A/N: Well this is the end of the sort of Pre-Twilight Saga story. I've started the Twilight section, but let me know if you want it or would just like me to end it here. Thank you to all that have faithfully followed this story and reviewed. You have no idea how much it means to me.
Song related to this story: Round and Round-Imagine Dragons
I had a family and a large family at that, and Alice and Jasper only added to that. Alice was the little sister that you always kind of imagine wanting. She had annoying moments, a lot of them but she was fun, loving, and just perfect in her own way. She could make you smile on your darkest days and in this house with every single one of us having had a dark cloud in our past we needed that. It was amazing too because she had a dark cloud hanging over her head too, and she didn't get the opportunity to even try to get over it, because she couldn't remember anything before waking up into this life. She fit in perfectly with the family, even bonding with Rose pretty easily and finally giving Edward someone to bond with because of their gifts.
At first I had been a little jealous over that; their sort of connection which they built over silent conversations which annoyed us all, but I got over it because he did need someone like that. Someone to relate to on that level because, my gift, it was something I could control. I could block it out for the rest of my life but neither Edward nor Alice could do that, it was basically forced on them.
Then there Jasper who didn't exactly fit in with the family as easily; he was hesitant but followed Alice. He trusted her and stayed, pushing past all his preconceived notions of other vampires. We couldn't blame his hesitance though; he hadn't had a very good sampling. He was cautious of talking fully about his gift because he had been used in the past, and when the time came he didn't exactly want to join school but not for the reason the rest of us didn't but because of his self-control. That just seemed to embarrass him even more and closed him off even more. Slowly though you could see him loosening up; talking more to each of us, actually wrestling with Emmett, Noah, and Edward, then just one day we all seamlessly fit together. No longer did he shy away from Rosalie's glares but shrugged them off with the rest of us, he participated in the sibling squabbles that occasionally broke out, and he shied away from Esme's shouts when a table or lamp got broken or he tracked mud into the house with the other boys.
It was only three years later in a small town near Washington DC that we had our fourth family wedding which was far simpler than what even I had, with a simple white dress and Jasper in a suit at the courthouse with all of us around them. There Alice Cullen because Alice Whitlock.
That had been thirty years ago with the first ten being filled with more moves than usual because of Jasper's self-control, a couple times involving me having to restrain him much to Alice's displeasure because he tended to hate himself even more when I had to do it, but as we went hunting more his control built. Through those thirty years we, as a family, hardly spent more than four years apart as separate families even though that meant more school which even Alice got tired of. And that's what we were all coming back from that wonderful summer day.
"Family trip!" Emmett shouted as we finally arrived, at ten at night, in front of the large house Carlisle and Esme had been living in for the past three years, though they weren't here, they hadn't been for the past five months.
"Finally," Edward commented and he moved out on the porch, "you guys are late."
"We got sidetracked in Oregon," Emmett smirked and I watched the grimace come to Edward's face and quickly reached over and punched Emmett in the shoulder.
"Because you wanted to see the largest pumpkin," I filled in the others as they walked out, Rosalie already with her large bag in hand.
"The World's Largest Pumpkin?" Noah laughed as he stepped out behind Jasper who was also chuckling.
"Yes!" He answered, "have you seen that thing? It's huge," He spoke and shaking my head I just moved up on the porch, hugging Edward.
"Yes, yes," Rosalie rushed it along depositing her bag on the steps and rushing towards the truck, "we can all laugh and say hello on the way to the airport. Let's goooo."
Shaking my head, we all started unpacking the back, just placing the things inside the door for when we got back but leaving the two suitcases I had packed for Emmett and I in the back. Then we all set off for the airport. By an hour before the flight we all had our bags checked, and we were all sitting in the seats waiting for our flight.
With all of us falling into our human personas I sat curled up on the seat, leaning my head on Emmett's shoulder pretending to rest since it was late for humans as he read. One my other side Edward did the same, and across from us, both Jazz and Noah played a game of cards.
"Here ya go," Alice said as a magazine landed in my lap, both she and Rose back from the shop nearby. Leaning up, I started flipping through the gossip magazine whice I read at a human pace, filling most of the time before we were allowed to board and take our first class seats. Having not actually seen him in about four months, I sat down in the seat beside Edward.
"Want to see something I've been working on?" I smiled and with a nod from him, I reached into my large purse and pulled out my thick sketch book which I had bound myself. Giving a small smile, I handed it over and watched as he flipped through the pages of our life from my first blurry memory of our first family up to my last drawing which was a sort of collage of all our graduations; my latest graduation from Yale with a bachelors in comparative literature; his from Harvard for internal medicine; both Rosalie and Noah's graduations from Princeton, her with a degree in Astrophysics and him with a degree in anthropology; Alice with a degree in fashion design from Parsons, and Jasper from NYU with a degree in History. The only one that hadn't gotten some specific degree was Emmett and that was because he never could focus on a subject long enough to actually get one, though he was beside me in the drawing.
"That one is mostly for Esme and Carlisle since they were a little busy," I chuckled.
"She called me feeling so guilty," He answered with his own laugh. "I told her that she had been there for every other one and would be fore many more so missing one graduation was fine." Reaching over, I flipped back to the first time we had graduated high school after Esme had joined us. It was like a picture in my head never to be worn away by the years but I don't think even with that and years of experience in the arts that I managed to capture just how proud she looked on that day. Giving a small nod and half smile he looked over the picture and then back to my first in the book where I wasn't exactly able to capture with the amount of crispness because it wasn't a clear memory but it was a family portrait.
"Wasn't that one your birthday?" I asked and he gave a sad nod.
"Seventeeth." Looking over it once again it was weird to try and relate those two identical people in the sketch to us, sitting here in modern clothing on an airplane with whole lifetimes behind us and probably catching my thoughts he flipped to the back again. "It is weird," he murmured, "but this is nice," he complimented.
"Hey!" Alice called and both of us looked up right as the flash of a camera went off.
"Really, Alice?" he questioned and she gave an enthusiastic nod as she flipped the camera on a lovey dovey Rosalie and Noah across the way and then Emmett sitting behind them who stuck his tongue out, prepared for the picture.
"Do none of you realize that this is our first true family vacation," She thrilled.
"I said that back at the house," Emmett defended.
"Miss," the attendant spoke, "I'm afraid you're going to have to sit down now."
"Right," Alice flipped around and settled into her seat as we all restrained smiles, "sorry."
With a smile she turned around and started back up to the intercom. "Welcome everyone to Flight 288 to Chicago O'Hare."
"Then onto Rio," Alice whispered excitedly.
We had landed according to plan with the sun having set about two hours ago and as we filed into the spacious van that Carlisle had arranged and we drove into the city it was alive with nightlife. Smiling, I listened as music and laughter filled my senses and looked over to the others.
"Pull over, please," I called to the driver in Portuguese and with the agreement that he would take our bags to the docks we all set out into the lively streets. Grinning, I linked my hand with Emmett as I looked around to different stalls with the rhythmic music filling the area. Moving into the thick of it I smiled up to Emmett, who was giving his own smile as he shifted our hands and spun me into a loose dance as we danced to the beat. Pulling me closer, he dipped down and pressed his lips to mine and I gladly returned it before pulling apart and we all continued down the street, heading towards the water. Every once in a while we would stop at a stall, looking over the different knick-knacks or Alice would snap a picture but mostly we just focused on being the young adults we looked to be, even a stiff Jasper was loosened up with his stomach full from feeding last night.
Alice was true in saying that we had never done this before. I mean we had gone on sort of vacations up to Denali or into a city for a bit, and in smaller groups we had gone to amusement parks or even Rosalie, Noah, Emmett and I had gone to Disneyland once, but as a whole we hadn't gone on a true vacation like this.
After two hours of wondering the streets we made to the docks and filed past the array of yachts until getting to a speedboat with our bags in hand. Hopping in, I settled in the front sitting area with Alice and Rosalie, staying out of the fight of who would get to drive and finally we set off with Jasper at the wheel as we raced into the open water and then darkness after Jasper pulled a couple doughnuts.
Twenty minutes later we all saw it rising on the horizon, Isle Esme, Carlisle's Anniversary gift to her this year. There was a small pinprick of light that illuminated the sandy white beach along with the help of the moonlight but otherwise it looked to be covered in trees. "This is amazing," Rosalie fawned along with the rest of us because it truly was.
While we had always had our own escape in the form of a home, this was our own island to purely be ourselves on.
It was so weird to be outside in the broad daylight, the sun glinting off my skin and even warming it slightly or at least it felt that way.
"You're very happy today," Emmett whispered as I hopped up on his back while we made our way up to the waterfall that Carlisle had told us about. All of us kids were headed up there while Carlisle and Esme continued to have fun on their own. The discussion last night and hunting trip early this morning seemed to be enough to tide her motherly instincts and we were set loose.
"I feel free," I whispered back, pressing a kiss to his cheek right as the rush of water started to sound and we hurried our pace, well Emmett hurried my pace, keeping a firm grip on the back of my bare thighs. Stepping up at the edge, I dropped onto the ground as Noah immediately leapt and was closely followed by Edward. Quickly, I started peeling off my jean shorts and sandals along with Alice as Jasper and Emmett jumped so we were only in our bikinis and after exchanging a look I leapt and flipped through the air before landing with a purposefully large splash. Doing the same thing, Alice followed leaving only Rose at the top of the waterfall.
"Come on, Babe!" Noah shouted.
"I don't want to get my hair wet!" she called back.
"It will dry!" He argued as she struck her signature pose of hands on hips and a glare. "I'll throw you over if you don't!"
"You wouldn't dare!" She shot back and giving a slightly mischievous look to Emmett they both slowly started over to the side.
"Rosalie Hale McCarty, get your butt down here!" I shouted, providing a diversion.
"No!" She huffed.
"Come on, Rose," Alice joined in. "It's nice."
"My hair looks perfect today!"
"No one is going to see it but us," Edward shot back with a laugh.
"Where are Noah and Emm-" She didn't get to finish as both, by the sound of it, raced up behind her and before she could shout at them she was flying through the air. All of us quickly swam back from the flailing arms and the splash that was soon joined by two more. Sputtering and flipping her hair back she swerved around and searched for Noah who came up only a few moments later. "You are going to regret that," She huffed and surged towards him and giving a laugh he dove back down and right before she went back under the water she gave her own small smile.
Right then I felt a hand grab onto my ankle and letting out a small yelp I surrendered and moved under the water, looking towards the smiling face of Emmett. Reaching out, I wrapped my arms around his neck as his hands moved to my waist and pulled me in for a kiss.
After jumping a few more times and swimming around we headed back down to the house to find Esme and Carlisle relaxing back on the beach. Moving over, we joined them, the guys immediately talked Carlisle into a race in the ocean which Alice officiated (though by the chuckle I could tell she already knew the winner) while Rosalie moved into the house to brush out her hair.
Moving over the line of chaise loungers I sat down on the end of the one beside Esme, and like a wrecking ball it hit me. I felt that if I could cry I would be sobbing as I looked out to it all. "Is everything alright sweetie?" Esme asked in concern and I gave a small nod.
"I'm just thankful," I answered. "When I was making that book I realized that I thought it was going to end far before this. Then when I realized that I was going to live I didn't know what I had to live for. I mean of course there was Edward and Carlisle, but for me. I felt like I was going round and round with no sense of purpose, but this family and especially Emmett showed me what this life was for." I broke off in a whisper as I looked to the all of them wrestling around with Alice and Carlisle jogging off to the side.
"Awe, sweetheart," Esme cooed and lunged forward pulling me into a tight hug. Giving a small laugh, I returned it as Rose moved back out here.
"What are they doing?" She muttered in confusion and we pulled apart and looked to them continuing to fool around before the guys started back over to us. Knowing what was coming I just let out another laugh as Emmett stooped down and picked me up, carrying me into the water so he was to his knees. But while the shouts of Alice, Rose, and Esme echoed around from them being tossed in the water he didn't throw me.
"Everything alright?" he murmured and let go of my legs, but kept hold around my waist. Giving a nod, I wound my legs around him as I looped my arms around his neck, lacing my fingers up into his curly locks.
"Thank you for giving me a reason to live again," I whispered and his concerned looked turned to a wide smile.
"Thank you for letting me," He murmured as I closed the distance between us, placing a soft kiss on his lips.
"Oh come on," Edward groaned and before either of us could look he plowed into us, and sent us both into the water. Sputtering, I looked to his cocky smile and instantly jumped to my feet, racing after him as he took off in a run.
"Get back here little brother!"