*PROLOGUE*

Dear Mr. Edward Masen,

We are pleased to announce that you have been accepted into the Therapeutic Residential Treatment Program at "The Ranch at Swan Crossing." Below you will find a brief description of the program. If you shall accept this placement, you will receive a detailed orientation package by mail within three to five business days.

The Ranch at Swan Crossing is an alternative treatment facility for young adult males facing potential incarceration or other pertinent legal difficulties due to a variety of unfavourable circumstances. Participants will engage in various types of manual and physical labour, animal grooming and training, and other various tasks as directed. Daily chores will be tended to in a timely and productive fashion. Group and one-on-one therapy sessions will be mandatory. Academic upgrading will be offered to individuals requiring such services.

At "The Ranch" we believe that trust and respect are earned through demonstrating hard work, dedication and commitment to the rehabilitation process. Privileges such as social time, day trips away from the ranch, phone calls home, visitors, etc. are allotted based on appropriate behaviour. Failure to comply with the guidelines of "The Ranch at Swan Crossing" will result in dismissal from the program, which may result in further legal action, depending on your situation prior to entering our facilities.

Please find attached our detailed Code of Conduct, privacy statement, and a sample of your daily activities. If you have any questions, please call our registry office at the numbers listed below.

We hope that you will take the time to consider the benefits of this program to your future well being, and will make a positive choice for your future by joining us at "The Ranch."

Sincerely,

Lt. Charles Swan, Senior Director

CHAPTER ONE

EPOV

"The Ranch at Swan Crossing," I said aloud as Carlisle and Esme stared at me across the dining room table for 12 with eyes wide in anticipation. "Is this some kind of fucking joke?"

Of course it wasn't. Carlisle and Esme, my adopted mother and father, have dealt with more of my shit in the last 7 years than anyone should have to in a lifetime.

"Edward –"Carlisle started, and I could instantly tell he was using the "Doctor Cullen" tone on me. That meant one thing, and one thing only – Carlisle was pissed. "We have been through this. If you get in any more trouble, you will have a criminal record. We've exhausted every other option, son. This is an opportunity you can't pass up. I called in a personal favour for you on this Edward. I – "

"This is bullshit. You think sending me away to some inbred backwoods town in freakin' Canada is going to fix this shit?" I yelled, barely registering the words as they fell from my mouth. "You don't know a damn thing about me. I'm a goddamn adult and I don't have to -"

"Enough!" Carlisle stood, his fist slamming to the table as he yelled, causing Esme to jump in her seat in surprise. "You aren't an adult until you start acting like one. I don't give a damn if you're 18 years old. If you give this up," he stalled, taking a deep breath and scrubbing his hand across his jaw, "we can't help you any more, Edward. We've done all that we can."

"Ma, come on..." I looked to Esme. She was my warm place, gentle and kind, always the mediator when I created shit storms in this house. But this time, the look on my warm place's face made me feel sick inside. Her soft, hazel eyes were filled to the brim with tears, ready to pour over with the blink of an eye onto her quivering chin. Carlisle gently placed a hand on her shoulder, and that slight gesture made her choke back a sob.

"Edward...I...I can't..." she sputtered, tears flowing freely. "I'm sorry there isn't more...more we can do...I'm sorry I've, I've let you down." Esme turned her face into Carlisle's side, her shoulders rising and falling with deep sobs. Carlisle's fingers slid gently through her hair, as he sighed heavily.

"You have caused enough pain here, son. We love you, but if you aren't willing to help yourself, we will see to it that you get help elsewhere. No boy of ours will wind up behind bars, do you hear me?" I raised my eyes to his, but couldn't quite decipher what I was seeing there. A mix of anger, grief, sadness and confusion stared back at me, no one emotion showing stronger than the others. "Do you hear me!" he yelled when I failed to answer, stunned sick by the sobs of my Esme. I truthfully didn't care what Carlisle thought I should do, but Esme, my warm sweet Esme, was sad and it was because of me. She didn't deserve that. She deserved better than me in a son, and though I felt like I was going to explode, I couldn't in this moment do another thing to upset her.

"How long?" I spat, in complete shock that even a part of me was willing to go along with this.

"Six weeks," said Carlisle, "we leave a week from today."

A/N

Thanks for reading! This is my first story - I have been reading fanfiction for a long time and thought I'd jump in on the fun! I'm always interested in hearing your thoughts – please let me know what you think!

ETA – I have replaced this chapter with the prettier beta'd version – major thanks to my new beta, Robzbeanie, for all of her help!