Hello! Thank you all for the wonderful response to this story.
I know I said there wasn't much more I needed to write, but I couldn't quite resist.
Here's a future-take of Isabella and Benjamin's second Christmas.
Thanks to Karen EC for pre-reading for me.
You turn to me, your eyes gleaming with the reflection of the Christmas lights.
"Do you think they'll like it?"
"They'll love it. They're one-year olds and it has lights and dangly bits. I give them a minute before they're trying to take everything off it."
Our first year as parents had flown by.
You were such a natural dad, even though at times you weren't confident in your own abilities. I can understand that, though. I was completely embarrassed when I rushed Benjamin into Urgent Care one night – thinking he was suffering from pneumonia or something along those lines – only to be told by one of my own interns that it was just a cold.
We didn't tend to bring up each others' shortcomings, though. I think we both vividly remembered the night we brought the twins home.
They had stayed in hospital for a couple of nights, just to be sure that they were strong enough to be out in the wintery weather. The car journey home was a long one, and we stopped every hour or so to feed and change one twin or the other.
When we finally got home, I insisted to my mum and dad that we didn't need help. They had already booked a hotel for a few nights anyway, fed up of the two of us deserting them to go to work. We eventually managed to shoo everyone out of the door. Well, once they had helped us move the stuff out of the car anyway; we had somehow acquired a mountain during the trip.
Surrounded by piles of stuff we probably didn't need, and two babies who we most definitely did need, I pulled you into my arms.
"This is it, baby. We're home with them."
You glanced down at Benjamin and Isabella, sleeping in their car seats. We were both too scared of waking them up to even think about trying to move them into their Moses baskets.
"What do we do now?" Your eyes darted around the room, obviously taking in all of the things that needed doing. My mum and dad had stayed before we left for the wedding, so we needed to sort out the guest room. We should really have unpacked and started some washing going. The house was in disarray thanks to us working all the hours we could before the babies were born, so we should have tidied up a little.
Instead, I moved us to the sofa, lying back with you and enjoying the peace.
"We relax. I'm sure we're going to be up most of the night with the babies, so we don't do anything right now except chill out."
"I can't believe we're parents, Carlisle. What if we're terrible at it?"
I would have laughed, but I knew it was a very real fear of yours, so instead, I squeezed your bicep reassuringly. "We won't be terrible, baby. You had a good childhood, I had a good childhood, and we both really wanted these kids."
You nodded into my shoulder, and I dipped down to kiss the top of your head.
"Edward, you love those babies already; I could see it in you the minute they were born, and every minute since. You hardly left the hospital unless we forced you to go and eat something."
"You're one to talk," you mumbled into my shoulder.
"Well, that's all the better then, isn't it? We both care about them more than eating. Although, as a doctor, I should probably suggest that we figure out the eating thing pretty quickly."
"I think your mom is going to sort our eating out."
That was true. My mum had already booked our kitchen for the next day, insisting on making us batches of freezable meals, so that we wouldn't starve. My dad was the poor sucker who was roped into taking her around the grocery store to stock up; I can't imagine that particular job was much fun given that Christmas was almost upon us.
I'd always heard stories of new parents being awake half the night, just to check that their baby is still breathing. There was none of that for us. On the rare occasion that both babies were quiet, we were both asleep too. We didn't get more than half an hour at a time, thanks to the amount of time it took us to make the bottles up, feed the baby and burp them, and then get them back down. By the time we'd done all that, the other one was squawking.
When my mum arrived the next day, I opened the door bleary-eyed and with a baby in my arms. She patted me on the head, took the squealing Isabella from me, and told me to go back to bed.
I tried to protest, but she was having none of it. "I've had babies, Carlisle. I know how to multi-task."
"Don't put my baby in the oven by mistake," I warned her.
"You've got a spare," she winked at me. "We will be fine. Your father can hold the baby when I'm doing anything I need both hands for." She told my dad to go and get Benjamin from upstairs so that we could sleep without interruption, and sent me back to bed.
It was heaven.
You stirred as I crawled under the covers, and I mumbled what was going on.
"Thank God. I'm so tired."
I wrapped my arms around you, and we both fell asleep for a solid four hours, feeling much more refreshed when we woke up.
You showered quickly, and by the time I came downstairs, my mum had you in her arms.
"You just need to figure out the balance, Edward. You've had a crazy few days; you're bound to be tired. Sleep when they sleep, even if it's daytime. Order a few takeaways instead of making yourself cook, leave washing up for the next morning, don't vacuum every day – the world won't end."
She saw me come into the room, and nodded to me.
"You two have got your heads screwed on properly. You'll figure it out. I'm around for a few weeks, so I can help out."
My mum was an absolute Godsend. We thought we were prepared, but life with two tiny babies was something we could never have been ready for.
Benjamin and Isabella's first Christmas passed in a blur; we hardly even noticed it happen. My mum cooked us a lovely lunch, and there are photos of us opening presents and looking suitably festive – but I'm fairly sure neither of us can remember any of it.
I woke up one night after New Year to find you sitting up in bed next to me, Isabella in your arms, an empty bottle on the nightstand, and tears in your eyes.
"What's up, baby?" I sat up and pulled you into my arms as best I could.
"This is difficult, Carlisle. Really difficult. More difficult than I ever imagined."
Pressing a kiss to your head, I moved Isabella back into her Moses basket before slipping back into bed. I wrapped my arms around you, and tried as best I could to comfort you.
"We're doing okay, though. I know we're tired, and it feels like the kids are always awake, but I bet all parents feel like that."
You didn't reply, content to rest your head on my shoulder, your hand teasing over my chest.
"Benjamin and Isabella are content, and well fed, and completely loved. That's what they need right now. I know we're putting all this effort in, and it's like we're getting nothing back, but we are. They are growing; they are getting to know us. You know sometimes they stop crying when we pick them up and talk to them? That means they know it's us, and they know they're safe with us. That's huge, baby. It's not like we were around every day before they were born, so they didn't get to know us that way."
While that was strictly true, I knew that Leah played any voicemails we left her on speakerphone, so that the babies would hear our voices and get used to them. We also met up with her a few times in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, so they did have some exposure.
I'm fairly sure you were too tired to be bothered to come up with any of those arguments, though. I made sure to do the rest of the feeds that night. I was far more used to being awake for long periods of time than you were, and it was important for your mental health that you got some sleep.
As we stumbled our way into February, we said goodbye to my mum and dad. My parents had been looking for somewhere to live over here, but it was not as simple to move as we would have liked, sadly.
Fortunately, by the time my parents left, the babies were in a slightly better routine. They tended to wake up at the same time, which was a pain in the ass if one of us was working the next day – we were back to working a few odd shifts – but it meant we had more unbroken sleep in between, which was very much needed.
They were also only –generally – waking up once during the night, if we discarded the fact that they thought six o'clock in the morning was an acceptable time to start the day. We tended to both get up with them in the middle of the night, taking a kid each, and sharing the load of sorting them out. When it came to getting up for the day, it depended on our work schedules. We figured it out, though, and finally we were feeling a little more human now we had more sleep every night.
Time hurtled on, and before we knew it, the babies were, thankfully, fully sleeping through the night. We started picking up more shifts at work, while trying desperately to avoid putting them into day-care. Emmett and Rosalie were back from honeymoon, and were always willing to help us out if we needed babysitters – I was slightly concerned at what my younger brother might be teaching them, though. Jasper and Alice were always happy to help, too.
We had some great support around us, and it made those first few months a lot easier.
The first time I was on nights was an experience. For some reason, the idea of being alone with the babies at night was a lot scarier to you than being alone with them during the day. You spent most of that night awake, and sending me text messages.
Things with the kids were quiet the next day.
They were changing seemingly every day. It was amazing to see their personalities coming through. Isabella was demanding and vocal, wanting constant attention, while Benjamin was a lot more laid back, and happy to play on his own. Both of them were incredible, and we had absolutely mountains of photos of them to put into their scrapbooks.
You were an amazing dad. Whenever I came back from work, you'd tell me all the things that you'd been up to with the kids. You took them out to the park every day, so happy that we were close-by. On the days you worked, I would generally have a lazy morning with them. I found being out with them all day quite a challenge – unlike you – and so when it was just the three of us, we tended to head out for a only couple of hours at a time. Sometimes we would come and meet you at the store, showing the babies off to your work colleagues and giving you a chance to see you kids. I knew you missed them a lot when you were at work.
We managed to take them to our cabin over your birthday. They charmed the lady who worked in the coffee shop we often visited. It was the first time I'd seen her focus that much on anyone but you.
Isabella was crawling by then. Benjamin wasn't even interested in trying. We took them to our picnic spot one lunchtime. It was a nightmare trying to cart all the stuff we needed with us, along with the two babies, but it was well worth it. We let Isabella explore the area around us as we ate, while Benjamin lay on his back on the picnic blanket, giggling every time he could get a fistful of food.
"Are you glad we did this?" I asked you.
"Came on vacation?"
"No, had the twins."
You looked at me, surprised. "Yes, of course I am. I love them, and I love you. It's perfect. Why, aren't you?"
"I am, I am," I rushed to reassure you. "It's just... being here made me think. We could do whatever we liked a year ago; it's so different now. But I wouldn't change it for the world."
Isabella was tired, and had moved to rest on my chest, and you grabbed a sleepy Benjamin off the blanket and cuddled him to you. "I think we're pretty damn lucky, Carlisle. I've got you, and these guys. So we can't be as spontaneous as we used to be, and maybe you aren't able to be naked as much as I'd like any more. But we do okay. The balance is working alright, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is. I just wanted to check in with you. I know we don't always talk about much apart from the kids sometimes." I made sure Isabella was secure on my chest, and managed to free an arm to stroke your cheek. "I love you, Edward."
"I love you, too, Carlisle."
I leaned in for a kiss, and the movement caused Isabella to start whinging.
"Were we ignoring you while you were asleep, beautiful girl?" I asked her, and she settled down again immediately. Always wanting to be centre of attention, bless her.
"I'll reclaim that kiss later, it is my birthday, after all," you smiled shyly at me.
You cashed in the kiss and more, when we went to bed, and once again I found myself eternally grateful to both of our children for having turned into such sound sleepers.
Emmett bursts through the front door, carrying Isabella in his arms. He looks around before realising that Isabella is stretching out to reach you, and hands her over.
"I thought you guys were putting the decorations up? Where are they all?"
We look at the cards, tinsel and lights that we have put up around the place, and the – frankly ridiculously big – Christmas tree in the corner.
"We have decorated, Em. What are you talking about?"
"There's not a lot going on here."
"Just because you like it to look like the Christmas fairy has vomited all over the place, Emmett," Rosalie chastises him, handing Benjamin to me. "It looks lovely, guys."
"Thanks, Rose. And Em, don't even think about making a comment about fairies, or I'll punch you. Edward can cover the kids' eyes."
Emmett grins, but remains quiet.
You offer Emmett and Rosalie a drink, and we sit in the lounge, watching the kids look at the lights. Isabella isn't overly interested; she has recently started walking, and so she is busy drinking in Rosalie's admiration for that, walking between her Uncle and Aunt. On the other hand, Benjamin – who has already been walking for a couple of weeks, having skipped the crawling phase completely – is utterly enthralled. He is pointing at every single light he sees, making sure that I am looking too.
Finally, he is satisfied that I have seen all the lights, and he toddles off to inspect the tree alone. We decided to put it behind a fireguard, to stop the kids from pulling it over, and to stop them from getting to their presents. The guard has enough holes in it that they can still see the tree though, and Isabella eventually joins her brother in admiring it.
"How were they for you?" I ask my brother.
The twins stayed the night with Emmett and Rose. It's not the first time they have stayed out for the night, but it's still a fairly rare occurrence. Much as we like our time alone, we miss them when they're not here, and the house just doesn't feel right.
"They were angels. Although they woke up at six o'clock this morning and wouldn't go back to sleep, even when I begged."
"We did warn you, Em. They do it every day." They're utter buggers for waking up early. No matter what time we put them to bed, they wake up at six in the morning. We've got used to it now, but my brother isn't a fan of being woken up at the best of times, let alone by two squawking children.
You come back in with drinks for everyone: hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, and I'm fairly sure I fall in love with you a little more. Rather than sit by me, you crouch by the kids, pointing out some of the ornaments on the tree to them.
As always, they are utterly enthralled by your words. You pick a few, non-breakable, ornaments off for them to feel, and they giggle with delight. You're so good with them; they hang on every word you say.
Isabella toddles over to me to show me what she has in her hand. I make suitably impressed noises, and hang it off my finger so she can bat it a bit. She giggles, and Benjamin joins us, eager to investigate anything that could make him laugh.
You sit on the sofa next to me, dangling an ornament for Benjamin, and for a minute we are all completely lost in our family bubble. I lean over and kiss you on the lips, needing you to know how much I love you. Everything wonderful I have in my life is due to us meeting, and the fact that you took a huge leap in asking me to date you, despite being so shy.
Our kiss lasts a little longer than is probably appropriate for company, and Emmett has no qualms in interrupting us. "There are young, innocent eyes here, you know."
"It's good for them to see their parents in love," Rosalie tells him.
"I was talking about me."
I roll my eyes and break away from you, but throw my arm around your shoulders instead, unwilling to completely break our contact.
"When do Mum and Dad fly in?" Emmett asks.
There was no way my mum was going to miss Christmas with her kids and grandchildren, so they've booked flights out. They are staying with Em and Rosalie until a couple of days after Christmas though, and then coming to us, so I don't know the exact details of their arrival.
"The day before Christmas Eve. Are you still okay to host Christmas here? Mum said she'll help you cook."
"Yeah, we'll be fine as long as we get everything prepped in time, but with Mum here I'm sure that won't be a problem. We do this for Thanksgiving too, so we're used to it, this is just a much bigger scale."
"And you need to entertain the kids while you cook," Emmett points out. "Mind you, they'll get you up in plenty of time to start cooking." He glares at the twins playfully, but they are far too busy emptying the contents of their toybox all over the floor to pay their Uncle any attention.
"Yeah," I grimace. I'm not sure how we're going to deal with the kids, and cooking for everyone."I was going to see if Mum and Dad could come over early and help out. Jasper and Alice said they'd pop in, too, so maybe they can come round in the morning. What time are you getting here?"
"Well, if you can get Mum and Dad out of our hair so that Rosie and me can have a little alone time in the morning, we can probably get here by the time you're dishing up the food." He grins at me, and Rosalie slaps him over the head.
He rolls his eyes, but corrects himself. "We just want some time together. We were on honeymoon last Christmas so we kinda missed doing the whole festive thing. If you can persuade Mum and Dad to get here early, then it just gives us a few hours to exchange presents and stuff. We can be here by late morning."
"Okay, that's fair." I do feel bad that they are giving up their first real Christmas together to host my parents for the nights and spend the days with us, but they seem to be okay with it. The least I can do, though, is get my parents out of their way for a little while. Then they might return the favour for us, sometime.
"Great," he stands up, pulling Rose with him. "We're going to get going anyway. It's time for us to enjoy all the perks of being married and without kids."
I roll my eyes. "Alright, we'll see you in a few days?"
"Yeah, we'll see you at some point before the food's ready on Christmas Day. Hey, I hope you've bought me a good present. You're not allowed to slack off just because you have kids, you know."
We see them out – the twins waving furiously at them, which is their new favourite trick.
"Your brother exhausts me more than these guys do," you laugh, shifting Benjamin to your other arm. The twins are getting bigger by the day; it's not quite so easy to carry them around anymore.
"He is a handful. I was hoping Rose would calm him down a little, but it hasn't happened yet. He might behave better when my parents are here."
You raise an eyebrow at me, obviously not convinced at my words, and walk back into the house out of the cold.
You're probably right; Emmett doesn't filter what he says for anyone. Christmas could be interesting.
Christmas Day arrives much like Emmett normally does – in a whirlwind of crazy, but in a way you can't help but love.
The twins choose today of all days to sleep in, so we decide to spend the first part of the morning tiptoeing around, trying not to wake them. Well, that's what we would have done if we were behaving like responsible adults. In reality we spend forty-five minutes of it in bed, making sure that we both start the day off in exactly the right way.
We manage to get in thirty minutes of work before cries from the nursery signal that Isabella has woken up, which in turn wakes Benjamin as well.
My mum and dad arrive not long after the kids are dressed for the day, and they immediately get to work. My mum helps me in the kitchen while you and my dad try to keep the kids entertained. I know that you're still sometimes nervous around my dad – although you have no reason to be. He is quiet, and doesn't feel the need to fill silences, and it makes you worry that he doesn't want to speak to you. You seem to be getting on okay now, though. The kids give you something to talk about, or rather, something to focus on instead of any silences.
We swap over every now and then, although my dad falls asleep mid-morning, so we all end up in the kitchen, trying to keep the kids busy and away from the oven.
"How are you two doing, anyway?" My mum is busy feeding the kids so many snacks they're never going to eat their lunch, but I can't bring myself to stop her.
"We're okay," you tell her, with a shy grin at me.
"Have you figured out the balance thing yet? I can imagine it's tough with twins. It was difficult enough with my two only eighteen months apart."
Your face goes bright red, no doubt remembering this morning. You turn to the oven, to avoid answering.
"Yeah, Mum. We don't get it right all the time, but it's a lot easier now the kids are older. They're more of a handful during the day, but at least we can sleep at night. That helps a lot."
She nods, smiling at us "I'm proud of you two, you know? You've done this pretty much on your own, and Benjamin and Isabella are turning into lovely children. I bet Leah would be happy if she met them."
Leah decided to make the adoption semi-open. She hasn't met the twins since they were born, but we send pictures through the adoption agency every six months. In return, we get a letter from her, telling us what she is up to. Last we heard, she is studying at college, still not entirely sure what she wants from life, but she was seemingly still satisfied that she has made the right choices.
I'm pleased that she decided to keep some contact with us. We are more than happy for her to meet us and the kids if she ever wants to, and we always reiterate that to the adoption agency when we're in touch with them.
She hasn't taken us up on the offer yet, and we don't want to push it. Sometimes I wish that she could be involved, though. We'd have no trouble setting an extra place for Christmas lunch.
Finally, we reach a point when everything in the kitchen can be left, and we go to sit down in the lounge. My dad is still asleep, but Isabella is soon tugging at the leg of his trousers, unable to understand why he isn't paying her any attention.
We pass the kids some little things to open; they're still not old enough to really get into Christmas, but we help them unwrap some balls that flash when you drop them on the floor. They don't entirely get the concept themselves, but they know that if they pass their new toys to us, we will make them work for them – which seems to be just as good.
My mum and dad have bought them some clothes and books, which we unwrap for them – the kids aren't interested in anything except playing with the wrapping the presents came in. We let them get on with it, only interfering when they start to try and eat the paper.
The doorbell rings, and Isabella chases you as you go to answer it. I hear her squeal with delight, and she re-enters the room upside down, carried by Jasper. He throws her gently down onto the sofa next to me, and picks Benjamin up to give him the same treatment. They absolutely love it.
We're never that rough with them – I've seen too many horrible accidents at work to even contemplate it, and you aren't really a rough-houser either. I don't worry too much about Jasper, though, he is never anything but careful, and then kids absolutely adore him for it.
You and Alice finally come back in, carrying armfuls of presents. Jasper and Alice are the twins' godparents, along with Em and Rose, and they never stop spoiling our children. Despite us insisting that one-year-olds really don't care about gifts, I'm fairly sure they've bought them more presents than we have.
"You really didn't have to, guys," I tell them, as I take some of the presents from Alice and put them under the tree.
"I didn't, it was all her," Jasper laughs. "I can follow orders."
Alice huffs. "There's just too much cute stuff, I can't help it. All the clothes are so tiny and sweet, but I can't just buy them clothes, so I got them some toys, too. Then I thought I should probably encourage them educationally too, so I bought them some books."
"I'm sure the kids will appreciate it," you offer. We all look at the twins as they rip some wrapping paper to shreds. "Well, maybe they will appreciate it more in time. I'm sure they'll be pleased they look stylish in all their photos when we look back at them."
I press a kiss to your head; you're still the sweet boy I met all those years ago, never wanting anyone to feel like they aren't valued.
My mum heads back out to the kitchen, dragging my dad with her to help. I stand up to go too, but she insists that I stay. "You spend some time with your friends. It's Christmas, relax; we've got this."
I feel bad that my mum is ending up doing all the work, but she claims that watching the kids is a job in itself, ignoring the fact that there are three other adults in the room to share that job with me. It is quite nice to relax, though. Jasper and Alice are happy to play with the kids for a while, and they help them open a few of their presents while they have the twins' attention.
We all end up sitting on the floor, surrounded by presents and wrapping paper. Benjamin and Isabella are in their element.
"What have you two got planned for the rest of day, then?" I ask our guests. We invited them to eat with us – the more the merrier – but they declined, having already sorted out their day a while ago.
"We're eating at my parent's house," Alice tells me, as Jasper pulls a face. I know he's not a huge fan of Alice's parents, and I'm fairly sure the feeling is mutual. They're still not convinced that owning two music stores is a valid career and badger him repeatedly to get a 'proper' job.
"I'm not sure Benjamin is going to let me leave," Jasper grins. Our son has his hands in Jasper's hair, forever fascinated by it. He spends most of his time with people with short hair – apart from Rose, who sensibly keeps hers tied back whenever our grabby kids are around – so Jasper's hair is an endless source of fun for him. Jasper's hair isn't overly long, but it's enough to get a good fistful of, which is what Benjamin is currently doing. Jasper lets him get on with it, completely calm about having his hair pulled by a one-year-old.
"He can just come with us; you're not getting out of it, Jasper."
Jasper looks to you for help, but you just laugh. "I'm not getting involved in this. I'm not a therapist."
I don't blame you.
It's soon time for them to head off, and we haven't even made it halfway through the pile of presents they have bought. Alice shrugs it off, deciding that it is all the more reason for them to come back and visit tomorrow, which is fine by us. We see them off at the door, the twins grinning and waving as usual.
I wrap my free arm around you before putting a squirming Isabella down, and pull you into a proper hug. Well, as proper as it can be with Benjamin between us. He is sweet though; he rests an arm on each of our shoulders and tries to join in.
Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to have all of this. Our kids run us off our feet, and there are days when I wish for a quiet life, but I wouldn't really give this up for anything. You're an amazing husband and father, and I couldn't wish for more.
We relieve my mum and dad in the kitchen, letting them spend some time with their grandchildren before Emmett and Rosalie get here. I hope they get through a few more presents while they're in there. The pile under the tree is reaching ridiculous levels now – not that I'm ungrateful, but the kids don't have a clue that it's Christmas. Add that into the fact it was their birthday a couple of weeks ago, and we're going to need a bigger house for all their stuff soon.
We've got preparing the Christmas meal down now, after all these years together. We work seamlessly around each other, and before we know it, it's almost ready to serve.
I call Emmett to see where they are, because they're dangerously close to missing out on the food completely. As the phone is ringing, though, there is a banging at the door. No need to guess who that is.
Once Emmett and Rosalie have come in and made the pile of presents even higher, we finally sit down to eat.
The entire meal is a bit manic. Benjamin and Isabella have been snacking all morning, and aren't too pleased at the idea that they now have to sit in their high chairs and eat a meal. We manage to keep them there for most of the main course, but by the time we reach dessert we each have a child on our lap.
"This meal's really nice guys, thanks," Emmett tells us through a mouthful of food.
"It probably tastes even better because you managed to avoid all of the preparation for it, Emmett," my mum grins at him, not really annoyed.
"Every meal tastes better when you don't have to cook it, Mum. It's one of Einstein's theories, I'm sure, that's why I avoid cooking so often."
"You're on washing up duty, Em," I tell him. "That's one of Newton's laws."
"How is that a fucking law?"
"Language Emmett." That was my mum. We both pay her no attention.
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You didn't prepare the food, so you can clear up."
"You're a fucking nerd, C."
"Emmett!" My mum, again.
"What? He just busted out high school physics to make me do the washing up. He's a nerd."
"You mentioned Einstein first, you moron." I'm thirty-five years old and arguing with my little brother like we're teenagers. I can't stop, though.
You turn to my mum. "Are Benjamin and Isabella going to be like this when they can talk?"
"Oh yes. You learn to tune it out until someone starts screaming in pain, though. It's a parent thing, I think."
We send Emmett off to do the washing up, neglecting to mention that we do have a dishwasher. He should know that by now, he's been here enough times. My mum gets up to help, but we all refuse to let her, insisting that she relaxes for a while.
The twins are tired, so we decide to put them down for a nap in the nursery. Hopefully Emmett's voice won't travel all the way up the stairs and disturb them. They go down surprisingly easily considering that there is so much going on today.
We stay in the room with them until they drop off, pleased to have a moment of calm in the day.
"Do you really think they're going to fight like you and Emmett?" you whisper to me, as we sit on the loveseat.
I laugh softly. "Yeah, probably. Maybe even worse; at least I had time away from Em at school."
"I don't want them to argue. I want them to love each other."
I sometimes forget that you are an only child. Sibling relationships are probably difficult to understand from the outside.
"Don't worry, baby, they will. I love Emmett, even if he annoys the crap out of me most of the time. He's my baby brother, and I'd do anything for him."
"I hope they're like that when they're older."
"They will be, I'm sure of it." I pull you as close to me as possible, knowing you need the reassurance of being close to me, as well as my words right now.
"How do you know?"
"How can they not be? They've got us as role models."
"You and Emmett?"
"No, baby, you and me. How much do you love me and the babies?"
"So much. You know that. I can't even put it into words."
"It's the same for me. So they're surrounded by all this love, there's no way they won't be affected by that. They're going to love each other, and us. Please don't worry about it."
"Okay." You burrow down into my chest a little more. "Can we hide out up here until the twins wake up?"
"You want to sit in a room where we have to whisper for an hour and a half?"
"No, I want to get you naked," you grin. "All this talk of how much we love each other makes me want to prove it."
I laugh. "You can prove it later, baby. Right now, though, we have a whole mountain of presents to open, and my family to entertain."
We stand up, checking on the kids before we head downstairs.
As we get to the bottom of the stairs, you grab both my hands with yours, and pull me to you for a gentle kiss.
"I love you, Carlisle."
"I love you too, Edward."
Emmett chooses that moment to walk past us, groaning at our display, despite how innocent it is.
"Hey, Einstein, riddle me this. If I spew up on the floor, does that mean you guys have to clean it up? My action, your reaction?"
Shaking my head, I follow Emmett into the lounge, knowing that this was just the beginning of what could be a very long afternoon.
I wouldn't change it for the world, though.