If you have this story on Alert or your faves or whatever, you're getting a special treat - a peek into the night the families meet through Esme's mind. Also, there is a large hint on how the next chapter will play out at the end. I hope you enjoy! Thanks for reading and being awesome. :)
I watch JJ walk away with Carlisle's son, the last of the children heading to bed for the evening, and I can't help but think that Carlisle and I really fucked up this momentous occasion.
Our children aren't used to boyfriends or girlfriends for their parents.
How could we have decided this was the best way to introduce the kids to our significant others and merge the families?
This was probably a mistake.
It's not as if though we rushed into it though. We have been talking about it for a while now. It's just when I found out that JJ's roommate was also his boyfriend, I was so worried for him. Carlisle wanted to comfort me. We missed each other terribly. He suggested we fly out, in a moment of duress and without thinking, I said yes.
The thought of JJ living with his boyfriend consumes my mind once again. How can you be in your first serious relationship and just immediately live together? It's not right. There are steps you take. There is maturity needed within a relationship.
I'm afraid living together is only going to hinder them. You shouldn't have to worry about who didn't do the dishes and all the other domestic arguments that come along with living together. You should be young and carefree and excited about seeing each other again after time apart!
What if they break up? The other boy's eyes could wander. He could bring someone else back to the dorm. It would kill JJ! I can't let that happen.
The truth is, I'm all for him to be in a relationship. I can't wait to meet the boy my son loves! I just don't want them to be roommates.
They can even live in the same dorm on the same hall. They could spend every night together anyway.
God, I hope he's being careful.
It would just put my mind at ease if they didn't live together. They're too young. I wouldn't call Jasper naïve on the ways of the world, but with relationships, they're both novices.
Well, his boyfriend could be a man-eater for all I know about him. I really need to sit down and talk to JJ and explain myself. I think I really hurt his feelings by call it lust instead of love.
It would hurt mine if the same thing was said about Carlisle and me.
My eyes wander toward a shirtless Carlisle changing into his pajamas bottoms, his smattering of blond chest hairs practically glowing under the florescent light. He's so beautiful. I'm so unbelievably blessed that he has come into my life.
He must have slipped me the Kool-Aid that day on the phone, though, somehow convincing me that this would be the best way for the kids. That they'd be happy at the beach and we would be on neutral ground. We would both talk to our children on the way down. It would be great. Everyone would get along amazingly.
It wasn't quite so glamorous.
They were all angry and hurt on the long drive here, even Emmett. Jasper was especially concerned for me. He's always felt it was his job to protect Rose and me; that every time his father abused us, verbally, emotionally or mentally was because he wasn't strong enough to stop him.
I never knew the extent of what my ex-husband did to Jasper, and for that, I will always be ashamed. I should have left earlier. I was just so scared. I was isolated, poor and I didn't know how I would get away with two young children.
The day I saw those bruises on Jasper's chest though…
That day will forever haunt me. I can't believe that happened to my child. That I allowed that to happen! We have spent years and years in therapy as a family recovering from our past.
And, then I go and do something like this?
I knew from about an hour into the car ride that this was a mistake. It took a roadside stop and a tearful phone call to Carlisle to even convince me to continue. Carlisle reminded me I had already told them. That was the hard part.
Still, it wasn't right. We both screwed up as parents today.
"A penny for your thoughts?" Carlisle asks, his hands sliding down over my shoulders as he pulls me into a hug from behind. "Are you okay?"
I smile, despite my worries. I love this man so much. "I'm just worried about the kids."
"They're old enough to understand. I know this wasn't right what we did, but we can't take it back now. We just have to be as open as possible with them and hope that the beach and sunshine will ease their minds as well."
"Are you going to actually be open with your children, Carlisle?" I question him, turning to look him in the eye. "You are the one who didn't even mention me until right before I showed up."
"I'm not the best communicator sometimes," he admits with a grim smile. "I will try my hardest though."
"Do you think they're all mad at us?"
He shrugs his shoulders. "I think that we would have definitely known if your children were mad. I don't think they could keep it to themselves even if they wanted."
I laugh and nod my head. "You're right. They are definitely outspoken. Those two drive me up the wall, but a lot of it is just a defense mechanism. We've been hurt badly, Carlisle. I don't want to make it worse for them."
He hugs me tight. "You've protected them for years, Esme. I don't think it's wrong that you want to live your life as well, especially since they're both out of the house."
"I know. I still feel guilty though. Jasper was already mad at me because I was so stubborn about him and his boyfriend-slash-roommate."
"Well, I would be very against Edward living with his boyfriend, so I understand where you're coming from."
"My son," Carlisle says, right before hitting himself on the forehead with the palm of his head. "Right. I kept calling him Anthony. It's hard for me to let that go. Elizabeth loved his middle name, and she always called him that."
A moment of clarity, doubt, confusion and shock all rush through me at the same time… along with a very strong feeling that we've been played.
It can't be true.
It would be too absurd, too farfetched.
"Carlisle, what is your son's roommate's name?" I question him, fearful of the answer.
You can see when the light bulb clicks on above his head. His eyes go wide and his mouth drops open. "You're not saying…"
"That's exactly what I'm saying!"
"How can that be?"
"I think that we have been a little too wrapped up in ourselves. How could we have missed this?"
"Our sons are boyfriends, Esme!" Carlise practically shouts.
"And living together," I add.
"And, having sex!" Carlisle groans.
"More importantly, they're lying to us!" I say with a shake of my head. I grab my robe and wrap it around myself before marching out the bedroom. "I'm going to kill him!"
Carlisle grabs my hand and stops me, pulling me back into the room. "Carlisle, we have to go in there and be the parents!"
"Listen, you may not like what you find, dear. I don't think we should just barge in there," he rationalizes.
"Then, what should we do? We can't let them keep thinking they've tricked us!"
"We won't. We will confront them in the morning," he says, slipping my robe off of my body. "Tonight, I want to concentrate on you. It's been way too long since I've seen you," he reminds me with a kiss on the shoulder.
"You're right," I sigh, letting my body relax into his. "But, promise me that tomorrow we won't just tell them right away. I think we should make them sweat for a while."
"I'll follow your lead," he promises.
So, the parents are that incredibly dense, just wrapped up in each other.