I do not own Twilight nor do I own Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, for that matter. Consider this the disclaimer for this entire story, seeing as typing this all out every chapter will become rather old after a while.
Chapter 1: Gettin' Married
"Bless your beautiful hide, wherever you may be. We ain't met yet, but I'm a-willin' to bet, you're the gal for me."
-"Bless Your Beautiful Hide" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Dust rolled off the Western streets in droves, it was almost as if it was desperately trying to relocate from the sleepy little mountain town to someplace more interesting. It was Western dust, for Pete's sake! And it had yet to be trod upon by anything but smelly horses, it wanted gun fights and the Lone Ranger!
But, upon that dust a young man strode purposefully across the street. His dirty blonde hair brushed across his handsome, pale face as it swayed in the wind. He tucked his long fingers into his pockets and hunched his shoulders forward, pressing ahead against the cool, early-summer wind.
The small family-run café down the road was his destination. His eyes lazily glanced around for an empty table. The food smelled absolutely mouth-watering, and what Carlisle Cullen wouldn't have given for a big, juicy steak right then and there, nobody could tell. One that was so rare it was practically mooing.
Several other men were there, their daughters sitting next to him. Carlisle took a distinct interest in the young woman seated around the diner. He was in need of a woman around his house. A brave woman.
"What can I get you, sir?" A feminine voice asked from somewhere above his left ear. He realized he'd been staring at all the young women in the room, and instantly felt ashamed. He looked up and saw her: the bravest woman.
She had soft caramel hair that was swept away from her face in an elegant twist above the nape of her neck. Her face was soft, and round, as was her figure. She had caring bright, brown eyes and a mysterious smile.
He had enough sense to close his mouth; but, she had noticed him gaping and let out a stray giggle. Her voice was musical. "I doubt that the young lady sampling within the room is suited to your tastes—you look a little too ruffle-and-tumble for them." She laughed, covering the pretty bow of her mouth with her fingertips.
"How would you know that?" Carlisle Cullen asked, leaning back in the chair, and crossing his legs under the checked table-cloth. The woman crossed her arms over her chest.
"Well," she said, drawing out the one word, "you look like you haven't shaved in about a month," she ran a finger over his jaw where a shadow of blonde stubble dusted his cheeks, "you are in desperate need of a bath, and," she said leaning in so her button nose was pressed to the side of his neck, "you smell." She finished with a bright smile as she pulled back.
Carlisle was completely floored. He laughed, and rubbed his jaw. "If I cannot find a good woman here, where would you suggest I look?" He asked.
"Elsewhere," she stated, planting her fists on her hips. He noticed for the first time what she wore, a plain dress in a soft calico fabric, with a row of pearly buttons down the bodice.
Carlisle narrowed his eyes, and smiled. "I seemed to have offended you."
"No, I just don't think the trigger-happy fathers want their pretty daughters looked at like cattle." She said, arching her fine eyebrows over amber eyes.
Carlisle pursed his lips, "None of these women look like the kind of woman I'd be looking for anyway."
"Oh," the woman said. "What are you looking for?"
Carlisle considered for a moment, thinking of his home life and the woman he would need that would be able to handle that chaotic arrangement. "I would need someone completely out of her mind." He said, with a mirthless chuckle.
"So you need someone who is willing to take on something that would drive normal women to the brink of insanity?" She asked, sitting down across from him, her skirts swishing against his ankle and made him bridle a little.
He smiled, "Yes, I do believe that's exactly what I need."
She smirked at him, and brushed a nonexistent piece of hair away from her face, "What do you need this woman for exactly?"
"I need a bride, Miss Platt," Carlisle said, and then realized he'd slipped up. He mentally kicked himself. He was not under any circumstances supposed to show that he already knew her.
She quirked her head to the side, "Oh, Mr. Cullen, I'm afraid I can't help you, then."
Mr. Cullen? She knew his name. He had been told of this woman who had moved there alone—a travesty for the time—and instantly wished to know of her name. Of course the fact that he had seen her cripple a drunk who attempted to make lewd advances at her, and her unwavering wit and attitude were just pluses to her availability. Carlisle Cullen had, in fact, not been looking for a woman in general but for a specific woman. Esme Platt.
And she had said she couldn't help him when it came to his needing a wife. Oh, if only she knew all the ways she could help him.
"Perhaps you can, Miss Platt," he said, trying to make his voice sound more alluring. He didn't think he was very good at it. He tried to remember what his brother's had advised him in doing. Something about flexing his muscles to appear manlier, flippantly ignoring her, and a plethora of other nonsensical suggestions.
"How would I be able to do that, Mr. Cullen?" She asked, she rested her chin on the palm of her little hand and stared at him skeptically.
"Come with me," he said more fervently than the situation called for, "Come back to my cabin with me."
"That would be improper, Mr. Cullen, for a young, unwed woman to go to a young, unwed man's cabin without supervision," she scoffed then, a cute little noise that very nearly made Carlisle blush, "the audacity of it!"
"We don't have to be unwed," he said, looking straight into her eyes.
She straightened up in her chair, and fisted her hands into the fabric of her skirt. "Don't patronize me, Mr. Cullen," she said, straightening her back and pushing away from the table. She brushed past him and he leaned back just in time to grab her wrist.
"Please, Miss Platt," he insisted, but she pulled against him with more strength than he would have thought possible. She was so small, and breakable. "Miss Platt," he pleaded, standing just behind her, she still had her head bowed, leaning away like an obstinate mule. He tried a different approach, "Esme!"
Her shoulders went rigid and then relaxed to something apathetic. "Esme, please. Come with me." He pleaded softly.
"Excuse me, young man, but I'd let that young lady go if I were you," the town preacher said, standing and resting his palm on the butt of his gun. He leveled Carlisle with a solemn gaze.
"Yes, excuse me sir. I'm sorry to have bothered you, Esme," he let go of her wrist and it fell listlessly to her side.
Carlisle stepped away, and then felt someone grab the back of his flannel shirt. "Please, Carlisle," she whispered softly, "Preacher, can we talk to you outside?" She raised her voice over the nervous babble that had started to well inside the café.
Carlisle turned to stare at her in disbelief. She was looking at him in awed incredulity, as if she had no idea she had just spoken. The preacher had the same, wide-eyed incredulous expression as Esme.
"If that's what the two of you want," he replied simply, not letting his fingers slip an inch from the hilt of his gun.
Carlisle led Esme outside, he noted with a thrill of pleasure, that she slipped her hand within his. They stood opposite the preacher on the small, front porch of the diner.
"Now, you two, what is this all about?" He asked, glaring at the both of them. He put his hands on his hips, looking out at them from under gray, caterpillar brows.
"I think we might need to talk privately, before we speak to you," Carlisle said, furrowing his own rather comely eyebrows.
Esme tugged on his hand and he bent his head close to hers.
"If I understood you correctly back inside, then I'm to assume you wish to marry me," she hissed furiously in his ear, her cheeks flushing.
He rubbed her palm soothingly with the tips of her fingers, "You assume correctly, Miss Esme Platt."
"Then I accept your proposal, Mr. Carlisle Cullen."
Carlisle smiled a warm, tender smile. She looked straight into his eyes and leaned forward to press her lips chastely against his. Carlisle gasped at the shock of it, and then leaned forward to cup her face against his. She sighed and pulled away, her eyes fluttering open.
"Thank you for that, Mrs. Cullen," he whispered in her ear. She opened and closed her mouth several times, and Carlisle smirked. He turned back to the preacher, and smiled an earth-shattering smile.
"I do believe, we are going to be in need of a wedding," Carlisle smiled euphorically.
The preacher smirked and nodded knowingly. "You better look after that girl, you hear me, Cullen?" He asked, glaring at Carlisle once more. Carlisle nodded solemnly.
"Good," the preacher nodded, trying to conceal his smile, "well, just follow me and I'll go get my Bible to make this here union official."
Carlisle beamed and leaned down to kiss Esme's cheek, "Thank you, thank you so much."
He wove his fingers between hers and pulled her forward, following the preacher to the small church within the town. The mountains loomed in the distance, snow-capped and picturesque.
"Carlisle, where do you live?" Esme asked; she looked somewhat confused, "I only see you around town once every several months."
Carlisle shrugged, "I live in a house up in the mountains; I only come down when need be."
His mouth turned down at the corners, and he pensively stared at the dusty road, something about his home obviously seemed to perturb him, but he seemed unwilling to indulge any details.
The church was a small white building, and was right next to the saloon, which for some reason Carlisle found immensely funny. He walked forward with Esme on his arm, and he couldn't help but notice everything had taken on a pink hue.
The preacher led them into the small church; he turned to face them once the door was closed. He crossed his arms over his chest, "Now, I'm none too happy about this. But if you two youngsters are adamant about it, I won't object."
"We are preacher, we are," Esme said.
"You could have married someone besides this man, you barely know him," the preacher said, indicating to Carlisle.
"I don't need to," Esme said smiling assuredly, she pressed herself closer to Carlisle.
The preacher sighed, "If you're sure about this, Esme." He reached for his Bible and opened it, reading 1 Corinthians 13, and then Proverbs 31.
Carlisle barely heard him, or the words about God's love and the order for a man to become one with his wife. All Carlisle knew were the bright orbs of his new wife's eyes, staring up at him shimmering with undulated tears.
"Do you, Carlisle Cullen, take Esme Platt to be your wedded wife, to love and to cherish 'til death do you part?" The preacher asked, glaring a Carlisle for good measure.
"I do," Carlisle said, smiling reassuringly at Esme.
The preacher gave a brief nod before continuing, "Do you, Esme Platt, take Carlisle Cullen to be your wedded husband, to love and to cherish, 'til death do you part?"
Esme sighed blissfully, "I do."
Carlisle wasn't sure his smile could get any wider, but it grew so wide at those two little words he thought his cheeks were going to crack in half.
The preacher let out a pent up breath, "I now pronounce you man and wife," grimacing a little, he added, "You may kiss the bride."
Carlisle smiled down at Esme. He brushed a stray lock of her wavy caramel hair out of her face before leaning towards her.
She stretched up on her tip toes, pressing her hands against his chest to balance herself. He put his hand on the small of her back, rubbing a soothing circle with his thumb. He closed the distance between them in less than a second, and pressed his lips to hers. She was so warm, and soft, and everything he could have asked for and even the things he would never have thought to asked for.
And now, she was Esme Cullen.
Author's Note: Hey guys, this is my first full-length fanfiction. And I dearly hope it is liked. I'm not exactly the best writer on the face of the planet--but I try.
So here's the deal with this story: If you've been unfortunate enough to have never heard of the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I suggest you take a peak at it. YouTube is a glorious thing. I'll also put the link to the IMBD page for it on my profile. If you have actually heard of it, then good for you. You'll have realized that I have taken liberties with the story, seeing as I cannot seem to bring myself to make Carlisle any less suave than he already is and in the original Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Adam, Carlisle's counterpart, is a little too rough-and-tumble for my tastes. This story will be loosely based on the musical.
Updates for this story will be tentatively planned for every Monday. As of the current moment I only have through chapter 8 written, and I would like to get a little further ahead before I start updating twice weekly.
I will post more information about the musical as well as this story on the next chapter. As for the bigger questions, I'll take a whack at them now. Everyone is human. No one will be turned into vampires, as far as this story is concerned vampires don't exist. Most people's ages have also been modified to fit the story. I'll make a chart for you all once those characters have actually been introduced.