Evening's Light

27. Blocking

Edward filled Carlisle and the others in when we got home—on what I had learned to do in Slovakia—with blocking his gift inside itself. And my husband was all too anxious to shoot me another perturbed look when he shared how much of a surprise it was to him, as much as me. And then a tight scowl when he'd been desperate to know Peter's thoughts, and, how I had made him wait.

Well…it was bothering me. And I knew we'd find out soon.

But he recovered quickly and smiled when he also mentioned how nice it was to have his thoughts to himself again. It had been so long since he had that luxury.

"But it was when Bella was able to block Renata, Jane and Alec inside themselves, that we knew we had a chance," he continued, beaming proudly in my direction.

"So, Renata was able to distract your shield?" Esme shook her head, disturbed by the idea. "Leave it to Aro…" she fumed.

We weren't going to be leaving anything to Aro anymore. But I cringed at the name anyway. The forever-stuck memories were still too fresh for me not to.

Alice danced up to stand stiffly in front of me.

"See if you can block me, Bella," she challenged with the slight raise of an eyebrow.

"Alright." I smiled smugly. I knew I could. "Emmett," I called, "in a second, I want you to decide to do something."

"Sure thing!" He jumped off the couch and spun, looking around.

Alice stared into my eyes with her arms crossed, waiting for me to do something. But what she couldn't see, was that I had already placed my shield inside her head and blocked her. This sneaky, shield stuff was fun. She obviously hadn't felt it either—not that I thought she would—but you never know with Alice.

Emmett ran over and picked up the TV remote that had been left lying on the couch and motioned to turn it on, but didn't, so there wouldn't be any noise for her to hear and give him away.

"Well?" Rosalie asked when she moved next to me to get a better look at Alice. "What did you see?"

"What do you mean?" Alice drew her brows in. "I'm waiting for Bella to start."

I bit my lip to keep from laughing.

"You're blocked, Alice."

"I am?" She felt around her head, her hair, sticking her fingers in her ears. "Impressive, Bella…" Then she shuffled back a few minutes in her mind. ""Hmm," her bell-voice rang, then her eyes widened in odd surprise. "I…didn't see anything." A sour expression took over her pretty features.

Spinning, she saw Emmett standing in front of the TV, remote in hand. Grinning at her

"That's…very interesting." She held her chin high, but said those three words in a way that made me think she might be feeling a little less valuable. But that certainly wasn't my intention. She was just an example—and had asked—and would always be valuable. As much as each one of us in this family.

"Actually, it's amazing," Esme chimed in, thrilled to have witnessed an actual block happen.

Alice turned back to face me again, raising a single brow. "I expect," she emphasized the word 'expect', "you won't be doing that without me knowing first, of course?"

"No, Alice, I promise." I held up the Girl Scout's Honor sign, then crossed my heart with my one finger—which probably didn't mean anything to her, since it wasn't working anyway.

"Fine then…" She smirked, feeling better. And I removed the shield from her mind.

"Try me, mommy!" Renesmee jumped into my arms.

"Well, umm…okay," I said apprehensively. I never liked trying things out on my daughter, but the process didn't hurt. I figured she would be fine.

"Go ahead," I told her sweetly, after I watched the thin film sink into her little head.

She reached her tiny hand up to my cheek, and frowned after a few seconds when she received no reaction from me, pulling her hand away and cupping it to her chest with the other.

"What is it?" I asked softly, wondering what made her pull away like that.

I looked over at Edward, but all he did was shrug one shoulder.

"You couldn't hear her?"

"No." He shook his head. "And I couldn't hear Alice when you blocked her either."

"So, it works both ways…" Carlisle's face beamed as if he'd just discovered the cure for…well, anything. "It's a block, and a shield. Nothing gets out, and nothing gets in. Fascinating…" He began pacing, thinking.

"Mommy, you couldn't see what I showed you," Renesmee caught my attention, sounding and looking sad.

"No, sweetie, I couldn't." I shook my head as I removed the shield from her. "But I'd like to see now." I smiled, letting her know she had free reign to let me in again.

She placed her hand to my cheek and smiled when I grinned back down at her. She was sharing with me her time out on the reservation with the packs…and then pack. Singular…

I saw a replay of the worry they all wore when we left, and how excited they were each time we called to check in. I saw her trips down to the beach—she and Claire building tall, crooked sandcastles together while Jacob and Quil wrestled in the ocean—and how Claire would throw little handfuls of sand every time Nessie clapped when Jacob would win. Which turned into mini sand fights Quil and Jake had to break-up, and remind Renesmee she threw a lot harder, and that neither one should be throwing at all.

Edward snickered.

I saw her goodbye with Jacob after my phone call from Marek's, and how it pained them to separate, but accepted it like a big girl. And I saw her snuggling in Jacob's bed until he would return—with Sue glued to her all night, every night, hugging her so she would be able to rest soundly.

I envied Sue for those precious moments.

I saw Emily teach her new recipes to cook and bake, and them having fun making a mess with dough and flour, but not enjoying the cleanup. I saw when she stood by, watching as Sam and his pack pushed her grandfather's police cruiser behind the house to hide it. She showed me when Carlisle's group walked through the door at Billy's, and how thrilled everyone was to see them—and then our homecoming—which sent all her anxieties flying away into a peaceful freedom.

I wanted to cry at how much I missed, but I was happy to see how well she was taken care of. Even though I knew she would be.

"What a busy time you had," I told her when she finished, looking at Edward who was now standing next to me with his arm around my shoulders.

He caressed his free hand along the top of her head and down the back. "A very busy time," he repeated. "That's good."

"What's good, is that we don't ever have to do that again," Rosalie huffed when she came over and held her hands out for Renesmee. "Bella, may I?" she asked, wanting to hold her.

"Of course, Rosalie." I handed my daughter over and Renesmee went willingly, giggling when her aunt made a funny face. Rosalie made her way to the couch, grabbed a word search for them to do from the table, and plopped down next to Emmett who had found himself a rowdy football game to watch.

"Bella!" Alice suddenly yelled, causing me to turn swiftly in her direction.

"What?" I questioned nervously.

"You promised!" she barked, glaring at me.

"What are you talking about?" I said defensively as I raised my hands from my sides to show her I had no clue what was going on.

"Alice," Edward snapped in my defense, "it's not, Bella."

And at that moment Jacob came walking through the door.

"Hey guys," he said as he walked over to pick up Renesmee who had jumped from Rosalie's lap and was now running for him.

"Ugh!" Rosalie noised, throwing the word search down on the coffee table while giving Jake a dirty look.

"What's with her?" Jacob asked Edward, motioning his head towards the scowling blonde.

"She just sat down with her," he explained as he rolled his eyes, probably at Rosalie's wolf-dismantling visions. "It's nothing to worry about."

"Huh, alright." He shrugged as he headed towards the kitchen with Renesmee. "Wanna help me make a sandwich?" he asked before they disappeared around the corner.

Rosalie continued to murmur to herself on the couch, arms crossed, while Emmett yelled insults at the referees for bad calls—in his opinion—they were making on plays. And the ones they'd missed.

Alice was at my face again.

"I'm sorry, Bella." She hugged me. "I shouldn't have assumed after you promised. That wasn't nice of me to yell at you before I knew what was going on."

"No, it wasn't," Edward replied firmly with hands on his hips, and an eyebrow raised.

This was going to get old very quick, I thought. Was she going to think I was blocking her every time Jacob showed and she couldn't see anything? She'd better not. She knew me better than that.

"Its okay, Alice," I told her as I put my hand on Edward's shoulder for him to relax. "I can see the confusion, but I did tell you I wouldn't do that to you. There's no reason for me to. So you don't have to worry, alright?"

"Fair enough, Bella," she sang with a smile. "I'll know every time that I can't see, that it's because of the mutt…unless you tell me otherwise," she joked loudly in Jacob's direction.

"I can hear you, Alice," Jacob yelled from the kitchen. She sent me a wink and I giggled.

Edward didn't crack a smile. He was still too busy being defensive for me, to which I appreciated. But sometimes it could be too much. Maybe he still had that soldier mentality in him. Defend your territory…defend your territory, I played in my head like I was shouting out a battle cry. Although, now that I thought about it, I was the same way, we all were. No, it wasn't a soldier thing. It was a 'vampire' thing.

"Jacob?" Carlisle called when the sounds of making a sandwich came to an end.

"Yeah." He peeked his head around the corner.

"Now that you're here, I'd like to try something with you, if you don't mind?"

"Try what?" He eyed Carlisle cautiously, his whole body standing out from the kitchen and looking nervous.

"Alice, Bella." Carlisle motioned for us to come near. "Jacob, can you come this way please?"

Jacob eyed both of us standing there, facing him, smiling. "I don't think I like this, Doc." He shook his head, not moving.

"It's just an experiment," he replied calmly.

Jacob's eyes widened and he shook a finger at Carlisle. "Uh-uh," he said with apprehension. "The last time an experiment happened around here, two of you bit each other." He pointed to me and Edward.

Edward pursed his lips and I tried to hide a grin while Emmett laughed out loud.

"No one's going to bite you, Jacob," Edward hissed. "Carlisle wants to see if shielding you will allow Alice to have full visions with you close to her."

"Oh. Well, why didn't you say so?" he scoffed as he headed over while Renesmee made her way back to Rosalie to watch from the couch.

"Esme, honey," Carlisle rubbed her arm, "would you mind helping on this one?"

"Of course," she gleamed.

"Okay, Bella, shield Jacob when you're ready, and then Esme will decide something."

I took my shield and threw it over Jacob, who stood only two feet in front of us, making sure to cover every single inch of him, allowing no cracks or crevices to prevent Alice from being able to see anything.

"Wait," Jasper said suddenly. "You'd better shield Renesmee too, Bella," he jerked his chin in her direction, reminding me of her semi-blindness to Alice, too. I nodded and closed her in as well on the couch.

"They're covered," I said to Esme.

Then Jake made me laugh when he started doing ghost moves under his and making "Ooooing" noises. I swear, sometimes I think Renesmee is the one who is more mature of the two.

Esme walked around the corner, into the kitchen then and we could hear the fridge door open.

Alice stared off into space for only a second before she said, "she grabbed a gallon of milk from the door."

There was no other sound to suggest Esme switched her item for anything else, before she came around the corner with the gallon of milk in hand, just like Alice predicted.

"Yay!" Alice jumped, clapping. "I saw everything so clearly, like you weren't even here, dog."

"Great." Jacob rolled his eyes. "Way to make me feel better," he snarled, which caused Jasper move defensively between them.

Jacob took an offensive step back, palms up, watching Jasper's reaction, concerned, because he'd only been joking.

"Sorry, mongrel." Alice frowned playfully at Jacob. "You know I'm just teasing?" She pulled at Jasper's arm, moving him back and giving Jacob room to relax.

"Of course," he replied, eyeing the blonde vampire who watched him intently with dark eyes. "And so was I."

"Esme, do something else." Alice turned, changing the heat of the moment. "Something with more difficulty."

Esme turned around and headed upstairs and down the hall. I could hear her movements along the floor in Carlisle's office, then a book slide gently off of a shelf. The cover creaked slightly when she opened it and pages flipped under thumb until she came to one she wanted.

"The Victrola Book of the Opera." Alice smiled. "Sixth edition…copyrighted in 1921," her voice was smug.

Edward nodded that she was correct.

Esme's footsteps moved from Carlisle's office, back down the hall, taking one stair at a time as she flipped quickly through more pages, stopping again when she found another.

She paused behind Alice, holding the correct book up for us to see, then opened it in our direction to the new page she'd marked with her finger.

"The Opera of Hamlet," Alice sang. "Page one hundred and fifty. And in the middle is a black and white picture of Ruffo as Hamlet."

Alice looked at Edward again, but didn't have to wonder if she was correct, she knew she was.

Esme closed the book and hugged it tightly to her chest, her eyes wide with excitement.

"Well, doesn't that just beat all?" Jacob mumbled, impressed. "So what's Bella supposed to do? Shield me forever now?"

I looked warily at Carlisle, knowing that was something I wasn't going to be able to do. Especially since Edward and I had a house of our own.

And Jacob wasn't moving in.

"No," Carlisle replied. "But it's good to know that it's possible. In case we should ever need it." He smiled to all of us.

All was quiet for a moment and then Alice shot me a curious glance. "Bella! Do you mean it? Really?" Her eyes widened.

I had drifted a bit in the silence, thinking about our family's future. And she'd caught me once I decided what I wanted to do.

"Yes." I smiled at her.

"That's wonderful!" She danced over and hugged me, then looked back at Edward. "Can you believe it?" she asked him.

Edward's stare at me was with controlled excitement. "I can," he said while his eyes held mine, and one side of his mouth turned up into a slight grin. "It's something I'd always hoped for."

"What'd I miss?" Jacob wondered, along with the others who stood staring at us with no further clues to go on.

"We're going to Dartmouth!" Alice informed them, cupping her anxious hands in front of her.

"Seriously?" Emmett jumped up as one by one their faces lit up, except Jacob's. His expression was the one I knew would not be happy, at first—and not until he understood.

"When?" Rosalie asked.

"Not for a while," Alice told her, "but, we're going…I can see it!"

"We're leaving, mommy?" Renesmee sounded miserable when she walked up slowly to take Jacob's hand. The two of them standing there, not moving, showing no enthusiasm, or intentions of wanting to go anywhere, or wanting to 'allow' anyone to go anywhere.

I walked over and bent down to her, caressing my hand across her cheek, smiling. "Yes, sweetheart," I nodded, "but not until you're old enough and finish your schooling here." Then I paused to look up at Jake who was staring down at me, heartbroken. "And not until Jacob is done with school, as well. We'll wait until you both are ready." I gave him a slight wink.

Renesmee gasped, holding her breath for a moment in excitement, but it was Jake's eyes that went from thrilled to glum in one swift glance.

"What?" I asked, surprised. I thought he would be pleased to know we weren't taking off without him, that he would be coming with us.

"I, um…I…I can't afford college, Bella. Not Dartmouth anyway." He lowered his head. "I'll never make the grades to get in...and, well, I uh, sorta used what college money I had to get me to Vienna…"

He did wh— I stood quickly and turned to Carlisle who instantly gave me a nod, and then to Edward, who was hesitant, and appeared to be displeased by the questioning look on my face. He closed his eyes and shook his head, allowing me to believe he was going to say 'no'.

But before I could gather the words to argue, he opened his eyes and gave me a nodding, yet reluctant, 'yes'.

I placed my hands, one over the other to my chest, and mouthed 'thank you' to him. He smiled in a way that showed he truly meant his answer.

"Jacob." I ruffled my fingers through his dark, mangy hair. "You're going with us," I instructed, letting him know there was no other option to discuss. "We'll handle everything, okay? You will go to college." I stared directly into his eyes. "And Edward will help make sure you get the grades you need to get in, alright?"

My husband growled. I thought he'd like my suggestion.

Jake's eyes widened curiously, checking mine to see if what I was saying was honest. I smiled and raised my eyebrows, waiting for an answer, a reaction...anything. I got nothing while he contemplated my wonderful offers.

And I didn't dare look at Edward. After I'd committed him to help make sure Jacob learned his way in, I knew there would be a not-so-happy glare focused in my air of space. I knew, because that glare was burning a large hole right through the middle of my back. I'd be making up for that deal for a while.

Jacob glanced at Carlisle next.

"We'll take care of everything, Jacob," he said surely, no hesitation. "And we'll reimburse the rest of your pack for their trips, too. It's the least I feel we can do for what you all have done for us."

But once again Jake's eyes went from thrilled, to somber. He was a rollercoaster of emotions as I suffered through every climb, drop, turn and twist with him. Couldn't he just be happy and say 'that sounds great Bells, thank you!'? Why did he seem to be having so much difficulty figuring this out?

And as soon as I'd thought the question, Jacob answered it.

"Thanks for the reimbursements, Carlisle, that'll help a lot. But, college...well...um, I don't know," he shook his head as if it was an impossible thought and his voice shook, "that means I'd have to...go away. And leave them behind." He paused, thinking some more as his eyes shuffled back and forth, then ended with a decided, deadpanned halt. "Thanks, Doc, but, I don't think I can go." And I literally heard his heart sink before it slowed to a slow sad rhythm.

I threw my hands on my hips. "What are you going to do Jake, wait around here for four to eight years for us to return?"

He was hesitant. "Well, can't Nessie stay here with me?" His words were nervous as he'd actually dared himself to say them.

"What!" I shouted, furious at the stupid and utterly ridiculous question. A low growl began to creep up my throat as it encouraged me to want to lunge and rip his out. There was no way I was going to leave my daughter behind, imprint or not! No way! And luckily, Edward would never agree to handing his little girl over to a wolf, this wolf, who'd had his eye on her since the day she was born.

His growl echoed mine, but louder as he took a step towards Jake, only to stop when he saw Renesmee still holding his hand.

"Or not…" Jacob backtracked, stepping away from Edward as Renesmee cowered with him.

Carlisle moved between them, eyeing Edward, then turned to face Jacob. "I think the best decision is for you to come with us," he said. "And I think it would be the best decision for your pack and Sam's, as well."

Jake lowered his brows. "How so?"

"Think about it. If Renesmee stays here with you"—Carlisle immediately stuck his hand up at Edward, pausing him—"all the imprints of your pack, and Sam's, will continue to grow older while none of you do, because of the vampire in her. She needs to be away with her family. Therefore, the best choice is for you to come with us," then he looked down at Renesmee and back to Jacob, "because you're not going to want to get any older."

Carlisle was one-hundred percent right. The more any of us hung around, the closer their imprints would be to dying, while the wolves never changed or had the chance to grow old with them. And then I went from ecstatic to somber.

"So, we can never come back, Carlisle?" I panicked at the thought. What about Charlie? Was I going to have to pick up and leave him behind forever after I just got him back? I was already gut-wrenched about Renee.

"Of course we can, Bella," he said comfortingly. "You see, the wolves are able to eventually 'stop' their phasing, if they choose; allowing them to become mortal, to grow old gracefully, even with vampires around. Our being gone will give them plenty of time to practice."

"And if they choose not to?" Jacob asked. "They still have land they'll want to protect."

"Then our being gone, will at least allow them the chance to grow older, and they can decide individually. And we'll choose what we do, or where we go after college. It doesn't have to be figured out right now. There's always a way around these types of things." Carlisle smiled.

The room was quiet for a while, waiting patiently for Jacob to sort through his thoughts and hopefully give us some good news.

"Well, maybe you've got something there, Doc?" Jacob grinned after a while. "Sounds like, regardless of what the packs decide, you're going to Dartmouth. And…it looks like I'm going with you."

I held back a shriek of excitement, biting down on both my lips, but grew a large grin on my face anyways.

He shook Renesmee's hand in his. "Whatcha think about that, huh?"

"I like that idea," she beamed back.

"Thanks, Carlisle." Jacob reached his hand out to shake. "Thank you very much."

"Welcome aboard, brother!" Emmett slapped Jacob on the back, nearly sending him to the ground in full force.

"Brother?" Rosalie snarled. "Don't you mean 'nephew'?" She implied with a spiteful snort and rolled her eyes towards Edward.

Edward pursed his lips and flared his nostrils at her, not finding her snide remark funny in the least. And neither did I. We knew their time would come, hoping for later, much, much later, rather than sooner.

"Looks like you've got a lot of studying to do," I said after I'd calmed down from Rosalie and elbowed Jake in the side, removing my shield finally.

"Oh joy…" He sighed, frowning.

I sensed Edward glare at me again because of the 'studying' jab, but I didn't look at him. In fact, the intensely thrown eye daggers, that I knew were firing my way, made sure I was glancing in the opposite direction, to combat getting hit in the eye with one. Yep. Gonna owe him 'huge'.

Everyone proceeded to go on about their business like normal the rest of that day. Carlisle headed down to the hospital, wanting to check in on a few of his patients while Esme headed upstairs to place her re-order for the fabric they intended to pick up before; for the house her and Alice were still intent on remodeling.

Jacob joined Emmett on the couch to finish watching the football game, while Rosalie and Renesmee finished the word search they'd attempted to begin a little bit ago. And Jasper and Alice headed upstairs to 'welcome' each other home. I had a feeling we wouldn't be seeing them for a few days.

Edward went to sit down at the piano. Playing music was a way to help him drown out those around him, and drowning out Alice and Jasper was exactly what he wanted to do.

"They're probably just gonna sit and stare at each other, Edward," Emmett made me grin at how truthful his words sounded after the piano broke out into song under tense fingers, and over their fan-squawking game. Edward gave him a look to suggest he was wrong as he began to play louder, focusing his mind on each note and key.

I pulled out my cell phone when I ventured outside to make myself comfortable on the front porch and scrolled down until I found my mother's number, hitting 'send'. After all the mayhem we'd witnessed recently, her voice would be a pleasant, welcomed escape.

I hadn't realized how long I had been on the phone until Carlisle drove past and pulled into the garage. Instead of walking in through the garage door, he came round and join me on the porch steps.

I said goodbye to my mom, telling her I'd call again soon as he sat down next to me.

"Everything go alright at the hospital?" I noticed he had an armful of supplies with him.

"Everything went fine, patients are doing well. One even got to go home while I was gone." He smiled, seeing me eye what he carried with him.

"These are for, Embry," he held up a bottle of painkillers, "and these," he pulled out a package of supplies for stitching, "are for Charlie's hand and neck."

"Thanks, Carlisle, for taking care of them. It's good having a doctor in the house."

He patted me gently on the shoulder before standing up to walk in. "It's good to be home, to be able to help," he smiled, "and…it's good to have a 'shield' in the house, as well, Bella." He winked, causing me to laugh humbly through my nose.

As he made his way into the house, I detected his footsteps were replaced by another heading my way. They stopped next to me and Edward sat down.

"How are you doing?" I asked as I glanced into his irritated eyes. "Did the piano not help?" I finished with a chuckle.

"For a little bit." He looked out into the forest. "But I have a sudden urge to go on a five mile drive to get out of range." His hands ran up and down his face stressfully.

"Want some help?" I grinned, tapping one of my fingers to my head. Slight taps against our heads had become a universal symbol for 'my shield' for the both us.

"That's a very welcoming idea, love." He bounced his shoulder playfully off of mine.

"Alright then." I easily placed the shield within his mind and he sighed with renewed relief when everything around him went silent.

He closed his eyes for a moment, listening to the sound of nothing but forest life.

"Better?" I asked softly, not wanting to interrupt his peace and quiet.

"Better," he breathed, then opened his eyes to look at me. "Thank you." He smiled.

"My pleasure." I grinned back.

Edward and I sat on the porch for the next few hours, being silent, being still as we held hands, watching the sun fall behind the mountains around us. It was a beautiful sunny day today, almost as if the clouds had parted just for our arrival, and were now saying goodnight as they began rolling in with twilight to take their rightful place above us.

Gently, the breeze began blowing with the incoming clouds. The familiar scent of fresh pines and local flowers, back-grounded by running river water was a nice reminder that we were home. I inhaled deeply, taking it all in, then exhaled slowly as I closed my eyes to focus on the beginning sounds of crickets, blowing leaves, scouring animals and nocturnal birds flapping their wings. I grabbed all of my hair at the back and pulled it to one side to keep it from continually twirling up into my face.

Edward suddenly sent chills down my spine when he caressed the back of his hand down the side of my exposed neck; causing me to tilt my head more to enjoy his gentle touch. I almost hyperventilated when his lips placed themselves at the back of my jaw, finding their way down to the crook of my neck.

"Sorry," he whispered next to my skin as his gentle breath instantly tightening the knot that had already formed in the pit of my stomach.

"For what," I barely breathed.

"For distracting you." He pulled away and pointed to his head.

I hadn't even noticed I had lost complete focus of my block on him. My shield had recoiled itself without my notice. We'll have to work on that.

"Oh," I said disappointed that that had happened, and that his lips were away from me because of it. "No, I'm sorry." I pouted as I let go of my hair, letting it fall back into place on both sides of my shoulders when I lifted my head to center.

"Don't be." He ran his hand across my cheek, smiling my crooked smile and causing me to melt into a giant glob.

Once I'd managed to regain my composure, I sent the thin film back into his mind, shielding him once again from the happy couple upstairs.

We both sighed in frustration as we held hands once again, staring out into the forest, both having only one thing on our minds. Blocking was cool and all, but there were more important things I had going on in my head now.

The door opened behind us and we both turned to see Rosalie walk out with a sleeping Renesmee in her arms.

"I think she's ready for bed," her aunt whispered.

"Thank you, Rose," Edward said as he scooped his daughter in his arms.

Renesmee was sleeping, which meant we were able to head home. And the knot in my stomach jumped for joy.

"Are you ready to go? Edward winked.

"Yes," I replied, almost too excitedly.

"Rosalie, can you tell Carlisle and the others we said goodnight?" his voice was rushed, anxious.

We were both looking forward to being alone in our own house then, maybe together in front of our own fireplace, or wrapped up in each other in our own bed. It didn't matter really.

"Hm-hm." She rolled her eyes. "Get out of here, you two," she barked playfully while motioning her hand to shoo us off. "See you in the morning." She grinned, turning around to head back inside.

"Night, Rosalie," I whispered as I grabbed at Edward's arm, pulling him down the porch steps.

It didn't take us long to get home.

The comforting smell of our house rang in my nose as I drew in all the familiar scents. "Ahhh, just as we left it." I exhaled.

Edward went to put Renesmee to bed while I walked around the front room, pulling up all our memories of our time here, reeling in the happiness of it all, and imagining all the other ones left to make.

I would never be able to forget my memories of the Volturi and what happened this past week, but I would be able to dull them down to an almost nothingness as time went on; pushing them father into the pits of my mind where they belonged.

As I ran my fingers along the books that sat on our bookshelf, I heard the turning of the metal against the tub faucet and the sudden flowing of water coming from our bathroom.

Edward greeted me in the bedroom when I entered, allured by the welcoming sound.

"I feel like a shower," he whispered as he kissed me on my forehead, then my neck, my shoulder, my collarbone, the hollow of neck, up my neck and vigorously on my lips.

If I was going to lose consciousness in anticipation, this is what it would feel like to be close to it. "That sounds good," I panted lightly.

"Will you be joining me?" he breathed heavily in my ear, already knowing the answer to his pre-meditated question.

"Well, I have been stuck in these same clothes for the last three days," I replied whimsically.

"I suggest we take care of that." He pulled his t-shirt up and over his head, letting it fall gently off his fingers to the floor, then helped me with mine.

My breathing became ragged as my eyes followed along the perfect plains of his chest and down his stomach. All the muscles in my body flexed in unison when he took my hand and led me into the bathroom and I quivered with enthusiasm as we finished undressing.

I rolled my head around under the water that eagerly bounced off my skin in warm tingles, heightening my senses under their soft touches.

Edward and I laughed at first as we made silly designs with each other's hair, filled with large amounts of shampoo bubbles.

I caught him staring at me when I opened my eyes from rinsing it out. He was watching the white soap travel in different paths down my body, following after a few with his finger.

When he glanced up at me, his eyes weren't playful anymore; they were dark, hungry and unrestrained. And his breathing was impatient.

The coolness of the shower tiles connected with my back when he pushed me out of the warmth of the water and up against them. His kisses were wild with desire, causing mine to match in perfect synchronization. And normal breathing between us had become out of the question once again.

It was a perfect ending to an almost perfect year as we spent the rest of the night wrapped up in each other's arms, thankful we still had forever all to ourselves.

And soon enough, when Jake and Renesmee were ready, we'd be heading off to college...



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