A/N: This is the first chapter of an amazing and fabulous collab between I, the glorious Terra, and Maggie, the average one. Except she's the opposite of average. Above, not below. Anyways, we stayed up all night in my basement, and wrote eight chapters of this story. It took a lot of energy drinks, general twitchyness, and fears of zombies coming to eat our faces. This is posted on both of our profiles, and this one is written by Maggie. Enjoy! (And review!)
Chapter One: Carlisle and Esme Win a House and a Future
The Tuesday morning light poured through the small windows of the kitchen as Esme passed across the cold linoleum tiles that covered the floor. She pulled her housecoat tighter against her body as she crossed the path of another window, sending her body into shock as a painfully cold draft wafted in through the sieve like glass.
A stack of mail sat on the chipped, cheap counter, thick envelopes notorious for being bills outnumbered the thin envelopes that usually contained letters from family members and friends.
But there was one letter that dwarfed the rest, and with a curious twitch of her head, Esme brushed the bills and letters aside and picked it up. The paper the message was cradled in was thick and had a plastic feel. It was an obnoxious yellow.
Ripping it open, she pulled out the thick package that resided inside the ugly envelope.
"Carlisle?" Esme called, quickly scanning the papers to find things that made no sense. She hadn't entered any lottery. She hadn't selected the 'house' option on the ticket she had never filled out.
Arms slid around her waste, and her husband's head rested on her shoulder. "Mm, yes, my love?" Carlisle asked lazily, his breath tickling her skin. Esme held up the letter and its various papers, and she could feel him lean forward to inspect what is said.
Congratulations! You've won your selected option in the nationwide lottery! You have either won; a) a two million dollar manor (furniture not included), or b) the money in cash (taxed accordingly).
"Surprise," came Carlisle's breathless reply. Esme turned her head so she could see his dumbfounded expression in her peripheral vision.
"But…you never told me you were entering to win a house."
"Yes, that's where the surprise bit comes into play." He retorted, his eyes squinting so he could read the fine print of the letter.
"But, I mean…" she sputtered, unable to think as they stared at the paper.
They had won a house. A whole house. A two million dollar house.
Esme let the news sink in as she inspected her once beloved kitchen. Like the rest of the apartment, the room was small. The windows leaked, there wasn't enough room for even two of them, and everything was in somewhat shambles. It had been bought with the money Carlisle had managed to receive from his parents before they had more or less disowned him and her, not approving of their early marriage.
"I never thought we'd get it." Carlisle murmured, taking the papers from Esme and sitting down at the kitchen table, raking over them.
Esme joined him, their knees banging together like they always did when they tried to sit at the one-person table to eat a two-person meal.
"So, what happens now?" Esme asked, holding Carlisle's hand as it rested on the tacky tabletop.
"I guess we'll have to give the hospital and the school are two week notice and start packing." He said as if it were the easiest thing in the world.
"Leave? Where is this house?" She pulled the papers towards herself and scanned the informational packet on the house in question. "Washington? Forks Washington? What the hell. I didn't think we'd be leaving!"
"You didn't know about it at all." Carlisle retorted, but he fidgeted with his wedding ring nervously. He hadn't taken it off in the six years he's had it and had developed the habit of spinning it around and around when he was nervous or anxious. It was endearing, really.
"But I can't leave my class. They'll miss me terribly, and where will they find someone this late in the school year who'll take over a grade two class? It's February! All the good substitutes are already taken."
Esme followed Carlisle's suit, playing with her engagement ring, clinking it against the wedding band that Carlisle had given her at their small, scathingly proclaimed 'shot-gun wedding'. It was small, but perfect in everyway that counted to Esme. Carlisle had given it to her, professing his love to her, and for that, the ring was a holy object to her.
"I'll have to re-take my internship." Carlisle muttered, running a hand through his lovely blond hair. "It'll take me an extra year to get my practice started."
He wanted to be a family doctor, and the fact that he chose that made Esme's heart melt.
"But it's a house. A nice house. A nice house to raise a family in." He said, looking at up at his wife. He needed to be able to take care of a family he and Esme would start. He didn't want to raise children in the shitty apartment he had bought with his parent's money six years ago.
"We haven't talked about having a family in a while." She said slowly, testing the waters. One of the reasons Esme had gotten married at seventeen was because she was pregnant with Carlisle's baby. After the wed and she miscarried, they had stayed together, loving each other through the heartbreak, but the idea of trying again was a topic never brought up.
"I want to have a family with you. In a nice house, where we can have a dog, and you can have a place to sew and draw, and I can have an office, and maybe when my practice starts up, you can go back to school and become an architect or an antique restorer. You know that's what you love." Carlisle said, enticing her with pretty words painting a pretty picture.
"But to get that," he continued, "we need to let go of our past and move on, and I think that house is just the push we need."
"I suppose it's not that far away." Esme conceded, and Carlisle's grin was brilliant like the sun.
"I'll call a moving service."
A/N: Emmett is next! Written by yours truely :)