November 12, 2010
Werewolves and vampires just should not picnic together.
Rosalie and I had been out hunting the night before. We had to go a few hours away to find enough animals to – you know, satiate ourselves. On the way back I saw a lot of squirrels and thought idly about gathering them to give to the dogs for Christmas … but no, it wouldn’t be worth the effort, even though it would be hilarious!
When we got close to the house, Rosalie slowed, and I almost bumped into her because I was still imagining squirrels and wrapping paper.
“Hold your breath,” Jasper called from inside the house. This made me very curious, so naturally, I inhaled deeply.
Ugh! Something smelled like sulfur. I gagged a bit, then belatedly followed Jazz’s excellent advice, and held my breath as I sped to the source of the smell.
In the open, airy kitchen, Esme was frowning dubiously at some grayish-white slabs of what appeared to be poultry, while Bella grinned and Nessie giggled. Poor girl – she couldn’t hold her breath!
“Are you sure that’s right?” Esme asked, slicing into one of the white slabs and peering at its innards.
“Yes, I’m sure,” Bella laughed, as she chopped celery at the speed of light. “It always smells really bad like that. Boiling chicken is never fun even for humans – but I promise they’ll love it,” she assured Esme, who still looked doubtful.
“But if it smells bad to them, too, how could it taste good?” she wondered, swiftly cubing the pale meat.
“It won’t smell once it’s all assembled, and away from the stove,” Bella replied confidently, reaching for a jar of cashews.
I opened my mouth to make a witty retort – then tasted the stench in my mouth, and closed it again with an audible snap. Gross!
“Chicken salad on croissants,” Edward answered someone’s silent question. “If Bella says it will taste good, then I’m sure it’ll be delicious.”
“If you say so,” Emmett scoffed, edging away from the kitchen. He was supposed to be the pack mule, evidently; he held several coolers that smelled like ice and aluminum. (Yes, ice has a smell!)
“Why can’t they just cook for themselves, since they’re the only ones who eat this crap anyway?” Rose bitched, hovering in the living room (I’d guess she was trying to keep the smell from soaking into her hair; but I’m not Edward, so I can’t say for sure).
“It’s not crap, Rosalie,” Edward responded in a tone that could have frozen vodka. (I’m told vodka doesn’t freeze.)
“I don’t mind cooking for them,” Esme said mildly, handing Carlisle the assembled sandwiches in their container. “They work so hard, and I’m afraid they never get enough rest.”
“Psh!” Emmett shook his head and laughed. “All these guys ever do is sleep! That and get bossed around by their dictator. I’m tellin’ you, if I was one of them, I’d slit my wrists and stand in the middle of Volterra so -”
Edward interrupted what was likely to be a long, strange stream-of-consciousness ramble from Emmett. “I believe the wolves are ready to go,” he informed us, gently taking the padded canvas bag of dishes from Esme, who smiled up at him in admiration.
So we all began the hike to the mountaintop. Well, not so much a hike as a slow jog for us, and a fast run for the wolves, who were not in their wolf forms for this occasion.
Renesmee was chattering excitedly to anyone who would listen (basically, everyone but Leah) about this little stream her and Jacob had found over there, and that big eagle’s nest way up there that we could climb up to, but the momma eagle wouldn’t like it, because when Jacob did it she tried to peck his eyes out, and –
“Here we are,” Leah sighed in a relieved tone.
Esme unfurled the king-sized comforter that she had brought as a picnic blanket and Edward immediately began to lay out the plates, silverware, and napkins. I stood a few feet away and wondered what I was supposed to do.
“Whatever you want,” Edward answered, sitting back as Jacob, Leah, and Embry began to wolf down the food (ha – get it? Get it? Okay, that was a bad pun).
Okaaaaaaaaay … Glancing around, I saw that Rose and Emmett were ignoring the humans completely and made their way to the cliff edge that formed one side of the clearing. They were having a very interesting conversation.
“It would still hurt,” Rosalie speculated, leaning out to see the drop.
“Naw, it’d be like swimming in whipped cream,” Emmett replied, grinning that cocky grin of his.
“Please don’t dive off the mountain, Emmett,” Esme said calmly, serving the humans their sugary beverages.
“But it wouldn’t even hurt! It’d just leave a mark on the mountain,” he chortled, letting his laughter echo back at him.
“Let’s not disturb the wildlife too much,” Edward replied drily, as clouds of startled birds rose from their perches and flew up, squawking, into the sky.
I was busily assessing his outfit – it was just some old jeans and an Ed Hardy t-shirt that I would love to have destroyed, so I was totally on his side. Jumping off the mountaintop wouldn’t do any harm – except to that god-awful shirt!
Jasper had drifted closer to the picnickers, probably to enjoy the satisfaction they must be feeling, since every single trace of food had been consumed. With one brief, longing look back at Emmett’s shirt, I sighed and turned to join the group.
Jacob was lying on his back, with his arms behind his head, gazing dreamily up at the cloudy sky, as Nessie built a Gulliver-type net of twigs across his torso. I approved of the general concept of tying the guy to the mountaintop, but I didn’t think it was going to work.
“Be nice,” Edward murmured, his eyes on the flower he was twirling in his hands, so no one could tell who he was talking to. Well, he was probably responding to more than just my thoughts anyway!
He stifled a chuckle, and I knew that – as usual – I was right.
“So now what?” Leah asked in her typical blunt way, scowling at Bella when Embry enthusiastically asked her to share the chicken salad recipe. Odd. They must have thought it tasted good.
“Now we relax,” Carlisle replied in his authoritative, yet still gentle, voice. Leah huffed and looked around like a trapped animal. Like the trapped animal she was, really.
Slight awkwardness ensued, until the conversation got going. Then the time passed more quickly, and when Jacob began to snore loudly, we decided it was time to go back to the house.
I swear, I don’t get this whole picnic thing. You go far away to eat your food – I’m used to that part, but then you hang around chatting when you’re done? I don’t see the appeal. We could have been chatting on our jet-skis instead.
Oh well, it was what Renesmee wanted, and nobody could ever say no to her! That reminds me … when we get back, I have some sleuthing to do. Edward still hasn’t picked up anything that would make it seem like someone wouldn’t want their to be a ballet recital, so it’s probably somebody back home, and I need to find out, like, yesterday. Costumes don’t just grow on trees, you know!