Bella's mind buzzes with questions: What is the nature of Alice's note? What if their friends don't like Renesmee? How is she going to learn how to fight in just a month? "I was all tension; it felt like my nerves were being stretched on the rack, thinner and thinner" (30.14).
Edward seems to know how she feels. He pulls her into a passionate embrace and they consummate their love for each other, knowing it might be the last time.
When Bella asks Edward to teach her how to fight, he just claims that, if the meeting turns into a fight, there won't be much any of them can do anyway.
He explains to Bella that Alec and Jane are the Volturi's greatest offense. Jane can inflict pain with her thoughts. Alec, on the other hand, has the power to cut off your senses.
Bella suggests that, due to their strong mental gifts, Jane and Alec might not be trained as fighters. She knows that her private mind makes her immune to Jane and Alec's powers and she believes that, if she can distract them, the others might be able to take them out and have a chance against the Volturi.
Bella and Edward's discussion about other vampires' gifts brings Edward to tell her about Eleazar, one of the friends they called on. Eleazar has a natural instinct for the gifts of others, which is why he was once recruited by the Volturi to help them take out the most powerful opponents in battle. Eleazar since converted to a vegetarian lifestyle and formed his own coven.
Prompted by Bella's outrage over Eleazar's previous affiliation with the Volturi, Edward reminds her that the Volturi are still considered the "foundation of peace" in the vampire world.
The Cullens decide that the best way for their friends to meet Renesmee for the first time is for Bella to hold her, protected by Jacob. Renesmee communicates her feeling that the whole situation is her fault. Of course, everyone assures her that it's not.
The Denali clan arrives first. Before revealing Renesmee, Edward begs them to listen for her heartbeat in the other room. They also pick up on her strange human smell. Upon seeing her, though, their first reaction is shock and outrage.
Edward begs them to stay and explains how Renesmee came to be and that she's a human/vampire hybrid. Their friends see the resemblance. Eleazar's wife Carmen allows Renesmee to communicate her thoughts to her and becomes convinced she's telling the truth.
One by one, Renesmee wins over the Denali clan. Irina's sisters, Kate and Tanya, apologize for Irina's rash behavior.
Discussing the Volturi's approach, the Denali clan also wonders why the Volturi would bring their entire guard. They promise to witness Renesmee's nature and growth. Kate and Tanya even vow to stand with the Cullens in a fight. Anything to protect Renesmee.
Bella marvels at their immediate affection for Renesmee:
Renesmee was irresistible. What was it about her that drew everyone to her, that made them willing even to pledge their lives in her defense? (30.240-241)