Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just wrote this story for fun.
Time-Frame: Post-Twilight, Pre-New Moon.
The 'kids' were all out, so Esme and I had the house to ourselves.
I had the day (and night, of course) off from the hospital and so far no emergency calls had come through, so my lovely wife and I took full advantage of it to enjoy each other.
We were sitting in front of the fire place, on the white bear-skin rug, snuggled close, when the door opened and was shut with enough force to shatter it.
We both sprang up to find Edward, scowling, heading for the stairs.
We were there in an instant, both realizing something was not right with our son.
"Is something wrong, sweetheart?" Esme asked, stopping him half way up the stairs.
He simply glared at us, and she glanced at me in puzzlement.
I shrugged. What could have gone wrong on his date with Bella?
"Did you and Bella have an argument?" I asked, earning a glare from both my wife and son.
"No," he growled, angrily. "Dads suck, that's all."
With that, he stormed up the stairs and out of sight.
Esme and I glanced at each other, both clearly shocked by his behavior.
Edward could be--and usually was—sullen, withdrawn, and occasionally enraged around us—but he'd never been downright rude to his mother and me.
"What do you think is wrong?" I asked, more as a 'thought out loud' than a genuine question.
"I think," Esme told me, "that it is something you must go and find out, my dear."
She nodded her head up the stairs.
I smiled. "Why me?" I asked. "He usually wishes to speak to you when he is troubled."
"This doesn't seem to me that he is troubled," she said, smirking. "More like he's in trouble."
She placed her hands on my chest.
"Go and talk to our son, my love," she told me. "My mother's intuition is telling me he needs his father right now."
"And what will his mother be doing while his father is probing him why—and I quote—'Dads sucks'?" I asked, smirking.
"I'll be out in the garage," she told me, "sorting through those boxes of clothes we have stored there so that we may donate them to charity."
Oops. I knew there was something I had forgotten to do today.
I nodded. "I'll just head upstairs then," I said, quickly. I started up the stairs.
"Good luck," she called after me, and then turned to head for the garage.
I chuckled and headed to Edward's room. He surprised me by being on the phone when I enter.
He was still sullen, sitting on his lounge, as he listened to whomever he was talking to.
He glanced at me in the doorframe, and deliberately turned away from me.
I frowned at that.
I sent a silent reprimand at his rude behavior, which he ignored. I narrowed my eyes, annoyed.
I move beside him quickly, snatching the phone away from him, and putting it up to my ear to see who he was speaking to.
"Charlie's downstairs right now unhooking the cables from my truck," Bella's voice, sullen and outraged, was saying from the other end.
"I can't believe he grounded me! We were only late by an hour—an hour!—and he says to me, 'One week for every hour, that's how it's gonna be from now on, Bells'—can you believe that!? You're SO lucky you don't have to worry about stuff like this. I bet Carlisle would never over react like this…"
I grin. Time to speak up, I guess. "Bella."
"D-Dr. Cullen?" she asked, surprised.
"Tell me, Bella," I asked her, curiously. "If you are grounded, should you really be speaking to Edward right now?"
I nodded. "I thought not," I said, wryly. "Good night, Isabella."
I punched the off-button on Edward's phone.
He glared at me as he hopped up off his lounge. "That wasn't fair," he growled, reaching for his phone.
I pull it away from him.
"It seems Bella is under the impression that I do not treat you the same way as Charlie treats her," I told him, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, so?" he asked, crossing his arms.
He was the very image of the petulant teenager at that moment, and it surprised me a little bit.
"So, you and Bella stayed out an hour past her curfew," I continue, ignoring his sullen tone for the moment, "and Charlie grounded her for it, correct?"
"Yeah," he said, glancing away. "We didn't mean to be late, but the way he yelled at her—and me—you'd have thought we'd skipped the country or something!"
He tried for his phone again, and again I held it away from him.
"He has a right to worry about his daughter, Edward," I remind him, firmly.
"I wouldn't let anything happen to her," he growled back, his eyes practically glowing with anger.
"He does have reason to doubt that, my son," I reminded him, "and most fathers are skittish about their daughter's boyfriends."
He snorts. "You're not," he said, smirking.
"I am not a typical father," I tell him, "but I am still a father—more importantly, I am still your father."
"Yeah, so?" he asked, trying a third time to get his phone.
This time I catch his hand by the wrist in a firm grip.
"So," I tell him, firmly, "I don't think it is exactly fair that Bella be the only one punished when it was only half her fault she was late…"
"What are you saying?" he asked, suspiciously.
"I'm saying that I think I'll keep this," I told him, waving the phone that was still in my other hand, "along with your car keys for a week."
Edward's golden-brown eyes widened at that.
"You're grounding me!" he exclaimed, outraged.
I nod. "Yes," I said, releasing his hand and holding my palm out. "Keys, please?"
He glares at me, but digs into his pocket for the requested items.
He then places them in my hand—none too gently, I might add.
"See, I was right," he said, sullenly. "Dads do suck."
I grin, despite his disrespectful tone.
"No TV and no stereo for a week, as well," I inform him, firmly, "and especially—no going to Bella's."
He nodded, understanding. "What exactly am I supposed to do at night, then?" he asked, petulantly.
I shrugged. "You have your journals, my son," I reminded him. "You can fill their pages with the unfairness of fathers all over the world."
He snorted. "Thanks a lot, Dad," he said, sighing.
I shake my head, still not understanding something.
"Answer me this," I asked him. "Why were you an hour late getting Bella home?"
He shrugged. "We lost track of time, that's all," he said, not meeting my eyes. "It happens."
I narrow my eyes again in annoyance.
"What were you two doing?" I probe, wanting to understand his attitude.
"Nothing," he answered, quickly; too quickly.
"Edward," I said, quietly yet seriously, "you have never openly lied to me before—do not start now, son."
He sighs. "We were just out in the woods," he said, shrugging. "It was no big deal."
"You were showing off again, is that it?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest.
He scowled at me. "It wasn't showing off," he growled, rudely. "She enjoys it."
"I believe most young men take their girlfriends to the movies at night," I told him, sternly. "Not out into the forest to spend the evening on his back leaping from tree to tree."
He glares at me some more. "Like I said," he growled at me, "she enjoys it."
I sigh. Apparently, I'm not getting through to him. I fear I must change tactics.
"Come with me," I ordered him. "We're taking this discussion to my study."
His eyes suddenly widened. "Why?" he asked, suspiciously.
"Edward," I said, sternly, "you know your mother and I can tolerate a lot, but being downright rude and disrespectful is going too far. Now, son."
He follows me to my study, looking like a man on his way to the gallows.
Once there, I turn to face him as I lean against my desk. I do not speak. I do not need to.
Come here, Edward. I silently ordered him in my head, knowing he would here the command due to his special gift.
He obeys, and I placed a hand on each of his shoulders.
Look me in the eye, son, and tell me you were not showing off for Bella tonight?
He stares at my chest, not meeting my eyes. I nodded, knowing he couldn't.
That's what I thought…
I move aside, pulling him forward to my desk with my hands still on his shoulders.
Gently, yet firmly, I bend him over it, placing one hand on his back to hold him down. He tenses, knowing what's coming.
Raising my other hand, I bring it down hard across the upturned seat of his jeans.
He hisses at that first smack, and I almost do the same.
I hate it when I must punish one of my beloved children, but I do not hesitate to do it when it needs doing.
I love them too much not to.
I begin to spank Edward in a steady rhythm of smacks, concentrating mostly on the sensitive undercurve where buttocks and thigh meet.
As a doctor, I am quite familiar with anatomy and know exactly how sensitive that area was, even for a vampire.
After about the thirtieth smack, he gasps out, "I-I'm sorry, Dad. It won't happen again."
I nod my head, but do not say anything out loud. I know it won't, son.
I give him a few more hard smacks, causing him to cry tearlessly into his arms, before righting him and pulling him to a hug.
I do this after each and every time I must punish one of my 'kids'.
I need this closeness as much as they do…maybe even more.
I need to know that they forgive me for hurting them, even when they hurt won't last long.
Edward wraps his arms around me and I give him a squeeze. I begin to rub comforting circles into his back until he calms down.
He pulls away from me, wincing slightly at what I know must be a smarting posterior.
"I'm sorry for being rude to you and Mum, Dad," he said, glancing down. "It won't happen again."
I sigh, reaching over to pull his chin up. "I know it won't, son," I told him, gently.
"You're forgiven…at least by me. Your mother now may be a different story."
He winces again, and I nod in sympathy.
Esme could be quite the force to be reckoned with when she chose to be.
"Edward," I asked, gently. "Are you still adamant about Bella not becoming one of us?"
He nods. "Absolutely," he said, stubbornly.
"Then why do you keep tempting her?" I asked, hoping he would see what I was getting at.
"I know she has seen the horrors of what our world is like, already, Son, but you also continue to show the wonderful aspects of being a vampire—especially when your showing off as you did tonight. The more enjoyment she gains from it, the more she is going to want to be 'changed'."
"I understand," he told me, smirking. "I guess I should start acting like a normal boyfriend and take her to the movies, huh?"
I chuckled at that. "I would if it were me," I told him. "Perhaps your mother and I can join you one night."
The look on his face at my suggestion was one of pure horror.
"Surely we aren't that bad?" I ask him, still chuckling.
He smirks. "Your parents," he said, wryly. "Trust me. That's as bad as it can get."
I shake my head and attempt to ruffle his hair, but he moves out of range too quickly.
"Go on," I said, nodding towards the door. "Your brothers and sisters will be home shortly."
"Where'd they go, anyway?" He asked, curiously.
I grin. "To the movies," I said, smirking.
He groaned loudly and then headed for his bedroom.
I chuckled again and headed back downstairs to find my beloved wife.
She was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs, as it turned out.
"He was showing off again, wasn't he?" she asked me, knowingly.
I nodded. "Yes," I answered, "but we 'discussed' it. It won't happen again—at least any time soon."
She nodded, and then glanced at me out of the corner of her eye.
"What?" I asked her, puzzled by her expression.
"Oh nothing," she said, impishly. "I was just remembering someone else who enjoyed showing off once upon a time…"
"Now, I wonder who that could have been?" I asked, wrapping my arms around her waist and pulling her close to me.
She turned in my arms and I bent forward to kiss her passionately.
"Oh, c'mon, can't you two get a room or something?!"
We turn to find Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, and Alice standing there, staring at us as if we've each grown bat wings.
Esme and I exchanged looks, and then both burst out laughing.
So much for our evening alone!
A.N.--I made some changes to my other Twilight story, I'd be very happy if you all would reread it and let me know what you think. Thanks. --Jamie.