Disclaimer: Do not own Twilight
WARNING: This story will contain non-sexual spanking of a teenage vampire. If you don't like it, then don't read or flame! You have been warned!
Thoughts spoken to or heard by Edward will be italicized
A/N: Hey, all sorry for the late update! This is the last chapter, so I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 8: Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Lives
As I sang my lullaby, I felt Rosalie bury her head into my chest and sigh in contentment. I smiled out of happiness and sheer relief that it was over and she still loved me. Continuing to just hum quietly, I rejoiced in all that had happened today. Though it had been a long and difficult road, I did not regret any minute of it because it had led to this, and this was more than worth it.
"I wish I could sleep," I suddenly heard my daughter complain tiredly.
"Yes, so do I," I replied wistfully. How many times had I wished for the same thing?
"Carlisle, er, Dad I mean," Rosalie began to say.
"You do not have to call me Dad if you don't want to Rosalie. Call me whatever you are most comfortable with," I assured her. Although it brought me great joy to be called Dad, just knowing that she looked at me as her father was enough. I did not need the title.
"Okay, um, can I ask you something?" she said hesitatingly.
"Of course sweetheart," I responded intriguingly, wondering what would be causing her hesitation.
"Well, I-I've been wanting to ask you this ever since you changed me," she explained, and I suddenly knew what she wanted to know.
"You want to know why I changed you, am I right?" I questioned, and she nodded her head before sitting up and looking at me.
"I just can't understand why you did it. I mean, what was it about me that made you do it. You've told me you thought my death would be a waste of life, but you're a doctor and I'm sure you've seen lots of young people dying before their time. Why me?" she asked somewhat desperately.
Her tone caught me by surprise. I had no idea this question had been bothering her so much.
"Rosalie, I have no simple or grand answer for you. Truthfully, I still do not completely understand what pushed me to change you," I replied honestly. Her brow furrowed and I knew this was not the response she wanted.
Giving her a loving smile, I continued to try and explain. "From the moment I first met you when you were still human, I found myself inexplicably drawn to you. I was completely baffled as to why though," I remarked, remembering the confusion I had felt at the time. "I was immediately able to see past the front you put up, and what I saw impressed me, but not enough to explain the draw I felt to you."
Rosalie gazed at me in full attention.
"I saw the strong, independent, kind young lady I am looking at right now. You were nothing like the other women. You stood out to me not because of your beauty but because of who you were. The way you talked, the aura you gave off," I said, trying to find the words to explain to her. "I saw such strength, tenacity and a will to live and be happy."
"When I came upon you that night," I continued, feeling a lump in my throat at the memory, "I felt pain, and I remember thinking, 'No, no this cannot be'. The draw I felt to you increased, and I suddenly realized that I had felt this kind of draw before. I had felt this draw the moment I met Esme Platt when she was sixteen years old, sitting in my office with of a broken leg, and again when I saw her in the morgue several years later. I had also felt this draw when I had first met Edward Mason, lying in a hospital bed and dying from Spanish Influenza," I told her, smiling at the astonishment on her face.
"I changed you because it felt like the right thing to do. I cannot explain why as I cannot explain why I chose to change Edward or Esme. I just did, and I am happy to tell you that I have never regretted doing it," I admitted.
Rosalie gave me a beautiful smile and just nodded her head. I could tell she was too emotional to speak.
"I don't deserve you," she finally said, causing me to frown. "I've had such hateful thoughts about you, blaming you for my unhappiness. I thought you had taken my life from me. I thought you had taken my chance at finding love, and having a family, but I've been so wrong," she confessed, the self-hatred evident in her voice.
"I don't deserve you," she said once more, and I shook my head at her.
"It's true though!" she cried out and as she went to say more I gave her a sharp swat and said in a quiet, but firm voice, "Enough."
"Listen to me Rosalie," I said sternly as she rubbed her bottom. When I had her full attention I said, "You are wrong, completely wrong. You do deserve me, and this family. You had hateful thoughts toward me, but so what? You admitted that you know better now, and that is all that matters. We have both already apologized and forgiven each other for our mistakes, but now you need to learn to forgive yourself."
Rosalie looked down in shame and I once more shook my head at her. "Stop," I ordered, causing her to look at me in surprise. "Stop beating yourself up for past mistakes. I have already forgiven and punished you, but if that is not enough for you I would be more than willing to spank you until you no longer feel guilty, if that would make you happy?" I asked with smile a good bit of sarcasm.
Rosalie laughed lightly. "No thank you, I am suddenly feeling guilt-free," she replied with an innocent smile.
I rolled my eyes good naturedly, ruffling her hair.
"Seriously though," I said, "I meant what I said. You have nothing to be guilty about, alright?"
She nodded her head at me, and though I could still see a bit of doubt in her eyes I decided to let it go for now.
We sat in companionable silence once more until we heard Esme and Edward approaching. I glanced at my daughter and asked if she was alright. She gave me a smile and a hug before standing up.
"So, you want me to take your father out of the house so you can talk to Rosalie?" I asked again, just to clarify.
"Yes, I want to have a private talk, and if you guys are listening in, it's just going to be awkward," he explained with a pleading look.
Although I desperately wanted to comfort my daughter, I knew that both my children needed to talk things out. Both Carlisle and I had made peace with my daughter, so now it was their turn.
Alright, I'll do it, I agreed, giving my son a proud smile. I was so glad that he was looking to make amends with Rosalie. Maybe now we would be able to have a little peace in our home.
We were both on our way home now, feeling enough time had passed for Carlisle to be done. However, just to make sure we stopped just inside the hearing range for Edward, so he could listen into my husband's thoughts.
As he was listening in, his eyes widened slightly in surprise before he began to smile softly.
What is it? I thought to him
"Dad's singing to her," he said in slight shock.
"Awww," I cooed, wanting nothing more than to be there to hear it. I wondered what song he was singing to her.
"I've never heard the song, but they both refer to it as Dad's lullaby," he answered.
I blinked in surprise, having never heard of it. "I didn't know your father had a song," I remarked in surprise.
"Well, neither did I," Edward said.
"Do they need a bit more time?" I asked him.
"Umm, yeah. He's already done it, but they're just talking now," he explained, continuing to listen in.
"Alright, enough eavesdropping Edward," I scolded lightly. "They are having a private conversation."
"Sorry Mom," he mumbled in apology.
I wondered how Rosalie had taken the spanking. I hoped she did not react too badly, but since Edward had not said anything I assumed it all went well. I doubt Carlisle would have been singing to her if she had not taken it well.
I shook my head in disbelief as I thought of the change in Rosalie. She was like a completely different person than the one I had spoken to this morning. I could not hide my surprise when I had heard her laugh, and then when I saw Carlisle wrap his arm around her. That alone would have made my day, but when Rosalie had run into my arms I about lost it. I had felt such relief that she no longer hated us or believed that we did not care for her. I had also felt such gratitude towards my husband for what he had done. I was still feeling guilty for my accusations against him earlier, and after seeing what he had been able to do, it had only made me feel worse. I knew Carlisle had forgiven me, but it would take me a while to forgive myself.
"We can go now," Edward suddenly informed me, and I nodded.
We quickly reached home to see my darling husband and beautiful daughter waiting for us on the porch. I threw my husband a loving look before running over to my daughter who immediately wrapped her arms around me.
"I love you Mom," she said, and I hugged her more tightly, more touched and overjoyed than I could ever explain by her words.
"I love you too Rosalie, my beautiful daughter," I replied, and this time it was her who tightened her grip around me.
I was content to hold my daughter in my arms forever, until I heard my son clearing his throat and looking at me with an imploring look.
I sighed inwardly. There would be time later for this. We had forever, I thought with a smile. I then broke apart from her, and gave her a tender kiss on the forehead before walking over towards Carlisle.
"Darling," I purred with a kiss to his lips, "the children need some time to make amends with each other, don't you agree?" He blinked his eyes at me before glancing between our two children uncertainly.
Rosalie and Edward exchanged glances, and then Rosalie gave a small nod to Carlisle and I.
"Very well," Carlisle said "I think it is a good idea." I smiled at him, taking his hand in mine.
"Be warned though," he threatened them, suddenly very stern, "if we come back to find that you two have been hatefully arguing or hurting each other, I will not care whose fault it is because I will be blistering both your backsides, understood?"
I threw my husband a mildly exasperated look as my children promptly responded, "Yes, sir!"
"Good," he replied, suddenly with a smile, "have fun." And with that, I threw my children a loving smile and we both ran off into the woods.
We ran until we were out of hearing range, stopping under a huge oak tree by the side of a river.
"You, Carlisle Cullen are an amazing man," I said, lightly pushing him against the tree.
"Am I really?" he replied with a cheeky smile before pulling me in for a passionate kiss.
"Yes," I chimed as we broke apart, "and have I told you how much I love you lately?"
"Yes, but once more will always do," he said huskily as he was kissing my neck.
I laughed lightly, allowing him to pull me to the ground with him. "I love you," I whispered into his ear before brushing my lips over his ear, face, and then lips.
He moaned softly, rolling us over so he was on top. "I love you more," he said with a teasing smile before kissing me deeply so I could not respond.
I hungrily returned the kiss, loving the feel of his arms around me.
"Carlisle, my love," I suddenly asked as we broke apart, "why have you never sung me your lullaby?"
"Huh?" was his intelligent reply, and I rolled us over so that I was once more on top. "My lullaby?" he said in confusion.
I laughed at the look on his face, kissing him lightly on the nose. "Yes, Edward heard you singing it to Rosalie a little while ago," I informed him, stressing the "heard" so he knew I meant that Edward had heard through his thoughts.
"Oh," he said in dawning comprehension, lying his head down on the grass. He looked suddenly a little embarrassed, and my curiosity was piqued even further.
"Are you embarrassed about it?" I asked him in amused astonishment.
"No," he said with a small shake of the head, "it is a song someone used to sing to me when I was a child."
Now it was my turn to look a little embarrassed. "Oh, you don't need to explain anymore," I said understandingly. I knew of Carlisle's horrid childhood, so I now knew why I had never heard the song. He rarely ever willingly gave up memories. I usually dragged them out of him at different times, as I had the first time I had seen his peculiar scars. I did wonder though who would have sung him the song for I knew it could not have been his father.
Carlisle smiled at me and I caressed his cheek softly. "The song is meant from parent to child, which is why I have never sung it to you. An old caretaker of mine sang it to me when I was very young, and I have always found it very soothing and comforting. I used to sing it to myself anytime I was feeling upset. I haven't needed it since I found Edward and you. I only sang it to Rosalie because I could think of nothing else to calm her," he explained in a quiet voice.
I looked at my husband with loving eyes. "You are such a good father Carlisle. I do not know how you do it," I said with a bewildering look, "especially considering your own upbringing, but you seem to always know what our children need. They are so lucky to have you, and so am I."
Carlisle gave me a heartfelt smile, saying, "Thank you Esme, you don't know how much that means to me."
I smiled back at him, and then he said, "But I feel the same about you too. You are a wonderful mother. Our children love me, but they downright adore you. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. You hold a special place in their heart that I would never be able to fill. They are so lucky to have you, and so am I," he remarked simply.
I looked at him, tears in my eyes, truly touched by what he said. "Thank you so much Carlisle, I love you," I told him emotionally, leaning my head against his.
"I love you too Esme," he responded, putting his hands on either side of my head and kissing me on the lips. He then rolled us over again so he was once more on top.
I watched my parents leave before glancing at Edward. He glanced at me and then we both looked away. There was an awkward silence, and I could not help but notice that this was the first time in over a year that we had been in each others' presence without yelling and fighting with each other.
I heard a quiet snort and glanced over to see Edward smiling softly.
"Um, why don't we sit down," he suggested before grimacing slightly at my raised eyebrows. "Yeah, never mind."
More silence went by and I could feel the tension between us increasing. Come on Rosalie, just swallow your pride and apologize!
"I'm sorry," we both suddenly said, and like that the tension was broken.
We gave each other small grins before he motioned for me to speak first. "Ladies first," he remarked.
I rolled my eyes at him before becoming serious. "Edward, I am so sorry for hurting you," I apologized. "I was so angry for such stupid reasons, and you were just there at the wrong time. I lost my temper and I took it out on you." Swallowing nervously, I then asked, "Can you ever forgive me?"
Edward slowly walked over towards me, and with an awkward pat on the shoulder he said, "I already forgave you Rosalie. I know you were going through some tough stuff, and that I wasn't helping at all. I mean, I'm partly to blame for what happened. I've been such a jerk to you, and now it's my turn to say I'm sorry," he told me with sincere eyes.
"No, don't apologize. I wasn't exactly being nice to you either. I gave as good as I got and then some," I responded with a slight smile.
Edward nodded his head slightly, before giving me a smile. "Yeah, well I should have tried to be more understanding towards you. I know how tough it can be adjusting to this new life, and I should have been welcoming and helpful, rather than angry," he admitted with a shamed face.
I sighed softly. "Maybe," I agreed partly, "But I probably would've still treated you badly. I mean, look at how I treated Esme and Carlisle when they were trying to be nice to me. Especially Esme," I remarked in shame. "She's never even raised her voice or scolded me and I still treated her like crap."
This time it was Edward who sighed. "Look," he began, "that's all in the past. Anyone can see how sorry you are, and I know you've already apologized to both of them and that they have forgiven you. Quit beating yourself up," he said, and I was strongly reminded of Carlisle.
"Great minds think alike," he said with a cheeky grin in response to my thought, causing me to laugh lightly.
He looked at me in slight amazement, making me self conscious. "What?"
"Nothing," he replied, giving me a crooked smile. "It's just, well I've never really heard you laugh, and I've definitely never seen you give me a smile."
Ugh, I thought to him, way to make me feel bad again.
"Oh, I didn't mean anything bad by it Rosalie!" he responded quickly and I nodded my head at him, still feeling guilty.
"Alright, listen up Rose," he suddenly said in an exasperated tone. "Let's just agree that we've both messed up and that we've learned our lesson, otherwise we're going to be apologizing to each other for a long time. Sound good?" he asked with a smile.
I thought about it before nodding my head in agreement. "Yeah, sounds good to me."
"Good, now how about we start over again," he said. Holding out his hand to me, he then introduced himself, "Hello, my name is Edward Cullen and it is a pleasure to meet you."
I laughed softly before taking his hand and giving it a shake while replying, "Hello, my name is Rosalie Hale and the pleasure is all mine."
"Hale?" he responded with raised eyebrows, shaking his head. "Nope, you're family now sis, which means you're officially a Cullen."
"Rosalie Cullen," I murmured thoughtfully before smiling broadly. I could get used to that. A warm feeling spread through me the more I thought, I have a family, I have a family.
"So," Edward then asked hesitatingly, "how bad was it? He wasn't too hard on you, was he?"
I immediately looked down in embarrassment, readying an angry retort until I saw the look of empathy and honest concern on his face. He's been through this before Rose, and it doesn't look like he's trying to make fun of you.
"It hurt like hell," I admitted to him, and he winced in sympathy for me.
"I'm sorry. Did he do it over your clothes or…" he trailed off, and I once more looked away in embarrassment. No, I thought to him.
"Ouch," he replied, "I hate it when he does that. I mean, it hurts bad enough over the clothes, so why does he need to do it on the bare? And it's so damn embarrassing," he complained and I readily agreed.
"I know, I about died when he told me," I said, groaning at the mere memory.
"You didn't try to run, did you?" he then asked, and I shook my head in the negative. The thought had never even occurred to me. Probably because I felt I deserved it, I thought musingly.
"Oh, well I tried to run my first time," he admitted sheepishly, and I looked at him in shock. "Why? And what did he do?"
"Well," he began, somewhat embarrassed, "I really didn't want to be, you know, and I thought I didn't deserve it and that I had already learned my lesson. Of course, Dad didn't agree and he told me to come to him. When I looked towards the door, he threatened to do it on the bare if I ran, and well, I stupidly ran," he explained with a shrug. "He caught me right as I made it to the door, and followed through on his threat."
I shook my head, not believing he would do something so dumb. "If you don't mind me asking, why was he punishing you like that in the first place? What did you do?"
"I disobeyed him," he replied, looking down at his shoes. "He told me not to go into town, but I didn't listen, and I ended up getting in a fight with a bunch of guys and almost killing one. Dad was pissed at me," he recalled with a slight shudder, and this time it was I who winced in sympathy with him.
We remained quiet for a bit, looking up at the night sky, both lost in our own thoughts. I was thinking about everything that had happened today. There were a lot of things I regretted and wished had not happened, but there were a lot more good things that happened as well. Even with a sore backside I would repeat this day over because the end result was definitely worth it.
"I know exactly how you feel," Edward suddenly said, and I narrowed my eyes at him slightly. Does he really have to hear all my thoughts? I thought in irritation.
"Sorry," he apologized, "I didn't really mean to, but I remember having similar thoughts to you after the first time Dad laid into me."
I stared at him in disbelief.
"No, really," he insisted. "I'd been a right nightmare to Dad for several months before I finally pushed him too far. Our relationship was nothing like it is now. I didn't call him father, and he didn't call me son; although, Carlisle already thought of me as a son, but he hadn't told me for fear that I would reject him," he explained.
My eyes widened in shock. I just couldn't believe Edward and Carlisle ever not being father and son. They were so close now, that it was really difficult to see them ever being at odds with each other.
"Anyways, I eventually realized that day how much I cared about and looked up to Dad, but like him I was too afraid to admit my feelings. I finally got Dad to admit his feelings, and then I told him how I felt, and we've been father and son ever since," he said with a smile reminiscent smile.
"Wow," I said softly.
"Dad was really unsure of himself in those days," he added with an amused smile. "He used to question every decision he made about me, and every time he punished me he would beat himself up black and blue. The first time was the worst," he said with a shudder, and I gave him a questioning look. What happened?
"Well, I can only tell you parts of it," he began slowly. "After Dad punished me he remembered a particularly painful memory from his childhood, and it really upset him. He was convinced he had abused me, and nothing I said would console him. I finally played reverse psychology with him," he told me with a grimace. "I pissed him off so much he ended up punching a hole in the wall of his office before storming off."
"Are you serious?" I asked in shock, and he nodded his head.
"Wow," I said once more, not being able to imagine Carlisle punching a hole in a wall.
"Yeah," he said, giving me a sheepish look. "I went after him after a couple minutes and we cleared things up. Anyways, over the years Dad's gotten more confident in his parenting abilities, and though it still upsets him to punish me, he no longer looks at it as abuse," he finished explaining with a shrug.
I thought back to my punishment, and I suddenly remembered the pained look on my father's face and voice. I had been too worried about myself at the time to notice. I don't know why, but somehow knowing how much it hurt Carlisle to punish us made me feel better. It was just another show of how much he truly cared about us, I guess.
Edward suddenly gave a groan and I looked at him in alarm.
"Mom and Dad are almost here, and it seems they enjoyed their private moment," he said with a disgusted look on his face.
He then growled lowly before yelling at the forest, "I can hear you, you know!"
I heard laughing in the distance, and could not help but laugh myself. Edward's expression was just too funny.
"You wouldn't be laughing if you knew what they had been thinking," he told me with a sickened expression.
You're probably right, I agreed.
Edward and I both stared into the forest as both our parents came strolling out, hand in hand. I smiled at how cute they looked together.
"I see you've managed to behave," Carlisle said with a pleased look, wincing when Esme elbowed him.
"I told you they would be fine," she said in exasperation before giving both Edward and I proud smiles.
"Does this mean we can expect a little peace and quiet from now on then?" Carlisle asked with a hopeful expression.
"No, of course not," I immediately answered with a smirk.
"What would give you that idea?" Edward added with a smirk of his own.
"It is our job," I began
"As your beloved, innocent children," Edward added
"To give you hell," we both said, sporting identical mischievous looks.
Esme burst into laughter as Carlisle just stared in disbelief at both of us. "I think I liked it better when they were arguing with each other," he remarked dryly to Esme.
Edward and I then began laughing, causing Carlisle to roll his eyes at us. Though he acted annoyed, I could see by the look in his eyes that he was very pleased and amused by our antics.
"Well then, beloved, innocent children of mine," he said, wrapping an arm around both our shoulders, "tell me how you are going to pay for that hole we have in the wall upstairs."
Edward and I both groaned.
"Well, you should talk to Rosalie as she's the one"—Edward began to say before I cut him off, "Oh, no, you are not pinning this on me. Weren't you just telling me how you were at fault,"-
"Yeah, but not for the hole!" he countered
"Well, there wouldn't have been a hole if you hadn't"—I argued back.
"You pushed me remember?" he asked sarcastically.
"Alright little brother,"—I spat out
"Who are you calling little brother?" he roared back at me.
We glared at each other, but unlike our previous arguments this one held no hatred, only irritation and even mild amusement.
Dad gave a sigh of content and pushed us inside the house while saying, "Now that's more like it."
"Did you really have to start this Carlisle," Mom asked with an irritated expression, and he just responded with an innocent smile. "I have no idea what you're talking about dear."
Edward and I continued to argue back and forth over who was paying for the hole in my bedroom wall, while Mom scolded Dad for getting us all riled up.
All in all, we were just one big happy, slightly—okay, extremely, dysfunctional family, I thought with pride. Life couldn't get any better.
"What part of I'm older than you don't you get Rosalie?"
"Why are you yelling? I'm standing right next to you!"
Sigh, good times, good times.
A/N: Sigh, good times indeed! So this is the end of the story, I really hope you enjoyed! Thanks a million to all of you who reviewed, you are the best! Keep a look out in the future for Fathers and Sons: Emmett!