You guuuuuuuys! I can't believe the response this story's had so far… it's making me SQUEE too, especially when I see the reviews… BTW, I had to give the Volvo a little cameo, since Edward doesn't get to drive in this one… here is our lovely couple's conclusion.
"So after you left with Mike in the ambulance, the principal came and collected Emmett and took him to her office. She called his parents in and everything. I mean, it was an accident, sort of, though he knows he shouldn't be throwing rocks—Esme, are you listening to me?"
"Sorry Kate?" My mind was in a daze. I was busy helping Bella punch her straw into her juice box, but couldn't find the damn hole. I finally gave up and handed it to Kate. "You know, it's just—"
"Yeah, yeah, I get it," Kate smirked, giving the juice back to Bella. "Your head's still in that ER, huh? Or in the Volvo?"
"Both. Like you wouldn't believe." I had been replaying our little encounter over and over since the previous afternoon. I had finally fallen asleep at around 1 AM, which did nothing to help my hazy state. I'd stayed up trying to figure out ways to see Carlisle again; short of landing myself in the hospital with some sort of injury, I couldn't think of anything that might put me in his path again.
I glanced at Edward, slurping happily on his Capri Sun and sharing a quarter of his PBJ sandwich with Emmett. Now that I knew his uncle, I could see a certain resemblance. Edward looked a lot like his mom, Elizabeth. They had an odd bronze cast to their hair and emerald eyes. Carlisle was blonde and blue-eyed, yet there was something in their easy-going attitude and quick smiles that marked them as kin.
We released the kids into the playground once they had cleaned up the classroom. I tried to keep my wits about me, knowing that in a second, things could go horribly awry. While I took my turn pushing at the swings, mindlessly shoving my arms back and forth, I watched as Kate sent Eric to Ms. Cope's office for some Pepto; Jessica had been feeding him mud pies. The little girl went to the girls' room to wash off her hands. I kept pushing.
Nothing was really getting through to me today. I didn't know what it was about Carlisle that had me in such a state. I mean, seriously, a one-time encounter? And I was ready to hand over the farm and everything? The guy barely knew my name. Granted, it seemed Edward talked a little bit about me when he saw his uncle, but hardly enough for me to do something really drastic. Like call him and ask him out. I shivered at the thought.
Before the bell rang signaling the end of recess, Mrs. Goff, the other kindergarten teacher on duty, caught Tyler and Lauren in the patio playhouse. Kate took the kids back inside as Mrs. Goff and I sat down with these two and discussed appropriate behavior. We tried to really get the point across that our bodies were private and it was definitely not okay to strip and 'explore' each other, despite their curiosity. Mrs. Goff finally left, leaving me to herd Tyler and Lauren back to the classroom and I sat down to write yet another note home regarding this situation.
The intercom on my desk buzzed suddenly. "Yes?"
"Esme? Sorry to bother you, but we have an early-pick up. Can you send Edward Masen to the main office please?"
"Sure. I'll walk him over." I stood up and collected Edward's belongings. He waved goodbye to his friends and took my hand as we walked through the Institute's hallways to the office.
"So Edward, starting the weekend early?" I looked down and smiled at him.
"Yes, Ms. Platt. We're going camping! My dad got me this giant blue tent at the Newtons' store. Six people can sleep inside!" His excitement was palpable and I chuckled.
"Really? Well, if you take any pictures, bring them for show-and-tell next week." I pushed open the door to the main office and nearly choked.
Waiting for Edward was none other than Carlisle. His face broke into a heart-stopping smile as he bent down and caught Edward as the little boy hurtled himself into his arms.
"Hey, dude! Ready to go?" Carlisle mussed Edward's hair as he laughed, trying to dodge his uncle's hand.
"I, um… brought his things," I stammered. Why, oh, why did this man reduce me to a mumbling imbecile? Where was the wit, the charm, the stupid sign on my forehead that said, I adore you… in frightening ways?
"Thanks, Ms. Platt." He reached over, and hesitated for a moment over the hand holding Edward's backpack and coat. "May I call you Esme?"
I hope you'll be screaming Esme… in bed. Oh dear God, what was wrong with me?
"Um, yeah, Esme's fine." I managed a not-so-idiotic smile as Carlisle took Edward's belongings. I had to say something else before they left!
"So, Edward tells me you're going camping." I gripped the edge of the counter and leaned against it for support. Anything to prolong this conversation, which I knew would probably be very brief.
"Yeah, it's my sister's wedding anniversary, so I'm taking this little guy off her hands for the weekend." Carlisle smiled as Edward tugged on his hand, eager to be going. "We'll be back on Sunday afternoon."
"That sounds nice." And that sounded pathetic. I took a deep breath, and tried to find a way to extricate myself without embarrassing myself. "So…"
"Well. I guess it's time to go." Carlisle looked over at Edward, who was halfway out the door, calling out, "Bye, Ms. Plaaaaaaaaaatt!"
"Have fun and be careful," I said. I could have smacked myself. What a total mom thing to say!
Carlisle didn't seem to mind. "We will." He followed Edward to the door, but paused when he reached the threshold.
He turned to me and smiled again. "Um, Esme… I was wondering… when we get back from camping on Sunday, you know… after… would you care to join me for dinner?"
Oh. My. God.
There it was. Carlisle actually asked me out. I didn't think God granted immediate prayers. I didn't even think He'd been listening. Oh. My. God.
Crap, wait—he was still expecting me to answer. I shook my head slightly, stunned. His smile faltered for a second as I still stood there, gaping like a total moron.
"Sunday?" My voice almost cracked at the end, making it sound like a question.
"Oh, I understand if you're busy," he stammered quickly. "I know it's a weird day for a date, but I'm starting on nights at the hospital, and otherwise, I don't really have a chance to… I mean, not that I don't want—have, you know… dammit."
Love. Complete, utter, and total love.
Here he was, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, rambling and mumbling like a nervous wreck. Like me.
Edward's voice suddenly interrupted us. "Come on, Uncle Carlisle! Let's goooo!" He still tugged impatiently on his hand, jumping up and down in frustration.
Oops, still waiting for an actual answer. "Oh, no, don't worry—I mean, Sunday's fine, it's perfect. Um… well…"
"Oh, yeah, here. Sorry." Carlisle reached with his free hand into his coat pocket and pulled out his cell. "Just, um, program your number in. And, uh, call your own cell, so you'll have my number… just in case." He ducked his head in the most adorable way. "In case of emergency… or if you need to cancel, whatever."
Cancel? A snowball's chance in hell. "Thanks. I put in both my cell and home numbers. Sometimes I don't hear the Nokia ring. It's usually buried in my purse somewhere." Stop talking. Now. Don't blow this. I smiled and handed his cell phone back to him.
Edward suddenly jerked him hard and Carlisle stumbled through the office door. He nearly dropped the phone; he caught it and stood there, looking flustered. Love…
"Okay, now it's really time to go. I'll call you on Sunday, okay?" He flashed me another breath-taking smile before trailing after Edward into the visitors' parking lot. I watched as he strapped Edward safely into the backseat and then climbed in. I stared after the car as it drove off.
I had a date with Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Even he had actually used the word date. Date, date, date…
I traipsed back to the classroom, barely paying attention as I floated through the door. Kate got one look at my face and practically squealed. "What happened now? Tell me, tell me!"
She sat me down at one of the kids' tables, while they kept on working in their centers activities. I managed to fill her in on the most important details of my conversation with Carlisle—namely, the date part.
"Oh, Esme, I'm so happy for you!" She gave me a quick hug and jumped up from the tiny chair. "This is so… so—"
"Awesome!" A little voice supplied from behind us. We whipped around to find Emmett standing there, grinning from ear to ear. I wasn't sure how much of the conversation he'd heard—or understood—but it was clear he wasn't supposed to be here.
"Emmett! Why are you eavesdropping on grown people's conversations?" I huffed.
"I wasn't eave-leaf-popping. Ms. Kate told me to stay close to her," Emmett explained patiently.
"Why is that, Emmett?" I arched my eyebrow at him and Kate.
"Oh, yeah. Forgot to tell you. Alice got into the glitter jars. Made a huge mess… we'll be sweeping purple glitter from here until Christmas." Kate looked sheepish. I smiled, knowing that it wasn't her fault.
"Okay, but what is Emmett—"
"Well, while I was shaking the glitter off Alice's clothes, Emmett got Jazz to boost him into the cabinets again and he got the scissors."
"Oh!" I took Emmett's hands in mine and searched him for scratches. "Is he hurt?"
"No, but Rose needs a new haircut."
Thanks for reading! I'm hope you liked the ending…Did you catch the little nods to "Midnight Sun" embedded here and there? *wink*
Let me pimp out the next one, which I really really really hope you'll read & rec & review over and over… it will be called Regresa. I've got the first chapter laid out already and hope to post it tomorrow. Here's the synopsis:
:: Bella learns she has lived many past lives through regression therapy. She wakes up one day and she is no longer herself, but 400-year-old Spanish royalty, waiting for her true love. :: B&E/AU/AH