Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, I'm just having some fun playing with her characters. Consider this the disclaimer for the rest of the story.
IMPORTANT: You might want to go read my other story SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS before you read this, because this story WILL NOT make sense unless you do. This story is a SEQUEL to 7B47B, so characters and plotlines and such probably will be a little lost on you unless you've read the original story. So go over to my profile page and click on Seven Brides. I hope you enjoy it. If you've already read Seven Brides, then enjoy this new chapter in the lives of the Cullen brothers and their families! BE SURE TO READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END!!!
Chapter 1: To Town
"We've had bad luck with children; they've all grown up."
"Please, Papa, I want to go into town with you before we get stuck up here for the winter," she said.
Carlisle crossed his arms over his chest and stared at his eldest child. Her wide, brown eyes and soft hair like her mother's. He couldn't very well say 'no' to that face. But behind the face was the mind of a teenage girl, and that scared Carlisle. It terrified him, actually.
"Papa, please?" Esther asked; her hands clasped in front of her as she begged.
Carlisle had to bite the inside of his cheek so he wouldn't immediately give in. He had to be sterner with her.
Esme came around the doorway, balancing Elena—their youngest—on her hip. Eve, their middle child, not far behind.
"Papa!" Eve said, running forward and flinging her arms around her father's shoulders. At least he still had one that wasn't trying to rebel.
"What's going on out here?" Esme inquired, passing Elena off to her father. She squealed delightedly and slapped her pudgy hands against his cheeks.
He kissed her on the forehead and turned back to his wife and eldest, "Listen, Esther, I'm just going to be going into town to get our supplies for the winter; and I'll probably stop by Uncle Jasper's and Aunt Alice's. Maybe see if Uncle Edward and Aunt Bella are ok."
"I want to see them, too!" She argued, looking at him wide eyes.
Esme sighed; and Carlisle could hear her voice in his head saying, 'pick your battles, Carlisle'.
He shook his head, "Go get your coat, Esther."
She squealed delightedly and threw herself into his open arm and kissed his cheek, "Thank you, Papa!"
She danced away, readying herself for their visit into town.
Esme smiled at her husband, "Keep an eye on her."
"You bet I will," He said. On their last trip into town, Carlisle was hyperaware of the stares his daughter was getting. He was starting to see why Sheriff Swan was going to shoot Edward all those years ago.
"Carlisle, dear, don't fret about her growing up, just enjoy how she is now," Esme reassured him.
"I do enjoy her, and I'm really enjoying having a sixteen-year-old, but I don't, however, enjoy idiotic men not keeping their eyes to themselves," he retorted, snuggling against Elena. She cooed and leaned her head against his shoulder.
Esme smiled and sat down on the settee and pulled Eve in front of her and started to braid the little girl's platinum blonde hair.
"So are you going to let her walk around the town on her own, or are you going to stick to her like glue?" Esme asked, weaving her daughter's hair together.
Elena wiggled until Carlisle set her down and she started to waddle away, her little legs still wobbly.
"Of course I'll stick to her," he scoffed, "I know—frightfully well—what boys will do when they're desperate."
"Oh, honestly, it's not like someone is going to whisk your daughter away and hold her hostage for seven months," Esme scoffed.
Carlisle glared at her, "That's not funny, Esme. I know exactly why all of those fathers were up here the moment that pass was open."
Esme finished up with Eve's hair and stood. She patted his chest comfortingly, "Honey, I know you understand now, with three daughters—but don't make her feel like you're hovering over her. Then she'll only be angry and you don't want her angry with you."
"No, I don't," he replied morosely.
"So," Esme shrugged easily, "give her enough freedom that the both of you are comfortable, but enough structure that she knows that you're still in charge."
Carlisle sighed and grabbed his goat from the peg by the door, "Esther, we're going soon, are you ready?"
"Yes, Papa!" She said, bounding down the stairs. Her brown hair was swept away from her face in a knot at the nape of her neck and her light brown eyes were bright. She smiled at her father and wrapped her hand around his arm.
He kissed her cheek lightly and then waved to Esme, Eve and Elena over his shoulder.
Esther sat quietly next to him on the wagon seat all the way into town.
He smiled and nudged her with his elbow, "A penny for your thoughts?"
She grinned and leaned her head on his shoulder, "I'm just thinking about how everybody's doing."
"Maybe we'll go check in on them," he told her with a smile. He kissed the crown of her head.
"Good, I want to see the new baby," she said, clapping her hands happily.
He smiled and said, "I'm sure your mama will be jealous that we get to see her."
Esther laughed, "I'm sure Mama could go visit Aunt Tia and the baby sometime before it starts to snow."
Carlisle nodded and wrapped his arm around his daughter.
"I think your mama would like that," he said, "Should I drop you off at Uncle Benjamin's and Aunt Tia's and let you walk down to Aunt Bella's and Uncle Edward's once you're done visiting there, and I'll come pick you up from there when I'm done with my errands—or would you rather come into town with me?"
Esther scrunched her nose up and contemplated, on the one hand she wanted to see her aunts, uncles and cousins and on the other, she wanted to go into town with her father. She was a little torn as to what to do.
"I want to stay with Uncle Benjamin and Aunt Tia and then go visit Uncle Edward and Aunt Bella," she said finally, with an affirmative nod.
Carlisle smiled, slightly relieved; he had to admit to himself, he didn't want to wound his daughter's pride by hovering over her like a moth drawn to light.
She snuggled against his side as the cold wind whipped past them.
"Are you cold?" He asked.
She shook her head and pressed her lips into a thin line. "It's not too far until Uncle Benjamin's house, I'll last."
Benjamin and Tia had lived with her parents until they saved enough to build a house of their own. It was nestled just beyond the mountain pass in a little clearing surrounded by pines.
Their first child, a girl, had been born only several months before. They were the last to have a child—and some of the Cullen clan was starting to think that they never were going to have kids.
But of course, they did their part to expand the ever-growing Cullen family.
What Carlisle had to find the most amusing about his family, however, was the severe lack of male children. There were a total of three boys born to the Cullens within the past years since the kidnapping debacle.
Edward and Bella's eldest was a boy, and Jasper and Alice's only children were twin boys. Everyone else had girls. Carlisle thought it was ironic. Esme just thought it was funny.
Esther smiled as they drew closer to the small homestead.
"Papa, what are you going to get while you're in town?" Esther asked.
"Just the normal stuff, maybe get Mama some bolts of fabric so you both can make dresses for the girls," Carlisle replied.
"Will you get us some rock candy?" She asked, hopeful.
"Don't I always?" He teased, grinning.
She smiled at him and leaned in to kiss her father's cheek. "Are you going to come in and say hello, or just go straight into town?"
"I need to head right into town—I'll see them when I bring your mama down here soon," Carlisle said, pulling on the reigns so the horses slowed to a halt so his daughter could get down from the wagon.
She leaned over to give him a kiss on the cheek.
"I'll pick you up from Uncle Edward's and Aunt Bella's, right?" He asked.
Esther nodded to her father, "I'll walk there once I'm done here."
He smiled at the girl, pleased with what he saw. She was growing up to be such a lovely young woman; as much as the task of raising a teenager daunted him, Carlisle was starting to appreciate the mature things about her. Like the way she resigned herself when she knew she wouldn't get her way, or her natural ability to assume responsibility when it came to her younger siblings. She was very much like her mother, and Carlisle was proud.
She waved to him and then went inside.
Benjamin came out on the porch and waved, too.
"Take care of her for me," Carlisle called.
"Will do," Benjamin yelled back, "She's already inside fussing over the baby and Tia."
Carlisle chuckled, "I'm bringing Esme down here probably sometime next week so she can see the little one before the snow starts," Carlisle said.
Benjamin nodded, "Good, Tia's been wanting to see Esme for a while now."
Carlisle smiled at his youngest brother, "Alright. I'm going into town now, anything you need?"
"No," Benjamin said, shaking his head. "I just went in last week, I think we have everything."
Carlisle nodded and whistled to the horses.
They started trotting along, carrying him quickly into the town. The familiar, bright red general store loomed in the distance. Carlisle smirked as he remembered days of old going there with three of his brothers. That was the beginning to all of the madness that had ensued when his six younger brothers kidnapped their six lovers.
Carlisle tethered the horses to the posts outside the store and hopped down from the wagon. He clutched Esme's list in his hands.
"Hey Uncle Carlisle!" A timid boy voice called.
Carlisle turned and smiled at his nephew, Adam. "Hey there! What are you doing in town?"
"I was visiting Grandpa Charlie," the boy said.
"Oh well, run home then—I think Esther is going to stop by there after she finishes up at Benjamin and Tia's house."
"Alright!" The boy called over his shoulder, already running down the road.
Carlisle chuckled and walked into the store.
Mike Newton was still working at the there, and Carlisle couldn't help but smirk. "Ah, Mr. Newton, my wife sent me on an errand today—do you think you can help me find what is on her list?"
"Sure," Mike said in a strained voice. He still had a bit of a problem with the Cullens, which was understandable—they stole the only marriageable girls in the entire town.
Mike got to work on the list and Carlisle went through the fabric aisle, picking up what he thought would be best for his daughters and wife. He chose a soft, dark blue calico for Esme, a light pink with little flowers speckled through it for Eve and Elena, and finally a rich dark brown for his eldest.
He pulled the bolts of fabric down from the wall and brought them to the front counter.
Mike was flitting around the store, his arms laden with bags of sugar and potatoes and cans of apple butter and beans. Carlisle smiled, and went to the counter and started picking out candy for his three girls.
He picked out a red-dyed candy for Eve and a blue one for Esther. He got some soft toffee for Elena because she was too young for the hard candy. He also bought a bar of chocolate for Esme. She would be mad that he'd spent money for such a frivolous item, but Carlisle didn't care.
He smiled to himself and paid for the items, hurrying so he could go home and be with his family.
So there you have it. Chapter One! I'm excited about it. It's been almost a month since Seven Brides for Seven Brothers ended. Anyways, on to more important matters. The updating schedule for this story is up to a vote. It can either be every Tuesday and Thursday or on the weekends. Leave me a review and tell me. Either way you only get two chapters a week, because I'm still in the process of writing this story. So I'll need some more time to work on it.
This story isn't going to be as long as 7B47B was. It will probably only be about 10 chapters, unless I get seriously carried away in the next couple of chapters. I'm also going to introduce a couple later on that you all might not like. If you don't like it when I introduce it, then don't tell me you don't like it. I don't care, I'm not going to change it. Deal with it. If you'd like to speculate on the couple, feel free to do so. If anyone gets it right they'll get an extended preview of the next chapter.
Once more of the kids for the family get introduced I'll make you guys a list of all of the children. Right now it's only Esme and Carlisle's three girls and I think they're pretty easy to keep track of. I'll also include ages and stuff like that, but that will probably happen next chapter.
Next time on 7F47F:
Esther smiled and leaned forward on her elbows her fingers laced in front of her mouth to contain her smile. "I met someone," she whispered to her aunt.
Bella dropped the spoon she was holding and stared at her eldest niece. Her eyes were wide and Bella couldn't help but allow her thoughts to grow ominous. How would Carlisle react to this? His eldest daughter had 'met someone'. This was pure disaster.
"Who?" Bella croaked out and Esther's girlish smile faded.