A/N Allright, here's the second part. This one is following Back from Italy. It's still Esme's point of view. There you go :)
I wasn't sure if I should be sad, happy, angry, disappointed or relieved. Too many emotions were fighting for dominance inside me. I felt sad for Edward, that he thought he had to go to Italy to die. I was happy to have him back at home, but angry that he broke his promise and tried to end his life. I was equally disappointed with him and myself and yet, relieved to get a chance to correct my mistakes, of which there were obviously so many. Why would any of my children try to end their life? It had shocked me to the core.
Alice had suggested I go shopping for a few hours and I didn't question her. Having seen her sending all of the other kids away, exept Edward, I quickly realised what was probably going to happen.
I kept my thoughts away from that topic so as not to alert Edward, in case he was reading my mind. That was something I felt he well deserved to go through. I knew he would not submit willingly, like he had done all those years back. He had been full of guilt and shame at that time, for killing 'innocent' people, but he didn't act that way after trying to kill himself.
He only felt happy that Bella was alive and safe, not bothering with the feelings he had made his family endure. She knew he felt sorry for what he had done to them, but only tried to feel at home again and fit in.
Yes, he really deserved what he had coming, I thought on my way to Port Angeles, stopping the car furiously at the shopping mall.
I needed four shops and two poor saleswomen to snap at to calm myself down. I felt sorry for them afterwards, but they just wouldn't stop annoying me while I was searching the racks.
Yes, I think I understood Edward. It had been hard for me as well to lose a loved one, and that was actually what had brought me here today, but the circumstances were quite different back then. I had no one I could turn to and had to keep my head low all the time to get around my abusive husband; I had been all alone. But not so with Edward; he had the support of his whole family and eternity to let his heart heal. We would have helped put him back together, but he just rushed to end his life, even without all the information he could have easily gathered if he had really tried.
Three hours later, I was on my way back. One lonely bag lying on the backseat, and even that was something I was sure I would never wear. I was just frustated. I was shopping – shopping, and couldn't get myself to concentrate on the task at hand - having a nice afternoon and buying some fancy clothing. But no, in the end, I just wanted to have something to carry around. Never mind. It would go to the charity, probably unused.
Edward was standing in the entrance hall, nose in the corner, as I entered the house. It brought back old memories, seeing him standing like this. And I could see he had been thinking about what Carlisle probably imprinted on his backside. His shoulders hung just a little bit lower than they usually did, and his head was bowed.
"Edward," I greeted him, seeing him tense at my tone.
"Mum?" he asked from the corner, not daring to turn around.
'Yes, I'm here, son' I wanted to say, but I schooled my thoughts, not letting him see my real self, but the role I felt I had to play.
"Go to your room and wait there, please. I have to talk to your father."
His shoulders noticeably slumped now, while he turned around, not looking at me, to hurry upstairs. I turned to the kitchen, waiting for Carlisle, knowing he had heard our short conservation.
I didn't have to wait long as he entered the kitchen, his face severe. I gave him a quick kiss, making him smile a little.
"You spanked him?" I asked without accusation, already knowing the answer.
He nodded. "Grabbed him in the jump."
I just stood there for a while, decinding my next step and letting Carlisle lay one arm around my shoulders, comforting me.
"Don't you dare touching that stereo, Edward. Your banned from it, for the rest of the week," he said suddenly, loud enough for Edward to hear.
I could hear a sighed 'Yes, dad' from upstairs. I let my thoughts run free for a moment, letting Carlisle see the emotions on my face.
"It feels awkward spanking him as well, but don't you think..."
"Please don't", Edward interrupted, standing in the door suddenly, pleading with big, round eyes, afraid.
"Please, I'd do anything, but please..."
"Edward!" I stopped him and his head dropped.
"You were told to stay in your room," Carlisle added.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled, waiting for our reactions.
I took him by the arm, turning him around and leading him upstairs. He followed like a prisoner on his way to the execution.
I released his arm at the entrance of his room, letting him walk in first.
"Take a seat," I said, pointing to the sofa, not knowing that this was the place were he had just been spanked before. He sat down uneasily while I got the chair from his desk, placing it opposite him. I did not sit down, but remained standing behind the chair, using the back to give my hands something to hold.
I wanted to hold him, talk to him, listen to him, reassure him… punish him. I could see his confusion as he was reading my mind. I was confused myself, not knowing how to start or how to get to the point, where this whole thing should lead.
"Mum?" he asked after a while, while I was just standing there staring at him.
"Come here," I said gently, opening my arms, embracing him as he stood and holding him close to me.
"Tell me what happened, from the point where you left us," I said, feeling him tense in my arms, but not letting go.
"I tried to track down Victoria," he said, "But I'm rubbish at tracking. I even ended up on the wrong continent."
I remembered the time, letting him read what it felt like, my emotions, the talks I had with Carlisle about him. The many times everybody looked at Alice, silently questioning his future, waiting for his decision to come home, with Alice shaking her head sadly.
"And then Rosalie called, telling me that Alice had seen Bella throwing herself of a cliff."
Alice had been hysterical when she saw that and nothing further. We hadn't known, then, that she couldn't see anything with a werewolf involved. Jasper had a hard time trying to calm everyone, while Alice was in her car already, driving on highspeed back to Forks to see what had really happened.
We were packing then, decision made to go back to Forks, if even for a short while.
"I called Chief Swan, but Jacob Black answered the phone, telling me that the Chief was at the funeral. That's when I broke down. I thought my Bella was dead." His voice was getting quiet to the end, remembering the hard time he had had on his way to Italy.
I let him see Alice calling us frantically after he had made his decision, telling us Bella was fine and that they were going to Europe. She told us to keep Jasper at home, and that she loved us, before hanging up abruptly. I showed him as Carlisle was holding me in his arms trying to reassure everyone, that Alice would know what to do and that she would bring Edward and Bella home safely.
"The Volturi wouldn't help me, so I decided to not give them a choice, but to end my misery."
Our concern, as we paced like humans around the phones, waiting for a sign of life. And finally the relief when Alice called, saying they were on their way home. All this went through my mind, almost too fast to follow.
Edward was holding onto me strongly now, overwhelmed by what he was seeing in my mind. I felt him shake with tears he couldn't cry, my hand stroking his hair comfortingly for the time being.
"Come now," I finally said. I lead him to the chair standing in the middle of the room, and bent him over the back of the chair. He held on to the seat, pressing his face into the padded back while I stood at his side, one hand caressing his hair, the other rising slowly to deliver the first smack. He yelped surprised at the first impact. My left arm was holding him in position, while I pushed him on his tiptoes with every smack I delivered.
It was hard for me to see him this way and going on with his punishment nonetheless. I knew that he knew that too, as he was trying to make it easier for me by not begging me to stop.
He broke parts off from the chair twice when he grabbed too hard, but just held on to another part while waiting for me to end his punishment.
"Five more," I let him know, delivering the last smacks and helping him up from his position, taking him in a hug afterwards.
We were still standing there when Carlisle entered the room, my hands stroking Edwards hair steadily while he just held on tight, his head buried deep in my shoulder.
He patted Edwards back, pulling him close to his chest.
"It's okay, son. You're forgiven, calm down now," he whispert soothingly. His grip on me loosened, and he looked up. I smiled at him affirming, nodding once. He gave me a watery smile in return, then looked at Carlisle for reassurance.
He touseled Edward's hair lovingly, shoving him out the door.
"Go get your jacked, we're going to buy you a new chair, son," he said, pulling me in his arms to give me a long kiss that left me standing lightheaded in the room while he followed Edward to his car.
I was still smiling later when I cleaned Edward's room of the broken chair and the chippings around it, and Alice came back, waving three shoppingbags in my direction.
I loved my family.
Well, that's it for today. My thanks to achillies-eel for being my beta and thanks to you for reading.
Please review and vote, which of the Cullen-kids should be next, and give me a reason why (I didn't see anything wrong with Emmet's behavior, should that be your choice)