This little peek into StephenieMeyerLand takes place during the events of Twilight. When things were all gumdrops and rainbows and unicorns. Back when the only drama was Rose's misunderstood animosity.

Esme POV


This is exactly what we needed. Time away, time to relax and just be ourselves. No worries, no hiding, no limitations.

As I looked out across the span of the private beach at my family, I was struck, again, by how beautiful they were. Not beautiful in the way that models or artwork is beautiful, although, they were a nice looking bunch if I do say so myself. And not because there were all sparkling, uninhibited in the springtime sun. They were all beautiful because they were happy, and in love, and…


"Sorry, mom! It's not my fault, Edward spiked the ball so hard I couldn't control the ricochet. How's your head?" Emmett came running over to retrieve the volleyball I neglected to see careening my way as I waxed poetic about my lovely family. I suppose that's what I get for letting my mind wander with grownup sized children on the loose. "Good thing it won't leave a mark, dad would've killed me."

"Hey, who says I won't kill you for beaning me in the head with your projectile?" I tried to sound menacing.

"Yeah, right, you couldn't hurt a fly, let alone your adoring son." The smirk on his face was too much to let go. I decided it was time to show this little upstart a thing or two about his mamma.

Jumping up from my lounge chair, I tackled my "adoring son". Luckily, I had the element of surprise on my side. Thank goodness, because he's much larger than I am. I have to admit I had a pretty good feeling he wouldn't fight me back. And yes, I used that to my advantage as well.

"Way to go mom! Alice, Bella, Rosalie, come look, mom took Emmett down with one jump!" Edward called to the girls with just a little too much glee in his voice.

Bella and Alice were wading in the shallow waves, while Rosalie was out farther, demonstrating her surfing expertise. Within a minute they were all on the beach, with Jasper and Carlisle coming from our nearby cabin to see what all the ruckus was about. I would have to ask them later why there were both wearing sombreros and carrying maracas.

Poor Emmett, flat on his back, was covered in sand, with me sitting proudly on top of him. If he could have blushed he would have, I just know it.

As it was, I think Jasper was picking up on his radiating embarrassment, he couldn't quite seem to look me in the eye. Although it didn't stop a smirk of his own from sliding across his face.

"What in the world is all this? Esme, my love, why are you sitting on the sand castle version of our son?" Carlisle was trying to be calm, but he clearly thought it was just as funny as the rest of us. I hoped he wouldn't over-react when I answered his question.

"Well, it seems that neither Edward nor Emmett can control their balls, so…"

Before I could finish the explanation, the group busted out in uncontrolled laughter. Now it was my turn to be embarrassed. Carlisle looked at me with a new kind of questioning look on his face. One that pleaded for me to try another explanation. Bless him, he was trying so hard not to laugh.

"What I mean is they were playing volleyball and between Edward's spike, and Emmett's attempt to return it, I got whacked in the head. Emmett was closer, so he got his payback first." I looked at Edward when I said the last part. He stopped laughing immediately, but the others just laughed even harder. "Yes, my lovely son, you'll get yours, when you least expect it."

"Ooh, scary! You're in for it now Edward." Alice giggled at her brother with a knowing look on her face, then flashed me a thumbs up sign. That's my girl.

"Well, now that you've taken revenge on one aggressor, would you like a hand up?" My husband offered his hand and I hopped up off of a still very embarrassed Emmett. "Well done, my love." He chuckled into my ear.

"I said I was sorry, why'd ya have to go and pounce on me? And where in the world did you learn to do that? It was like swoosh, and I was down! Mom's got skills."

Carlisle couldn't resist, "Yes, she most certainly has skills." He looked at me with eyes that told me exactly how much he appreciated my "skills". This would've been my turn to blush.

"Oh Emmett, stop being such a baby. It's your own fault, now come out here and wash all that sand off. Then maybe I can help you with your 'ball control'." Rosalie was going to have a lot of fun with both Emmett's and my mistakes this afternoon. And the way he was looking at her, I don't think he was going to mind it one little bit.

The volleyball game continued as a pairs match-up. With Jasper and Alice on one team, and Edward and Bella on the other. Edward was trying, ever the optimist, to guide Bella through the motions.

Now, I love Bella, and I am grateful that she makes my son so happy, but I was very glad to be on my way far away from them before she started "practicing" what Edward was showing her. One knock on the head was enough for me today, thank you very much. I just hoped that Alice's visions kept her and Jasper from being injured during the process. Jasper was still in his sombrero, maybe that would help.

On the way up the steps into the cabin, I took another look at my family enjoying their time together. I started thinking again about how lucky I was to have them all, a continuation of the thoughts I was having before I was accosted by flying leather.

"Would you like me to show you some of my 'skills', my beautiful wife?" Carlisle asked in a whisper as he took off his sombrero, pulled me into the cabin, and shut the door. This interruption was much more welcome.

**AN 2*

There will only be one other short chapter describing how Edward "gets his". Coming soon.

This was written for two reasons, first and foremost as an entry into the Twilighters Anonymous Podcast's "Spring Break With The Cullens" Fanfiction Contest. And second, as a way to jump-start my writing again. I have a story started, that I love, but have been neglecting horribly. I hope to change that very soon. (And I hope my beta hasn't disowned me…. *begs*.)