She was very still, watching and listening. How much did she understand?

"Charlie'll be here soon," Jacob said to me casually. "Just a heads-up. I assume Alice is getting you sunglasses or something?"

"You assume way too much," I spit through my teeth. "What. Have. You. Done?"

Jacob's smile wavered, but he was still too wound up to answer seriously. "Biondie and Emmett woke me up this morning going on and on about you all moving cross-country. Like I could let you leave. Charlie was the biggest issue there, right? Well, problem solved.'7

"Do you even realize what you've done? The danger you've put him in?"

He snorted. "I didn't put him in danger. Except from you. But you've got some kind of supernatural self-control, right? Not as good as mind reading, if you ask me. Much less exciting."

Edward moved then, darting across the room to get in Jacob's face. Though he was half a head shorter than Jacob, Jacob leaned away from his staggering anger as if Edward towered over him.

"That's just a theory, mongrel," he snarled. "You think we should test it out on Charlie? Did you consider the physical pain you're putting Bella through, even if she can resist? Or the emotional pain if she doesn't? I suppose what happens to Bella no longer concerns you!" He spit the last word.

Renesmee pressed her fingers anxiously to my cheek, anxiety coloring the replay in her head.

Edward's words finally cut through Jacob's strangely electric mood. His mouth dropped into a frown. "Bella will be in pain?"

"Like you've shoved a white-hot branding iron down her throat!"

I flinched, remembering the scent of pure human blood.

"I didn't know that," Jacob whispered.

"Then perhaps you should have asked first," Edward growled back through his teeth.

"You would have stopped me."

"You should have been stopped - "

"This isn't about me," I interrupted. I stood very still, keeping my hold on Renesmee and sanity. "This is about Charlie, Jacob. How could you put him in danger this way? Do you realize it's death or vampire life for him now, too?" My voice trembled with the tears my eyes could no longer shed.

Jacob was still troubled by Edward's accusations, but mine didn't seem to bother him. "Relax, Bella. I didn't tell him anything you weren't planning to tell him."

"But he's coming here!"

"Yeah, that's the idea. Wasn't the whole let him make the wrong assumptions' thing your plan? I think I provided a very nice red herring, if I do say so myself."

My fingers flexed away from Renesmee. I curled them back in securely. "Say it straight, Jacob. I don't have the patience for this."

"I didn't tell him anything about you, Bella. Not really. I told him about me. Well, show is probably a better verb."

"He phased in front of Charlie," Edward hissed.

I whispered, "You what?"

"He's brave. Brave as you are. Didn't pass out or throw up or anything. I gotta say, I was impressed. You should've seen his face when I started taking my clothes off, though. Priceless," Jacob chortled.

"You absolute moronl You could have given him a heart attack!"

"Charlie's fine. He's tough. If you'd give this just a minute, you'll see that I did you a favor here."

"You have half of that, Jacob." My voice was flat and steely. "You have thirty seconds to tell me every single word before I give Renesmee to Rosalie and rip your miserable head off. Seth won't be able to stop me this time."

"Jeez, Bells. You didn't used to be so melodramatic. Is that a vampire thing?"

"Twenty-six seconds."

Jacob rolled his eyes and flopped into the nearest chair. His little pack moved to stand on his flanks, not at all relaxed the way he seemed to be; Leah's eyes were on me, her teeth slightly bared.

"So I knocked on Charlie's door this morning and asked him to come for a walk with me. He was confused, but when I told him it was about you and that you were back in town, he followed me out to the woods. I told him you weren't sick anymore, and that things were a little weird, but good. He was about to take off to see you, but I told him I had to show him something first. And then I phased." Jacob shrugged.

My teeth felt like a vise was pushing them together. "I want every word, you monster."

"Well, you said I only had thirty seconds - okay, okay." My expression must have convinced him that I wasn't in the mood for teasing. "Lemme see... I phased back and got dressed, and then after he started breathing again, I said something like, 'Charlie, you don't live in the world you thought you lived in. The good news is, nothing has changed - except that now you know. Life'll go on the same way it always has. You can go right back to pretending that you don't believe any of this.'

"It took him a minute to get his head together, and then he wanted to know what was really going on with you, with the whole rare-disease thing. I told him that you had been sick, but you were fine now - it was just that you'd had to change a little bit in the process of getting better. He wanted to know what I meant by 'change,' and I told him that you looked a lot more like Esme now than you looked like Renee."

Edward hissed while I stared in horror; this was headed in a dangerous direction.

"After a few minutes, he asked, real quietly, if you turned into an animal, too. And I said, 'She wishes she was that cool!'" Jacob chuckled.

Rosalie made a noise of disgust.

"I started to tell him more about werewolves, but I didn't even get the whole word out - Charlie cut me off and said he'd 'rather not know the specifics.' Then he asked if you'd known what you were getting yourself into when you married Edward, and I said, 'Sure, she's known all about this for years, since she first came to Forks.' He didn't like that very much. I let him rant till he got it out of his system. After he got calmed down, he just wanted two things. He wanted to see you, and I said it would be better if he gave me a head start to explain."