I heard them coming before I saw them. They were in Edward's Volvo, naturally, going a bit faster than I preferred. Of course, it wasn't Edward's safety that I feared... nor the girl's, really. Edward always had to go fast, as if he was running from something. There were things for him to run from, but not anymore. If only he opened his eyes and realized that maybe, just possibly, his future wasn't so abysmal anymore.

"They're here," Carlisle muttered, winding his arm around my waist. I placed my hand over his, taking a traditional spot at the bottom of the staircase banister.

"Do I look decent?" I ascertained, placing my free hand in my auburn hair. Carlisle leaned over and kissed me pleasantly on the forehead, resting his nose on the bridge of mine.

"Please don't worry, Esme," he murmured, impossible for anyone more than a foot away to hear. "She's going to love you." I blinked in shock. I hadn't even considered what the girl would think of me. It was the thought of her being uncomfortable in our home that irked me. I had spent the majority of last night scrubbing every surface with the scent of fresh cotton, just to ensure that the place was completely average-smelling. If we could somehow make this work, then it would no longer be difficult for me to meet my son's gaze and be content inside. I had not given the girl much thought, either. I knew that she wouldn't be an archetypical blonde beauty. We had given Edward that option a century ago when we had introduced him to Rosalie. He would not fall for the hyper girl either, or he would have had Alice ages ago. I had never even considered Edward's type. But none of that mattered. The girl could have three eyes and webbed feet and I would not mind. As long as my beloved son was in high spirits for the first time.

Carlisle's index finger tapped the melody to my favorite song as the silver car veered up the drive. I inhaled as the door opened.

Isabella Marie Swan had eyes and hair the color of chocolate. Her skin was ivory, yet her cheeks were vermillion. I would have given up everything that I owned to taste her sweet blood right there, yet that thought didn't even cross my mind until later that night. The only thing that I noticed was the way that she rotated with Edward, her eyes on him and his eyes on her. Though she was not the most coordinated human that I had ever seen, she seemed to be in a perfectly choreographed ballet with my son. Her skirt swung blissfully around her knobby knees as they walked, hand-in-hand, to the front door.

Something inside of me let out a diminutive squeal of joy.

Her warm aroma filled the room as soon as she stepped over the threshold, yet I remained poised. I even found the strength to reach out my hand and smile kindly.

"Carlisle," Edward muttered politely, bowing his head to us, "Esme, this is Bella." My husband didn't miss a beat.

"You're very welcome, Bella," he said, raising his hand hesitantly. I stifled a gulp.

"It's nice to see you again, Dr. Cullen," Bella replied, and her voice tinkled like bells in a completely human way. As she exchanged quick introductions with my husband, I found the courage to smile and step forward, mirroring my husband as I shook her warm hand.

"It's very nice to know you," I whispered, not wanting to frighten her by accidentally speaking too loud.

"Thank you," Bella said softly, "I'm glad to meet you, too."

The atmosphere then lightened considerably, and I spun around. As if answering my thoughts, my eyes fell on Jasper and Alice.

Staring at my son and his new Bella, an ancient quote rang through my mind like wind chimes.

"For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."

And finally, my son met my eyes. For the first time in ages, they were twinkling. There is something to be said for star-crossed lovers.