September 28, 2010
I CANNOT believe Bella and Edward!
As Jasper and I ran home this morning, my pre-Renee schedule completely disappeared – just popped right out of sight. I knew that could only mean one thing … or a variation on one theme. Wolves. Those furry doofuses (doofusi?) were ruining my visions by showing up at our house!
I growled under my breath and sped up, causing Jazz to dart a surprised look my way. We were holding hands, but hadn’t exactly been carrying on a conversation as we ran. As he absorbed my change in emotions, his brow furrowed.
Before he had to ask, I hissed, “Fuzzy brats!” I had to concentrate hard to keep myself from furiously scanning the future, so I didn’t explain it any further than that. He seemed to understand, though; let’s face it, there’s really only one way those monsters can wreck my day: by existing.
Okay, that might be a little harsh. How about, existing near me. So anyway, without another word between us, we hit our maximum speed (I had to hop from time to time to keep up with Jazz) and were back in Forks in no time.
As we neared the house, I strained my ears and inhaled deeply to find out who was there. But I couldn’t hear or smell any of the overgrown teenagers, so maybe they were on their way? That would give me a few extra minutes to try to get set up before … whatever it was.
Edward had the back door open and was waiting for us outside, looking oddly guilty. Guilty? Had he realized what a total pain he’d been lately?
He didn’t even react to my little mental dig at him, but just dragged in a deep breath, his gaze sliding over to Bella. She was – get this – already dressed … in an outfit I had assembled for her. Okay, this was all too much! What was going on?
“What is going on here??” I cried, noting that Bella was even wearing her metallic leather Giuseppe Zanotti toe-ring sandals with jeweled skulls on them. I clutched my hair in horror, and felt my eyes widen to the size of saucers as I turned back to Edward. “Why are you guys trying to bribe me? Did you buy more Uggs? Give away the Louboutins? OH MY GOD, did you burn down my CLOSET – ?!”
Edward finally cut me off before I could have the vampire equivalent of a heart attack. “Alice,” he laughed weakly, holding up his hands in a defensive posture, “there’s nothing remotely wrong! You’re completely -”
“Ahem,” Bella inserted drily, silencing Edward way better than any method I had ever learned. I looked at my favorite sister in admiration, but then remembered that she was trying to trick me into … er … well, something. Edward looked down in chagrin as Bella explained, “See, Alice … well, we just can’t …”
As she began to stutter out her rationalization for … whatever it was, I heard the thudding footsteps of a wooly mammoth – or possibly Jacob Black, running on all fours. It bothered me that I could distinguish between all the wolves’ footsteps now, and – wait. What was that little, fluttering heartbeat approaching along with him?!
“Bella,” I cried, genuinely astonished. She shut her mouth with an audible snap and tried to meet my gaze, but failed. Instead, she looked up at Edward, who had moved to her side and placed his hands at her waist. “No way. Are you seriously telling me you guys couldn’t even last more than a single day without having Renesmee here?!”
Before I had even finished the sentence, Jacob-the-wolf was in the room with us, bearing gifts … or rather, one very happy little gift, who was instantly snatched up by Bella. “Nessie, Nessie, Nessie,” she crooned, holding her tight. Edward was beaming down at Renesmee, obviously enjoying her thoughts as she grinned up at the two of them.
Well, how could I stay annoyed with them? I couldn’t. It was literally not possible. The three of them were smiling like loons, quickly followed by Rose and Esme, who were ditto. In fact, as I dramatically raised my hand to pinch the bridge of my nose in mock disgust, I brushed my own mouth and realized I, too, had a mile-wide smile on my face. Jasper looked pretty pleased, too, though he kept sneaking concerned looks my way. I knew him well enough to understand that he was worried about the difficulties I would be facing with Renesmee back here for the rest of Renee’s visit.
Still, I gave us all a few more minutes to celebrate Nessie’s return before breaking up the mini-party. Bella had done a great job dressing herself (well, with my help, since I had coordinated the outfit for her), but she couldn’t do her own makeup. (Okay, she could, I just didn’t trust her to.)
As Jacob re-entered the room in a slightly less foul-smelling form, but still without a shirt, I daintily stepped onto the coffee table and waited politely for my family to notice me. When I had all of them looking in my direction, if not actually paying attention, I began, “Okay, here’s how this is going to work. Renesmee cannot … be … seen by Renee, do you all understand me?” I waited for each of them to acknowledge my stern command before continuing. “So. Ness stays at the cottage – the cottage, Bella, I don’t want to risk anything here – and we all take turns babys – errr – guarding her to make 100% sure Renee won’t get near her. Yes, yes, Jacob, I know you’ll be guarding her too. I think us vampires are a bit less noticeable than the one thousand pound dog. Anyway, we’ll have to switch her sleeping schedule …” I paused, assessing Renesmee. There were slight circles under her eyes, and Edward caught my eye and nodded to show that yes, she had spent a rather sleepless night in La Push.
“So she’ll be awake at night, and hopefully asleep during the day, so we can all actually spend some time togeth – yes?” I blinked at Renesmee, startled, as she reached her hand toward me and then blushed.
“I want to see Renee,” she piped up, trying to sound firm. I couldn’t help the smile that tickled the corner of my mouth, but I stamped down the urge to giggle and instead tried to act like – well, you know, an adult.
“I’m sorry, but that’s just not going to be possible this week, Ness,” I reminded her gently. Bella watched her daughter’s face anxiously as Renesmee thought hard, still looking at me.
She drew in a tiny breath and argued, “But you said Renee can’t see me, not that I shouldn’t see her. Right, Momma?” she added, peeking back at Bella with a winning smile.
Oh, you little charmer, you! I thought, delighted. She looked so much like Edward! My brother heard the thought and grinned proudly at me, looking every bit as charmed as the rest of us.
Bella even began to agree – she couldn’t help it, I almost blurted out “Yes” myself, and the smile wasn’t being blasted in my direction. Luckily. Because someone had to be the voice of reason in this household! And for that matter, why wasn’t Carlisle backing me up?
“Actually,” I interrupted before Bella could give in, glancing over my shoulder to confirm that Carlisle was indeed present, “it’s not that you can’t see her, it’s just that it’s not a good idea.”
Edward eyed Carlisle meaningfully and our father stepped in to take over as wise old sage. It really wasn’t a role I was meant to fill. “Renesmee, we would love for you and your maternal grandmother to meet each other,” he told her bluntly, which brought a hopeful glint to her eye. He immediately squelched it, though, adding, “But the fact is that you cannot. We’re sorry to have to keep you away, of course, but … as Alice said, it is simply not a good idea to have you anywhere nearby while Renee is here.”
He sounded so regretful and certain, Nessie’s face fell as she accepted what we were trying to tell her. By then, I was running out of time. I had to extract Bella from the room and rush up to my bathroom to apply her disguise.
It was a good thing it wasn’t going to rain today, because the outfit Bella had obediently put on included a black velvet quilted down coat, which would not hold up very well against water! It was gorgeous, though, so it would work quite nicely. The only problem was, Bella hadn’t accessorized the outfit. I very gently encouraged her to wear the classic, cushion-cut sapphire-and-diamond Tiffany earrings I had bought for her, but she was having none of it. Claimed they were inappropriate beach wear. Obviously, I had been too lenient about the whole Renesmee thing, because Bella’s bad attitude was back! Finally, we compromised on an Elsa Peretti cuff that looked like liquid charcoal. I knew Bella only agreed to it because she figured it would stay out of sight under the coat sleeve, but whatever.
At the appointed time, Bella and Edward left to pick up Renee. The plan was for the three of them to wander around the beach for a few hours, then meet Billy, Charlie, Jacob, Rachel, Carlisle and Esme for a picnic lunch. I was trying my best to be calm about it, but I could not see anything other than the parts where it was just Renee, Bella and Edward together, and it was making me all nervous … and maybe even a bit grumpy.
On the plus side, those of us who were not attending the La Push festivities got to hang out with Renesmee all day! I decided that we didn’t need to stay at the house – as long as we kept a cell phone nearby, we could go outside and have some fun. So I asked Nessie if she would care to accompany me to the royal closet, and she giggled like the darling girl she is and quite happily joined me. On second thought … I asked Rose to join us, so the three of us got dressed together in my room. I just so happened to have a pretty Alice & Olivia dress for Renesmee, and the adult equivalent for Rose and myself (a Jessica Rabbit-esque dress for Rosalie, and for me, the Alexander Wang velvet and lace cape dress I had been dying to wear). Throw in some sparkly shoes and a ton of gorgeous makeup, and we were all set!
I was so excited, I jumped right over the banister and landed gracefully on the sofa, startling Emmett badly. As he began to complain, I delicately placed a hand on his face and shoved. “Get up, o dear brother mine,” I sang, skipping over to Jazz and grabbing his hand. Grinning up at him in excitement, I explained, “We’re going out dancing!”
It was perfect timing, really – Bella wouldn’t have enjoyed it that much anyway, or at least she would have pretended not to and kicked up a fuss about it. But I had been dying to do this for ages and ages, so I begged Emmett to bring his portable iPod speakers to the baseball clearing (his were much more powerful than mine). Good-natured guy that he is, he couldn’t hold a grudge against me; he just chuckled and obliged.
We spent the entire day dancing about the clearing, doing a lot of ballet but with some modern moves mixed in. Actually, a lot of it was just leaping high into the air and then twirling back down again, roughly in time to the music (a blend of rock, classical, and modern, with some of Edward’s original compositions in there too). In my humble opinion, Rose and I did a great job teaching Ness how to move it – and she’s a natural, really!
I think the other guys had a nice day too. Whatever. It was nowhere near as awesome as our day on the dance floor! But tomorrow’s the dinner party, so I’ve got to go whip my family into shape and start setting things up – focaccia dough doesn’t just make itself, you know!