Emmett, Jasper, and Edward knew they were in serious trouble the moment the principal had mentioned calling their parents.
All three sat crammed together on the couch in the corner of the principal's office, staring at different spots of the room that weren't at each other or at the principal, who was alternating between glaring at them and looking at his computer. None of them spoke, and the only sound in the room was from Jasper shifting an icepack around on his head as he pretended to be hurt.
After all, he had gone through a window.
Still riled up from gym class, Emmett had been playfully nudging and wrestling with his brothers as they walked down the hall. It hadn't stopped once they'd reached the classroom, and one shove had sent Jasper out the first story window and into the bushes below. Edward had gotten angry at Emmett and slammed him into several desks before three teachers had managed to restrain him. It was all a big mess, and probably the reason why they were going to have to move again.
If they lived through the rest of the night.
The tension in the room was so thick Jasper could have probably whipped out his pocket knife and sliced it into pieces. Emmett was glaring so hard at the floor that Edward - who was wedged between the two on the couch - thought that a hole might spontaneously appear in the carpet.
So, how mad are Carlisle and Esme gonna be? Edward heard Emmett's thoughts a moment later. He really didn't even want to answer that question. Livid, pissed, upset, raging, and furious were all just simple words compared to what they were going to look like. They had just moved to the town two weeks ago, and started school last week. Esme had just finished work on the house, and Carlisle had just started to settle into a routine again at the hospital. If this caused them to move again . . . Well, Edward didn't want to think about that.
He knew his parents never raised their voices, either, making it all the worse. It would be like them saying 'I'm not mad, just disappointed.' in a raging sort of way that made it hurt even worse than them screaming. Edward had never been on this end of this before. It was always Emmett, usually with Jasper, that got the force of their angry parents. And they were both staring at the ground with such a defeated expression on both their faces that one would believe they had already been told off (technically they had, with the principal yelling at them for a full ten minutes about how they could have killed each other).
Kill each other. Yeah, right.
Emmett and Jasper felt Edward stiffen and straighten up between them - he had picked up their parents' thoughts. Emmett and Jasper mirrored him when their scents entered the building, growing closer with each passing second. The fact that they were forced to move at a human pace made the wait more agonizing.
Then they realized they didn't sense their father's scent. Only Esme's. All at once they seemed to think the same thing, and Edward could confirm it easily.
Oh God, help us.
They could see through the glass windows of the principal's office out into the main office, and waited with held breathes as their mother stepped through the door. She approached the secretary, who pointed her on back to the office they were seated in. Esme looked up, and for a fleeting moment, she appeared every part a vampire. Her eyes had darkened, her lip was curled up, and even from where they were, they could heard the growl that grew in her throat - even if the secretary couldn't.
But the sight was reserved for them, and it changed within the same second. She gave a smile of thanks to the oblivious secretary before she rounded the desk and headed back into the principal's office.
Naturally, like all human men, he appeared flustered at the sheer sight of her beauty, especially by the dazzling smile on her face. She didn't look at her sons, only sat down on the other couch in the room with practiced ease and grace, crossing her legs that their principal couldn't seem to take his eyes off of. After a moment though, he cleared his throat and dragged his eyes upward - Esme knew exactly what he had been doing when ogling her legs, but said nothing about it.
"I apologize for whatever trouble my sons have caused, Principal Rowling, and I apologize for my husband's absence. There was an emergency at the hospital."
"Understandable, Mrs. Cullen."
"Can you elaborate on what happened, now? You weren't very descriptive on the phone." Her gaze finally flickered toward the three on the couch, and if possible, they sunk back further into the cushions.
The three cautiously watched their mother as the principal went through the story they had told him earlier, trying very hard to judge her reaction. Naturally, her face remained smooth as ever, not betraying a single emotion. She was good at hiding her emotions, and this time was no different.
"So how are they being punished here at school?"
"So far, I've only given them a month's of detention, and I'm seriously thinking of suspending them for a few days." He replied, gaze resting on the three on the couch.
"I'm sure we don't need to go that far. Is there anything else? Perhaps another months detention, or they could do some work around the school after school?" Esme began to negotiation, shamelessly batting her eyelashes and making the principal even more flustered.
"Maybe just one month's detention is enough, because I'm sure you and Dr. Cullen are going to have a talk with them at home?"
"Of course, Principal Rowling." Esme cast them a glance again, and conveniently they were looking in different directions again. "A very long talk at that."
"Then I'm sure that's all that needs to be done. Just that they're suspended the rest of the day - I think you may want to get Jasper checked out though, because of what I heard, he hit the ground pretty hard when Emmett pushed him out the window. Even if it was only one story."
"Naturally." She got to her feet. "Thank you again, sir. I'll make sure not a one of them steps out of line again."
He nodded, then looked at the boys.
"You're free to go boys. Goodbye, Mrs. Cullen."
She gave another smile, then turned to the three on the couch, who simultaneously stood. She gestured for them to go ahead out, not smiling at all now. They marched in a defeated line out of the office and out of the school, toward the Mercedes SUV that belonged to Esme. She was silent as they got into the car, Edward being the unlucky one to ride up front while the other two climbed in the back. There was still a third row of seats, but it was filled with boxes of paint and other things she was using as part of her latest remodeling project.
Esme climbed into the drivers seat, buckled up, grabbed the steering wheel, and said nothing. For a long moment, the only sound was silence.
"What," Esme finally began and all three of them flinched, waiting for her to explode. "In the name of God possessed you three to act like that today? Do you understand what danger you've put us in?" Her voice was deadly quiet, and none of them dared to speak. Esme stared at each of them in turn for a moment. Edward's hand grabbed the armrest unhappily, and Jasper and Emmett understood why a moment later as Esme turned back around and spoke again.
"I'm not mad at you lot, I'm just disappointed that you'd act like this."
The words stung intensely so.
They were on the road soon after, Esme blatantly disobeying the speed limit like always - she still drove slower than most of the Cullens, but managed to push at least fifteen mph over the limit.
The minute they missed the turn-off for the house and headed farther into town, the three knew exactly where she was going.
Ten minutes later they were pulling into the hospital parking lot, and Esme climbed out. They hesitated, but followed her nonetheless, following behind as she led the way into the hospital. She gave a smile to the receptionist, who gave a smile toward the three boys - they didn't return it.
Esme clearly knew the hospital like the back of her hand, and led them through a maze of halls until they reached a less populated area with few patients room. These were solid wood doors with nameplates on them, and she approached the one with Dr. Carlisle Cullen stenciled into it. She pulled open the door and silently pointed them inside.
Carlisle wasn't surprised to see them. He merely looked up from his work, leaned back in his chair, and stared at them with a level expression.
"You boys know what you did wrong. You understand now that we may have to move again?" He asked as Esme shut the door and they nodded.
"We were only messing around, dad." Emmett's voice was quiet when he spoke, the first daring enough to do so.
"I know, Emmett, but you three know better than to act like that just after we move to a town. We just got settled, and now you may have ruined it for everyone. I don't think the others will be pleased if we have to move to another town again." Carlisle continued, Esme moving to sit on the arm of his chair.
"We're sorry." Edward murmured. "It won't happen again." He said and the other two nodded.
"It was just a joke. We'll be careful." Jasper added.
"Good." Carlisle murmured. "I'm sure you know the way home. You're grounded the rest of the night, and if you so much as go anywhere besides straight home and to your rooms, I'll know."
They filed out of his office, and the minute the door shut and their scents disappeared, Esme laughed, fading into a sigh as Carlisle wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her into his lap. He pressed a kiss to her neck, trailing upward until he captured her lips in a kiss.
"Do you think we were too hard on them?" Esme inquired softly when he pulled away. "They're just kids."
"They know they shouldn't act like that." Carlisle murmured, running his fingers through Esme's hair. "Besides, they've been punished worse. We're not really going to move again. They'll just have to watch their step from now on."
"Its not easy, raising five teenagers. We can barely do it - I don't see how some of these humans manage to." She rested her head on his shoulder, fingers curling into his scrubs and lab coat. "I told them I wasn't mad, just disappointed. It looked like I had just killed their dog. I felt so terrible." She sighed again, frowning. "I hate punishing them."
"Grounded for only one night is hardly a punishment, since they're going hiking this weekend anyway. I'm sure detention at school will be enough. How much did they get?"
"A month. It would have been a suspension as well, if I hadn't batted my eyelashes at the principal a few times. The things I do to keep them out of trouble." She rolled her eyes with a half smile. Carlisle pulled her tighter to him, possessive.
"You were flirting with the principal?"
"Only after he ogled my legs."
"Do I need to go have a talk with him?"
Esme giggled, pulling him into another kiss.
"You know my legs are solely your property, as is the rest of my body, including my heart." She murmured and he chuckled. "Besides, I think you should worry more about the teenagers we have at home rather than their principal."
The door to the office swung open and Esme instantly jumped off Carlisle, surprised to see Alice and Rose lingering in the doorway.
"What's wrong?" Carlisle inquired, straightening his lab coat as Esme gave a half guilty smile that she managed to hide a few seconds later.
"We may or may not have wrapped a car around a tree on the way back from the city." Alice said flatly. "But it wasn't our fault! There was a dog in the road and I didn't want to hit it. No one saw us - but I imagine they've found the car by now."
Carlisle pinched the bridge of his nose and Esme sighed, staring at a spot on the floor while trying to stifle her laughter.
Yes, raising five - vampire - teenagers was certainly a task.