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Lunar Phases by CarrieW

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Table of Contents
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Story Notes:

Twilighted validation beta:  casket4mytears

Author's Chapter Notes:



Lunar Phase



Twilighted validation beta: casket4mytears (who uber rocks)

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

I just want to say that I realize this is a very long and information heavy chapter, but please click next.  You will be glad you did. :)


Chapter 1 – Coming of Age

When I woke up, I envisioned myself tearing from the sheets and springing up to embrace the day. Something more than personal pride in my birthday was marking the continuation of my existence in a new way, something more substantial. An end. Funny that a ritualistic day celebrating birth would mark a journey's end for me.

Instead of moving, I froze. Today was a beginning to all things but one, because my growth spurt had come to an abrupt halt. The stretching limbs and constant fast forward would cease now. Development complete. The normal growing pains of youth said nothing for what it felt for me to advance and reach this point. Full growth, from embryo to adult, in seven years had definitely taken its toll both physically and mentally.

I lay on my pillow, trying to shove away the sluggishness that always plagued me in the mornings. I knew I wouldn't miss the sleeping that had found me unconscious for nearly twelve hours a day, every day, since the day I was born. I had to hope that since the growing had stopped, I wouldn't need so many hours to recuperate from it.

In the grand scheme of things, having spent half my life wasted in torpor was fractional when sized against the lifetime I had ahead of me. But my vampire family didn't sleep. Not ever. Since I did, I constantly felt like I was missing out on some important detail. A whole different kind of life was slipping by in my absence, one that I would never be a part of.

Apparently, being a half-vampire held the same benefit of prolonged existence – probably. I wouldn't fight this theory, because the alternative was far too scary. Too morbid. Too real. It was far safer in my fantasy realm than it ever could have been outside of it. Even with the monsters lingering outside the peripheral view of humanity, that blissful ignorance of their existence did not shield me from death. Neither mortal nor magical side could truly promise that.

I hauled the pillow over my face. Awake or not, I still couldn't really know either life, because I was only a half-breed; half-vampire, half-human. Being half and half was never about even sides. I wasn't 50% vampire or 50% human. I was one or the other. I couldn't have the best of both worlds. I had to choose. Suffocation seemed simpler than making that choice.

Yawning again, I contemplated lying back on the bed and shoving away the entire day. To my parents, Edward and Bella Cullen, the seven years of my childhood were unbearably short when weighed against an eternity. Vampires have that luxury, you see. Time is gauged differently when it's endless. That short time for them seemed very long for my body, which was trying desperately to catch up with my mind. Now that body and mind were on an equal playing field, I could focus on the game at hand.

I sat up on the bed, tossing the pillow to the floor. Having grown so quickly did steal from them moments normal parents lingered over, and it was only natural that I allow them to hover and overindulge me as much as possible. It had pleased them to do so, been necessary for their sanity. Then again, normal was not exactly a sound representation of my family, neither my caregivers directly nor the extensions surrounding them.

My family members each played a unique role in my life. For instance, having a vampire doctor as a grandfather led to many inspections, trials, charts, and exams -- to the point that I sometimes felt more like a test candidate than a real person, let alone a child. I was never a child. Grandfather meant no harm, of course, and I was happy to help, just not altogether eager to be the little experiment for him. To be fair, he was the reason I was so attuned to my two halves, so aware of how incredibly different they were from one another. His theories and calculations made for a fantastic explanation to so many of my life's phases. He was my educator.

When given the choice, I preferred to spend my free moments with my Grandpa Swan and Sue Clearwater. Those moments were full of things that seemed easy, simpler somehow. He lived by a 'need to know basis' sort of philosophy, which was completely fine for me. He loved me without conditions or questions and cherished all moments we spent together. He would never ask what was not my secret to tell, and he could never truly know how much I appreciated that.

"Bells," he would say to my mom. "She's growing like a bad weed. You did real good."

Begrudgingly, I swung my feet over the side of the bed. It never made a lot of sense to me how a bad weed could be good. Of course, I did have a tendency to take things entirely too literally. Being raised in the realm of magic and wonder, it hadn't dawned on me for quite some time that anything else existed or could exist for me. Grandpa Swan helped me see another side. Being special was second nature and altogether common in my life. What I was and what I could do was unique and important. I understood this, but still felt like running away from it sometimes. With him, I was a special kind of special. There were no expectations, no calculations, and no stipulations. He loved me for me, whatever that was. He was my escape.

"And who am I?" I would ask, chocolate brown eyes settling on his aging face.

"You know the answer to that better than me," Grandpa would say.

When my face turned serious, he always laughed lightly and explained through the words Sue first said to me, "You are every piece of good passed down from many generations, until the good grew enough to become you."

Grandpa wasn't a talker, but he never minded repeating those clean, easy statements he'd heard from the lips of Sue, who was something more than a great storyteller of Quileute legends. She carried with her a defined sense of history that focused on generational augmentation, evolution based on birth rites. She gave him a peace he hadn't known in all of his life. I wanted to touch that, take that. It wasn't mine to have, and the closest thing I would ever come to amity was being around them for as much time as I possibly could. For the most part, that was enough.

On the other side, the side of my father, the vampires filled my life with laughter and love and nothing of what the outside world would dream to envision of monstrous myths. I had heard many stories, lore and legends, and always found my questions answered honestly when I sought out the truth inside the tales. My mind was never that of a child's and so answering such things was a great deal easier for everyone. They never tried to lie to me. I'm not sure they could have if they wanted to. All great epics are bound by some degree of legitimacy. With me, there was a lot of trial and error involved in the learning curve. Each phase forward of my life marked history, making new myths. I was a testament to something never accurately catalogued in vampire record.

Slow motion steps found me in front of my closet, where I opened it to the onslaught of clothes enough for twenty children. For the most part, Alice Cullen had practicality in mind. For a long time, I really could not wear the same thing on more than one occasion, rapidly outgrowing everything in my wardrobe. Alice was a spirited vampire, easy to love and fun to be around. I assumed that part of her over-interest had something to do with the fact that my very presence inhibited the gift she possessed to see into the future.

My future was as unknown to her as it was to me, and I made her curious. That curiosity would find her spending hours trying to figure out some sort of pattern in my expressions and mannerisms so that she could predict what my next movement would be; using deduction instead of the gift she was without. I don't think that ever worked out very well. I didn't have the heart to explain to her that I had no idea what I would do from one moment to the next, so there was no possible way she would be able to do that for me. No one had ever or would ever be ready for me in that way, know me that way.

At least it provided her with some entertainment. She and the other vampires were all getting antsy to leave the confines of Forks, Washington. Speculations had already made it impossible to lead any normal sort of existence. It was unsafe to stay. It was time to move on, and I was holding them back. Normality halted for them while I grew. I was done growing. Where would they go now? Would I go with them?

Carefully calculating, I chose a blue, strapless satin that halted at my knees. Dad would appreciate the use of his favorite color, finding it the loveliest color on both of his ladies. The length, or lack thereof, of the dress might be a problem, but I was an adult now, after all. He'd have an entirely new range of things to grow accustomed to in the coming months.

I was never a little girl, but with a childlike form it was easier for them to pretend me immature. What was harder to accept was that my mental awareness began at my conception. It shifted from nothing to everything all at once. Of course, I still had to learn things, as an adult might have to should a wave of amnesia overwhelm their brain, but it wasn't the same type of learning. My education required no repetition or quizzing to confirm what I'd been taught. I was the perfect student. Retention began at the instant of my creation, the instant my father and mother connected on that elevated, physical level.

I had so much of both of them in me. Her eyes. His face. I had both of their stubbornness doubled together and multiplied, and it exuded from me. I was naturally rebellious, and daring, and everything a regular parent dreads that a teenager could ever possibly be. Yet, they loved me all the same no matter what I tried to do to surprise them. It helped a great deal that my healing factor was nothing short of miraculous.

I pulled the dress over my head, smoothing it out to fall along the curves of my completed form. Having a dad who could read your every thought was somewhat bothersome. It made it quite difficult to have a mind of my own, because I was always concerned I would say or think the wrong thing, show the wrong thing, and I loved him so deeply I couldn't bear to cause him that sort of pain. On the other hand, having to never fully explain myself was a blessing. What he couldn't read, I could show him. This was my gift. It was a gift to relay thoughts into someone's mind, the opposite of his ability to hear others' thoughts.

Dad had never purposely taken anything he heard and used it against me, but I was sure that in the midst of my unconsciousness, he told Mom everything. No more secrets. The time for secrets had long past. Mom, via Dad, knew all my thoughts. Once, her thinking was a mystery to him, but she had found a way to bypass her shielding and share her thoughts with him. She was able to share it when she chose. That was just it, why it was so frustrating. She chose to show him. There was no choice for me. They knew. They knew my every movement, my every thought, and my hopes and dreams. They knew everything. Yet they knew nothing, because I hadn't figured myself out yet, and the time for answers had come. I wasn't ready.

Walking back to the closet, I stretched down and reached for a pair of stiletto-heeled shoes, which tied in laces up my calves. I certainly spent too much time thinking, but that was a burden that came with my attribute. I couldn't forget. I remembered every moment, every movement, and every second of my life. I could remember the name of every person I had ever met. I remembered the darkness before my birth, the voices surrounding me before I could put them to faces, and those faces speaking words they couldn't believe I understood. I remembered the regret, the reluctance, the acceptance, and finally the understanding of everyone around me. I had a retentive mind from the very beginning that was without the limitations of space, infinite.

I learned and grew intellectually, but my mind did this far quicker than my body. The limitation came from wanting my body to do things I was not yet physically capable of. I found a way around that quickly after birth. I could show them what I wanted, and they did not hesitate to listen. Now that my movements were mine, and I had full range of motion melded with mind, why did it feel like I was about to lose all sense of control? I could control my body, why not my thoughts? Why not my fears and apprehensions?

Satisfied with the attire, I moved over to my vanity and sat somewhat awkwardly on the stool. It badly needed to be replaced by a larger version. I had hoped it would grow with me too, as it was a gift from my very best friend in the world, a friend who now intentionally avoided me. He was present, yes, but never as close as he once was. Distant guarding. Reaching down, I could feel the smooth grooves of the seat he had made me, each carved curve forming into the beautiful wolves that represented him. That's all that I seemed to have left of him in the last few years: a motion in the darkness, a shadow in the distance.

Jacob Black had been a part of my life since the moment I was born, drawn to me by what was casually explained as imprinting.

"It's a wolf thing," he told me when I asked, his bright, white smile spreading outward to his golden cheeks.

At a very young age, I assumed that this would be some sort of unavoidable connection we were forced into. Outwardly, it felt sort of like an arranged marriage that no one was altogether pleased about, yet somehow accepted. Maybe accepted wasn't the right word. Maybe endured was more accurate. There would be no choice when that time came. When growth halted, it would only make sense for us to become mates. Inwardly, it felt oddly comforting to know that no matter my place in life, there was always someone there waiting for only me. As I matured and started to experience new feelings, the physical aspect of reciprocated affection was awkwardly terrifying.

I thought of my family, vampire and human alike, as pairs. Mom and Dad, Grandfather and Grandmother Cullen, Alice and Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett, Grandpa Swan and Sue. They were bound and content to be that way, fawning and affectionate toward one another, something different than the lavished attention they all poured equally toward me. From the outside looking in, it appeared much more personal and appealing. I didn't have a mind to find that for myself. Not yet. In fact, what few free moments I could spend daydreaming, which were exceptionally limited due to lack of privacy, I spent seeking freedom, separation, and silence. I certainly didn't spend them sitting around waiting in wonder to marry Jacob Black.

Desperately trying to comb through the bronze curls atop my head, I moaned in frustration at the mess of hair. The sound of my voice frightened me. In truth, I didn't speak much, not with my vocal chords anyway. I had no reason to. So when the voice sang out, it was nearly always a shock to me that it was mine. It changed so frequently that it wasn't something I ever had a chance to get used to. My mind never aged, and it took my body a while to catch up to it. Little things like my unchanging voice were signs I was done growing. My bearings would be adjusted soon, and maybe I could set myself on cruise control for a while, until some sort of balance presented itself.

The Grandpa-inherited ringlets draped loosely at my waist, unmoved by my futile attempts to untangle them. Defeated, I wound them around themselves, and placed them at the back of my head, fastening them with a clip that strained with the effort of containing them. It was a sophisticated look that suited the day. Soon enough I would be getting it cut. This time, I might not take the scissors and find my scalp, as I did in frustration two years prior. Being nearly bald really hadn't bothered me as much as it did everyone else. Thankfully, they viewed the gesture as a short-lived fashion statement instead of pressing me for reasons as to why I would do something so foolish. Unsurprisingly, it grew out in record time, which helped me avoid the onslaught of continuously raised eyebrows after the self-induced curl slaying. Jacob hadn't noticed, or if he did, he never thought to ask me why I had done such a childish thing. That would have required him to talk to me, resulting in unneeded emotions and embarrassing explanations. The detachment allowed for healthy reflection.

Chopping my hair off at the roots was not done as a sort of trend-seeking but as an act of rebellion. I was hurt and so something had to be done. I was not quite a woman but feeling such strong emotions of longing, it was wildly unbearable. Had I chosen a more opportune time to try the human diet, maybe the phase of puberty wouldn't have affected me so strongly, so hormonally.

Strangely, even though my brain was not quiet, my stomach was. Generally, I would want to chew through the pillow to get to a food source. Even after something as short as an afternoon nap, I was always hungry when I woke up. My appetite fluctuated from starving to famished every waking hour, never leveling. I couldn't seem to sate it, that devastating desire to consume. This stemmed mostly from the fact that my body was using up its nutrients nearly as fast as my system could absorb them. Human food lingered a bit longer in my digestive tract, trailing through a system that was designed to thrive on that sort of thing. However, I couldn't really stand the taste of it. No matter how many flavors I tried, none of them compared to red body fluid. It was like a kid being asked to make a choice between soda and water.

I had two choices where nourishment was concerned. I could either fill myself as mortals would, seeking nutritional sustenance from product, or I could maintain a diet of blood, which bypassed the need for normal mineral intake. The food allowed a cellular process to occur within my blood where it could regenerate itself, while fresh blood directly flushed out the old, replacing it with new. My choice was to recycle or to replenish. Like all green go-getters, the recycling option had side effects I wasn't prepared to appreciate. After an extended stint on food, certain human annoyances reared their ugly heads. Restroom visits. Acne. Menstruation.

My stint of humanitarianism was short-lived, largely in part due to another human limitation that came crashing into my heart like a ton of bricks: self-consciousness and doubt. I had never thought it would be possible, not in the way everyone made out the connection to be. It never dawned on me that while I was feeling so much like a woman, my form showed only an almost-lady, no more than fourteen. When I tried to show Jacob just how much I appreciated his constant vigil, the rejection swept me into a swirl of confusion. When time continued to mark his absence, I realized it was more than a physical deflection due to developmental phase. He just didn't want me.

After that escapade, my actions were more and more inappropriate. I would yell, cry, and take faux panic attacks over simple, everyday difficulties. I was acting out, and while my mind was full of 'stop', I couldn't help but 'go'. My self-restraint was lost somewhere inside pubescence. On a positive note, I added a certain entertainment value that surely broke the monotonous continuum of the vampire's extended stay. None but one of them knew how to handle my tantrums, and so it left me enjoying them all the more. It was a part of themselves they hadn't seen in many years, the human part.

The most recently changed was my mother. She had sacrificed herself in keeping me, and never once had she regretted that choice, even once her mortal life had ended. So, when the strangeness occurred in me, human strangeness, Mom remembered most of it with vague detail and tried her best to walk me through what were obviously some personally awkward times. I gave up on human food quickly after that, shaking away those ill effects for a change that was much more convenient, much more predictable. Her love for me was boundless, and so I loved her back with all that I had, knowing that someday a chance would be given to repay that. Preventing tantrums wasn't quite the thank you I had in mind for her, but she would have settled for that, I was sure.

My earliest memory centered on knowing I wasn't meant to survive. If not for the help of Rosalie Hale, I would never have been born. A blonde angel, an ice princess, she was cold to all but me. Rosalie and my mother could never see eye to eye on anything aside from me. Rosalie still longed for what might have been, unable to freely step forward knowing what she left behind. It seemed only natural to cling to a small part of her dream by cradling a baby in her arms. Her mate Emmett Cullen, big and ferocious as the bears that caused his turning, was helpless to fight against her wishes. She knew he was the closest to perfection she could ever choose in a new life. She didn't regret him, but I often wondered if given the choice, would she choose another life knowing what it would do to his without her in it? Whether the baby was hers or someone else's, it was the closest thing she would ever come to motherhood. So, when I was born, it made perfect sense that she would dote on me. Like all others, she melted for me, bending to my will. Her motives were pure enough, even if I saw the moments of regret flash in her eyes. Was she regretting her own transformation or the fact that my mother had survived the birth of me? Did it really make a difference either way?

When I'd acted out with the scalping, it was Rose who'd first seen my new hairdo. Her mouth twitched a little, and I was sure somewhere on those generally snug lips there were the beginnings of a smile. Being vain as she was, she could never have done something so brazen. The second person I saw was Alice, who would have bound my hands together using any means necessary had she seen what was coming. The block between her gift and I had as much wonder as it had woe.

"Nessie!" Alice had exclaimed, gasping. "What in the world did you do to yourself?"

Lifting myself from the stool, I walked over to the full-length mirror to admire myself. I did not look anything like Nessie. Nessie was gone. I was Renesmee Carlie Cullen. My body held the truth of maturity in every curve. I was no longer the little girl, the child. I was a woman, from my perfectly plump lips to my stiletto-headed shoes. I had grown. That process was complete whether I or any of them wanted to admit it. Staring at the beautiful woman's reflection, I felt tears well up at the corners of my eyes for the loss of a youth, too soon gone by. I wanted nothing more than for this day to come. Now, it was here, and I wanted to rewind the clock. I had a lot more growing to do mentally.

The knocking made me shudder, and I realized that it wasn't coming from the door. No one was there to shake me out of my confused state, as they had been every day for the last seven years. No one was there to hear the thoughts in my mind or read the expressions on my face, over-stepping private boundaries. No one was there to overextend my personal limits by instantly rushing in to soothe away all my emotions before they rocketed out of control. No one was there to talk me out of absolute insanity. I'd asked them not to be, made them promise to see me from this day forward as an equal, an adult. They had picked a very inconvenient time to start listening to me, or was it the perfect time? I was alone, and the rapping sounds came from my knees, crashing together with enough force that had they been normal, my bones would have been transformed into a pile of rubble on the floor. In chorus, my chattering teeth chimed in, grinding together in a way that actually caused my mouth pain. I was all grown up, and I was terrified.

Chapter End Notes:

Clicking next is a good thing.


Also, I wanted to say - If you haven't already, you should make a trip to the forums and find the Project Team Beta thread.   The advice they provide is well-thought-out and definitely worthy of praise.  They not only aid in grammatical issues, but they also help enhance your story overall.  Their role is in making what you've already done better.  Anyone, even someone content in their writing ability, could benefit from their assistance.  Sometimes having an unbiased opinion is delightful, especially when reviewing isn't overly popular amung the masses.  So check them out.  You'll be glad you did.

Thanks Project Team Beta

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