An Interactive Twilight Experience.
November passed with me learning better control of my lust for human blood. I found myself finding reasons to be near Carlisle, finding a warmth in his eyes and smile and a strong bond of trust. Edward entertained us with the piano and we all took turns reading to each other from Shakespeare’s Sonnets and occasionally reading a play or two. Other authors found their way into our hands and some nights, we sat playing cards and games. Carlisle taught me to play chess and soon, I was beating him in the occasional match.
I began to realize the expanse of what was before me now, a life that might never end. Carlisle cautioned me of the laws governing the vampires, and spoke of old friends, one named Alistair. He spoke of the time he lived in Volterra, among the Volturi, but only of the art, music and culture. As I watched his face I could see the mixture of affection for Aro as well as the worry and distaste for some of his ways.
We spent the nights going for walks, the elements of a Wisconsin winter leaving us unaffected. I loved the snow and the first time we were out and I realized I would not get cold and could stay out in it for hours on end, never growing weary, I made about a hundred snow angels. Carlisle and Edward would not join me, but instead stood by, laughing at me. When I finished and jumped up, covered in the sparkling white snow, Carlisle’s face grew soft as he took my hands and brushed the snow from my hair.
If I had had any breath, it would have caught in my throat at the way he was looking at me. I caught his eyes and could see the question in them and I leaned forward and surrendered myself to his kiss, soft as the snow falling around us. His arms were around me and I was lost, smiling and laughing and being spun around at a dizzying speed.
He stopped and set me down, leading me to a fallen tree. He knelt in front of me and took my hand in his, his other hand buried in the inside pocket of his coat.
“I have existed for a long time not answering to anyone, dependent on nothing and committed to only myself. During that time, I felt as though the world was mine for the taking and truly believed that I was experiencing life to the fullest. Then, you came along and all of a sudden, I realized that was all a clever facade.”
“My love, without you I am an incomplete man in search of wholeness. I find that my existence was not all that I thought it was. In fact, it was lacking in a great many things, the first being love. By following fate I have found love and along with it the one being who has made my life truly complete.”
“Esme, you are she whom I have fallen completely and undeniably in love with. I never thought I would ever utter those words, but ever since I first held you in my arms they come forth effortlessly and with great meaning. I’ll be forever grateful to you for showing me how full my existence can be…. Now I truly know that it has great depth meaning and purpose.”
“Esme Anne, will you marry me?”
I covered my mouth and nodded, unable to speak. This…this is what love and marriage was supposed to be like, be about. Not making anyone except your partner happy, not doing it for money or convenience or to make family and friends happy.
Carlisle took my hand and slid the most beautiful ring on my finger. I hugged him and he stood spinning me again, my laughter ringing through the ice on the trees.
At this point, I noticed Edward standing off grinning from ear to ear, digging his hands in his pockets and kicking at the snow. He looked very much a little boy in a grown body. Carlisle put me down and I walked over.
“Edward, will you have me as your mother?”
“I couldn’t think of anyone better.”
I hugged Edward just as close as I could, stroking his hair. Carlisle joined us and we walked back to the house, arm in arm. My mind was already running with thoughts of the wedding, knowing it would just be us and probably a justice of the peace. That was fine with me, as these two were my family and the only people I needed to be there.