SM OWNS ALL THINGS TWILIGHT
AN; YOU-my wonderful readers both old and new are AMAZING. You have been so kind and supportive. I hope you will join me for the next crazy journey my over active imagination will take me on. Yes it will be CXE and AH, but I know it might take me a little while to get over saying goodbye to my CXE, I am actually very fond of them, despite putting them through so much! LOL! I would very grateful if you could help with the healing process, by pushing the button and reviewing! Now to business, as some of you who have been on the receiving end of my rambling, neurotic replies and messages know, this chapter has been giving me a bit of a headache, well I've written, re-written, slept on it, asked advice. This is what I've come up with, something that will hopefully let Adam have his say and give us all a little more CXE fluffy stuff. There will be some angsty, drama, old habits and there will be music, maybe not your taste in music, but…oh and just to make it clear CXE will age in this story, but I'll try not make it too ewwwy.
ADAM POV –age 28
"He could be asleep, he could have his hearing aid out…" my Dad said.
"No, he made me promise to call him whatever time Adam got here…" My mom said biting down hard on her lip as she paced the kitchen, phone in hand.
"Bella, love…my Dad sometimes forgets that he's not as young as he used to be." I winced slightly, I knew it probably wasn't on purpose, but he could have the most patronizing tone. The flash in my mom's eyes told me that she was thinking the same thing
"Edward, sweetheart…" my mom began sharply.
"Papa Carlisle doesn't sleep a lot anyway, but with Glamma Esme away…he wouldn't be asleep yet…how about I take a walk up to the house…"
"You're such a Momma's boy." My Dad growled, but there was a smile in his eyes.
"Hell yes…and don't tell me you weren't about to suggest doing the same to stop her worrying." I muttered as I passed him. He smirked. My Dad adored my mom and would do anything for her.
I pulled my jacket a little more tightly around me as I began to jog slowly along the long path that joined my parent's house to Papa Carlisle and Glamma Esme's. I had grown up knowing that I had a lot more in terms of material wealth than a lot of other people and thanks to my parents and family, I had never abused or taken that for granted. What I had taken for granted, what I hadn't realized was so important was the sense of peace, calm and safety that these two house and the people in them made me feel. They were feelings that I was beginning to value a lot more the crazier my life became.
A fluttering of wings and a soft quack which seemed to echo like an explosion in the darkness made me jump as I passed the small lake, where a family of ducks had taken up residence. I quickened my pace slightly, ducks were okay, but I still had the scars from my encounters with the geese who had roosted on the lake one summer when I was eight. They were truly evil creatures who had taken delight in stalking me anytime I had ventured into the garden. Finally Glamma Esme arranged for the "Geesestapo" as everyone had dubbed them to be humanely moved on. Emmett had offered his services, saying that he was going to charm them out with a variety of different bird calls. An eagle call had had quite effect, seeing Emmett being chased the length of the garden by terrified geese.
"What can I say? Emmett love is a powerful thing?" he had said.
The main house was in darkness, but I could hear music blaring really loudly from upstairs. Evie who had just graduated as Doctor Evie Cullen veterinary, had just started a contract as an in house vet and handler at Seattle Zoo's primate house, was in Seattle for work, but would be coming home at the weekend. It had to be Papa Carlisle.
I knocked on his study door, but with the music at that volume with our without his hearing aide, he wouldn't have heard. I pushed the door open to see him sat behind his desk, his head leant back against the leather padding of his chair, eyes closed, a half empty scotch by his hand. Papa Carlisle was a couple of months off eighty, he suffered a little with arthritis and other "Old man" problems as he called them, but he usually had more energy than us younger ones. Tonight however, my heart clenched painfully as I saw how small and fragile he looked. As if sensing he was being watched his eyes opened. He was shocked for a minute, but then his face split into a wide, warm smile.
"Adam!" he said genuinely thrilled to see me. He moved a lot quicker than I expected him to round the desk and embraced me tightly.
"Is this a private party or can anyone come?" I asked. He chuckled as he fiddled with the volume on the music system which contained a turntable for vinyl records that I had bought him.
"Mom did try and call you but…"
"Oh, tell her I'm sorry, but the land line is somewhere downstairs…I'm only really listening for my cell phone…" he tapped his chest, where I could see his small silver cell poking out of the pocket. "Evie has programmed it so that the damn thing almost drills a hole in my chest vibrating when it goes off. Sit…sit…drink?" he asked indicating the scotch bottle.
Carlisle rarely had more than a beer, for him to be hitting the spirits meant that he really was upset. He caught my look.
"For medicinal purposes only, I won't tell your Mom if you don't tell Esme." I grinned and sat on the large squashy couch that Esme had insisted on putting in there for when Carlisle was "resting" his eyes. He quickly joined me.
"Was that Bobby D? I heard, sounded like a live recording." I asked. He nodded.
"Esme bought me this on my fiftieth birthday, not long after we met."
"How is she?"
"Fine, fine…hating being so idle and that everyone is fussing…it's me that feels like he had his heart…"he trailed off. Esme had collapsed a week ago with an irregular heartbeat. It was something that could be easily treated with a pacemaker that had been fitted a couple of days ago, but it had scared us all, none more so than Carlisle. Esme was otherwise really healthy.
I gave his knee a squeeze and he patted my hand.
"Ignore me, sentimental old fool…doesn't help I can never sleep properly when she's away." He said.
"You are staying for awhile?" he asked.
"Of course, I would have been here sooner…"
"Your grandmother wouldn't hear of it, she was most adamant…how did those shows go by the way?"
"Meh." I said twisting my hand to show they were ok, but not great. "No, I have some time off before my New York shows…should be just enough time for Mom to feed me up and Evie to drive me crazy."
"She and Sam are coming home for a week. I'm so glad that Sam was there for Evie…she's always had this big fear that I'd be the one to get sick like this…having it happen to Esme has really thrown her."
"Glamma will be okay." I said, hoping the anxiety in my tone wasn't too obvious.
"She'll be fine, apart from the irregular heartbeat she's in good shape and the pacemaker will manage that…doesn't mean I won't be trying to get her to take things a bit easier."
"Good luck with that." I laughed. Esme was officially retired and she and Carlisle enjoyed their time together, but Esme was also took art and cooking classes and she sat on the boards of a shelters for battered women in Port Angeles and Seattle. Carlisle chuckled. "Maybe me, you, Dad and Sam could head to that new piano bar that's opened in Seattle…New Moon…Evie told me he had taken her there, but it wasn't really her scene."
"I'd like that…but I thought you'd want a break from music…"
"You know me Papa, when I'm on the road, I want to be home, when I'm home I want…anyway…I'm still trying to make it up to Sam for the first time I took him out to a bar." I laughed.
Even though I was in New York, Evie and I still kept in touch and I knew about Sam and how happy he made her. I was home from school myself the weekend she bought him home to Forks for the first time as Evie had wanted to get the painful process of him meeting everyone and possibly "running from the house screaming never to be seen again" as she put it over quickly. As it turned out, whilst all the girls, even Alice could arrive during the day as planned, the boys including my Dad were busy till the evening. Instead I was instructed by several texts from Emmett to bring him to Angie's Bar in Port Angeles and NOT to let him know that our quiet beer and pool game was going to be gate crashed.
Sam is a nice guy, but as the first impression he had made was carrying an injured Evie into the house whilst arguing with her, he had been a bag of nerves and what he had to face was not going to make him feel better.
"Adam pleeeassse…please don't let them scare him off…pleeeassse…" Evie pleaded as she followed me round the house hobbling on her bad ankle.
"We're just going for a beer."
She had snorted at this. "Adam…your innocent act might fool your mom and even mine sometimes…but please this is me…your ears always go red when you lie."
"Do not!" I shot back.
"Adam, seriously…Sam…he's really important to me." She said softly as she leant heavily on the breakfast bar. And I could see that she was telling the truth, I had seen her infatuated, in lust, but there was that special glow that comes from finding a real love shining from her. I remember feeling jealous
"Dad is being nice to him…he's still not sure, but he'll come round…Mom, Bella, Alice and Rose like him…he even got a grunt from the twins…but…the guys…Emmett could…"
"We just want to make sure he'll treat you right…"
" I am a grown woman, I am NOT a baby!" she huffed before crying out as she put more weight on her foot than she meant.
"Uh huh." I said as I picked her up and carried her bridal style back to the lounge. Yes our family fussed over us, but they didn't intentionally smother, we were allowed to grow up and learn from our mistakes. But whether she liked it or not almost losing Evie had made her all the more precious to all of us.
"Seriously Taz…" I had called her that from about the age of eight, when my serious study of cartoons had revealed her striking resemblance to The Tazmainian Devil. "The guy has already proved he has balls of steel, I mean he asked you out didn't he?"
Sam paled when he saw he returned from the bathroom at the bar to see Emmett, Edward, Jasper and sitting in our booth. I hissed a quiet sorry.
"So…Sammm." Emmett began moving round to the empty seat making Sam the filling in an Emmett and Jasper sandwich. My Dad was sitting opposite, his face impassive.
"I hear you're into monkey business…"
"I…" Sam stammered.
"And you often get up to monkey business with my niece." Jasper said.
"We…I mean we…"
"Indulge in lots of wild monkey sex." My Dad offered his face still impassive. Sam had looked like he was going to faint.
"Yes…I mean no!"
"So, you're saying that you aren't having sex with my baby…sister." Emmett growled. Sam was now bright red, unsure where to look or who to respond to.
"Just so you know…we do have an independent witness." Jasper said his tone matter of fact. Stephen one of Evie's best friends who was also her roommate had been unofficially adopted by Alice and Jasper. I remember thinking that although they weren't being as hard on Sam as they could have been, he was still going to have to grow a pair pretty quick if he didn't want to totally screw this up. Thank god Sam seemed to have heard my frantic mental rambling. He took a deep breath.
"Yes…it's true that Evie and I are having…sleeping together, but we are being responsible and I would not…could not disrespect or hurt her in that way…I care…screw it if you're going to hate me anyway, I might as well be honest…I love her." He said fiercely. The silence that followed was long and deafening. It was finally broken by Emmett's boom of laughter as he slapped Sam on the back, almost sending him across the table.
"Hate you?...I don't know about these guys, but I want to shake the hand of the man brave enough to take on Hurricane Evie." My Dad had laughed holding out his hand.
"This calls for tequila!" Emmett had said. I remembered Rose telling me that Emmett was a firm follower of the one tequila, two tequila, three tequila…floor…rule, so Sam ended up helping me pour the big guy into my car awhile later. Sam was in the middle of helping Emmett with his seat belt when Emmett grabbed him.
"I like you monkey man, but if you hurt my little sister and I will hunt you down…" he slured before passing out.
"Yeah, I remember there were a few sore heads the next day." Carlisle said pulling me out of my musings. "Not least mine…Evie was on edge all night, extolling Sam's virtues to me. I liked him, but the first time I saw him, he was carrying my injured daughter towards me and shouting at her."
"That takes guts."
"What meeting me?"
"Shouting at Evie." I replied. We both laughed,
"He's a great guy…perfect for her… But be warned, I'm sure they'll take great delight in torturing your special someone when you bring them home." Carlisle laughed.
"They might have a long wait." I said a little bitterly.
"Adam…it will happen for you again…after Elizabeth died, I never thought I'd ever find someone who would love me, that I would be able to love…adore as much as I do Esme…but I did…it took awhile and I know you probably don't want to wait till you are fifty for it to happen, but it did happen. I was blessed with more than I ever thought possible."Carlisle said passionately and I knew he was right, but it didn't stop the scar tissue on my heart stretching and tearing a little as I let my loneliness and bitterness wash over me for a long moment. Instinctively, I reached out and hugged Carlisle, who just held me tightly, kissing the top of my head tenderly as I pulled away from him.
oh yes, did I tell you that your grandmother was told off by security at the mall for rearranging the CD's in the music store?" Carlisle said brightly in an attempt to lighten the mood.
"Again!" I laughed. Ever since my first CD had come out Esme had developed a habit of rearranging the CD's so mine were more prominent.
"Well…she really likes this one…especially a certain track towards the end…"
"Can't take all the credit for that…"
"You and your father did a wonderful job."
"It was easier than trying to figure out what to get you guys or an anniversary present." I teased. Carlisle ruffled my hair. We sat in an easy silence for awhile enjoying each other's company, the music and the fine whisky. Suddenly the music turned into a song that had us both smiling but for very different reasons.
"I still think your version was better." Carlisle said quietly.
"Papa, I was 15 and scared to death! This was before Evie had bullied me into the school show and I realized how much I enjoyed it…playing a few Christmas carols or the Mission Impossible theme for Emmett was one thing…but yours and Glamma's anniversary party…you'd just renewed your vows…I swear all of Forks was there!" I chuckled, my hands were sweating just thinking about that day.
"Were they? Didn't notice…" he laughed.
"No, I remember at your first wedding and the renewal, the moment the two of you heard the song and started to dance…you seemed to be somewhere else…just the two of you." I said with a goofy smile on my face as I remembered.
Suddenly, the quiet was shattered by the shrill ring and deep booming vibrate of Carlisle's cell phone. I felt my stomach clench painfully as he answered it before the second ring could begin.
"Esme? What's wrong?" he demanded. After a few seconds I saw his face relax a little and let out the deep breathe I didn't know I was holding.
"It's not my fault…Adam's here." He said finally, before having to hold the phone away from his ear for a minute. "Your Glamma would like to talk to you." He said with a chuckle as he held out the phone. She sounded in good spirits but tired as we talked and she insisted that she was fine and that nothing would keep her from my New York Show.
"Yeah if Mom has her way, I'll be rolling onto the stage…ohhh, Glamma you're killing me here, you know how much I love your chocolate fudge cake…"
"No good, she won't tell you where she's hidden it." Carlisle sang with a smug grin on his face, which was quickly replaced with a scowl as I let out a yell, handed him the phone and hurried from the room.
"You told him! I love your cakes too." I pouted as I took the phone from Adam.
"Yes dear, a little too much…I don't want that little tummy of yours getting any bigger, especially if I decide to take up life drawing again."
"Wicked woman." I growled. "Not that I don't love hearing your voice darling, but as you said, it's late…you should be resting."
"I know and I know that I'll be home the day after tomorrow, but…it's too quiet, I'm cold…I miss you…feeling your arms around me…" Esme said in a rush, her voice cracking a little with emotion. We hated being apart especially if one of us was ill, but Esme was having to deal with not only the fear that her "funny turn" as she insisted on calling it, had given us both, but also the vulnerability that comes after a surgery, however minor, especially to places like heart.
"I miss you too my love…but you'll be back in our bed, arguing with me over hogging the bed clothes before you know it." I said with a quiet chuckle. It was taking everything I had not to go get in the car and drive back to the hospital. Esme let out a shaky laugh.
"So, what are you and Adam talking about that has you up so late?" she asked.
"Oh this and that…when we renewed our wedding vows for our tenth wedding anniversary do you remember?"
"Of course…I was only going to stay in Forks for three months…"
"Don't remind me…I don't know what I would have done if you had left me…"
"You would have let me go." It was a statement not a question.
"Don't be so sure."
"You would have, if that's what I had wanted."
"You have amazing faith in me…my nobility." I grumbled. She was right, I would have let her go if that's what she really wanted, but I remember the hundred different speeches, pleas and even accidental on purpose tricks I had prepared just in case.
"You are an amazing man Carlisle Cullen…I was a broken mess, but you took those broken pieces and you fixed me…what was it I said that day in my vows? You helped me to spread my wings, learn how to fly…"
"I was so scared that once you knew how beautiful, how intelligent…how wonderful you were… all the things you could be…that you would fly away like the angel I always thought you were…leave me." I said roughly.
"I couldn't…my heart…my soul…they'd finally found a safe place with you…I knew you would take care…nurture…"
"Guard them with my life…they were…are still the most precious gifts I have ever been given…but I would have never have kept them if you had ever wanted to…I would have not let you go without a hell of a fight…you, your love…everything to me…but I would not have held you somewhere you didn't want to be." I said thickly as sentimental tears began to leak from the corners of my eyes.
"That was exactly why I stayed my love." Esme purred. The silence that fell between us was emotional but comforting, my arms ached to hold her as I heard her breathing steady, I wanted to feel her soft hair beneath my fingers, let my head become clouded by her scent as it soothed me to sleep. Just as it did every night for the almost thirty years we had been together and the twenty five years of our marriage.
"That and the fact I couldn't keep my hands off your gorgeous body." Esme said after awhile.
"Oh I knew that! It was a given." I laughed, deciding to join in with her attempt to lighten the mood a little.
"A given…really?" she asked archly, I could almost see her eyebrow raising.
"Yup, Cullen men…we have this animal magnetism when it comes to attracting women."
It got the response I wanted, Esme laughing, a proper dancing laugh that made me smile as I imagined it.
"You definitely have some kind of allure…which only seems to get more potent with age…" she said finally. "Our little island, my safe haven…it looked so beautiful that night or should I say twilight as it was…the sky burnt all those wonderful colours, the fairy lights twinkling in the tree…but it was seeing you, so strong, so handsome…holding out your hand to me…" Esme sighed wistfully. I let my mind wander as well, Evie had done some acrobatic climbing under Alice's guidance to dress that tree with lights and as darkness had fallen, the few guests we had invited to that wonderful event on our little Island had held lit candles. But the sight of Esme, her long silver dress seeming to shimmer in the candlelight…
"Dance with me." I said suddenly.
"Okay Carlisle…how much have you had to drink?" Esme asked lightly. I'd only had one scotch…well maybe one and a half…I wasn't drunk, I didn't sound drunk…did I?
"I am not drunk…our wedding song was what got Adam and I talking…he said that when we danced to it, we seemed to be totally lost in each other…somewhere else…well…take me away from this lonely office Esme…let me take you away from that hospital room, just for a little while…come back to our little Island…let me hold you…"
"Oh please." She whimpered.
With slightly clumsy hands, I fixed the record to the right place and placed Esme on speaker so she could hear.
"Ready?" I asked.
I closed my eyes and leant back against the sofa, letting the simple piano and strings transport me to the little Island where I could see my beautiful angel holding out a hand to me. Our bodies ageless, fitting together perfectly as always, Esme's gaze holding me transfixed
Here we are, on earth together…it's you and I
God has made us fall in love it's true…
I've really found someone like you.
Will it say, the love you feel for me…will it say?
That you will be by my side, to see me through? Until my life is through?
Well in my mind, we can conquer the world.
In love, you and I,
You and I
Youuu and I.
I am glad at least in my life,
I've found someone, who may not be here forever…to see me through…
But I've found my strength in you. Coz in my mind…
You will stay here always…In love…you and I
You and I
You and I
In my mind, we can conquer the world.
In love…you and I
You and I
You and I
You and I
Despite her pleas that she didn't want them to upset their schedules anymore than they already had, Evie wasn't the only one of Esme's children to come home for varying times over the following week. Carlisle grumbled and Esme hated causing anyone to worry, but you could see the comfort and energy that having their children home gave them. Even when they were screaming at each other.
"Damn it Emmett shut the hell up…it wasn't that funny!" Evie huffed as we all began streaming in from the garage. Whilst Carlisle and Esme had enjoyed a little peace and quiet, we had all headed out to play pool at Angie's Bar.
"It was…and best of all…it wasn't me…" Emmett roared with laughter
"You wish my ass that was small." Rose growled.
"You know what they say babe…anymore than a handful is a waste… and I have very large hands." Emmett replied as he pinched Rose's butt. She giggled, they weren't drunk, just merry.
"I thought they said that about boobs?" she said.
"Either works for me, I'm easy…" Emmett chuckled going to make a grab for Rose's chest
"And do you really think a, that my ass is that big and b, that I would wear jeans that damn tight and hoochie?" Evie demanded of a pale faced Sam.
"What the hell is going on? I swear I heard you coming down the drive?" Carlisle demanded from the lounge.
"Sorry Daddy." Alice and Evie sang as we all gathered in the doorway.
"Well…as long as you're all okay." Carlisle grumbled.
"Damn, how come that doesn't work for me?" my little sister Beth demanded.
"Because my darling, you are not shameless enough with the puppy dog eyes". Esme said walking towards us all and pulling Beth into her side. I still couldn't believe the cool, confidant young woman who had been out with us tonight, enjoying a fair amount of male attention and handling it brilliantly was my shy, nervous little sister. "Watch." Esme said with a laugh nodding her head to where Alice and Evie were settling themselves either side of Carlisle and giving him really shamelss pouts and puppy dog eyes. There was thirty plus years between them, but you wouldn't think it, to Carlisle, they were just his girls.
"Evie…I'm sorry…" Sam pleaded as she shot him a cold look, which sent him scurrying to the other couch and the relative safety of my mom, Rose and Esme.
"What the hell happened?" Esme asked.
"Well I…" Sam began
"He...he…" Evie squeaked.
"We were having a great time…people were even leaving Adam alone…" Bella began.
"Well to most people here…he's just Adam my grandson." Esme said proudly. I was standing behind her sofa and couldn't resist giving her shoulders a squeeze and a kiss on the top of the head. She looked back at me and squeezed my hand.
"Oh, he's your grandson is he?" Carlisle teased. "I have no part to play…"
"Anyway, can we tell this story already…I'm hungry." Emmett boomed
"Everything was going great until a bit later when Brittany Newton and a gang of her friends came in and started 'oh my god, it's Adam Cullen'. Adam agreed to sing, Sam slipped his arms round the waist of someone who wasn't Evie" Alice explained.
"It was dark…you had your back to me…you were wearing the same top." Sam stammered, his head in his hands. My mom and Esme patted him on the shoulder "I wouldn't mind, but it took him ages to realize!" Carlisle was trying to keep a straight face as he looked into Evie's pout, but failed.
"You're supposed to be on my side." Evie shrieked, lightly tapping him on the arm.
"I'm sorry baby…but it was an accident…and I know what it's like to be falsely accused." Carlisle said shooting me an evil grin
"So Em, I think there's some chicken left in the fridge…" I said quickly. Hell, was I ever going to be able to live that story down.
My mom of all people started to cackle with laughter.
"Oh hell…I remember that…Adam accused Papa of having an affair." Evie laughed.
"Yes thankyou…I'm an idiot" I growled.
When I was thirteen my mom's writing career took off and she needed a larger office, so whilst our house was being remodeled, Mom, Dad, Beth and I moved back into the main house. One day I had needed some extra stationary for my homework and Papa Carlisle had told me to help myself from his office. It was whilst I was rummaging through the drawers of his desk that I found the photo of him draped intimately round a woman in a bikini, the photo was a little blurred, but it had definitely been Carlisle. I hadn't known what to do, how could I tell anyone? How could he do that to my Glamma Esme? I brooded for a week. I was downstairs in the lounge watching TV with Mom, Dad and Beth, when Carlisle and Esme came storming into the house back early from a design dinner they had gone to for Esme's work.
"I know these things bore you Carlisle, but did you have to be quite so rude? Gwen Eastern is a nice lady…she donates a lot to the shelter…"
"The woman was groping my leg…my arm…"
"She was not groping you! She's a very tactile woman and she knows that your left side is your weakest, she was trying to get your attention, draw you into the conversation."
They had entered the lounge, seeming to have not noticed us there.
"Wait a minute…" Esme had said suddenly, her eyes narrowing. "Even though it was quite loud, you should still have been able to hear her…with…your hearing aid…in…I saw you put it in before we left…YOU TOOK IT OUT! YOU INSUFFERABLE MAN, YOU TOOK IT OUT!" Esme had exploded.
"Jesus Esme! If I wasn't deaf before I am now!" Carlisle growled as he winced at her volume. Beth and I had been stunned into silence by this very unusual display, but my mom had explained to me the next day that I had, for the first time seen Carlisle and Esme drunk. Not rolling round the floor drunk, but loose enough to lower a few inhibitions.
"Well I'll soon fix that…I'll superglue the damn thing in! Where is it? Where is it?" Esme demanded, lunging at his pockets.
"Damn it woman, I know you find me irisistable, but can you at least try and control yourself in front of THE CHILDREN!" Carlisle had bellowed with a laugh. All I had heard was him shout and Esme look shocked as she sprung back and seen us in the room, that had been enough for me.
"I bet you don't ask your bikini woman to control herself DO YOU?" I had demanded springing to my feet.
"Adam!" Mom and Dad had said in shocked unison.
Carlisle had looked a little stunned for a minute.
"Are you talking to me?" he queried.
"Well you are the only one that has pictures of himself draped all over another woman in a bikini I can see."
I heard rather than saw Mom, Dad and suck in deep breaths. My eyes were locked on Carlisle's face, where several different emotions had flickered, I remember the darkness of his annoyance had frightened me a little.
"Okay young man, whilst I applaud you for defending my wife's honour, do you have evidence to back up what you accused me of?" he had demanded quietly. I thrust the picture I had kept in my pocket at him.
"I wondered where that went…where did you find it?" he had asked coldly.
"Bottom left drawer."
You could have cut the silence with a knife.
"I believe I told you what you what you wanted was in the right hand drawer…"
"I forgot." I mumbled.
Carlisle continued to stare me out until Esme came and wrapped her arms around me.
"Carlisle stop now…bless you darling…but believe it or not…that's…"
"MOM, that's YOU!" Emmett bellowed bringing me back to the present. He, Alice, Rose, Sam were gathered round the photo which Evie had gone upstairs to get
"Yes, yes it's me, now whose hungry?" Esme demanded.
"You both look starved and not for food." Rose said looking at Esme in awe.
"Well yes…that is one of the before shots." Esme said lightly. "I much prefer the after shots." She purred at Carlisle, the two of them obviously sharing a moment that we really didn't want to know about, but were none the less fascinated by.
One thing that that incident with the photo taught me, apart from not to touch Carlisle's desk, was that I didn't find girls attractive sexually. I had argued that I was thirteen and the photo turned out to be of my grandmother, but even when it was blurred and all I saw was the hot body, it did nothing for me and that scared me. It started me on my period from the age of 14-18 of being a bit of a player. After I had grown, filled out and found my talent for and love of music, thanks to Evie pushing me into the school show, I became more popular with girls as well as boys. So to try and drown out the frightening feelings that were overwhelming me on a daily basis, I started using my not bad looks, my talent and the charm and manners I had inherited to have a series of girlfriends, I was desperate to be normal. It was whilst trying to impress my latest girlfriend Chole, that I had gone cliff diving from the cliff that Esme and Charles Platt had fallen from.
I was trying to just be Adam, happy Adam, normal Adam, but the strain of fighting with my Dad over my decision to pursue music as a career was pushing me to my limit. When I was a child he encouraged me to play, practice, although my balance and co-ordination improved, I was never going to be a sports man, and I wasn't as interested or as good at science as Evie was, so this was something for us to bond over. But when he'd seen how people had reacted to me playing and singing, it was the first time I had ever had the nerve, at Carlisle and Esme's anniversary party and later the school show, he changed.
He would become distant or worse, his criticism which had always been constructive now became personal and nasty. It caused some nasty rows between him and my mom. Mom explained a little about my Dad's past, how he had been told how great he was, gone to music school in London, only to find that he didn't have as much talent as he thought. I felt sorry for him, that was my greatest fear, wanting to be a musician so badly, working so hard, only for it to be taken away. One night when he replaced my music school applications with ones for every other damn course he could think of, I lost it.
"I'm sorry about what happened to you Dad…I really am. It must have hurt like hell, shit it must still hurt…BUT I AM NOT YOU! Who knows, it might be genetic, all I may be good for is playing family parties and school shows, but I want, no I need to know…I need to find out who the hell Adam Cullen is and the best way for me to do that is with my music… I know you worry, you don't want me to be hurt but…or is because your jealous? You don't want me to try incase they say I'm better than you?"
I had no idea where that had come from, but I had seen a brief flash in my father's eyes as he almost lunged at me that told me it was at least someway true. It killed me to leave the house with the sound of my mom sobbing and calling me back, but I knew I had to get out of there. Also I was playing a piano at a gay bar in Seattle. I was underage but didn't look it, they were desperate and I was good and if my Dad really was determined not to help me with my musical education, I would need all the money I could get. I had thought that working in the bar would kill or cure me, it just made me more anxious. I did make a good friend in GIGI a drag queen who was really called Harry. He understood my confusion and let me talk without any pressure. It was thanks to Harry that I came out to my Dad.
A stag party crashed into the bar and started causing trouble. Harry who was as small and delicate as Alice in build was being pounded on by a guy. Harry was my friend, the only one who understood me, I was angry. The fight was short but bloody. Not wanting to get into trouble for hiring me underage, the club had said that I was just passing the alley where the fight had spilled out to and stepped in to help Harry. I was still 17, so the police called my Dad.
"What were you doing in that part of town?" My Dad asked calmly.
"I just was." I sulked.
"WHAT? I'm already such a crushing disappointment Dad, are you sure you can handle more?"
"You're gay." He whispered. It was a statement, not a question.
"Give the clever doctor…a gold fucking star." I spat, my voice thick with angry tears that I was determined not to let fall. My Dad pulled the car over and I leapt out and was sick.
After a minute I felt a hand on my shoulder and a bottle of water was placed in my hand.
"I'm so sorry son."
"How long have you known?"
"A while…I didn't…I don't want to be like this Dad…I want to be normal. I want to be the Adam you love…the Adam you are proud of again…" I cried as I began to walk away
"Look at me…DAMN IT ADAM LOOK AT ME…please…" My Dad said as he spun me round and gripped my arms forcing me to face him. The look on his face was tortured, no shame or embarrassment, just genuine pain and…love.
"I have been proud of you everyday since you were born. You are my son…I love you…do you hear me…I love you…" he said fiercely. "What you said earlier…do you know what I'm jealous of? Partly your talent, Adam you are truly a gifted performer…but mainly your determination, your drive, your strength…I have been the biggest bastard, trying to wreck your dream, not wanting you to suffer what I did…but you…you, want this so badly that everytime I try and knock you, you get back up and keep going…jesus…I am so damn proud, you must get it from your mother. I had doubts in my talent, in going to school in London, but I let all the smoke people were blowing up my ass cloud my judgement…I was too weak to say no, this isn't what I want…I risked losing my family, I risked losing your mother the most amazing thing that ever happened to me…because I was too damn weak. You are more of a man…and being gay Adam doesn't make you any less of a man, if anything it makes you an even stronger one, you are going to, even now still face some peoples prejudices…but you will NOT be alone…if you can't, or don't want to talk to me…"
"You are the only person I want to talk to about all of it…Help me Dad please…I'm so confused and so damn scared."
It took some time for me and Dad to sort things out and he insisted that I minor in education with my music, but he was right by my side when I told the rest of the family. I had been forced to tell them quicker than I wanted to as a cop who had been at the fight at the club used to be a Deputy in Forks. As much as my family was loved and respected, the town still enjoyed having a new piece of gossip. How could Charlie Swan's grandson and Emmett's nephew be gay?
"I'm sorry in advance for any…comments or attacks you might get…with me away at school for most of the year…it shouldn't be too bad."
"If it comes to that, we'll move." Esme said waving away what I said.
"I will not have my grandson forced to hide away from home…" she said fiercely.
Alice had reacted a lot like Evie, who couldn't believe that they hadn't known. Rose had just let out a "Damn" and said something to my mom about telling her I would be a heartbreaker before hugging me. Carlisle had simply held me, Jasper had told me anytime I needed to talk call him. Emmett had been the one toask me if I was sure. I assured him I was. It was Emmett I had been worried about. He was such a "guy", he wasn't homophobic, but it was a lot for him to understand.
Applying to Julliard had been a joke, making up the numbers of applications I needed. I wasn't supposed to get in, but I did.
Being away from home gave both me and family more time and space to adjust. It didn't stop them checking up on me however and Aunty Rose offering to be my wing man if I went on the prowl. Not that for my first year I had much time for anything but study. I also joined a big band/jazz band. Every Sunday from when I was about eight till the time I left for New York, Carlisle and I would make our mega sandwiches before retiring to his study with the funny papers and comics. He would also play some of his extensive record collection, he had a passion and a great knowledge of all the big band singers Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Bobby Darin, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, there was also Elvis and some Tamala Mowtown Soul thrown in. People teased him about being old fashioned and having a terrible voice which he did, but he knew this music, he had told me how it helped him relax, mourn, love again. I loved how it went from high drama and intricate, lush arrangements to simple strings. And I had found, singing at their anniversary party that I had a voice that suited that kind of music.
It was through Rose that I met Tom.
My Mom and Dad and Carlisle and Esme sometimes came out to see me play some small clubs with the band. It took awhile, but my Dad saw how happy playing made me, how hard I was working to learn my craft and how people reacted to me. Whilst Carlisle used to offer suggestions for our set lists, Dad used to help out not only with my Julliard work load, but also arrangements with the band.
When Rose heard us play, she hired us for some corporate gigs that events company was holding both in Seattle and New York. Tom was at film school, he was one of the crew of cater waiters Rose had hired. We bumped into each other a few times, before Rose noticed during the pre event briefing how we used to try and not look at each other. She accidently on purpose scheduled our breaks together or placed us in contact. We did talk and laugh a lot. Tom was a lot like me, in that he didn't overemphasize his sexuality, but he did have a very dry sense of humour. Finally one night, Rose held Tom back after an event for petty reasons, he ended up missing his ride home.
"Adam's going your way." Rose had insisted with a barely concealed smirk.
"Rose." I had hissed in panic
"Adam please…I know you're nervous…but as handsome as you are…someone else will make a move on him if you don't…"
My stomach clenched at the thought of Tom with someone else and I had seen other guys checking him out.
"Now go…put us out of your misery."
Tom and I were together for six months, four days and thirteen hours. I told everyone who mattered about Tom and he met Evie, and Alice when we worked at a party at one of her stores. We had taken things slowly, both us still coming to terms with coming out and finding each other, Tom was from a small town outside New York and hadn't told his family, one of the girls on his course who would later become a really good friend, would go home with him sometimes to keep his family happy. I knew how confusing and frightening it could be and I knew that not all families are as accepting as mine. However there was a part of me that hated being his secret. What I wasn't to know, until one of his brothers tried to hit me, was that Tom had written to his family coming out and telling them about me and how much he cared for me.
A week before Tom and I were due to go back to Forks, there was an explosion in the SFX lab at the film school. They told me later that Tom had been overcome by smoke, that he hadn't been touched by the flames. All I knew was Tom, my Tom was gone…dead. I didn't call anyone tell them, I didn't cry, I didn't feel, I just exsisted, did what I had to do to get through each day. I was in shock
Lucy, the girl who had been Grace to Tom's Will was the one who called my home, told them what had happened. That I was lost. Two days after the fire, as Lucy and some of our friends were letting themselves into my apartment, they were pushed aside by one of Tom's brothers who was screaming for the faggot that corrupted his baby brother. Tom's brother Paul got a few punches in, but I didn't fight back or press charges. As a thank you, Tom's mother called and said I could attend the funeral. She was grieving, they all were, they all were still in as much shock as I was at Tom dying…at Tom being gay.
My family arrived en masse in New York, part of me was glad to see them, the part of me that was desperately trying to hide in my shock, not think or feel could barely stand to be with them for long.
"Dude, it's going to be fucking emotional funerals always are, but when it's a parent burying their child after something unexpected happens like fire…add the fact…"
"That they've just found out their son has been corrupted by some…"
"You and Tom…what you had, that's not wrong… you didn't do anything wrong, you loved each other, made each other happy, jesus screwed up way things are these days everyone needs somebody…"
"Coz, you're nobody till somebody loves you." I sang sarcastically.
"Just get in the car asswipe." Emmett had growled.
Emmett had been the one with least to say over my life choice. At first that had upset me. I was closer to Rose and Jasper, but I still didn't want Emmett to think less of me. He assured me he didn't, he was just worried about what I would have to face. He did ask me if I'd take him out one night so he could carry out some scientific research into whether Emmett love was as powerful in men as it was in women. I needed Emmett and his strength and ability to change the subject, lighten the mood or just drive. So early on the morning of Tom's funeral, Emmett whose black curly hair was now graying at the temples, but whose impressive size was just as imposing in a dark suit, had arrived to pick me up. He informed me that I would have to see the family later that night. I would need them.
I sat in the corner of the church, well aware of the seemingly thousands of anxious looks coming from Tom's mom and the death glares coming from his brothers.
"What the hell do they expect me to do, jump up and burst into I Am What I am?" I growled to Emmett who simply kept smiling and waving at her and giving his own unique glare to the brothers. Lucy and our other friends were normal as far as everyone else was concerned and so had been accepted into the heart of the family, Lucy as the grieving girlfriend. She hated it, I told her not to, but there was a part of me that wanted to scream I loved him too!
I held it together, neutral face, not a tear despite Emmett's anxious glances. We were on out of the church when all three of Tom's brothers loomed forward.
"End of the road cowboy. We aren't having your sissy ass at the wake…"
"I was invited…"
"Well we're fucking uninviting you."
"Let him come…maybe later we can re enact my favourite scene from Brokeback Mountain, the one where they drag the pillow biting faggot along the road behind a truck before dumping him in a ditch." Another brother sneered. That was it, all the anger all the pain seemed to course through my body and end up in my fists. One of which launched one of Tom's brothers off the ground as it connected with his gut.
Next thing I knew Emmett had my arms pinned and was half carrying me towards the car. He slammed me into my seat before returning the brothers, who had paled significantly by the time he left. We drove in silence for what felt like forever, until I realized what I had done, that I had just been at my Tom's funeral…that he was gone. I hissed at Emmett to stop the car, stumbled out and began to kick and beat the hood of the car.
"You are so explaining to Rosie." He growled. With a huffed laugh I collapsed back into my seat. Emmett gave me time by fiddling with my I-Pod.
"Damn you are so your Dad! All classical shit…it's a car journey man…or at least a few show tunes, something you can sing too!"
"Something like the Man That got Away." I laughed, a long, loud hysterical laugh which ended with me finally letting go and sobbing in Emmett's arms.
Dinner with the family ended up with Evie rising to her feet and rising her beer.
"To Tom. He may not have had chance to meet the whole crazy Cullen clan, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say Tom, we thankyou for making Adam even if wasn't for long enough…so damn happy."
I threw myself into my work at Julliard, winning several student awards for composition. I also threw myself into gigging with the band, needing more and more of the adulation showed by the audience, needing to lose myself in the music. It was at a party that Alice was throwing, which she had dragged me too with about an hour to spare, that I met Felix Masters, producer, manager. The man that created Adam Cullen-the new master of the American Songbook, the new housewives-grandma's favourite-the new Buble. It wasn't easy, especially after my first CD came out as did news of my sexuality. And I hated the extra stress it put my family through, but with their support, I kept working hard, learning, growing as a singer, a performer, a writer and I soon became Adam Cullen a respected singer in my own right. Who women were convinced that they could change. Adding to my appeal was the fact that I was never seen with anyone in a romantic way, although at one point I was meant to be cheating on Aunty Rose, my older woman with Evie!
I was Adam Cullen, who was due to finish his tour with a huge, charity fundraiser show for women's refuge charities at Madison Square Garden…the show, the place for singers like me. And I had no piano player, whilst I had come back to Forks, he had gone snow boarding, and broken his left hand. I could play, but it would mean that I had to re work the entire show.
My eyes adored you.
Though I never laid a hand on you.
From a million miles away from me, you couldn't see how I adored you?
So close and yet you couldn't see how I adored you?
"I used to listen to that song a lot when we first met…when you were so close…but I couldn't touch you…had to adore you with my eyes." I said.
Esme smiled softly, before she looked at me shrewdly over the top of the sketch pad, where she was in the middle of sketching my hand.
"Carlisle…no amount of flattery…or awful singing will make me finish this drawing any sooner."
"Damn! Busted…although it's true…you were so beautiful…"
"You were beautiful then…you are truly stunning now…" I said quickly slipping behind her chair at the dining room table and whispering in her ear. I couldn't help but smirk as I saw her shiver. Esme had decided to take up life drawing again and her current project was hands. She had decided that all the Cullen men had interesting, talented hands…
"Um…what…are you doing?" she sighed.
"Well I'm more of a hands on, practical type of guy…I'd rather show you how talented my hands can be." I growled as I began to massage the muscles of her neck.
"Still going to…still want to… draw…damn…" she sighed, letting her head fall forward slightly. I chuckled softly and bent my head to lay a kiss on her neck.
"Do you remember that night, after the baseball game…when you hurt your shoulder after showing off…"
"I was trying to impress you."
"It worked…but it was seeing you with no shirt that really sealed the deal…"she laughed
I couldn't help the flush of pride that still swept over me.
"I saw you admiring the view."
"Hah! You can talk…I saw you checking me out when you thought I wasn't looking." She huffed.
"I couldn't believe you were real. That you, this amazing…beautiful woman was just down the hall, that we could talk, that you laughed at my jokes…that you found me attractive…" I said a little shly.
"Carlisle…" she stood, pulling me towards her, wrapping an arm round my waist whilst the other slipped round my neck. Her face was older now, lined, but to me she was still my beautiful Esme.
"You were…are the most amazing man I had ever met…and so damn handsome…you really do leave me breathless…but that first time…seeing you…touching you…even for a few minutes…" her hand moved and lightly to caress my shoulder and chest. "Do you have any idea what it did to me…?"
"Tell me…" I whispered.
"HELLO! ANYBODY HOME?" It was Adam, Adam who had left… Adam whose damn timing couldn't have been any worse…
"My son and grandson playing Madison Square Garden" I said in awe for the hundredth time a week later.
Adam had burst into the house explaining about his piano player and what danger it put the charity show at MSG in. He had wanted Edward to take his place. Edward had been reluctant and had refused, but between us, Adam, Bella, Esme and I had persuaded him that not only was it for a good cause, for night only, that he knew the set list and arrangements better than half the band, but also it may him to lay a few ghosts to rest not only with Adam, but himself. That was how I found myself in Adam's dressing room at MSG waiting for show time. Adam had wanted Edward to come and play the last three dates of the tour at Radio City Music Hall to get the feel for the stage and the speed of the set. He had, using the special charm that only he had with Esme, persuaded her that I had to come as musical consultant. It had been a crazy, but fun week and it let me spend some time with my boys. Seeing how Adam and the band put things together was amazing and Edward all though he was nervous, he fitted right in. I was bursting with pride.
Stephen, Alice and Jasper's adopted son and Evie's best friend had worked for Adam or a couple of years dealing with his wardrobe, but tonight Alice was in charge. And she had loved the fact that there was a camera filming Adam getting ready for the DVD of the show. The camera was also filming Adam's walk to the stage, the walk he had insisted on making with me, Emmett and Jasper and Evie behind him. Edward was already on stage with the band.
Edward and the band were wiping the already excited crowd into a frenzy.
"Holy Hell…" Rose moaned pointing to the screen as the screaming became almost deafening. On a large screen Adam relaxed but focused was walking from his dressing room, looking incredible in a dark designer suit, white shirt, off kilter tie, stubble a lock of his unruly hair falling in his face. But Rose, Alice who had joined us and I were focused on the three men, looking even more handsome in their dark suits that were walking behind him. Carlisle and I didn't like to be apart, and I was still a little shaky after my health scare, but I knew he needed this, that Adam and Edward needed him. I was an old woman, but I couldn't help the rush of desire I got when I saw Carlisle…he looked years younger, had a new spring in his step…damn that was my man!
Adam suddenly appeared in sillohuete behind the curtain that covered the band, sending the crowd crazy. In the few minutes he spent working the band, the boys joined us, just as Adam appeared and launched into "I'm Your Man."
"Keep it PG 13 you two." Alice shouted to Carlisle and I. I felt Carlisle grip my waist a little harder as he remembered what had happened the first time we had heard that song.
Just before Me and Mrs Jones, Adam pretended to throw a diva fit and storm off. The crowd laughed and were genuinely enthusiastic when Edward, who Adam had introduced with pride as his Dad and where he had learnt all he knew took over. What we weren't expecting was what he began to sing.
"Me and Miss Swan…we've got a thing going on…"
All of us turned to Bella, who didn't know who to look at first her husband or son. She and Edward had had there own ups and downs, especially where music was concerned…here infront of 14,000 people, some old ghosts were laid to rest. Adam obviously let Edward sing more than planned as Edward looked a little nervous, but Adam finally appeared and clapped his Dad on the shoulder.
"Okay…damn…won't be doing that again…seems the old man didn't teach me all he knew…" Adam laughed as the crowed screamed in real delight at Edwards singing. He had a similar deep timbre to his voice that Adam had.
The show moved on to the moment Adam introduced his new single, the one that Carlisle and I had inspired and Edward had helped him write and arrange.
"People ask me where the inspiration came from…well…as you all know, without Sunday mornings studying the funny papers with my grandfather and having my musical taste educated…none of this would have happened. But, it's the love he shares with my beautiful Glamma Esme…they found each other a little later in life than most and they have suffered some…they've been through hell, but they came through it together…stronger, that gives me hope for the future…they laugh, they encourage, support, fight with each other…they truly are to me the definition of the word Unbreakable.
I let myself met against Carlisle as Adam sung Unbreakable. His voice was stunning.
"I love you." I whispered into Carlisle's neck as I layed my hand over his heart.
"Forever and a day my love." He said lowly in my ear.
Carlisle and I didn't stay too long at the party after the show, just long enough for Carlisle to blush fire engine red as several of the girls on Adam's touring staff fawned all over him and told him how much they would miss him. And long enough for us to see Jasper introduce Adam to one of his writer friends. Jack was a little smaller and broader than Adam, he had dark hair and a classically good looking face, which was covered in the most delightful blush as he shook Adam's hand. And Adam's brown eyes held a certain glow as he and Jack fell into an easy, laughter filled discussion.
"Esme!" Carlisle warned as he saw the gleam in my eye.
I was right Jack accompanied Adam back to Forks a few months later for Carlisle's 80'th birthday. A party that the guest of honour almost didn't make. The car broke down!
"What is so damn funny!" Carlisle asked as he looked pointlessly beneath the hood.
"Just having a blast of de ja vu…and once again thanking god that you are hopeless with cars…"
"Oh, why's that?" he demanded coming round to my side of the car, where I was sitting long ways.
"Well." I said standing. "If you had known how to fix my old wreck…I would have probably driven on out of Forks…we would never have met…"
"Stop." He almost pleaded, shivering and not with cold. We were on the road to La Push Beach. Rose was on her way to collect us and I had just the thing to pass the time. I held up a hand and turned the radio up.
"If I didn't know better…I'd have sworn you and Adam planned this…" I laughed as I wrapped Carlisle's arms round me and began to gently sway in time to the song Adam had written for us.
…and whenever you smile…
I can hardly believe your mine
This love is unbreakable
And each time I look in your eyes.
I know why
This love is untouchable
I feeling my heart just can't deny
Each time I look in your eyes
Ooh baby I know why
This love is unbreakable
Share the laughter,
Share the tears,
We both now
We'll grow old from here
Cause together we are strong, in my arms, that's where you belong.
I've been touched by the hands of an angel
I've been blessed with the power of love
And whenever you smile,
I can hardly believe your mine.
The love and passion in Carlisle's eyes caused me to whimper and stroke his face, my fingers brushed his lips. I loved this man so much…he had picked me up from the side of the road, given me love, a chance to really live my life…but most importantly, his most precious gift…he had given me…his heart…
This love is unbreakable
Through fire and flame
When all this is over
Our love still remains
It might have not been our spot on the beach, where I usually walked with Carlisle to give him his birthday kiss, but…
"Happy Birthday Carlisle." I whispered as I gently claimed his lips with mine.
AN; Okay, that's it. Hopefully you all got something to end the story in a way you like. Please hit the button. Thankyou so much again.
I don't own Micheal Buble or his MSG life show, which I borrowed from for Adam. I know Twilight is more indie/rock, but it's just how I saw Adam. I also don't own You and I-pretty song. And Unbreakable is actually a song by Irish Band Westlife. My Eyes Adored You is By Frankie Valli