"Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it,
and some folks have half a one for breakfast."Douglas Adams Life, the Universe, and Everything
Chapter Two, Bravo
After several minutes, the pipsqueak stopped doing that God-awful screaming and, with a very calm, unperturbed voice, said, "Tanya and the others are coming for Christmas," before coming down the stairs and joining us in the living room as if nothing odd had happened. All this, for dinner guests? I could be at my rock right now... Though I think I've heard that name before... Tanya, Tanya... hmmm...
I looked to Jake. He seemed as out of the loop as I did. Embry was probably freaking out on his patrol that we were being attacked and didn't want to leave the borders in case it was a diversion... one of us would have to get the details and phase for him, or else he might have a doggy spaz attack... Which would be bad, 'cause though I made the most fun of Embry, it was only because he was, in many ways, the most normal of us. Hell, he even loved being a werewolf, though he admitted it did suck that it meant he couldn't play basketball 'cause of the awful, werewolfing-waits-for-no-man-to-attend-p
Jasper, who'd been coming down the stairs after her, (oh, did I forget to mention that, thanks be to God, they were both dressed, despite Emmett's earlier TMI-sharing), paused halfway down them. Literally. Like he was stepping down to the next step and his foot was just paused perfectly in mid-air. Of course, being an undead demon, he didn't fall or anything, but it was still kinda cool to see. "Well, that's not good."
Like I said, dipshit. Now, why is it not good?
"Why you say that, Jazz?" Emmett asked, seeming to sink at the thought we weren't going to be attacked by one hundred thirty highly-trained black-ops snipers, two dozen DELTA Force commandos, or Chuck Norris with a BB-gun. The boy has problems, what else can you say? I should rent him out for parties. It'd be quick cash. Or sell him to Area 52. "The only one who might be in danger is Edward."
Oooh, she didn't like the mind-raper either? It took all of my willpower to not clap my hands together and start cheering. We can form a fan club and make cheap buttons that say, "Stop the Rape of Forks," that have a picture of a fork in the background...
Edward, being, of course, the mind-raper in question, gave me an exasperated look before turning to Emmett. "Har, har, Emmett. But I think Jasper has a point."
Which might be? For those of us who don't go around invading people's minds?
Luckily, Alice-in-Wonderland decided to give the rest of us a heads up. "Renesmee is growing fast. But she'll not look much older then a toddler by Christmas..."
To which, in a hushed, worried voice Carlisle finished, "She'll look like an Immortal Child..."
And his wife finished, compassion bleeding from her voice so badly I was surprised none of the vampires fell to the ground to lap it up, "...and The Volturi killed their mother for creating one..."
And that explained why, in some bizarre way I couldn't understand that I'd followed, why there weren't any two-year-old vampires running around – 'cause, I mean, have you seen vampire women? They totally have this thing about wanting kids. Rose was killing to let Bella die to get her baby. Esme, I'd learned, had tried to kill herself over hers and wound up being turned instead. If they couldn't have little vampires, I guess they settled for a house full of hormonal teenagers... Though, I must say, as someone who can't have kids, if I had the choice between being childless for all eternity and having to raise Seth, Quil, and Embry for my entire undead life, I'd choose the no kids. But, then again, I am for children as what Dracula is to the vampire word. Probably... "Eat all your veg," the parents would say (the parents in this daydream having wicked British accents; I've tried to get Carlisle to speak in his, 'cause as a British vamp he's got to have one, but surprisingly he won't, nor will Jasper do his Southern Gentlemen – it's very depressing). "No," the kids, of course, would say, also with ridiculously cool British accents. "Eat them, or we'll send you to Leah..." and then, of course, the kids would go pale and start shovelling the peas or whatever.
My brother, of course, was my brother. "I don't get it."
"It means vampires kill each other over having baby vampires, shit-for-brains," Quil said, punching him as he did so – Quil is the smartest of our pack, honour roll and everything, the jerk, - "and Nessie looks like a baby vampire."
"Her name is Renesmee."
Yes, Bella darling, because now, while we're concerned over your daughter's eminent destruction, is the time to insist upon the horrendous name you gave her. God, calling her Tuity-Fruity would have been better.
But Edward and Bella were all ready to go into protective mode – Rose was already there, holding The Thing, who, indeed, looked closer to eighteen months then, oh, maybe eighteen weeks – and so neither noticed my thoughts or the unbecoming look I was sending in their direction. I really hoped Mom had better sense then to marry Charlie, 'cause having this group as step-in-laws would possibly be the worst torture known to werewolf.
"So," said Jake slowly, and everyone turned to look at him. As I was standing next to him, one of his arms was around my shoulder, this meant they were looking at me too. I wished they wouldn't. I was feeling disgusting and, if they so much raised their fucking eyebrow the wrong way, the day might end in vampire slaughter. Which would solve the apparent guests-are-visiting; how-do-we-let-them-know-the-blood-drinki
Whatever, you cheap-dollar-store-brand-popcicle-doing whore.
"-or," Jake continued, and to my intense pleasure it seemed he was restraining an eye-roll, which, though it was cheap and petty, especially when we were discussing the possible attack upon an innocent half-human child, made me intensely happy. Why, you ask? Because it signified once and for all that Bella-the-Vampire was and always would be only a friend to him. He didn't love her. Not any more. Now, when she invariably realized her fucktard husband was a complete überloser (a German term for, sparkling, lily-assed-vampire-who, while-he-can-read-your-mind, doesn't-translate-your-thoughts-properly-w
"We can't do that," Esme immediately protested. Though I was given to understand that these vampire friends of theirs were multiple times older, her natural desire to mother people seemed to be kicking in, even for these transitory guests. I hope this didn't mean she going to stop making us food.
"We could tell them the population of larger mammals can't support six more of us – EHDV or MCF or something like that among the deer, or just over-hunting; believable enough although-"
"Although," Big-Head Ed finished for him, "it's a short enough run to Canada or Wyoming that it wouldn't be enough to stop them."
Mrs. Big-Head offered her own half-cent: "We could tell them that the humans are getting suspicious and we have to leave."
"No," (this time it was Jasper, who was now sitting next to his wife on the couch. She was leaning against his shoulder, looking very tiny and very breakable, and not at all like one of these shiny, stone leeches we werewolves were born to destroy. She'd probably been younger then me when she'd been turned, maybe even younger then Bella. No matter how many hundreds of years old she might be, she was still a teenager, still filled with that writhing pot of hormones that was, even now, making me dreadfully sad for her and would, assuredly, make me see red in a moment or so I was sure). "It may have been a couple of centuries since any of them had to deal with newborns, but they know we've changed Bella and she's only a few months old. Even though she's doing so well controlling her thirst, we can't risk moving unless there's an accident – not until her control is certain – and they've no idea how well she's been doing. And, even if we tell them there's been an accident and we're moving, they'll probably invite us to Denali, since it's so isolated."
Esme spoke again, "And if we tell them Bella's still too new, they'll still probably come. Thirteen experienced vampires instead of seven to watch after a newborn? They'll know that every body would help."
And if newborn vampires are so notoriously hard to control, why did we let you make one near our Rez again? Oh yes, because we didn't want Bella to die. Stupid girl. Two words: birth control. Look them up – though I suppose its too late now. Le sigh.
No one really seemed to know what to say next. So I did, because, for some odd reason, they were still looking in my general direction and it was really starting to peeve me off. If they're going to look at me, they might as well have reason to do it or else I'll have to find a way to get vampire blood out of fuzzy white carpet before I sold their house and all their belongings on ebay. "Since no one seems willing to be rude to these vamps, just find a way to show them she's not one of these Immortal Children."
"The problem with that," Alice said, still leaning against her husband's shoulder, "is getting them to sit and listen and not go running off to the Volturi the moment they see her.
"Tie them down?" I shrugged, then looked over my shoulder at Quil and my brother, who, naturally, couldn't think of anything helpful to say. "One of you want to go tell Embry the world's not ending?"
"Better then listening to leeches argue," Quil said, running he wanted out of here so bad. Poor Quil. Not being able to see Claire every moment of every day made him so annoying to be around.
"Good, 'cause I think the cake's burning."
Turning tail, "SHIT!" Seth cursed. God, girly much? I'm going to have to scrounge up some cash and buy him some training bras... Though it was a waste of perfectly good chocolate. How depressing. I could very well cry for the sadness of it. I swear, if Emmett was right and I was, for some God-unknown reason, going into heat, I was going to strangle him. Because it was obviously his fault. If he'd never mentioned it, it wouldn't be happening. He's probably been slipping fertility drugs into my food at Billy's request... No, Billy'd never talk to Emmett. It must be Esme who's doing it. Stupid Esme. Too bad I like her cooking too much to stay angry at her for long. Stupid Billy then. I curse him. May all the grandchildren he ever have be Paul and Rachel's. Ha. Take that Billy.
I've so lost it.
"Or," said Jake more sensibly (as he'd ignored the insanity behind us), "you could just take Nessie for a day trip when they get here and explain to them before she comes back."
There was silence. It actually sounded like a good idea too. Wow. Body and brains. Jake never ceases to surprise me... And I'd surprise him if we can get out of here and back to the rock, because vampire seating arrangements and whatnot are just not my cup of tea, at least not when I should be still kissing Jake. Stupid hormones. A good war would be a lot less painful then cooking too...
The phone started ringing. It rang four times before Carlisle walked to the receiver whining plaintively on the glass coffee table and answered.