortable around him last night.”
We sat down together on the loveseat and Jasper reassured her, like I had last night, that Nahuel had finally begun to forgive himself for his mother’s death and was happy when he left.
Bella sighed and leaned her head back to rest on my shoulder. She seemed to be enjoying the quiet as much as I was. After weeks of tension, the relaxed environment in the house was a welcome change. I began running my fingers through Bella’s hair and watched while Renesmee seated herself in a large armchair by the wall of windows, looking out into the backyard expectantly. Her thoughts revolved around Jacob, her Jacob. Knowing she felt that way made me like their imprinting even less. I stifled a groan, and of course, Bella didn’t miss it. She followed the direction of my gaze, and her eyes settled on Renesmee.
“What is it?” she asked looking up at me.
“It’s nothing. Nes - Renesmee is just wondering where Jacob is,” I sighed. I was actually surprised that he wasn’t here already. Perhaps now that we were no longer in danger, he wouldn’t be as comfortable hanging around the house as much. That would suit me just fine if it weren’t for the sad pout on my daughter’s face.
“Renesmee, I’m sure he’ll be here soon,” Bella assured her. “He hasn’t had much time to spend with Billy lately and I’m sure he has some catching up to do with the packs.”
Renesmee wouldn’t be happy until Jacob was here. She missed him. My conflicting feelings about her emotions weren’t easy to integrate. There was a part of me that did not like this relationship and I shuddered at the thought of future conversations I would need to have with both of them. I did appreciate that the imprinting helped to explain Jacob’s obsession with Bella. And, how could I truly be upset over a connection that, just yesterday, I had relied on so heavily? We needed that bond to be as strong as we imagined it, to be able to trust Jacob with keeping Renesmee safe. Luckily it didn’t come to that and our daughter was still here so that I could continue to protect her.
“Edward, you need to get comfortable with the idea of Renesmee and Jacob,” Bella whispered to me. “If it hadn’t been for Alice, we might have needed Jacob to protect her. I was counting on that bond,” she echoed my thoughts.
“Where is Alice?” Bella asked suddenly.
Jasper laughed. “She ran out of here earlier this morning, all giddy with excitement. Said she needed to help them get ready - whatever that means,” Jasper shrugged. I have no idea where she is. Or what she’s up to. I’m sure we’ll all be hearing about it soon.
I smiled at Jasper. I was glad to have him home. I had missed him and Alice. I was so relieved when I heard them coming back to us yesterday. Our family felt whole again.
“Thank you for everything you and Alice did to save Renesmee. It means so much to me,” Bella smiled at Jasper.
“To both of us,” I added. “I really missed you two.”
“Awww, Edward, you missed me!” Alice chirped as she danced through the door.
“I was just thinking about how relieved I am that you came back. Don’t ruin it for me,” I teased.
“I’m happy to be back,” Alice grinned. “But if you’re not nicer to me, Edward, I might just have to leave again.”
Jasper shook his head at Alice’s threat. She paused to kiss him when she walked past the couch he sat on. Alice stopped in front of Bella presenting her with a wrapped package, and a look that anticipated Bella’s reaction.
“I should have known that you went shopping,” Bella groaned.
“Well, it is my fault that you no longer have yours and I thought you might like a replacement,” she pushed the package at Bella.
Bella looked confused as she took the package from Alice and began opening it.
“Momma, what is it?” Renesmee asked, climbing onto my lap to get a better view. I was happy that she had pulled herself away from the windows, and I helped her up.
“It’s a book,” she laughed. I didn’t miss the irony when she showed us The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. It was a rare leather bound edition that would make an excellent addition to Bella’s small, but growing collection.
“Alice, this is not a replacement. This is an upgrade,” Bella scolded.
“I couldn’t just buy you a standard paperback,” Alice huffed.
“Of course not,” she replied mockingly.
Bella got up to give Alice a hug. “I’m just glad to have you home. And really, Alice, it is beautiful. Thank you.”
Alice couldn’t deny the sincerity of Bella’s last comment. “You’re welcome,” she replied. Then she headed upstairs laughing with excitement as she recited the elements of the periodic table.
“What is Alice up to?” Bella asked me anxiously.
“I’m not sure. She’s blocking her thoughts.”
“She had the same emotions when she left here this morning, so it probably has something to do with where she’s been all day,” Jasper guessed.
“Jasper’s probably right. I wouldn’t worry about it,” I said to Bella, as I softly kissed her neck at the jaw line and breathed her in. She still had the most intoxicating scent.
Renesmee suddenly placed her hand on my face and smiled as she showed me a picture of Jacob. She jumped off my lap and ran to hug him as he walked into the room. He was thrilled to see her, and I had to admit I was very impressed that his thoughts were about her now, not what would happen in seven years. He scooped her up into a hug and carried her outside.
Relax, I’m not taking her anywhere, we’re just going out back.
I nodded at Jacob slightly. As long as his thoughts didn’t cross the line, I could remain calm. I pulled Bella closer to me and wrapped my arms around her. I couldn’t be happier. I was married to my soul mate, we had a beautiful daughter that would be perfect and healthy, and I had both of them forever. I heard Bella sigh contently and knew she was feeling the same thing.
I can’t wait to go on another honeymoon - just me and Emmett. After everything that’s happened, we need to spend some time alone. Where could we go? Rosalie’s thoughts announced her and Emmett’s return before they appeared at the door.
They sauntered into the living room, hand in hand, and fell onto the couch. Emmett had a silly grin on his face as he thought about their upcoming trip.
“Emmett,” I growled at him “please control your thoughts.
Rosalie giggled as she quickly caught on to what Emmett was thinking.
“Should we tell them?” she asked excitedly, smiling at Emmett.
“I know you were not about to make an announcement to the family without me.” Alice smirked as she floated down the stairs.
She knew what the announcement was and had been busy making preparations for them since early this morning. Bella and Jasper looked around at the rest of us trying to figure out what Rosalie and Emmett were talking about.
“Rose and I are thinking of taking a trip,” Emmett explained.
“Another honeymoon,” Rosalie added. Rosalie was ecstatic that she and Emmett were going to spend time alone together.
“Ugh, no one wants to hear about that, Blondie,” Jacob muttered jokingly as he walked back inside with Renesmee.
Rosalie ignored him. It was clear that they were never going to really get along, but they were both protective of Renesmee, and that softened the tension between them. Jacob was more comfortable joking with Rosalie than she was with him.
“Where are you planning to go?” Bella asked.
“We’re not sure yet” Rosalie answered.
Bella released her shield and looked up at me as she remembered our honeymoon. I leaned down to brush my lips against hers. I found it incredible that I was able to hear her thoughts. From the first time I had seen her, I wished I could know what she was thinking. I remembered the times I had wondered what she was thinking about, wondering if she was really thinking what she said she was. And last night she had surprised me by lowering her shield and allowing me into her mind. I had never felt so connected to her.
“Hey, Rosalie, did you hear about the blonde that was going to Disneyland?” Jacob asked. “When she came to a fork in the road, she saw a sign that said ‘Disneyland Left’ so she went home.”
Emmett laughed and Rosalie shot him a look that instantly had him apologizing.
“Things really are going to be boring around here now, aren’t they?” Jacob asked as he sat on the living room carpet.
“Boring is good, Jacob” Bella replied, “I’ve had enough excitement to last me a lifetime.”
“So, what are you all doing now?”
“We should go see Charlie,” Bella said to me as she walked over to pick up Renesmee.
Renesmee placed her hand on Bella’s face and showed her Jacob, asking if he could come too.
Bella laughed. “Of course he can, if he’d like to come.”
As if she had to ask. “Where else would I be?” Jacob grinned at Renesmee.
Alice started thinking about her shopping trip from this morning. She had seen that Rosalie and Emmett would be taking a trip to upstate New York. She bought them everything they would need... or could want… for the trip. She could hardly contain her excitement as she waited for them to realize that that’s where they were going.