that they'd all been waiting for.
"Rose," I said through my teeth, very slowly and precisely. "Take Renesmee."
Rosalie held her hands out, and Jacob handed my daughter to her at once. Both of them backed away from me.
"Edward, I don't want to hurt you, so please let go of me."
"Go stand in front of Renesmee," I suggested.
He deliberated, and then let me go.
I leaned into my hunting crouch and took two slow steps forward toward Jacob.
"You didn't," I snarled at him.
He backed away, palms up, trying to reason with me. "You know it's not something I can control."
"You stupid mutt How could you? My babyf
He backed out the front door now as I stalked him, half-running backward down the stairs. "It wasn't my idea, Bella!"
"I've held her all of one time, and already you think you have some moronic wolfy claim to her? She's mine"
"I can share," he said pleadingly as he retreated across the lawn.
"Pay up," I heard Emmett say behind me. A small part of my brain wondered who had bet against this outcome. I didn't waste much attention on it. I was too furious.
"How dare you imprint on my baby? Have you lost your mind?"
"It was involuntary!" he insisted, backing into the trees.
Then he wasn't alone. The two huge wolves reappeared, flanking him on either side. Leah snapped at me.
A fearsome snarl ripped through my teeth back at her. The sound disturbed me, but not enough to stop my advance.
"Bella, would you try to listen for just a second? Please?" Jacob begged. "Leah, back off," he added.
Leah curled her lip at me and didn't move.
"Why should I listen?" I hissed. Fury reigned in my head. It clouded everything else out.
"Because you're the one who told me this. Do you remember? You said we belonged in each other's lives, right? That we were family. You said that was how you and I were supposed to be. So... now we are. It's what you wanted."
I glared ferociously. I did dimly remember those words. But my new quick brain was two steps ahead of his nonsense.
"You think you'll be part of my family as my son-in-lawV I screeched. My bell voice ripped through two octaves and still came out sounding like music.
"Stop her, Edward," Esme murmured. "She'll be unhappy if she hurts him."
But I felt no pursuit behind me.
"No!" Jacob was insisting at the same time. "How can you even look at it that way? She's just a baby, for crying out loud!"
"That's mypointl" I yelled.
"You know I don't think of her that way! Do you think Edward would have let me live this long if I did? All I want is for her to be safe and happy - is that so bad? So different from what you want?" He was shouting right back at me.
Beyond words, I shrieked a growl at him.
"Amazing, isn't she?" I heard Edward murmur.
"She hasn't gone for his throat even once," Carlisle agreed, sounding stunned.
"Fine, you win this one," Emmett said grudgingly.
"You're going to stay away from her," I hissed up at Jacob.
"I can't do that!"
Through my teeth: "Try. Starting now"
"It's not possible. Do you remember how much you wanted me around three days ago? How hard it was to be apart from each other? That's gone for you now, isn't it?"
I glared, not sure what he was implying.
"That was her," he told me. "From the very beginning. We had to be together, even then."
I remembered, and then I understood; a tiny part of me was relieved to have the madness explained. But that relief somehow only made me angrier. Was he expecting that to be enough for me? That one little clarification would make me okay with this?
"Run away while you still can," I threatened.
"C'mon,Bells! Nessie likes me, too," he insisted.
I froze. My breathing stopped. Behind me, I heard the lack of sound that was their anxious reaction.
"What...did youcall her?"
Jacob took a step farther back, managing to look sheepish. "Well," he mumbled, "that name you came up with is kind of a mouthful and - "
"You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?" I screeched.
And then I lunged for his throat.
Tm so sorry, Seth. I should have been closer."
Edward was still apologizing, and I didn't think that was either fair or appropriate. After all, Edward hadn't completely and inexcusably lost control of his temper. Edward hadn't tried to rip Jacob's head off - Jacob, who wouldn't even phase to protect himself - and then accidentally broken Seth's shoulder and collarbone when he jumped in between. Edward hadn't almost killed his best friend.
Not that the best friend didn't have a few things to answer for, but, obviously, nothing Jacob had done could have mitigated my behavior.
So shouldn't have been the one apologizing? I tried again.
"Seth, I - "
"Don't worry about it, Bella, I'm totally fine," Seth said at the same time that Edward said, "Bella, love, no one is judging you. You're doing so well."
They hadn't let me finish a sentence yet.
It only made it worse that Edward was having a difficult time keeping the smile off his face. I knew that Jacob didn't deserve my overreaction, but Edward seemed to find something satisfying in it. Maybe he was just wishing that he had the excuse of being a newborn so that he could do something physical about his irritation with Jacob, too.
I tried to erase the anger from my system entirely, but it was hard, knowing that Jacob was outside with Renesmee right now. Keeping her safe from me, the crazed newborn.