"We're just waiting for Rose and Bella," stated Carlisle.
The present members of the Cullen family sighed irately. Edward, Emmett, Alice and Jasper were positioned around the room, looking anywhere except each other. Carlisle had summoned a family meeting almost half an hour ago, sending text messages to the girls and asking Jacob to go fetch Jasper from the woods. Jasper had been first to return, his eyes now a beautiful butterscotch colour, though he often wished, as Edward found him thinking, that he hadn't come back at all. It was rare that Jasper was out of control of his mood, but at the present time he wanted to be anywhere but a family meeting.
"Where are they?" demanded Emmett, who was the least patient person in the family.
Esme laid her miniature hand on his arm, watching as he slowly relaxed under her magic touch.
"Bella is just coming home from Charlie's and Rosalie is on her way back from Seattle," answered Carlisle.
She went shopping without me, Alice thought.
Edward rolled his eyes and, as he had suspected, found his favourite sister looking appalled at the thought of a member of family shopping without her. Her bottom lip pouted out as she scheduled to go on a shopping trip tomorrow. Suddenly, instead of the many appointments Alice was making with her hair and nail stylists, a vision of Bella and Rose arriving home appeared in both Alice's and Edwards mind.
"They'll both be home in no less than three minutes," informed Alice, turning to Carlisle who nodded in response.
The whole family returned to their previous stances, gazing in opposite directions. Edward noticed, as he stared longingly out of the window, that both Carlisle and Esme were blocking their thoughts from him, thinking about unusual things that would prevent them from slipping. Something was going on …
The door burst open.
"Was there any need for a family meeting right before I got my hair done?" questioned Rosalie angrily.
She stomped inside, the clattering of her highs heels piercing the previous silence, as Bella strolled in quietly after her. Like Rosalie, she didn't seem impressed either with the unexpected family gathering that Carlisle had called. However, Bella knew her place in the family and she knew to never question the work of Carlisle Cullen – she had far more respect for him than that. Bella closed the door behind her and leant against it, knowing it would be a quick escape if she needed one. Edward sulked when he realised Bella wasn't coming over to stand by him.
"Now, children, I would appreciate if you didn't interject with your thoughts until Carlisle is completely finished," Esme said politely, glaring at each one of her children in turn.
She turned her head and gave Carlisle a small nod.
"Now Esme and I have been noticing a few changes and we have decided –'
"But I don't want to leave Forks yet!' Rosalie interjected, looking extremely hurt by this idea. 'We've only been here for a while and it finally feels like home."
"Rosalie," scolded Esme.
Rosalie sighed and crossed her arms tightly over her chest, directing her line of eyesight to the floor. Emmett rolled his eyes from over in the corner.
"I'm happy you feel that way, Rosalie, but the time to leave Forks hasn't arrived yet-" Carlisle said warmly – "however, there is a problem."
I knew Alice's shopping antics were becoming a problem.
Great, what's Emmett done now?
Oh no, have they found out I broke their vase?
Edward rolled his eyes at the commotion in his head. Although, he was quite curious to find out if any of them had succeeded in guessing the answer. He glanced at Bella to find she was watching Carlisle in interest.
"There comes a time in every marriage when problems arise. It's understandable … especially for vampires as they are married for eternity-"
"But Edward and I haven't been married for centuries, we haven't even hit one century yet," Bella said.
Edward nodded in agreement.
"I understand that Bella. However, you still have problems in your marriage – all of you do – and it's time to deal with them," answered Carlisle, pressing the tips of his fingers together.
Everyone's eyes were now focused upon Carlisle, staring at him with curiosity and interest. Even Rosalie, who still had her arms tightly crossed as though they weren't going to unfold for centuries to come, was gazing at Carlisle with her golden eyes in complete concentration.
"I have a friend who has kindly agreed to do some sort of marriage counselling –"
"No way!" rejected Edward, Jasper and Emmett.
The girls, however, looked like they were thinking it over in their heads as their husbands happily refused the idea completely. Esme rolled her eyes, obviously predicting the outcome before it had happened. Carlisle looked quite amused.
"Doctor Amethyst is an excellent marriage counsellor … his strategies are nothing like the ones humans use … they are in fact quite extraordinary," Carlisle smiled.
Emmet snorted. "Doctor Amethyst?"
A smirk fluttered across Jasper and Edward's face as well. Eventually all three of them burst into a fitful of laughter as their wives surveyed them with irritated golden eyes. Carlisle shook his head, smiling slightly too, whilst Esme scolded her boys one by one. They each apologised before trying to compose their handsome faces.
"Oh I guarantee that he will be the one getting the last laugh," Carlisle smirked.
Each of the boy's face fell, the amusement disappearing instantly, as they suddenly looked unsure. The girls watched in amusement.
Emmett fell to his knees, resulting in the whole house shaking. He clasped his hands together, staring up at his wife with wide eyes, fluttering his eyelashes. Rosalie rolled her eyes. Her bad mood had obviously not gone on vacation just yet.
"Baby, we don't need counselling … we're perfect as we are, you know that!" Emmet whined.
"From what I feel, you're not as perfect as you think," scoffed Jasper, rolling his eyes.
"Oh, go take Alice on a shopping trip!"
"Go flex your lame muscles!"
"Go get some muscles!"
"Maybe it's just Emmet and Jasper that need marriage counselling," Bella said.
I can't believe they're making us go counselling. As if Jasper questioning our every emotion isn't bad enough.
Vampires having counselling? God, I could pass this off as a comedy.
I wonder if I could get to the sale and back before Jasper knew I was gone.
Edward gritted his teeth, finding the thoughts of his siblings more irritating than ever. The only persons thoughts he wouldn't mind listening to was Bella's. Although she had left as soon as the family meeting was over, without saying a single word to him, and had taken their daughter with her. Edward assumed that she had gone to see Jacob if she had taken Nessie, though Bella often surprised him.
There was a gentle knock at the door. Esme popped her head around the door, warming up the room instantly with her sweet smile.
"Hello Edward," she greeted, stepping fully into the room.
"Esme, how are you?"
"Very well. How are you?" Esme replied politely, sitting down on the edge of the bed.
Edward smiled. "Fine, thank you."
The room went silent for a moment. Esme straightened out her apron before folding her hands in her lap, looking back up at her son with twinkling eyes that shone with love and affection.
"Bella still not returned?" she queried.
Edward shook his head, frowning slightly.
"She always has been independent, Edward. Even immortality won't change that," Esme said gently, giving him a soft smile.
Edward was quite aware how independent and awfully stubborn his wife was. And he knew that at the moment she felt slightly disconnected from Renesmee, feeling as though Nessie favoured him over Bella. Edward couldn't help but pity Bella for thinking that. No parent should think that their child prefers one parent over the other – they should both be adored and loved equally.
"I know. But … I don't know … I just wish she let me into her head a little more," sighed Edward.
"I understand that. But if you didn't have your power, if you were an ordinary human, the only way you'd get into her head was by getting to know her as well as she knows herself."
"But I do. She's just too unpredictable!"
"Hopefully tomorrow should help," smiled Esme, rising from her seat.
Elegantly, she walked over to him and pressed a kiss to his cheek, before giving it a small pat. Esme was half way out the door when Edward asked about the strategies this Doctor would be using.
Esme simply smiled in response.
Damn, I really thought she'd spill the beans then.
Edward couldn't help but chuckle at Emmet.
It was the next morning and the Cullen clan was all lined up in the sitting room. Carlisle held a clipboard in his hand as he strolled down the line.
"Edward – check. Bella – check," he said, ticking off their names on his checklist.
Edward and Bella stood with an unusual distance between them, their hands kept to themselves instead of intertwined as usual. Bella kept nervously running her fingers through her hair, whilst Edward merely stood statuesquely beside his wife. Neither of them had spoken since Bella had returned during the early hours of the morning.
"Jasper – check. Alice – check."
Alice had just made it home before Carlisle had ordered the family to gather in the sitting room. As expected she was carrying no less than seven bags, looking slightly flustered as she danced upstairs to dump them before lining up with everyone else. Hence Jasper's stiff mood towards her. She had promised to only leave the house if she felt the urge to hunt. The line "But, Jasper, I felt the need to "hunt" for shoes!" had been her defence. Jasper didn't even crack a smile.
"Rosalie – check. Emmet … where's Emmet?"
Everyone sighed. There had to be one, didn't they?
Rosalie hissed venomously as she stomped towards the stairs. Her high heels clattered against the floor like the sound of thunder. The others winced, suddenly feeling sorry for Emmet when she found him. There was a squeal, which sounded rather like a pig, and then the repeated cry of "OW!"
Rosalie appeared clutching Emmet's foot, dragging him along like a dog on a lead, whilst his head bounced up and down off the floor. Emmet looked ready to cry by the time she released her grip on his foot.
"Emmet – check," finished Carlisle.
"Are you and Esme having counselling as well?" asked Jasper.
"No, we've already been through that stage in our marriage," Esme answered softly.
Emmet snorted, earning him a smack around the head from Rosalie.
"I have a question," declared Emmet.
He stepped away from Rosalie, putting as much distance as he could between them, before turning to Carlisle.
"Instead of doing all this marriage counselling mumbo jumbo, can we just get a divorce instead?"
Rosalie hissed loudly.
"I'm afraid not, Emmet… unless your partner agrees," said Carlisle, smirking slightly.
"Aw, man!" muttered Emmet.
He turned and flashed a massive grin at a furious Rosalie. When she hissed once again, he hid behind Esme, using her as a shield. Carlisle ordered the family to travel in pairs to their destination, following behind him and Esme of course, and to not take any detours on the way. The family filed out of the sitting room, heading towards the garage.
"Hey, I think I'm gonna ride with Esme and Carlisle, Rose. I'll meet you there!" called Emmet, jumping into Carlisle's car before Rosalie could grab hold of his leg.
The others laughed in amusement at Emmet cowering in the car.
Rosalie walked past his window, smirking as Emmet jumped to the other side, and blew him a kiss before she got into her own vehicle. Thankfully Carlisle sped out of garage at that moment, allowing Emmet to breathe a sigh of relief.
"I want a divorce," he muttered.
I've been taking a break from writing and this is the first fic I've updated. I hope you enjoyed this new update! Let me know what you think in a beautiful review. Thank you!