Edward wasn't on the porch.
Nessie ran into the house and jumped into Alice's arms. Alice's eyes were blank and distant.
"Alice! I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!!" Nessie chimed.
"Me, too." Nessie seemed annoyed by her short answer.
"So, what have you been doing?" That froze me in position but Alice continued as if everything was normal.
"Remember Tanya's family, in Denali?" Renesmee nodded. "We went to see them for a while."
"Why couldn't I come?" Nessie's bottom lip jutted out when she said this.
"Because they are still grieving for their sister." Alice's forehead creased.
"I could have helped."
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think they would have appreciated it much if we brought you along."
"Because you're an intruding child," she smiled gently. I knew she was only playing.
"I am not an intru-!"
"Hmm, I wonder what you're doing now, then.."
Renesmee pouted further as her eyebrows furrowed together. She playfully poked her small, red tongue out at Alice and she did the same. Peals of laughter filled the air from Nessie's lips. Only she was laughing; only her bright mood seemed to fill the atmosphere.
"Alrighty, then.." I murmured, breaking the awkward silence - apart from the echoes of her laugh. Nessie shook her head, disagreeing.
"Uh uh. We're not going yet." I needed either Edward or Alice alone. Edward sensed this, and he nudged Alice, gesturing towards me. His lips moved unintelligably. Alice had already whisked me out of the door, though, before I had time to even concentrate on what he was saying. She ran into the forest at a human speed as I followed her.
"We've tried to reason with the Volturi," her hushed voice harmonized the quiet, chilled wind as it breezed past us. "And they said no." I was unaware that my mouth was hanging open and that I had began to shake.
"They....said....no?" I shouted between clenched teeth. She nodded silently. "Well then what the hell do we do?!"
"I don't know."
"You must know!"
"We're doing our best, okay, Jacob?" My eyes narrowed. "Stupid mutt, always getting in the way of my visions.." She mumbled. I ignored that comment.
"Not Nessie, not my Renesmee," I whispered.
"We're doing what we can." She repeated differently. I turned my back on her and tried to ease the shaking, rubbing my temples with my middle and index fingers. I began to stride towards the house.
"Oh, and Jacob?" Her voice was suddenly in my ear, her too cold hand gripping my arm. I stopped, this being my answer. I couldn't talk. Not yet. I would lose it. "You do know we love you, too?" I turned round and risked myself.
"We love you, just as much as Renesmee. She wouldn't be able to control herself if she lost you.. What I'm trying to say is, look after yourself as well. Okay?"
"But if it was to save Nessie's life, if I 'took the bullet for her'?" The tension in my muscles had eased, the shaking only continued in my hands.
"Obviously. It would be hard for her to cope, extremely difficult, so lets prevent that situation from occuring, shall we?" I nodded slowly, then walked at my own pace, back to the house. Edward was at my side before I had even reached the door. He stopped me a few metres away from the foggy trees.
"We're telling Renesmee."
"What?!" I shrieked violently. I shook my head. "Oh, no no no no. Uh uh."
"We have to."
"Jacob. I see the look in your eyes when you lie to her. You hate it, you truly do." I had a feeling he wasn't just reading my eyes.
"You stay the goddamn hell out of my head." I don't know how many times I have said that to him, but one thing's for sure, it was a lot.
"But your mind is so loud," he complained.
"Well sorry to be the rain on your little mind reading parade, but that's not my fault."
He changed the subject.
"Renesmee needs to know. She needs to be.. as careful as we are."
"But she is careful," I disagreed quickly.
"Not as much as is needed in this situation."
"But it's going to hurt her, Edward! Can't you see that?"
"Yes, I can. But, I'm sure you would rather tell her than lose her forever?" He said it in question.
"Yes," I murmured.
"Right, then." I shot a glare at Edward, then worked up my pace to keep up with his long strides.
Are you doing it? I asked Edward in the safety of my head when we reached the living room.
"Do you want to?" He whispered back. I shook my head fiercely. "Well then yes, it is me." Nessie's big, brown, confused eyes searched our faces.
"Nessie." Edward said, kneeling down to her level and taking her hands in his. A shiver rolled down my spine as the thought of his cold, hard grasp trickled through my mind like a running tap. "We have something to tell you." Her face hardened.
"This is about why they went away, isn't it?"
Edward nodded guiltily. "Yes."
"I knew it. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it." She stared around the room and then her gaze traced back to Edward. "Go on, then."
"An army of newborns and fourteen..experienced vampires have begun a war with the Volturi. The Volturi have ordered every one of our kind to fight. We can pick our sides.."
"What side have you chosen, Daddy?"
"The Volturi's side."
"But that's so dangerous-" She started.
"We'll be fine."
"So where did Alice go?"
"They went to Volterra, you know, where the Volturi live. They tried to reason with them, so we could protect ourselves and you, and not fight."
"What did they say?"
"What happens if you don't fight?"
"The Volturi will kill us." Renesmee gulped.
"I don't want you to fight.. but, let's say you did. What would be the problem? Apart from you.. dying." She forced the word out.
"It's happening here."
"No! Jacob, Seth, Leah! You lot! I can't.. You can't.. You won't.. I won't let people get hurt! No, they can't!" She started to sob.
"Shhh, it's okay." Edward comforted her before I could. Her head pressed into his collarbone as he soothed her. "We'll get through this."