Chapter 4: Of Panthers and Goddesses
“Nessie!” Zafrina crooned as she caught me in a warm embrace. “I am so glad that you came!” She exclaimed, she turned to Jacob and hugged him as well. “Thank you for sharing her on your honeymoon”. He grinned at her. I felt my stomach rumbling again and I clasped it. “I am so hungry,” I confessed. Jake smiled at me alright lets go get you something then. I looked at him and smiled, “No, I’m more thirsty than hungry…I want to hunt.” I turned back to Zafrina, “Do you mind it will only take a little bit”. She looked at me curiosity peaked in her eyes “Actually do you mind if I tag along, I have always been curious of Carlisle’s strange ways. I would like to give it a try.” I smiled at her and turned to Jake, “How about you?” He laughed, “You know that is a question that you don’t need to ask, I am always up for hunting.” I rolled my eyes at him. That aspect of him didn’t change as he was switched to a vampire my husband was still a bottomless pit. He looked at me with an eyebrow raised. “Do you think that you are really dressed appropriately for hunting?” I looked down at my outfit. I had humored Aunt Alice and was wearing a long gauzy sundress that was floor length with gladiator sandals. It tied behind my neck and had a bohemian print in dark gray, green and cream. I looked at him seriously, “I can hunt in anything Jake, and you know that I am amazing at it. You are just worried that I will land a larger animal and make you look bad in front of Zafrina.” I laughed cockily. He snorted, “You are so full of it.” I looked at him, “How about a little wager then,” I placed my hands on his cheek so that he could see what the bet was for. As I touched his face I thought about me being able to choose our babies name when I was finally pregnant. If I lost the bet he would get to pick it. He smiled at me, fine bet’s on he said. Zafrina looked confused, “Newly weds,” she grumbled to herself. Before either he or Zafrina could respond I was bounding through the rain forest. I was on a mission. I had the perfect name in mind, I had made sure to keep it hidden from Jake so that he wouldn’t know what it was. I wanted to surprise him. Luck was apparently on my side, on top of the fact that Jake and Zafrina were behind me an enormous tiger came into view, just as I was about to pounce I noticed that she had a cub with her. I was conflicted and I stopped myself. I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t leave the baby without a mother. Jake came up behind me silently and whispered in my ear, “What are you waiting for?” I shook my head and gestured to the baby. “I can’t do it.” He looked at me silently not knowing what to say. It was normal for our kind to be compassionate but I was over the top at the moment. He took my hand and led me away. We found Zafrina who was already leaning over a panther. She drained it off its life source and then looked up, she was perfectly clean. I was impressed she had done very well, yes she had been a vampire for a very long time but she had not hunted animals before. She shook her head and shuddered, “That was disgusting; I really do not see how you do it.” Jake laughed at her and I smiled weakly. “What’s wrong Nessie?” She asked me. “I’m not really that thirsty anymore,” I said quietly. “We can go back to my place for a bit if you would like, I actually need to talk to you two about something,” she offered. I turned to Jake, “What about you? You haven’t hunted yet.” He shook his head; his forehead wrinkled as he looked at me worriedly. “I am not the one to be concerned about here Ness, you really look horrible.” He placed his hands under my eyes and traced what I assumed to be circles. All of a sudden I was so tired, emotionally as well as physically. It was so odd how this baby thing ate away at me. It reminded me of how I had felt when the imprinting with Jacob had sealed itself. He was all I cared about and now it was the baby and it was so tiring. I just wished that I could be pregnant already so that my mind would not be so fixated on it. We followed Zafrina back to her bungalow. Her home was similar to the place that we were staying only it was more spacious. She led us out onto the small balcony style patio that overlooked the rain forest. We sat down on wooden benches that were pulled up to a hand carved table. “Where are Senna and Kachiri?” I asked. Zafrina gestured towards the door, “Who knows with those two they run off all of the time, they are so hard for me to keep track of, they will be sorry that they missed you though.” I giggled at the thought of Zafrina chasing the teo stong and agile Vampires through the rain forest like two small children. Then the word children silenced my laughter. Zafrina’s red eyes, flashed as she gestured for us to be seated. “Something odd is happening.” I looked up momentarily pulled out of my tumultuous thoughts. “What is it?” She looked back and forth between Jake and I. “Stefan has disappeared.” Jake thought for a moment, “Oh, wasn’t he involved with us as a witness when the Volturi came for Nessie when she was little?” Zafrina nodded. “I have heard amongst the other covens that Vladimir is convinced it is the Volturi.” My eyes widened. “Do you really think it could be?” I whispered. She shrugged, “I do not know. Vlad tends to blame everything on the Volturi, if there is bad weather, it’s the Volturi, if they have to move to another location to hunt, it’s the Volturi. He is how do you say like the boy who cried wolf?” I giggled and looked at Jake he rolled his eyes, “Funny Ness…” Zafrina looked at us seriously, “I am worried that he might be right this time though. I remember after we defeated them when you were just a child, your grandfather warned us that they might start picking us off individually. I want you to promise me that you will discuss this with him.” I nodded solemnly. I turned to Jake, “You don’t think that they are coming after us all because of what happened in Italy,” Jake cut me off. “Ness it is not your fault, and if they are coming after us we will fight this time.” Zafrina stood up and slammed the table with such conviction that part of it cracked off, “You are right young Jacob. My coven will stand side by side with your family again if it is necessary. We will fight this time, I have had enough of the Volturi’s tyranny.” She focused on me, “Promise me Renesmee that you will tell your grandfather at once, and that you will tell him that we are behind all of you.” I nodded weakly. I felt so dizzy with everything that was going on. Zafrina at me in concern, “Tell me my Renesmee, what is bothering you so?” I shook my head, Jake touched my hand and nodded that it was ok for me to tell her if I needed to. I felt tears pooling in my eyes as I looked down, “It’s nothing compared to what you have just told me.” She looked at me questioningly, “Renesmee it is very important whatever it is if it has you this upset now out with it.” I looked at her and whispered, “Don’t tell my parents.” She nodded, “If it is something that you wish to share with them then you will yourself that is not my place.” I launched into the dilemma that Jake and I were facing how I had this uncontrollable primordial longing to have his baby. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. “It consumes me,” I whispered tearfully. Jake looked at me agonizingly, I looked past him and continued. “I know it sounds silly but I can’t help it, and we do not know what the baby will be like considering that it will be the first of its kind.” Jake chimed in, “We of course are concerned for Renesmee's well being as well as the child’s. One of our coven, Amore-” Zafrina interrupted, “Rosalie and Emmett’s girl?” Jake nodded, “Yes she is gifted like Alice only she can see more. She said everything will be alright but I am still very conflicted.” Zafrina took a moment to process the information and then she turned to me and took my hand, “My sweet Renesmee, try to just be a little patient. You have to understand why he is worried don’t you?” I nodded and felt the tears sliding down my cheek. She smiled at me kindly and hugged me, “I know that it will all work out in the end, you will see.” I still felt dizzy and I was exhausted form the thought of the Volturi advancing. Jake looked at me, “Princess, do you think that we should get going?” I nodded miserably, I didn’t want to leave Zafrina just yet but I felt horrible. She smiled at me kindly, “Come back if you can otherwise I might be making a visit to you sooner than we all think.” Jake smiled at her tightly, ‘Hopefully it will just be a social call.” She shook her head doubtfully, “I hope so as well Jacob but I have a gut feeling that it will be far more than that.” I shivered at the thought of another showdown with the Volturi. Jake and I hugged her and as I was about to walk out the door she yelled, “Wait! Renesmee, I have something that I want you to take with you.” She disappeared into her quarters and emerged holding a tiny stone figurine. It was a woman with a swelling belly, it looked like a relic. She smiled at me gently, “This belonged to my mother it is very old. It is the goddess of fertility. They say if you touch her belly it will bring fecundity. I obviously have no use for it,” she chuckled. “Here, take it and good luck, to you both.” She said as she placed it in my hands. I felt the tears coming back so I blinked quickly and leaned over to kiss her cheek. “Thank you Zafrina I will take good care of it. “She smiled at me benevolently “I know that you will child.” She turned to Jake, “You take care of her.” He smiled and kissed her cheek and then we were off. We started to run but I stopped. My head was spinning and I felt so strange. “Ness what is it?” I sat down on the ground, “I don’t know I just feel so odd.” He looked at me in concern, “Well, princess you haven’t been hunting or eating, and you were just told some pretty scary news back there. If you are worried about the Volturi let it go, I will take care of you. I promise they won’t come near you again,” he growled as his golden eyes flashed with rage. I allowed him to pick me up and place me on his back as he ran us back to our dwelling. I closed my eyes tightly nestling my face into his cool neck; I had a feeling that if I opened my eyes I would be sick.