Disclaimer: To my great regrets...I do not own Twilight...no matter how much I'd really like to.
To Defend her Cullen
By: Santiva Potter
I nearly froze at the mention of her name. Yet Esme didn't seem to notice—or if she did, she kept it to herself and continued busy work in her in her garden, while chatting idly about guest list for the wedding which Tanya's name had crawled upon.
I really should have known better. The Denali Coven and the Cullen's were rather close families. It wouldn't be strange for them to come to a Cullen's wedding…right? No matter what I tried to tell myself I still feared the idea of Tanya coming down and potentially seducing Edward in her elegant arms.
With the jealousy clearly written all over my face, it was no surprise that Esme had picked up on it and had stopped working. She smiled gently before saying," You really have nothing to worry about dear. He wouldn't dare."
Although I knew her words were meant to be reassuring it did the exact opposite. Last night I had learned about Emmett and Jasper's plans to throw Edward a bachelor party and his evasive details along with the news of Tanya brought disastrous images. Tanya going with them…her on the pole….on Edward…..
I groaned out loud and sunk into the soil. "Maybe this whole wedding business was a bad idea."
Esme chuckled, "Now Bella, you should relax. After all you aren't the only Cullen woman to have to defend her territory—no that Kate ever made it to the wedding."
My head snapped up and my eyes asked question my mouth was afraid to speak. Esme opened her mouth to respond but instead froze. Now audible was delicate purr of Edward's Volvo. He and Carlisle were returning from their hunt this past week.
"How about this," Esme whispered in a rushed tone. "Come by early tomorrow morning and we'll talk about Kate and Tanya."
Esme had naturally chosen the perfect day for a private talk. Although we weren't able to get past Alice, we were able to dodge my mind reading boyfriend as he, his brothers and Carlisle all went up north to drive Tanya and the rest of the Denali clan down to Forks.
When I arrived at the house, Alice was bouncing on the front porch exuberating more excitement than usual.
"You've been leaked," I accused. In some parallel universe I had thought that Esme and I would be able to discuss this without embarrassment from her children.
"Yes, I have and I've been waiting twelve hours for you to arrive. Did you really have to spend ten extra minutes in the shower this morning!?"
I stood there gaping at her, struggling between being amazed and unnerved that she knew how long I'd been in the shower, when Rosalie, who also apparently had been leaked, swept through the door and carried me up the stairs to what I assumed to be Carlisle and Esme's room in a movement much too fast for my eyes—or conscious.
However I had been terribly wrong. Rosalie placed me down on one of her beauty chairs in a bathroom. I didn't need to turn around to know what was behind me on the counter. I'm only in their bathroom for one reason.
"I thought I was talking to Esme, not getting tortured with the Barbie experiments," I accused.
A soft chuckle reached the bathroom as Rose and I were joined by Alice and Esme.
"Unfortunately Bella, Alice is quiet the deviant and heard about our talk—"
"It's not my fault you never told me about your spat with Kate!" Alice exclaimed.
"Well it's not one of my better moments," Esme explained. "But on a bright side Bella, at least it won't be Alice or Rose doing your hair. I promise, I'm much gentler with the iron."
I smiled slightly. No heavy makeup, no high heels. Maybe this wouldn't be too bad.
"Alright Esme, you've done enough dodging the questions," Rosalie started. "Finish the story. What happened between you and Kate?"
Esme sighed before answering, "It was just before Edward left Carlisle and I. I was just a newborn and Carlisle and I were very shy around each other. I think in my first two weeks as a vampire he shared no more than two words—
"Which is strange now of course," Alice interrupted. "The two of you are practically inseparable."
"Alice, shut it I want to hear Esme's story," Rosalie snapped.
Esme chuckled, "As I was saying, during my first two weeks he shared no more than two words with me—'I'm sorry. ' He was constantly in regret for changing me and I was too taken by everything to talk to him about it. Because, well Rose, Alice you both know this, but in the beginning Bella, believe it or not but I actually resented Carlisle for changing me."
"That's not what Edward told me," Rosalie mumbled, but Alice heard her and shot Rosalie a narrow look.
"Well I guess I am being a bit generous, Rose," Esme emended. "I was furious. I was depressed, upset and not a very good house guest. It was very hard to live with me in those first few weeks. With everything that Charles did to me, I was….reluctant to this new life. I always felt as though Charles or someone like him would come and snatch me, no matter how many times Edward tried to reassure me. And I was also upset that Carlisle wouldn't let me die. Why let me live on the same planet of that evil and cruel man? Wasn't being his wife tortuous enough?"
"As you can tell, I was rather obsessive with the idea of Charles in all the wrong ways. I was also very afraid at that time. Even though I remembered Carlisle as a child I still had the mind set that all men would speak as Charles did, act as he did, hit as hard as he did…
Esme was quiet for a minute, lost in her own thoughts. I shivered slightly. I couldn't imagine any man who would want to hurt such a loving and caring person. Rosalie moved silently to Esme as sat next her on the bath tub. I watched as Rosalie slipped a hand into Esme's. She squeezed her mother's hand tight in a strengthening way.
I faintly heard Rose whisper, "It's over Esme. He can never hurt you. Carlisle would never allow it."
More moments passed as Esme sat silently and I was beginning to think that this was a bad idea and when Edward found out…..nothing good seemed to be coming from this.
As I was about to speak up, Esme continued, "In the end it was easier to blame Carlisle for everything, even though he never did deserve it; especially for leaving me with Charles. I don't think he's ever forgiven himself for that. The argument we used to have…"
"I thought you two didn't talk," I asked weakly. Rosalie's glare stated that this was clearly the wrong question to ask, but Esme continued anyway.
"Yes, he didn't say much…but I did. Anyway, through all this turmoil, Carlisle's good friend Tanya, though it would be a good idea for me to come live with her clan. So Carlisle planned this trail trip for the three of us, to see if I would like area and the rest of the girls," Esme laughed bitterly at the end.
"When we arrived to the mountains, I fell instantly in love with sense of newness. The fresh air, the river banks, everything was so calming, so far from the wild city I had grown up with and it inhabitants. Tanya met us in Denali National Park, where I felt most comfortable. She had owned a small lodge just west of the Toklat River. It was the winter and it was so beautiful. Tanya came out first, then Irina and then Kate…."
Esme smiled and laughed, "I can remember it perfectly. The emotions I felt when she smiled at him, the angry, resentment, but most importantly the jealously. I remember thinking 'how dare she even look at him like that' and 'if she even dare think about touching him', oh I was riled up and nothing could stop me. I think Carlisle was most shocked. Or maybe Edward, he likes to think that just because he can read people's minds that he can tell the future, but we all know who can do that."
She winked at the bouncing Alice before asking, "I guess you're wondering what I did?"
For once I was as excited as Alice…well almost, but the woman that Esme spoke of was so different from her that it was odd. I had a hard time imagining her motherly ways ever being replaced with angst, anger and hostility.
"Well, when everyone arrived outside I noticed how beautiful they were and unconsciously I was observing Carlisle's reaction to the women. Tanya was respectful; Irina's rather bored but Kate…. 'Carlisle it's so lovely to see you again!'"
Esme imitated the higher and shriller voice than her own, but more seductive than Jane's or Alice's. Even though I had never heard Kate speak, I knew Esme's voice was done to perfection.
"Everything in her body language seemed to be so overwhelmingly sexually attracted to Carlisle that I couldn't take it. Even despite my hostile feelings towards him in the beginning, there was always a part of me that was desperately in love with him, and I guess that part was so repelled by the idea of losing him to this…woman, that I couldn't contain myself, I just attacked. Literally."
I felt my mouth drop. Even stranger than a hostile Esme was a hostile Esme attacking someone. Thankfully I wasn't the only one. Even Rosalie looked shocked.
"I knew I wasn't the only one with a bad temper," Rose accused.
Esme chuckled," Rosalie sweetheart, if that accusation was true then I would have killed the nurses at Forks Hospital a long time ago."
Laughter erupted in the room.
"I will admit it was not one of my award winning moments," Esme said still chuckling.
"Oh yes it is," Alice added. "Emmett is going to die when he hears this!"
"Only because he'll know he's not the only one who has faced the wrath of Esme!" Rosalie laughed.
"So what did Carlisle do?" I asked, still perplexed that this actually occurred and addicted to know what happened next.
"Well it was a late reaction from everyone. No one really saw it coming. So for a minute Tanya, Irina, Edward and Carlisle just stood in complete shock. In the end it was Edward who pulled me off of Kate. Carlisle had darted off into the wilderness."
"Yes," Esme chuckled. "He ran and probably with good reason. Edward would tell me that, seeing me attack Kate was the scariest thing he even seen it his life, he called a true vampire. But Carlisle ran to the woods to take a breather, so to speak."
"I know this must seem like such strange and alien behavior from us, Bella, but you can't imagine how I felt at the end of my human life. The death of my son, Charles beating me, and becoming a vampire….well it was all very traumatic for me, too much for me to handle. Edward later told me that despite the arguments with Carlisle, I was like a zombie."
But at the word zombie, I could relate. I felt myself pull back into the aftermath of my dreaded eighteenth birthday. How it had felt after Edward had left, the emptiness of it all. I remembered the original denial of my trip to Italy and the return of Edward and the Cullen's. I realized that Esme and I had much more in common.
"Edward was like the bridge connecting Carlisle and I. He convinced Carlisle to come back to the house, but he wouldn't speak with me. Instead he spoke with Kate first—"
"What!" Rosalie interjected. "How dare he! You're his—"
"Calm down Rose," Esme chuckled. "Although at the time I was right on that trek. I was furious that he spoke with Kate first. I was also very ashamed of myself. I had made a complete fool of myself. I was being to think that he would never love me because of this. How wrong was I."
"When he finally did come in I remember he strictly sent Edward out. He would look at me for a few seconds and then suddenly he pinned against the wall and kissed me in ways that…..well maybe I shouldn't tell you that part."
"Esme!" Alice complained. Esme's story was like an addicting romance novel, much like my relationship with Edward, it keeps going and going, building and building and for her to just stop was like have pages torn out of the book…plain insulting!
"We're all over age here, Esme," Rosalie added. She looked as if someone had insulted her.
"No, technically, Alice isn't over eighteen."
The small pixie crossed her arms like an upset toddler whose candy had been snatched.
"But anyway, when we were done, I cried in his arms for what seemed like hours. I couldn't believe that he would still want me, despite everything I had said and all the harm I had done. But he said I was worth it, that there was nothing would ever keep himself from me, even myself. And for the first time I felt security, calm and love; love that couldn't be defined in words. It was just so pure and so strong. Easily put after I was forgiven, we didn't leave Tanya's office for a while. I don't think Edward enjoyed that too much, nor did Tanya, seeing as it was her office…"
"Oh," Rose said, "that's why when they come over, Tanya always jokes about her and Edward having sex on Carlisle office desk."
Tanya. Edward. Sex.
Three words I never wanted in the same sentence. I felt myself go sick in the stomach. Rose visible saw the mistake in her words.
"Not that there's anything to worry about now," she quickly corrected.
However it was too late and the damage was done, the idea of this mystery strawberry blond having sex with Edward on Carlisle's desk was…excorticating.
"Alright Rose, you've done it," Esme said shooing at her daughters, "Out with you and Alice. I'll finish Bella's hair."
Alice shot Rosalie a very upset look, but obliged to Esme's orders. I imagined she didn't want to be attacked by her, with full knowledge of Esme's capabilities. Esme did my hair quietly, not saying a word. She washed my hair gently and thoroughly massaging my entire head. When it was dried, she straightened by hair with and iron that looked expensive and French. She used another curling iron to curl my hair and then placed it in rollers.
When she was done with that she sat back down on the bath tube and smiled to herself before speaking.
"It wasn't until after Carlisle and I had gotten together, that I realized that a lot of my anger and resentment against him was actually fear. Fear that I wasn't good enough. That I wasn't pretty enough or sexy enough, because that what I thought with Charles. I thought if I could change me, then maybe he wouldn't hit me the way he did. I thought that Carlisle leaving when I was younger, Charles abusing me, and my baby dying had something to do with me, that I was doing something wrong. But I had to overcome that. Bella sweetheart, I know that men these days are very deceitful, very slick and charming. I can only imagine how hard it is to find a good man these days. But once you've found one, you can't live in fear. You can't let anything hold you back from him. Edward loves you. He loves you so much that even though neither of you knew it, he's been saving himself for more than a hundred years. Darling that's love. He could have given himself to anyone, but he chose to give himself to you. And I can empathize that when looking at Tanya you might wonder why he wouldn't go for her but Bella, my love, he's had centuries to have Tanya, but he has you. Don't let the fear of not comparing to someone distract you from the prize. Because I promise, come August thirteenth you will be the only thing on his mind."
I sighed and nodded. "I guess I am being a tad bit ridiculous."
Esme smiled and squeezed my hand, "Not ridiculous. You're just worried about you mate. That's being a Cullen."
The moment between us was comforting and easy. Esme's words placed confidence. She was right; I shouldn't let this bother me.
"They're almost here!" Alice called from downstairs.
"C'mon let me finish with you hair sweetheart," Esme said.
I sat up straight and smiled. "Alright, as long as you promise that you'll jump Tanya if I need you to."
Later in the evening, Esme strolled around the house looking for her missing son and her husband. Bella had been extremely confident, considering the circumstances. Much better than she had such a introduction, or more of confrontation herself. She was quiet proud of her future daughter-in-law and now all she wanted to do was find her two favorite men.
"Right here," Edward called.
Esme turned from the stairs to see that Edward and Carlisle were sitting near the piano, Edward's hands ready to play.
"I'm surprised you're not with Bella," she said.
"She's with Alice and Tanya. They hit it off rather nicely. I'm actually a bit surprised." He began to play Ode to Caramel, one of her personal favorites of Edward's compositions.
"I am too, considering the similarities to another certain situation," Carlisle teased.
Esme smiled smug as she sat on the couch facing the piano. "As I told Bella earlier, it was not one of my better moments."
"You told her!?" Edward exclaimed. "What on earth kept her from trying to attack Tanya?"
Esme threw a pillow at Edward's head as Carlisle laughed.
"Oh shut up you two!" She knew the both meant no harm. "Bella understood what I did was irrational and very rude. I stressed highly that she shouldn't follow my path."
"I'm sure you did," Edward said getting up from the piano. "I'm going to go check on Tanya and my fiancé. Make sure no one has lost any arms yet. Knowing Bella she'll probably cause more harm to herself than Tanya would."
Esme and Carlisle chuckled and Esme threw another pillow at Edward—this one hit him smack in the face.
"You are such a violent little thing!" Edward accused teasingly. "That's it! No more talking with my Bella and no more Ode to Caramel for you, young lady."
"Go to your fiancé," Carlisle laughed. "I'll deal with this one here."
"Oh you're going to punish me, are we?"
"On the other hand please don't," Edward said as he reached the back door, "I don't feel like cleaning up after the two of you like with Rosalie and Emmett."
Before anymore pillows or furniture for that matter, could be thrown at the bronze-haired vampire, Edward exploded out of the room and into the backyard.
"He better be thankful that he's the fastest," Esme growled playfully.
"I always had a feeling that Emmett may be too bad of an influence," Carlisle added rolling his eyes.
After a moment of silence, Carlisle wrapped an arm around Esme's waist and brought her closer to him.
"You know I love you now and forever. No matter what," he said quietly. His sensitive voice and manner made her melt in his arms. If anything did happen in this room, she made a mental note to make sure that Edward did clean up. She didn't respond verbally but instead kissed her husband sweetly, indulging in his scent.
When she kissed him again she could feel him smile, so she pulled back and gave him a questioning look.
"I'm just remembering our wedding. How beautiful you were, the words we spoke, I can't remember much after that but, having you there as my wife, that's all I wanted to remember."
Esme beamed. I still can't believe he choose me some times. I'm just so eternally blessed.
"Expect, Esme you didn't tell Bella the story about what happened between you and Kate at the reception did you?"
Maybe not that blessed.