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July

20th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Shopping and Packing

Dear Diary:

          After accepting the invitation from Alexander to join him and the rest of the Watchers on a nice vacation to Rogue’s Isle, our house turned into a frenzy of people running around like bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. Alice was almost never home because she was always dragging someone shopping for new swimsuits, and that included the men. The only ones spared from the shopping onslaught it seemed were most of the Watchers save Corin, Amy, Michelle, and Kim. The others liked the ones they had and didn’t want to get new ones. No amount of convincing would change their minds which caused Alice to sulk.

          Her sulking didn’t last that long because she had our whole family to dress, so to speak. Seth and Jacob had decided to take their cues from the Watcher men and get more form-fitting swimwear as opposed to the usual American version. On top of that, Alice made sure we all matched in one way or another with our mates. I was beginning to think we were preparing for a fashion show instead of a vacation. The photos of all of our swimwear are below for your pleasure; you can decide whether she picked stuff to match our personalities. Rogue and Alexander matched in color, having both of their swimwear attire a light blue shade.

          While our pixie fashionista was coordinating outfits, the rest of the family were taking out their suitcases and talking excitedly about what they were going to pack. For a long time I watched them, and then was pushed by Esme into our master bedroom to do the same. Even though it had just been a few days since her return from her journey, I knew that my bond with my wife had gotten stronger. I always thought of her as a strong woman, but now I got a chance to see her as my equal and as an incredibly independent woman. Every time she brings up the volcano-hopping journey, I always put my hand over my heart in a mock heart attack that makes her giggle and roll her eyes at me.

My love for her has grown wildly. And what is so cool about going to Rogue’s Isle—which is actually a lot bigger than Isle Esme, because ours contains just one house while the one Alexander bought has one house with wings and then other bungalows scattered around the island— is that everyone can have a romantic getaway and not have to worry about the neighbours next door.

This whole getaway couldn’t have come at a better time because while we will be there, it’ll be Bella and Edward’s Wedding Anniversary. We have all decided to give the happy couple different and original crystal champagne flutes that are a part of a bigger surprise that will be revealed when Bella’s birthday comes along. Bella being Bella didn’t want a huge party with a ton of gifts, so we just literally created, or still are creating, something that will mean a ton to her. She doesn’t know it yet, and lord knows I’m not spilling the beans. So even though these crystal Champagne Flutes are an anniversary gift, they fit into a part of Bella’s present that Edward is very well aware of.

Not to get off track here. So we are just going to have a family gathering on that evening and quietly celebrate; we’ve even toned Alice down—go figure. For Bella’s birthday, the Denali’s are coming down to celebrate with us and have already purchased their gifts. So it’ll be nice to celebrate with them. Nessie’s ginormous birthday party will be before Bella’s, so it’ll be one right after the next when we return from the trip. Of course I’ll tell you how everything went and show you pictures.

Alice was downstairs wanting everyone’s attention so we bolted down. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, we found out that all of our swimwear had been bought and name tagged. She’s definitely efficient. You can’t take that away from her. So she thrusted each bag into our hands and shoo’d us away to go and continue packing with a very satisfied look on her face. I’m kind of nervous to see what she got me, and Esme is very curious about hers. When she peaks, her eyes get wide and she smiles. When I want to see, she pushes me away and says that she will wear it on the island and only then I can see. 

“Alice got it totally right,” Esme tells me. “Before my adventure, I wouldn’t have ever picked this out for myself, but now it is perfect for my personality and still shows my class and new found edginess. And the color is superb.”

“YOU’RE WELCOME!” Alice yells from across the house, and Esme laughs.

“What did she get you? A swimsuit in the shape of a volcano?” I grumbled.

“Would you leave the poor volcano alone? It’s not like I swam inside of the lava. Sheesh!” She rolled her eyes at me again and continued packing, careful not to show me the swimsuit.

          I grumble along, while packing my own suitcase, about how unfair the women of the house are and how poor little me can’t even see the swimsuit on my hot wife. All of a sudden, I hear a voice in my head. Rogue’s. I guess my mental grumbling has been heard miles away.

“Oh, would you put a sock in it! She just wants to surprise you. You sound worse than Jacob and/or Emmett!” she chides me.

Peachy. Now I’m being compared to a semi adult wolf and an over-grown child. I shake my head and continue packing. I know my whole family is laughing at me. I ignore them and zip up my suitcase. When I’m done I’m still frowning, so Esme walks over to me and kisses me so hard she literally knocks me off my feet onto the bed where the suitcase had just been sitting. In the middle of it all I hear a lot of hooting and hollering from the rest of the house. When she finally breaks the kiss—

Wait, what was I upset about? I can’t remember now. Oh well.

I help her zip up her suitcase and we bring them downstairs where the living room looks like a tornado hit it with clothes everywhere. I can imagine that’s what all of the cottages look like. I’m glad we were the first to finish but make sure we stay out of everyone’s way so we don’t get run over. In the meantime, we head to the backyard and sit on our favorite two-person swing, watching and listening to doors opening and slamming, people running in every which direction. Looks like an international airport without the planes.

I’ve already called the hospital to tell them I was taking a vacation. I know it seems like I take a lot of them but believe it or not I work a lot more hours than most employees, being immortal and all, so therefore get more time off. Not too many humans can work for three days straight without a break and not fall over. So Bill is only too happy to send me away; he is afraid that I will get burned out—which of course is impossible. If I didn’t turn tails and run after the whole Carrie incident, nothing will make me leave that hospital until it is time for us to move again, which is still at least 5 years away, if not more.

Unlike the townspeople of Forks, these New Englanders don’t seem to care that we aren’t aging. They keep to themselves and are very cordial. When we had a close call recently that made us question for a moment whether it was safe for us to stay here, turned out to be a false alarm. There was a conversation overheard in the grocery store between two of the town’s main gossiping ladies about how the ‘Cullen family don’t seem to be aging at all.’

One said to the other, “Oh please! With all of the technological breakthroughs with plastic surgery and the pressure to stay fit it’s almost a maniacal thing. Who’s to say that the family isn’t just living a very healthy lifestyle that helps them age later or more gracefully than the rest of us? Plus Dr. Cullen being a well-known doctor must know all about the new advances in age defying technology. Theresa if I were you, I’d pay it no mind.”

          The conversation ended there with both agreeing that we were just some health freaks and that was the end of that. That was the first and last time we were the topic of the town gossip, thank heavens. Rogue doesn’t foresee any issues with us and neither does Alice. So I think we’re good for now.

          So this is my second to last entry before we all leave; talk about a mass exodus. The next one will probably be shorter than this one as I will write about our final day before leaving and first impressions of the island. I hope it’s not too hot where you all are. Enjoy your weekend!

~Carlisle Cullen

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July

18th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ A Nerve Racking Welcome Home

Dear Diary:

          It has been almost 2 weeks since Esme left. For me they have been the most miserable I can remember. I’ve been walking around like a zombie. My whole family has been feeling the void. It’s not that they haven’t been able to do things for themselves that Esme used to do for them, but all of them said they have missed her warm presence. Today, Esme is finally returning home and she is being flown in by Rogue.

          In lieu of formal gifts, what the family has decided to do is write down their thoughts and what Esme meant to them. They figured that true honesty and words from the heart would be a lot more meaningful then a bunch of gifts. Amazingly, this was Jacob’s idea. He missed Esme a lot. Sometimes I think more than anyone else—except me, of course.

As we waited anxiously for Rogue to bring Esme back, we knew this was a very nerve racking welcome home; probably for everyone involved, Esme not excluded. As we stood in our living room like statues, we didn’t even know what we were expecting. It’s not like she was going to look different, but we had no idea what conclusions and epiphanies she’d had on her journey.

          We heard them approaching. There was more than one gulp heard in the room. Then they landed and walked up the stairs. It was now or never. The door opened and first Rogue walked in, and Esme followed her slowly into the house. Rogue left us alone after giving a reassuring squeeze to Esme’s hand. Esme took a deep breath and then faced us. Even though physically she hadn’t changed at all, I could tell there was a huge difference in her face and her eyes. It wasn’t that they were hard, but there was a new determination in them that I had never seen before.

          We realized we were standing around awkwardly so everyone kind of started breathing and even giggled a bit to let the stress and tension empty out of the room. I also felt Jasper try to regulate the room a bit.

I walked up to my wife first, looked her deep into her eyes, kissed her, hugged her and said, “I have missed you so much. It hasn’t been easy for me. When I first found out you were gone, I nearly had a heart attack. I felt it was entirely my fault that you left, especially after Rogue read us the letter. I hope it never has to come to such extremes again.”

She looked at me and touched my face; how I’d missed that touch. I felt like I was going to melt.

I knew the whole family had a lot to say, but before we could begin, it was Esme who spoke after producing some papers from her pocket.

“Before any of you say anything, I want you to read what I did on my journey and understand my realizations. I think it’ll make what you have to say make more sense. So please read this.”

She handed the papers to me and everyone crowded around me to read what they said; they were basically the last entry in here, my dear diary. As we read, we were amazed by the sheer volume of it all. There were some giggles regarding the hay bale incident, and I won’t deny that I gasped when I read about the volcano-hopping journey. I looked over at my wife, who was sitting on a chair very content with herself. She’d been inside a volcano! I’m glad I’m not human; I would have passed out at that point. After reading all of it, it was Jacob who volunteered to speak up first. He was going to speak on behalf of himself and the wolves.

“Welcome home Esme.” He hugged her. He had a paper out which he was reading from, and you could tell his hands were shaking. He continued, “I wanted to start off by saying that, since I have met you, you have replaced that nurturing figure in my life. And not just because your cooking rocks. Though Seth and Leah are still lucky to have their mother, I am not as fortunate. But I have you. You have become sorta like an adoptive mom to me. You make me feel wanted and warm. The other two also appreciate everything you have done for them. Leah being the last to finally wake up to how much you mean to us. We want to thank you for being you. I wanted to thank you for being a mother to me . . . my mother to me.”

          By the time he finished, he was crying. Nessie and the wolves had tears rolling down their faces as well. Esme was so touched that she stood up, walked up to him, and put her arms around him as he continued to sob into her shoulder. None of us really realized that, other than myself and Alice, everyone in that room had a mother when they were turned into a vampire. Jacob was the only human in the room who did not have a mother. The sobs finally abated and it took a while. It seemed like he had been holding that within him for a long time.

Seth gave Esme a long hug as well. Leah didn’t really know what to do with herself. She kind of looked over at Bella for help. Bella smiled encouragingly at her. To make matters easier, Esme extended her hand for Leah to shake. She wanted to make it as easy as possible for Leah, who gratefully took it and shook it. Leah looked Esme directly in the eyes for the first time and smiled a genuine smile at her. After that she went to stand near Bella again. The wolves were done.

Edward stepped up to the plate next. “Esme, I’ve known you as long as Carlisle has. You’ve always been an amazing woman and I sincerely apologize for taking you for granted. I never, for a moment, thought of you as a weak woman, knowing everything you’ve been through. When reading about your adventures, even though the volcano thing definitely was unexpected in one way, I wasn’t  completely surprised. I’ve learned after being with Bella that women are a lot braver than men. And it doesn’t matter which species. It was Bella, actually, who first noticed your absence. And just the other day, she chided both Nessie and me for not saying thank you to you; so we are saying it now. You are an amazing woman and mother to me, to all of us as well. Thank you for everything you do.”

          Edward step forward to hug Esme who hugged him tightly. Bella and Nessie stepped forward, Esme tried to wave them away but they still wanted to be there. Rather Nessie had something to say and was so nervous she had asked her mother to stand with her. Esme winked at Bella who smiled back. Bella was the only one, other than Jacob, who never took Esme for granted, so she was off the hook; in fact she tried to help her as much possible.

“Um. Hi, Grandma . . . w-welcome home,” Nessie began with a stutter, looking at Bella, who smiled with reassurance, urging her to read what she had written.

Renesmee continued. “So, when you left, I felt so bad . . . like I was a very bad person. I never meant to ignore you or make you feel like I was taking advantage of you or what you did in any way. If I did, I’m very, very sorry. I hope you can forgive me. I have the most amazing family in the world and I love every single one of you, even if sometimes I can act like a brat.” There were giggles a that. “I am a teenager, though, so you will have to help me. And Grandma, I want you to help me be a teenager, too. I love you very much.”

Nessie glanced up and a smiling Esme hugged her. Nessie was quite adorable when she was contrite. 4 left to go: Alice, Jasper, Rose, and Emmett; the latter of which shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. The four of them walked forward together and each had written a little spiel, which they wanted to read. They went in the order written above. Alice smiled at Esme, gave her a hug first before even opening her mouth.

Esme, I was very upset when you left us and even more upset that you had Rogue mask your thoughts so we wouldn’t find you. I do feel bad if you felt neglected, because that’s not at all how we feel about you. I personally think you are an amazing woman, mother, and apparently you should take some karate so you don’t decapitate anyone with any more farming props.” Everyone laughed and Alice continued. “I always miss you when you’re gone because I feel like we connect on a special level. Just like Jacob, you are the only mother I’ve ever known, or remember, rather. So I love you very much and always will. Next time you plan to run away, take me with you, okay?” Everyone laughed except for Jasper, who furrowed his brow only to have Alice stick her tongue out at him. Leave it to Alice to lighten up the mood.

Jasper spoke next after clearing his throat. “Esme, I am not the emotional type and you know that. I can control other people’s emotions, which sometimes can leave me devoid of any of my own. That doesn’t mean that I disregard you and all you do for this family. I simply have no idea how you do what you do. I will always be grateful for how you took both Alice and I into your home in the beginning with open arms, no questions asked. You always treated me like I was your son and that feels mighty nice. Do apologize if it doesn’t always come across.” Jasper finished his speech sounding more like pure Texas than ever, making everyone smile. He hugged Esme quickly and then let Rosalie step up.

Rose smiled a small smile before beginning.  I have been considered the coldest member of the family because I never wanted this; I never wanted eternity. I wanted happiness; what I failed to realize at the time was exactly what happiness means. As a human I went about it wrongfully, and even didn’t do so hot as an immortal. If it wasn’t for Emmett, Bella, Nessie, and most importantly, you, Esme, I think I’d still be that block of ice you knew and didn’t love all that much. You were very persistent in showing me what the true meaning of love and family is; I must admit I fought against it for a long time. But once I gave in, I realized what an absolute fool I’d been for having resisted it for so long. You were so right: Love and happiness are what you make them, and not some cookie cutter shaped something. For that I thank you and I do love you even when I don’t show it.” Rose’s honesty stunned everyone. She went beyond everything and really dug deep to find what she wanted to say; we were really proud of her. Esme was shocked and got up and hugged her so tightly, I thought Rose may get squished.

Emmett cleared his throat. Last but not least. “Me, me, me, me, me. . . . Oh yeah sorry, I’m not singing. Yes, I know I have issues.” Everyone rolled their eyes. “Anyway,” Emmett continued, “we aren’t here to talk about me, though a fun topic that would be. I wanted to say that if Jasper has or feels no emotions then I suppose I’m just a block of granite. I guess it’s because of how I was raised to believe that men didn’t show emotions but were always there to protect and serve, so to speak. I always had a sense of humor but you, Esme, make me feel like I can be a goof ball and still be loved for it. You told me once that I was one of a kind and unique; at first I thought you were trying to butter me up or were trying to tell me in a nice way what a screw up I was. In reality, you loved me for me. You took me as I am and still cared enough to be a mother to me. Yes, I do admit that I do act like a giant child sometimes, but I can’t help it. Please forgive me if my appreciation hasn’t been shown properly.” He bent like a gentleman, looked at her and winked. He reached out his hand, but Esme pulled him in and hugged him tightly. “See? She can’t stay mad at me forever,” he proclaimed to more eye rolling.

          At last, everyone had finally said everything they had to say. It was Esme’s turn to tell everyone her thoughts about what she had heard.

“That was definitely a very wide range of apologies, but one thing is for sure: each showed your true selves in them. I do accept your apologies and they mean a lot to me. I love every single one of you with all of my heart, whether it beats or not. All I ask is that you respect me the same way I respect you. There will be times when we disagree and/or you forget to say thank you—that’s understandable. But please don’t just assume something will get done for you. I think I may take Alice up on her offer to learn karate though. . . . Sounds like fun!” 

Everyone laughed at once.

          At that point we had a group hug and decided that if we ever felt under-appreciated or overwhelmed, we would immediately speak with whomever we feel safest with, and that’s not always our mates. Prior to her leaving, Esme had felt that she didn’t have a “best friend,” so to speak, but afterward it seems her and Rogue have connected in a special and unique way. Then again, who cannot connect with Rogue?

“Did I hear my name being thought of?” Rogue suddenly appeared next to Esme making all of us jump. She really has to stop doing that. She winked at me.

“Lord. Stop doing that! You’re going to give us a heart attack one of these days!”  Jacob complained for all of us.

“Nah, you’ll live,” she said with a smile. 

With that, all of the Watchers. and I mean all of them—Peter included—appeared in our living room. It got crowded really fast. Everyone was happy everything had been worked out.

Alexander gathered all of our attention and when we all looked at him, he said, “Now that all of you are happy, I would like to cordially invite you for an extended vacation on Rogue’s Isle! All of us are going, Kim included, and we would love for you to join us. The island is massive and has more than enough room to fit everyone with extra room to spare. What do you say?”

“We would love to, thank you so much for thinking of us,” I spoke on behalf of everyone.

“When would we leave?” Nessie asked excitedly.

“Probably either next Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll fly you guys over there, luggage and all. We’ll have to make two flights, as usual. Who’s staying behind for flight number two?” Amy asked, and Esme and I raised our hands simultaneously. No brainer there.

“Oh my goodness, that means we have to go swimsuit shopping!” Alice squealed to a whole lot of groans in the room.

          At that point Esme and I left everyone in the living room to discuss our upcoming trip. We had our arms around each other and walked upstairs to our master suite. Now I could have my lavender bath and feel whole. I had my wife back and life couldn’t be sweeter.

~Carlisle Cullen

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July

16th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Soul Searching and Finding (Esme’s POV)

Dear Diary:

          I am sitting on a log in Alaska right now, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the absolutely gorgeous view. My trip here took me through breathtaking places, emotional rides, and some serious soul searching. I know that Carlisle and the family have already figured out that I left and Rogue had her instructions on what to tell them. I have so much to tell you about my trip and I do have photos below that explain in more visual detail everything I saw; well everything we saw since Rogue shadowed me for about 98% of the time. Amy took the other 2%.

          When Carlisle left for work that day at 6 a.m., everything was already ready for my departure. My thoughts were masked; not like anyone in the family would really even notice me gone at that hour, or at any hour for that matter. The Watchers would also vanish to make sure that they couldn’t be found until the needed time. So as soon as I kissed Carlisle goodbye and saw him leave in his car for the hospital, I slowly closed the door. I walked back upstairs to our master bedroom and its closet. I put on my favorite soft sweater, skinny jeans, most comfortable boots to run in, and a suede jacket. I brushed my hair, applied a bit of lip gloss. I looked presentable and ready for my cross country journey.

          I made sure to leave all of my stuff including cellphone, keys, purse, and everything in it on the table by the door where they can easily find them when the search began. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think anyone would notice my absence until it was time to head to bed, so to speak. I gave them 24 hours to figure out something was wrong or off. When I was entering Alaska and stopped to look at a polar bear and Rogue told me that Amy had come to replace her, as she had to go back to our house because, as she said it: “The shit was about to hit the fan,” I was surprised that only 13 hours passed since I left for them to notice something.

          But that part of the story you already know. This is my story; the story of my soul searching & finding experience. The expedition into who am I really?

As I left New Hampshire and headed west, I ran through what seemed like hundreds of miles of forest. All kinds of forests too: some were still dark from the night, others were starting to see dawn and then there were the waterfalls. I even jumped over one with a rainbow. I actually jumped through the rainbow; the joy was indescribable! I can’t explain to you what that felt like. For a brief moment I felt like a Watcher; I felt like I were flying.

          Then there was the incident with the hay bales; I still giggle at the thought. That actually happened before the rainbow-jumping. I was running through open fields in Kansas and those large things were just lying there. So I thought, Wouldn’t it be fun to kick one across the field? So I did. Then another one came along and I whirled around and did a cool karate kick and chucked that one . . . except I failed to notice that Rogue—who was always flying above and a little behind me, though totally invisible—had become slightly visible and I, by total accident, chucked the second one at her. It totally missed her head by about five inches. She dodged out of the way and shook her head at me.

“You know, I’d like to keep my head attached to my shoulders. That would be highly preferable,” she said, shaking her head. I looked horrified and then I just couldn’t stop laughing and I actually fell down and kept laughing. She laughed with me.

          When my fit of giggles had passed—and it took a while!—I got back up and, after getting my bearings, continued on my way. My next obstacle was the Mississippi River. I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to swim it or jump over it. So I decided to swim it, because cold or hot didn’t do anything to me, and by the time I started running again, with how fast I could run, my clothes would dry in no time. So I dove right in. As I swam, at a speed slightly faster than that of a human, I started to figure out what was missing in my life.

This.

The stopping to smell the roses type of thing. To kick a hay bale. To swim a river. To laugh at doing something stupid. I was always expected to do the mature thing. I was always taking care of someone or something, making something for someone—always on the go.

Enough.

As I neared the other side, I looked up at where Rogue was. She was once again invisible but I could feel her and I felt her acknowledge my epiphany. After the exhilarating swim, I decided I wanted to run through Colorado and check out their rock formations; I had seen Jasper reading about them one day in a book and thought that would be so neat to see. It was on my way there that I ran into the nomad from south of the border. And I literally mean ran into. . . . If I hadn’t feigned to the left at the last possible moment, we would have collided head-on. We both stopped and looked at each other in surprise; I had hopped onto a rock at that point and he was on a log.

He was the first to speak. “Um, hola señora. I terrible sorry; I nearly ran into you. I should watch where I going. I not from America.”

He had a heavy hispanic accent and was very tanned. I couldn’t tell if he was Mexican or from even more south. His English wasn’t all that great, either, but I understood him. His eyes were red and his clothes were those of a typical nomadic vampire: worn out but durable. He was looking at me just as I was studying him.

“It is all right. It is my fault as much as yours; I too have to watch where I’m going. I just didn’t think there would be anyone else of our kind in these parts,” I said with a light smile.

“Ah, si. I understand. You know America good?” he asked curiously.

“I think I do. I’ve lived here all my life,” I told him.

“Oh. Good, good. Maybe you help me? I want go to Canada and I lost map and don’t know how go now.” He looked confused as he pointed in every direction.

“Oh, you’re lost! I’m sorry to hear that. Well, all you really have to do is go that way straight and not turn anywhere. We are in the state of Colorado, so if you keep going north, you will cross the border soon enough. Do you have someone in Canada who can help you?” I pointed him to where north was as he nodded and listened to what I was saying.

“I have an amigo but don’t know where he at. He said when I come to Canada he find me.”

“Just keep going north, and you’ll be in Canada in no time.” I smiled again getting ready to depart now that I’d given him everything he needed to know.

“Maybe señora come with me to Canada? You look alone. . . . I is good friend to you,” he managed to say with an inviting smile. I could literally feel Rogue’s growing anxiety even though she was totally invisible.

“Oh, that’s a very kind offer but I’m married.” I showed him my ring right then, to his very obvious disappointment. “And I’m on my way to Alaska to see my cousins. I think you will have no more trouble with getting to Canada. Good luck with your travels.” With a smile and a wave I sprinted away west toward my next destination.

          He looked after me with a mixture of regret and something I’d rather not even think about, and then shook his head and headed north. I made sure to zigzag a bit just in case he decided to follow, but Rogue became corporeal again just to say, “Don’t worry. He is on his way north,” before doing her invisible thing again. I shook my head and laughed; never a dull moment. I then decided to travel to Arizona because I’ve never seen a cactus before. I saw one that had pretty pink flowers on it; did you know cacti grew flowers? I didn’t. I just thought they were prickly.

I heard a weird rattling sound. It was a rattle snake and it was near my foot. So I picked it up and looked at it as it tried to bite me. Yeah okay. I kind of swung it around by its tail, then by its head, pitching it quite far. Pretty sure it wasn’t going to die; just perhaps develop a really bad case of vertigo. After that I skipped by different cacti and other awesome plants. I saw three massive scorpions battling over some kind of bug. I watched that show for a while and then decided that I’d seen everything Arizona had to offer and continued on my merry way.

          Now it was time to run up the coast. I decided to head into California and go visit the famous Redwood forest park with those massive trees that look like they reach into outer space. I must have spent a good three hours just wondering around the park, I’m surprised my head didn’t fall off from straining my neck just to see the top. I took the time to also hunt and the mountain lions in the area tasted different than the ones in New Hampshire, but variety is always a plus. Suddenly I decided that I wanted to run up one of those redwoods and I did. Talk about being on top of the world! I felt like I was higher than a mountain. And I could actually see a mountain in the distance that was spewing smoke. I knew that was my next destination. I jumped from redwood to redwood, almost falling once but enjoyed the freeing ability of it all.

          Anyone want to take a guess what mountain I saw in the distance that was spewing smoke that I was running to next? Mt. St. Helens! For those that don’t know what that is, Mt. St. Helens is a volcano in Washington State and it blew its top in 1980 to such an extreme that it decimated everything within miles and the ash cloud flowed all around the world. It was spectacular to see then and it’ll be even cooler to go inside the volcano now. Yes you heard me right, inside the volcano. It’s no longer spewing magma or lava so it’s, for the most part, safe for us vampires to take a look in. Fire is our enemy, but who hasn’t delighted in a little danger now and again.

         I ran to the volcano and hopped around inside; sulfur isn’t a very pleasant smell so I didn’t stick around there very long, but as I hopped back over the edge and away from the mountain I realized something else about myself that made me cackle with glee: I’m Esme the daredevil! Why, Carlisle would have had a heart attack if he knew I went into an active volcano that was semi-dormant. Wow. I actually did that! How exhilarating, and just down right groovy. And I don’t care if that word is no longer used.

Time to head to Alaska.

          As I entered the state of Alaska, I ran closer to the water and saw a bunch of polar bears. I wanted to go swimming with them but there was a hurricane brewing so I decided against it. But I did see one polar bear jump from one iceberg to another, which was lovely. He had a lot of balance for so much girth. I knew I was nearing the Denali household and that’s when Rogue became corporeal and stopped me. She told me Amy was there to replace her as I finished my journey. My family was in full panic mode so she had to go. I told her what to give them and which song to play for them. She nodded, floated down long enough to hug me, then took off into the air, flying away. Amy, meanwhile, became corporeal long enough to give me a hug and smile. She disappeared as I continued on my final miles to my destination.

          Just as I was arriving at the Denali’s—their house, by the way, sits by a big lake that overlooks the mountains—a huge bald eagle flew from a tree over the lake and over my head as I stopped and watched it in wonder. What a magnificent creature. Amy had flown ahead and had already told the Denali’s what was happening. By the time I arrived at the front door, they welcomed me with open arms. We sat in their living room while Amy said her farewells and returned home, and I spoke about my journey, what had made me do it in the first place, and what I saw and did while on it. I told them the whole Ferguson story, which made quite a few people’s eyes bug out, to say the least. There were even a few gasps from the females regarding the whole volcano thing, but I could see Garrett, Eleazer, and Marcus appreciated how brave I was. They hadn’t expected me to do half of the stuff I did.

          So here I am. Writing to you while I sit on a log. It’s 24 hours later, and they told me their home is open to me for as long as I need it. They understood that my family had acted selfishly and that they all needed to figure out exactly how they needed me aside from the, ‘Give me/get me/do this for me/take me/bring me/make me stuff’ things.

I’m sad that I have upset Carlisle, but it really was the only way. And even he took me for granted many a time. So now it’s Esme time. And this trip has already taught me so much about myself. I feel exhilarated, happy, and my eyes have been opened to some amazing facets of myself.

          I am more than a mother, wife, partner, chef, and chauffeur. I am first and foremost a woman. I am a forest-running, hay-bale-kicking, giggling, rainbow/waterfall-jumping, river-swimming, nomad-dealing, rattlesnake-throwing, scorpion-watching, tall-tree-climbing, volcano-hopping daredevil and adventurer!

In other words, my name is Esme Cullen, and I’m a kick-ass vampire. And I deserve/demand respect.

Sincerely yours,

Esme

~Carlisle Cullen

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July

13th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ She’s Gone

Dear Diary:

          I’m still trying to absorb just how blind I have been lately; how blind we all have been and selfish. It has seemed perfectly normal to go about our daily routine and not really realizing that one of our most beloved members, the only woman who keeps me whole in every way possible, has been feeling like she is no longer needed. Even worse, she feels like “part of the furniture.” The fact that I’m writing this at all is amazing considering this woman; my wife is still not here. She’s still not home. As I know all of you know more than me about this as she had written it down; I will tell you what happened from where she left off.

          3 days after that hunting trip I had finally decided to go back to the hospital. I had a whole week off, and it was actually Esme who called the hospital and spoke to Bill about my taking the time off. She told him that I was helping lift some furniture and a piece slipped, spraining my arm pretty badly. Bill told her that it was not a problem and even laughed when she said that she would staple my trousers to the floor in order for me to not go to work. I wasn’t going to go against her wishes; I liked all of my pants in one piece, thank you very much!

          That morning I got dressed and was very happy to be returning to work. I hugged and kissed Esme on my way out of the door. She seemed a bit more quiet then usual, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. I walked out and, without looking back, got into my car and drove away. Hindsight is 20/20 and how I wish now that I had looked back. Would I have seen her pain? Would she have shown it to me?

          I worked a full 9 hour day and had quite the variety of patients. Charlotte was back from her honeymoon and we took some time during lunch to talk about it and how much she appreciated everything Alice did for her. We were in a good mood even though we were both in the ER that day. And boy did we have a zoo and a half in there. First of all, 3 teenage girls were brought in handcuffed to their respective gurneys because they’d apparently attacked another girl who finally got the nerve to fight back and she had hit them all with her tennis racket. She was also at the hospital because they had actually stabbed her. How she still managed to defend herself is beyond me.

          After that we had 5 (not kidding) women go into labor within 7 minutes of each other; 2 were delivered via C-section. The others were natural births, one of which had quadruplets. After all of that, we had a few mentally ill people who had gone off their medication come in to be readjusted or sent to the psych ward for evaluation. One of them was convinced that I was a walking tree and that I had a tail which he was trying to grab; that was a new one for me, I have to admit.

          I then changed back into my regular clothes and went home, when I got there it was still relatively light outside. All of the cars were in the driveway, so I parked mine and walked into the house where most of my family was lounging around in one way shape or form. All of the Watchers were conspicuously absent, though we knew they disappeared from time to time to do whatever. I didn’t give it much thought and went upstairs to change out of my office clothes into comfortable home clothes and my favorite loafers.

          Expecting to see Esme in our master suite, I was surprised to find the rooms empty. As I changed, I felt that something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Needless to say, I went downstairs and joined my family who were all doing some various form of debating. Some were talking about parties while others—especially the men—were talking politics. I sat down in my favorite chair and took out that day’s brand new NYT and started to read. I don’t know how much time had passed because I had already reached the business section of the paper when I heard Bella speak up.

“Um, where’s Esme?” she inquired.

Everyone looked around, quite obvious that she wasn’t in the room with us.

“Well she isn’t in the kitchen,” said Jacob, emerging from that room with a plate full of food.

“She isn’t anywhere in the house,” Edward noted, his eyes narrowing and as he listened.

“I did see her car parked out front when I got home,” I said, puzzled.

Nessie frowned. “Yeah, but the car hasn’t moved at all since you left for work, Grandpa.” 

“What? What do you mean it hasn’t moved? I saw her this morning around 6 a.m., when I left for work.” A gnawing feeling started in my stomach.

“So what you’re all trying to say is that no one has seen her since?” Rose asked.

          Rose then got up and headed toward the phone. She called the Denali’s, who said she wasn’t with them. Then Rose called Esme’s own cellphone, which we heard go off in the house, when we located it; it was lying on the table by the front door beside her purse which held all of her things, including her ID, credit cards, driver’s license, and whatever else a woman usually carries in her purse. She even left the keys to the house. We all stood there in absolute shock.

“She’s gone! She’s left all of her things and she’s gone! What if she never comes back?” Nessie whispered horrified. Bella soothed her but her face was incredibly worried.

          Nessie’s words mirrored my thoughts, which were now in a bunch of different places. What if something bad happened to her? What if Ferguson had more men and she was kidnapped somehow? Where was she? And if she was kidnapped, knowing Esme she would have left some sort of a sign to show us how to find her, but she hadn’t. It’s as if she disappeared without a trace . . . on purpose. Which made me feel even worse. Why would my wife leave our family? Now the absence of every single Watcher was something that was weighing heavily on my mind.

“Alice can you see anything? Can you see where she is? Is she safe?” Edward asked.

Alice concentrated but shook her head. “I can’t see her at all. It is literally as though she fell off the edge of the earth.”

“Dear lord, if we only knew that she was all right. That’s all that matters,” I said, sinking into a chair with my head and face in my hands all but hunched over. The rest of the family sat down all with tears in their eyes.

“She is fine.”

          A voice echoed from what seemed like the entire room which snapped all of us to attention. Just then a light appeared in our doorway to the living room. The light dissipated to reveal Rogue. I knew then that my thoughts were confirmed that the Watchers had something to do with Esme’s disappearances, or vice versa.

“Vice versa,” Rogue said, reading my mind. Her face was blank but at the same it held a very disappointed expression, as if she was disappointed in all of us.

“Please Rogue, tell us what happened? Where is she? Why did she leave?” I asked.

“Do you really want to know?” 

“Of course,” Bella answered.

          With that, Rogue produced two sheets of paper and handed them to me. I gasped as I realized they were in Esme’s handwriting. My family gathered all around me so they could also read her words. There was instant sobbing. How could we have not seen this? Rogue had basically handed us the entry you folks read last. I felt like my dead heart was being ripped out of my chest.

          As we all came to terms with the fact that our beloved matriarch felt left out and insignificant to the family and how she felt being taken for granted and felt invisible to all but me of course. Even Emmett, who almost never shows any vulnerable emotions, was blinking through tears trying very hard not to show anyone. The emotion radiating throughout the room was pain and guilt; and it wasn’t even Jasper’s handiwork. Jasper was having a difficult enough time controlling his own emotions, let alone trying to fix others. Rogue just stood there watching everyone digest what they just read.

          Then she walked over to where our surround sound stereo system was and produced a CD that she then inserted into the little CD slot. Music started to play softly.

Before we could ask anything she said, “Esme also asked me to play this song for you, and for all of you to listen very carefully to the lyrics.”

Then she turned the song up; it was Jewel’s song “Hands”; the link for which is provided below. We listened to the song as we’ve known it from the previous two decades, but this time the words really hit home. It was as though Esme was crying out through that song for us to see her and acknowledge her. My heart broke all over again. 

“I’ve known about Esme’s plan since the very beginning,” Rogue informed us. “I also asked her to let me know when she wanted to do it so that I could cover her thoughts so none of you could read them or even locate her. The reason for her leaving isn’t just to see if anyone would miss her; it’s also a journey of self-discovery. She wants to know who she really is. Everything here isn’t good enough anymore. She is her own individual and she wants to know exactly who that individual is. So she decided to go on a soul-searching journey across the country to see all the beautiful things nature has to offer and to think and find herself. I’ve shadowed her the entire time so I know she’s fine. In fact, I was very proud of her when she ran into a nomad somewhere in Kansas or Arkansas or Colorado . . . one of those states.”

          I gasped at that last part. Esme encountered a nomad on her own? She must have been terribly scared, I thought.

But Rogue shook her head. “The nomad was from south of the border and was trying to find his way up north into Canada somewhere and must have gotten lost along the way, so he literally asked her for directions. She was very polite and efficient in her answers. I could see he was intrigued by her, and even asked her to join him as he figured what would a woman be doing running around here alone. But she made it perfectly clear that she was married and going to visit her cousins in Alaska. I thought I would have to intervene but she handled herself like a seasoned veteran as she wished the nomad all the best and sprinted on her way. Of course all of this was after she nearly decapitated me with a hay bale!” Rogue smiled at the memory.

          We were still trying to absorb everything Rogue had told us about how Esme handled herself with the nomad. And I cursed at myself; how could I have doubted her? Of course she could take care of herself. There I went again making her seem meek when she really was strong and self-reliant.

Rose and I remembered something Rogue said. “Wait, I called the Denali’s and they said she wasn’t there and they hadn’t heard anything from her,” Rose said, her eyebrows raising.

“Of course they didn’t know because she never warned them she was coming. This was to be a surprise visit. And if my calculations are correct she should be already either arriving there or already there.”

“But if you said you were shadowing her the whole time, clearly you can’t be in two places at the same time,” Emmett added, and Rogue smiled.

“Amy’s with her right now. I have a second and third in command for a reason.”

We nodded; made sense.

“Hang on a second,” Jacob said. “Did you say she nearly decapitated you with a hay bale?”

Jacob stole my question. We all looked extremely puzzled while Rogue laughed.

“Yes, your wife is quite the character when she lets loose which is apparently something that she doesn’t do that often around here, for whatever reason.” When our eyes looked pained, she shook her head and continued. “So as she was running along in Ohio or Kansas, don’t remember which, I made the mistake of becoming more or less corporeal. That’s when she was running through an open field and decided to kick some of those hay bales around. To make a long story short, she kicked one at me with such force; I literally dodged out of the way at the last minute. She hadn’t realized I was so close to her and after the fact she was horrified for a split second then fell to the ground in a fit of giggles. I couldn’t really keep a straight face, either, to tell you the truth. After that passed, we continued on our way; every time we passed what looked like a hay bale she would let out a little giggle.”

          We all looked at Rogue with eyes bugging out of our heads I’m sure. Then her phone vibrated. A text message, which she looked at and smiled. She nodded to us. That meant Esme was now firmly encased with our cousins and Amy was returning home.

“But when will she be back?” Nessie asked pointedly. We all wanted to know.

“Well, a good part of that depends on you guys. You need to take these days and really think about what she means to you, Carlisle excluded. That one is kind of obvious. Because when she does decide to come home, there has to be some sort of discussion or explanation about how things will be different around here. She of course has to be ready to come home and at this moment in time she isn’t. She would have gotten to the Denali’s earlier if she hadn’t decided to take the scenic route. She really wanted to make the most of her journey as she saw the beauty surrounding her. This was her way of doing something for herself and not having to worry what anyone else thought or needed from her. I can tell you that she enjoyed her trip there very much. She was even thinking of taking a dip in the Bering Sea prior to going to the Denali’s but there was a hurricane and she didn’t want to deal with that. So now you know all of it.”  

Surprisingly it was Emmett who spoke next. “Esme’s right everyone. We have been neglecting and treating her like she’s just supposed to give us stuff. She doesn’t owe us squat. It’s actually vice versa. She makes this and every other place we’ve lived in a home, not just a house with rooms. She feeds the mutts delicious food. She teaches everyone different things and makes our lives warm and comfortable. I know I for one don’t remember the last time I said thank you to her for something she did. Do you?” Emmett wrapped up his monologue with a question that had everyone thinking and a lot of people wide-eyed shaking their heads no.

“We’re really bad people,” Nessie said softly as Jacob hugged her.

“No, Nessie. We aren’t bad people. We are just inconsiderate people. We are so used to just doing things and running out the door we never stop and think where it comes from and who gave or brought it to us in the first place,” Alice said wisely.

“I think the only one who has consistently regarded and made Esme feel comfortable and like she belonged and cared for was surprisingly Jake,” Bella pointed out.

Jacob who usually hated being put on the spot looked up at everyone and said, “That’s right. And you wanna know why? Because I lost my mother when I was a young kid. Esme has been the closest thing I had to a real mother since then. I will always cherish that. No matter whether she cooks enough food to feed an army; it’s not about the food.” He paused. “OK, some of it is about the food. But mostly is that even before we all became one lovey dovey family, she still always treated me and the rest of the wolves with respect and dignity. So that’s why I can honestly say that I love Esme as if she was my own mom.” 

          Rogue left us all to our own devices so we could figure out how to proceed next. One thing was for sure: Esme wasn’t coming home until she was good and ready. The Denali’s were told about everything and they agreed she needed some away time. I, meanwhile, felt like a zombie. It was nearly 1 a.m. by then and I had work the following morning; people had to get some sleep—those that could sleep, that is. The rest of us just went back to our rooms to figure out what to do next and how to fix this one giant bad action or decision. We decided to regroup the following morning to discuss how to proceed. I guess we were all going to find out the hard way, would we be able to live without Esme and for how long? I wanted her back this second. But the others really needed to realize this more than me.

          As I prepared to take a bath, I couldn’t even pour my favorite lavender bubble bath in as that was something we would always do together. Small things like that I missed. Her laugh when I would tell her a joke, our quiet afternoons in the backyard on the swing or the hammock; even our times hunting together. I guess one never realizes how much a person means to them or when they create memories until that person is no longer around. With those memories in mind, I walked out to the backyard to stare at the sky.

So while I sit here in the backyard not even wanting to go back inside and stare at the stars, I’m wondering what she’s thinking about. I’m wondering if she will come back soon.

But mostly, I just want to tell you guys to cherish your loved ones; be it friends, family, or a combination of both. You never know when your lack of attention will hurt that person enough to make them go away. Though I know in my heart of hearts, Esme will return to us, perhaps in your case it won’t be that easy. Do not take anyone for granted . . . ever. Love, respect, thank and cherish each other; each day and each moment. People aren’t just objects you can come and use when you deem necessary and then toss back into the other choice pile. Because I don’t want my family’s heartache to be felt by any of you. Always remember that saying: “You may lose the moon while counting the stars.”

~Carlisle Cullen

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Link to song “Hands” by Jewel:

Jewel ~ Hands

July

12th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Through My Eyes (Esme’s POV)

Dear Diary:

          Good afternoon. I’m sure everyone knows and understands how what had just happened affected Carlisle. But I seriously doubt anyone really understands how it affected me. Yes, I understand we have more mind readers in the area than ever before. But perhaps—other than Rogue—not too many people can read your soul.

          So while Carlisle was out hunting with the boys—he was still feeling weak and was listening to Rogue’s advice about hunting more often to get his strength—I took an old notebook out from a cupboard that I used to write recipes on and decided to write out my feelings. No matter how much I adore Carlisle and how much I love speaking to him for hours and hours, some things just can’t be voiced through words. So just like others before me, I will write down what I feel and staple it into his diary for him to read and share with you. That way you can understand everything through my eyes.

          Now you all have to understand, I didn’t care one bit about the whole Ashley/Carrie situation because as immortals, mortal drama doesn’t affect us. Yes I was very upset and sad about all the havoc she created, but when it came to personal danger for us, she was nothing but a flee. When it was all said and done, if she ever came after me personally, I would have just snapped her neck and gotten that over with. I’m sure you know I’m not a cold-blooded killer, but I will defend myself however I see fit if the need arises. Needless, to say I’m glad she is on death row and is out of our hair for good.

          However, this whole ordeal with Ferguson and having my husband, my love, the very purpose of my existence, writhing in pain on the ground with his arm literally torn off almost made want to throw up and pass out at the same time. When Ferguson turned his attention to me saying that I would become his after he destroyed Carlisle and my family, I had the worst kind of flashback you can imagine. I felt like I was back in my mortal life and barely escaping the clutches of Charles, my horrific husband from that time. For a brief moment while we were all paralyzed, I felt like I was back on that cliff ready to jump.

          I know Edward read my mind and the look of anguish on his face said it all. He remembers that time all too well himself. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that if it wasn’t for the Watchers saving everyone, it would have gone exactly the way Ferguson had said it would. I would have either run away from him or fought him until he destroyed me too. I would never have stood for being touched by another man, especially not someone as grotesque and murderous as Ferguson.

          Amy had something interesting to say when she chased the last one into the forest after Rogue destroyed the other 3. She said that just before she decimated him she read his mind and figured out their plan. They had planned to come here, destroy all of us, then go to Denali and take care of our cousins after which—since there was apparently no more Volturi—create a full-blown newborn army numbering in the millions and take over the world! How sick is that? What they never counted on was the existence of the Watchers.

          Ferguson wasn’t that much older than Carlisle. When Carlisle was turned, he was maybe about 30 years old himself—post transformation I mean. What made him go on this rampage and harm innocent people is beyond me. I sit here trembling as I write each letter, each word. Because our family is so large, and mostly all of the attention is focused on the more outspoken members, I am often left behind in a sense, or the background of my family. A lot of times that’s just fine with me, especially now that we have the Watchers here. We feel safer than ever.

          Other times I feel that, even though I am loved, the people around me, save for the wolves who can’t get enough of my cooking, don’t really appreciate all that I do for them. I must admit that I often feel taken for granted; like I’m supposed to be there kind of like part of the furniture. I am Carlisle’s wife and that’s really it. What do I have really to contribute to this family other than being a chef to our oversized wolves? It’s like everyone has someone but me; I’m not talking about mates. We are all finally paired off. I mean when it comes to best friends: Bella has Leah—which kind of makes Alice jealous and it’s cute. Michelle and Nessie are inseparable. Kim and Rosalie have found a common ground with the whole fixing-of-cars thing. Amy and Corin are always together.

          I have caught Rogue looking at me strangely a few times, but knowing that she’s a mind reader, I’m sure she’s figured all this out already. Sometimes, I just want to go for a walk and see if anyone, save for my husband, would even notice my absence. I think I’ll save that experiment until Carlisle is back on his feet 100%. I don’t want to be the careless wife who disappears just to prove a point when her husband needs her most. I will speak with Rogue first, though; I want her to know what is going on, if she hasn’t figured it, out and ask her to mask my thoughts so that no one will know what I’m thinking.

          I’m serious about doing this experiment. Sometimes, my family has become so complacent that I fear I’m not a valuable part of the family. Who knows? Maybe I’ll go visit the Denali’s during my absence. They haven’t heard the entire Ferguson story yet. I haven’t traveled alone in such a long time. I wonder if I even have the nerve to do it. But I must, I have to show myself that I’m self-sufficient. This whole incident with Ferguson has shown me one thing: that tragedy can happen when you least expect it and you have to be able to fend for yourself.

          I’ve always been protected by Carlisle, as he was the one who turned me, and Edward was already there. So I technically have never been on my own. As our family grew and expanded, I fell in love with every single one. I know in my heart of hearts that they love me too. The real question is: do they need me? Bella, Rose, Alice, and now Leah, know how to cook. Rose and Nessie can crochet and most of the ladies can tend to the garden. I need to go on this journey of self-discovery.

Who am I really? Who have I become? Can I survive without my family if the worst thing imaginable happened? I kind of understand the feeling of how human mothers feel when their children become teenagers and adults and no longer need them. I wonder how they deal with that? I imagine it’s far easier with humans, as they have short life spans compared to us immortals, and these things perhaps motivate them to take up sports or some other hobbies. I think I’m worn out from all the hobbies.

This scary event with Ferguson made me really want……no……more like need to reevaluate my life. It’s not the money, the large houses, the material things. I adore my family but I feel like I’m losing my sense of self. What do I contribute to this existence? In order to live a totally fulfilled immortal life and appreciate everything given to me fully, I must discover who I really am. I must understand whether my family really hold me in high regard or are they’re just so used to Mother Esme that I’m just there for sake of being there.

I’m not just a chauffeur. I’m not just the chef. I’m not just the wife of Carlisle the doctor, and I’m not just the mother, aunt and sister, or whatever story we are presenting at the time. But who am I? And I won’t be satisfied, nor will I stop looking, until I figure out the answers to those questions.

I hear Carlisle and the boys returning; time to put my best game face on and go tend to my husband. I really hope this hunting trip made him strong again so he’s back to his usual self. I firmly believe that this experiment will also strengthen the bond that Carlisle and I have. Complacency and lack of showing kindness towards others is deadly, even for immortals. As I walk downstairs, I see Rogue standing there. She is looking at me and only me and she nods softly. I nod back. Then I hear her voice in my head:

“Just tell me when you want to do it and where you see yourself going and we’ll do this. I completely agree that this is something you need to do. We all have moments when we question ourselves and our own identity. It’s a very important thing to know. And your family does need to figure out just how much you mean to them, which I suspect is a ton, but they need to learn how to show it. You’re absolutely right that ‘complacency and lack of showing kindness towards others is deadly, even for immortals’. So just give me a heads up and we’ll set this up. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep your thoughts as covered from everyone as possible.”

          She then winks at me, greets Carlisle and the boys and walks on her merry way. They look at her then me with a strange gaze, shrug it off, then go into the living room. Carlisle greets me with a kiss and a hug and then proceeds to follow the others into the living room and sit on the couch. When he notices that I am still standing at the door and not following him, he pats the seat next to him. I sit down as he puts his arm around me.

“Is everything all right sweetheart?” he asks as the others don’t even bother looking our way.

I nod. “How was the hunting trip?” I ask nonchalantly.

“It went great. We think one more and I’ll be totally healed. Plus I don’t feel the tingling sensation in my arm or hand anymore, so that’s a plus! Perhaps I can get back to work next week,” he says with a big smile that melts my heart.

“That’s wonderful, honey. It’ll be good to get back to normal,” I say.

          I feel bad that I will have to cause him heartache over my absence but I do feel this is the only way and I know my thoughts are covered totally by Rogue when I start thinking about this. Besides, she’ll be sort of shadowing me the whole time so I know if I get in trouble along the way, she’s not too far behind. It’s time to figure out who the real Esme is and whether she’s needed by people other than Carlisle.

Wish me luck.

Sincerely yours,
Esme

~Carlisle Cullen

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July

9th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Ferguson

Dear Diary:

          I felt like I was rooted to the spot. Before me stood the vampire who had turned me that night so long ago when I had been hunting him with my group of vampire hunters. He must have thought he killed me. I never for a moment thought I would see him again. I focused on the new arrivals. The one who was staring at me and who first spoke said:

“My name is Ferguson. Looks like I didn’t do such a great clean up job all those years ago as you are still alive, and have a whole brood of golden eyed freaks!”

“What do you want from us? Why are you here?” I asked point blank. It was obvious, this wasn’t a social or positive visit.

“To finish the job. My friends here and I are or were good friends with the Volturi who seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth when they came here months ago. We were told about you and your ‘vegetarian’ bullshit lifestyle and that you had a bunch of gifted members. Not as gifted as us of course.” The others with him laughed.

I looked at Edward who was looking very concerned indeed. As was Alice who looked a bit frightened.

“Their plan is to destroy you, Carlisle, then move on to us by having Nessie for dinner and dispatching the rest of us one by one.” Edward said.

“So you’re the mind reader. Well read this…….we are unstoppable, we are invincible. So might as well just give up and go quietly.”

          The wolves growled menacingly and tried to take a step forward, as did Jasper and Emmett but found that they couldn’t. Apparently, one of the vampire’s gifts was to root people in their places. Bella’s attempt to stretch her shield around everyone was futile as their gift was of the physical form as opposed to the mental. So now my whole entire family was helpless and I wasn’t even standing near them.

          We did have two Watchers with us at the time; Corin and Keith who were watching them with intense expressions. They were the only ones still being able to move but not giving it away, as apparently these cocky vampires have never heard of them and they didn’t want to give them any more advantages. What happened next, no one in their wildest dreams expected even the Watchers who knew it all. Ferguson, without waiting for anymore conversation, launched himself into the air at me so fast; I couldn’t even follow it with my keen vision. The next thing I knew or felt rather was tremendously intense pain in my right arm. When I looked at it, to my horror, it was gone! My right arm was torn away from my body and Ferguson who was standing a little ways away was holding it and juggling it with a laugh.

          I collapsed to the ground with a guttural groan, my eyes going blurry for the first time. I heard Esme screaming my name in the background but I couldn’t even focus on my wife. I have never felt such pain since the night Ferguson bit me to turn me. I tried to get up and focused on the horrified and agonized faces of my family.  Esme was screaming and dry sobbing.

“Oh look, your little wifey wants to be with you. Don’t worry baby….once I’m done with your pathetic mate, you can be my wifey, how does that sound?” Ferguson cackled gleefully staring at Esme with a hunger that made me want to throw up.

“You will not touch her.” I said but my voice was weak and feeble which made him laugh even harder. Esme looked at him in fear.

“Or what? What will you do? See, my gift or power is that I have the strength of a newborn but the mind of a seasoned veteran, so I’m invincible to you stupid freaks!”

          His companions waved their hands like get on with it already. Ferguson nodded at them and then moved a little ways away to launch him at me again for whatever it was going to be. I had never been this scared in my whole vampire existence. But just as he flew into the air, something got my attention; Corin and Keith’s eyes were glowing stark white. Ferguson’s companions noticed it as well but it was too late to warn him. He had already launched himself at me for a second blitz attack.

Just then a noise came whistling by in the air that sounded like a comet. It was the same color and the same speed. It went right through Ferguson! So when he fell back to earth we were all appalled to see that there was a perfect circular hole where his abdomen, ribs, and spine should have been! You could literally see right through him. Had he been human he would have been dead instantly. As it was he was wincing and writhing on his knees unable to get up.  

“What was that about being invincible?” A voice came out of the comet. It was still glowing above the ground and then slowly it started to take human form and then the light faded to reveal none other than; Rogue.

          Before Ferguson could react in any way, Rogue grabbed him by the right arm and leg and spun him around so fast that soon she was the one holding those two limbs and they were no longer attached to him or what was left of him anyways. He was laying on the ground a little ways away his face contorted in pain and now it was his turn to groan horribly; at least I could sort of sit up having still one of my arms. I don’t know why but at that point the strangest thoughts started pouring into my head like; I could never be a doctor again and how would I help my family with every day stuff. I was going to be useless. Who wants a one armed vampire? What if Esme fell out of love with me?

          The three vampires still standing by the edge of the woods stood horrified and transfixed by the sight before them; there lay their fearless leader who had conquered all and now he was in pieces. And the one who put him there wasn’t even a vampire. Quite obvious of course that she was an immortal with strength beyond their wildest dreams. Also this explained what happened to the Volturi. Just then Rogue nodded at Keith and Corin whose still glowing eyes illuminated my family and suddenly they could move again. Practically everyone was by my side in under a second.

          Suddenly there was movement behind us and we saw Amy, Alexander, John, Maria, Michelle, and Kim standing near Corin and Keith. All Watchers were officially in attendance. Amazingly, all of their eyes were glowing white like the other two; so white in fact that you couldn’t see their irises or pupils. Rogue refocused her attention to the two limbs she was holding in her hands and at the remaining 3 vampires standing by the trees who were trying very hard to override the command and make everyone immobile again which proved to be impossible.

          Rogue’s eyes, that up until that point were still their usual piercing blue, turned to that glowing white as the others were, with a heave, she slammed the limbs at two of the vampires standing by the woods, instantly decapitating them and carrying their body parts in half a dozen different places. The third, looking horrified at what just happened, turned tail and sprinted back into the forest, followed by Amy and Corin. I knew he was not going to get very far. And by screams I heard under 2 minutes later, I was totally right.

          Meanwhile, Ferguson was trying to somehow crawl away with the two limbs and half a torso he had left when Rogue leveled her glowing white eyes on him. Without so much as moving, she narrowed those eyes and Ferguson burst into flame. She was wearing the same dress she wore the very first day we met her on the battlefield with the Volturi. After the ‘garbage was cleaned up’ as the Watchers call it, they all focused their attention on me. Alexander found my arm which was lying a good distance away where it was flung when Rogue first got a hold of Ferguson.

          I was feeling woozy and my vision was all kinds of blurry. I felt like half of my body was missing. I didn’t know what to think or do anymore, but as long as my family was safe, at that moment I didn’t care what happened to me anymore. All of our mind reader’s heard that last thought:

“Oh no you don’t. Don’t even think that way Carlisle. We didn’t destroy those assholes for you to give up so easily on us!” Alexander said.

“Honey, please don’t leave me. I love you; I can’t bear to lose anymore loved ones.” I could hear Esme begging.

“Grandpa…..please……” Nessie had dissolved into tears and was being held by Jacob and Bella.

          No I couldn’t do that to my family, Nessie’s heartbreaking sobs melted my resolve, and especially not to Esme. I loved her too much to just give in to the pain. I’m a doctor for heaven’s sake. Just then everyone shifted and moved so that Rogue could kneel next to me. Alexander handed her my severed arm. Her eyes were so bright white I couldn’t even look into them because it was like looking at the sun. All of the other Watchers eyes had returned back to their original colors.

“Carlisle, I know my eyes are bright but you have to force yourself to look into them in order for me to do my job.” She said softly.

I complied though not before squinting in the beginning. Then it was if the white glow from her eyes just surrounded my whole being as I felt a small pressure and then a pop. Then my whole body was filled with warmth. After the warmth had subsided and Rogue’s eyes returned to their usual piercing blue, she smiled and nodded toward my right arm which to my and everyone else’s shock and amazement was once again attached to my body! I moved it around, up, and down……wiggled my fingers to make sure they moved. Everything was working well.

“You will feel mild tingling in your arm for a few days and your body will feel weak so I suggest when you’re up to it, you go hunting even though technically you don’t need it; it’ll just help the healing process move along faster.” She said matter-of-factly with a smile as Alexander and Emmett helped me to my feet.

          I experienced what humans call vertigo when I got up and was helped into the house by pretty much everyone. The family and I thanked Rogue over and over again. She just shrugged; all in a day’s work as she calls it.

“I don’t want you guys to feel like you can’t take care of yourselves, that we have to come to you rescue each time, but when you get vampires with physical gifts as opposed to mental ones and/or when you’re outnumbered, that’s when we feel it’s our duty to step in. I know you are pretty badass and kick some serious ass!” Rogue explained with a smile. I shook my head.

“We totally understand, we knew we were in trouble as soon as we couldn’t move physically.” Edward said as Nessie and Esme shuddered.

“Well let’s let Carlisle go rest and we’ll see you guys tomorrow.” The Watchers all hugged us on the way out.

          As I was helped upstairs still feeling woozy, Esme prepared our favorite lavender bath. I knew that would calm both of us down. The rest of the family went back to their respective houses to relax and de-pressurize from this insane day. I’m finishing this entry here because I am quite tired and Esme is here to help me into the bathtub. I hope your week is going better than mine.

I can’t reiterate it anymore about just how lucky I am to have my family…..all of my family……Watchers included.

~Carlisle Cullen

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July

7th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Blast From the Past

Dear Diary:

          So we had a wonderful time during our 4th of July celebration. The fireworks, the food, meeting Kim finally, and having all the arguments settled. All that screeching wasn’t just giving me a headache but a few others were like enough already! First we had a like 5 months of human drama with that insane woman now we have teenagers running rampant in our houses. Rogue has thankfully gotten over her embarrassment of the island Alexander has bought her and we are actually all planning a trip there at the end of July. As in all of us; family, wolves, and all of the Watchers which includes Michelle, Kim, and both of her parents. There won’t be a single supernatural soul left in NH for 11 days. We can sparkle in the sun and be totally fine with it because like Isle Esme, Rogue’s Isle is also made only for visiting parties. The difference is unlike Esme’s island which is located off the coast of Brazil, Rogue’s Isle is located within the Maldives which are half way around the world.

          Since there are 9 Watchers and 11 of us none Watchers, two will have to come back for those left behind because none of us will be traveling by airplane. Esme and I volunteered to stay behind as it would take about 15 minutes to transport everyone from NH to Rogue’s Isle via flying. But there are still a few weeks away before that happens. I’m currently writing in my diary sitting in the backyard. All of our more humanoid family members are complaining about the heat. Even here in NH it is a nice and scorching 86 degrees. But we do have the a/c going on full blast so it’s like you walk from the oven into an igloo. Nessie attempted to see if she could fry an egg on our driveway, but it had to be well over 100 degrees to do that so instead we had an egg run down our driveway like a small yellow eyeball while Nessie and Michelle collapsed in a fit of giggles. Edward with a sigh used a hose to wash it away.

          I’m glad to say that after Nessie’s little dramatic outburst the other day, all has returned to normal. Who knows maybe it’s her hormones kicking in. After all, she’s technically built like an almost 15 year old even though she’s only 5. Last week we had another very dramatic occurrence in Edward and Bella’s house which sent Bella and Leah to the drug store for some certain feminine products. Nessie was so embarrassed as it was her first time, she didn’t come out of her room until everything was washed and cleaned and she herself was cleaned up and taken care of with all of the necessary new “accessories” as Alice called them.

          Being a doctor though not an obstetrician, I knew all about the process girls went through when they hit puberty. This little monthly friend was just another one of them. Boys went through them too but without all the extra drama. Girls certainly went through a lot more changes and pain that’s for sure. Which after it happened, had both Bella and Edward visiting me in my office and asking whether since Nessie had this very human trait; would this mean she could eventually be able to have children of her own? I honestly couldn’t and still can’t answer that. Nessie is one of a very few kind; so therefore we don’t know how hybrids deal with pregnancy.

          Furthermore, there was the topic of the fact that the sole object of her affection and vice versa was Jacob; a shape shifting werewolf. If werewolves when bitten by vampires can be poisoned, who’s to say that when hybrid DNA and wolf DNA mixes, something drastic may not happen? Thankfully we have a couple of more years to think about that as Nessie is only turning 15 and Jacob though who knows he wants to be her husband someday, isn’t in any hurry to go forward with that process. Besides, after this little oopsy happened and then the drama queen argument over the dress that I can’t help but think are related; the only thing Nessie is thinking full steam ahead is her birthday party…..and she’s even figured out what she wants. She announced it the other day when the whole family and some of the Watchers were just relaxing in our living room. Ready for this?

“I want a dog.” Nessie said matter-of-factly while sitting cross-legged on the couch and playing with her hair.

“You want a what?” Edward said surprised; she had asked Bella to shield her thoughts so her over reacting father wouldn’t go bananas.

“A dog, a puppy, you know four legs, a tail, adorable.”

“I get the concept of it, Nessie thanks.” Edward said sarcastically.

“You asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I figured it out; I want a puppy.”

“Why Nessie? You already have Jacob!” Rosalie said with a small smirk from across the room; to which she received a half menacing growl.

“Stop it Aunt Rose! Jacob is a person and a wolf…..I’m talking about a small adorable puppy who I can carry around with me everywhere and take care of and love.”

“Do you know how much responsibility a dog or animal is of any kind? They need to be fed, washed, walked, and played with, to name a few.” Edward checked off on his fingers.

“Again I say……you already do all that with Jacob!” Rose was not letting up. Nessie ignored her at that point.

“Yes, I know that. But I’m willing to do all of that. Besides, daddy, you know me to be a very responsible person. I clean my own room and sometimes even Jacob’s! I am learning from mommy and grandma how to cook. I’m a responsible adult or almost one and I think I can take care for a dog.” She was standing firm as Edward’s eyes narrowed. He noticed Bella was not backing him up; which could only mean one thing.

“You have already made up your mind haven’t you? And that’s why I’m finding this out only today because she’s asked you to shield her mind.” Bella grinned in response.

“Yep. I think all of her points are valid. She is a mature young lady, save that one slip up a week ago but we know those were the hormones talking which is par for the course with a teenager around.” Bella said making Nessie blush.

“I don’t like how the two of you gang up on me like this.” Edward mumbled. The rest of us just smiled. Edward continued:

“You and I are supposed to be the partners here.” He moved his hand between himself and Bella, who just rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“That is true dear but you don’t always think before you react and this was the only way to tell you without having you go ballistic.” Bella explained.

“Tell me? Tell me?? You mean spring it on me don’t you??” Edward said, his eyebrows almost taking flight toward the ceiling.

“Case in point. See what I mean?” Bella gestured to his overreaction. Edward shut his mouth and stalked out of the room. Nessie looked worried.

“Don’t worry honey, he’ll get over it. Sometimes I wonder if daddy gets afflicted by hormones too.” Bella said smoothing her hair while the rest of us laughed.

“Yeah he has a bad problem of the open mouth insert foot syndrome.” Alice added with a wink.

“You realize I can hear all of you right????” Edward yelled from across the house.

“Good!” Bella, Alice, Rosalie, and Jacob yelled back in unison making everyone dissolve in laughter again.

          This is where I slipped out with my diary and began writing this entry. My family was nothing if not dramatic. But it would be great to let Nessie have the puppy. After thinking and writing that I heard Edward groan from somewhere in the house; sorry son! You’re fighting a losing battle here. Might as well give up and let the puppy search begin. Your daughter is going to be 15 only once. More grumbling from the house. I shook my head, he’ll learn sooner or later. Anyways, after thinking about the near future and all that still had to be done, I just kind of looked around the backyard and thought about how lucky I was.

          I wasn’t paying much attention to anything around me when I noticed my entire family walk out of the house onto the porch first then the back yard. At first I thought they were just looking to get some fresh air; but it wasn’t until I noticed that they all looked quite concerned and with that thought the three wolves growled and phased simultaneously, standing in front of my family. I got off the swing and started to walk toward them. Corin and Keith were with us so they stood really close to the wolves and concentrated toward a certain part of the back yard.

          I never reached my family as 4 vampires appeared out of the woods, the one in the lead, looked around until his eyes found mine as I gasped and the recognition and memories came flooding back. His clothes were old and shabby; his eyes were crimson red as were of those who were with him.

“Well well well……what do we have here?” The vampire said cockily.

“Carlisle, who is that?” Edward asked me without his eyes ever leaving the intruders face.

As the shock finally lifted……I managed to mumble…….

“That’s the vampire who turned me in the 1600s!”

To be continued…….

~Carlisle Cullen 

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July

4th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Independence Day – Cullen Style

Dear Diary:

“I AM NOT A KID ANYMORE!! STOP TREATING ME LIKE ONE! WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE SUCH A BIG DEAL OVER THIS??? IT’S STUPID!”

          I was sitting in my home office looking over some journals while Esme was sitting on the window seat looking out the window when we heard that followed by a slamming of the front door. We looked at each other. Hmmmm. Trouble in paradise?

“Renesmee Carlie Cullen! Don’t you dare speak that way to your mother and I!”

Edward’s voice was heard as the door was opened and slammed yet again. Time to go see what was going on before we no longer had a front door! Esme nodded as we both exited the office and were met in the hallway by a concerned looking Rosalie and a very puzzled Emmett. The four of us trouped downstairs as Edward and Nessie faced off in the living room. She was as red as a tomato with her arms crossed over her chest. Bella was standing behind Edward with a half angry; half concerned look on her face.

By then most of the family was gathered in the living room. Alice looked very upset which of course made Jasper unhappy. Leah and Seth came in after hearing the screeching from their cabin. Leah went to stand by Bella’s side and touched her arm in a comforting manner. Bella rolled her eyes at Nessie. Jacob was looking miserable on the couch. What on earth had happened? Reading my mind, Edward explained:

“Renesmee here wants to wear an outfit for her 15th birthday that both Bella and I feel is inappropriate for someone her age. It’s too revealing. Alice found it but didn’t want to show it to Renesmee because she knew how Bella and I would react, but she found it somehow and said she would wear it without our permission.” Edward finished the last part through clenched teeth.

Ah. The joys of parenting. I sighed and shook my head as Esme smiled.

“It is NOT too revealing…..it has flowers on the back! It’s not like I will be going out in it! I’ll be here at home with everyone!” Nessie retorted still looking angry.

“I don’t care if it has ducks on the back of it; it shows way too much skin for a girl your age! And that’s the last we will have on this subject! Alice and Michelle can help you pick out something age appropriate.” Bella said firmly.

“Oh you mean something with pigtails and white cotton all the way to my ankles so I look like a nun??” Nessie said in a nasty sounding voice which surprised us all.

“Ness, come on…..your parents are right. But anything you wear you will look beautiful in.” Jacob stepped in to try and smooth things over only to get his head bitten off.

“Oh shut up Jake! No one was talking to you! You don’t know anything about this!” She yelled at him making his eyes bug out.

“ENOUGH! RENESMEE SHUT YOUR MOUTH RIGHT NOW OR YOU WON’T EVEN HAVE A PARTY! YOU’RE VERY CLOSE TO HAVING EVERYTHING CANCELLED YOU GOT THAT??”

Surprising us all, it was Bella not Edward who screamed that part so loud even Edward jumped. Nessie looked at her with wide round eyes and her mouth hanging open. Hell, we were all looking at her like that. Bella’s eyes were blazing as she took a menacing step toward her daughter that made Nessie scramble back a step. She was used to Bella being the one who smoothed things over when Edward laid down the law. She had never seen her mother that angry. Now Nessie was looking more scared then angry. We all stood firm where we were without betraying our emotions. But inside I knew all of us were cheering; way to go Bella!!!

“Renesmee, you are given anything and everything you need and want always. I will not have you turning into a spoiled brat because of something we didn’t want you to wear, do you hear me?? There are people out there that don’t have birthday parties or any clothes to wear to them for that matter. Not everyone gets what they want all the time! You don’t want us to treat you like a child so quit acting like one!” Bella said each word slowly looking at Nessie without blinking.

She sort of reminded me of Rogue at that moment. I had seen her talking to Rogue yesterday so maybe Rogue had given her some pointers on parenting. We certainly have never heard Bella take such a hard line before; Nessie deserved it though, she was really acting nasty toward the people who only wanted the best for her. I guess this is what it’s like having a teenager in the house. We’ve never had one so this was new to us. Bella being turned the last, knew what teenagers were like so she was the best to handle this situation. Nessie was standing there gaping like a fish at her mother who continued to stare at her.

“But…..but……” Nessie tried to say something but was promptly cut off.

“Not another word, do you hear me? I was not kidding Renesmee; I will cancel your party if you continue on this track. This subject is closed!”

          At that point Bella turned her back on her daughter and walked away as Nessie’s shocked face dissolved into tears and she collapsed on one of the couches. This time though, none of us comforted her, not even Jacob who really wanted to but was all but pulled out of the room by Seth, Leah, and Edward. She deserved some time alone to think about what she had done and said. Nessie was beyond rude to everyone and though Alice felt horrible for inadvertently starting this, even she was surprised by how mean and hurtful Nessie’s words were especially to her parents and Jacob.

          As we all walked out of the room, all of a sudden I heard a voice in my head; Amy’s. “Is it safe to approach the house or is WWIII still going on?”

I chuckled as did a few other people because I’m guessing Amy’s voice wasn’t just heard in my head but other’s as well. I answered for everyone that we were going to make our way outside while our mini drama queen was still sobbing in the living room. We made our way onto the porch in the backyard just as the Watchers approached. Well most of them anyways. Michelle’s parents were once again on a mission somewhere; Michelle was MIA so we only saw Amy, Peter, Corin, and Keith; with Alexander and Rogue very slowly bringing up the back. They weren’t flying, they walked. Keith and Corin quickly went to their respective wolves. We all hugged each other. In this half a year that they’ve been here, they’ve become closer to us then our Denali cousins. We loved each one of them and we know they felt the same way. We knew that we would be together forever. Wherever we moved, they were moving with us; and that notion made everyone very happy.

The Watchers kept a distance from Bella who was still seething. Even Edward was a little nervous about approaching her. The only one who braved that hurdle surprisingly was Leah, who after detaching herself from Keith, squared her shoulders and walked over to Bella’s side. She didn’t say anything as she just sat next to Bella. They sat there in silence for a long time until the silence was broken by yet another screech that made everyone jump.

“YOU DID WHAT??? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR EVER LOVING MIND??”

This one came from Rogue who faced off against her husband. Her face was white and her eyes were all but bugging out of her head. Her mouth was hanging open. Alexander looked very uncomfortable. Oy. Now what?

“Round 2.” said Amy rolling her eyes.

“Alexander may be sleeping on the couch tonight.” said Corin sighing and shaking her head as we all looked at them with confusion.

They just nodded toward the two standing facing each other. Even Bella who up until this point was sitting on the two person swing with Leah looked up with interest and her anger seemed to have passed; she and Leah looked at each other when Rogue first screeched.

“What……why…..you’re nuts!” Rogue sputtered.

“I got it for you…..as a way to show how much I love you.” Alexander said quietly. That calmed her down as she shook her head and touched his cheek with her hand.

“Silly man…….you didn’t need to buy me a damn island to show me that you loved me…..I know how much you love me, you show me that every day.”

          We all looked at each other; Alexander bought Rogue an island? Well this sounded familiar as Esme looked at me and giggled because this was very similar to what her reaction was when I told her the same thing eons ago.

“What did you call it, Alexander?” I spoke up. That got their attention and they remembered that they had an audience, most of whom were smiling as Rogue got as red as a tomato.

“Rogue’s Isle.” Alexander said sheepishly as he smiled at his wife.

“Oh dear lord……how embarrassing.” She mumbled. At this point Esme stepped off the porch and walked up to Rogue and put her hand on her arm.

“It’s ok honey; now we both have islands named after us. When Carlisle told me he got me an island, my reaction was very much like yours but I’ve fallen in love with it and now it’s a very special place for the two of us as well the rest of our family. Edward and Bella even had their honeymoon there.” Esme said with a smile.

          Bella smiled at that point obviously remembering the time and Edward knew it was safe to approach her. They hugged each other when he reached her. He kissed the top of her head. They both smiled at Rogue and Alexander who were standing in front of one another. Alexander was hoping that we would somehow get him off the hook for his little splurge because there was a little log lying near where they stood and he really didn’t want Rogue to use that as a means to smack him upside the head. Hearing his thought process she rolled her eyes.

“Do you have a photo of it?” She asked curiously.

Alexander nodded eagerly and pulled out his phone on which he had an aerial shot of the island (all photos are at the bottom). We all gathered to look at the photo; it looked like a very pretty place. While we were all gathered around Alexander looking at the photo of their new island and chatted amongst ourselves, Nessie emerged from the house. Her eyes were red and puffy and she had a bunch of tissues in her hand. She was very calm; the beast had disappeared. She looked around until she found her parents still standing together a little ways away. They looked at her but didn’t approach her.

Nessie took a shaky breath and slowly walked off the porch. She knew she had a lot of making up to do. We all watched her quietly. I could tell it took all of Jake’s power to not run up to her and hug her but Seth all but sat on him to keep him still; he didn’t really resist much. His brain was telling him to stay seated while his heart and his imprinted self was telling him to go to his imprint and make all of her pain go away. Poor Jacob. Jasper decided it was time to help and so he radiated calm in that direction which after feeling it, Jacob shot him a grateful look and they nodded at each other.

By that time Nessie had reached her parents, her eyes were cast down. They didn’t say anything to her but just watched her. Nessie finally took another shaky breath and looked up at her parents; mostly though she looked at Bella.

“I’m very sorry mommy and daddy for the way I acted. You were right; it was very selfish of me. It’s just a dress. I don’t really know why I overreacted the way I did. You only want what’s best for me always. I understand if you want to cancel my party, I don’t deserve to have one after the way I acted. I just don’t want you to be mad at me anymore……because that hurts a lot.” She ended that last part with a sob as more tears squeezed out of her eyes.

Bella briefly looked toward Rogue who nodded and smiled at her which confirmed my suspicions about them having the parenting talk yesterday. Bella then stepped forward and put her arms around her daughter as did Edward. They let her sob for a while and when that quieted down Bella pulled her chin up to meet her eyes and said:

“Apology accepted. Please Nessie; don’t ever talk to us like that again. We aren’t going to cancel your party. But you have to show us respect and trust that we know what is best for you, ok? More than my own life, remember?” Nessie nodded rapidly and cried again.

          All was right in the world again; Nessie apologized to Jacob for being rude to him as well and he hugged her and almost didn’t let her apologize. In all the chaos, I had totally forgotten to mention the reason the Watchers and we were all gathering in our backyard; today is the 4th of July! America is 237 years old today. It’s older than a good chunk of my family; which is kind of funny. We will be shooting fireworks off in our backyard. Emmett is our pyromaniac so he set it all up; don’t worry we have a permit for it. So we have chairs and blankets set up for everyone who is interested. We are just waiting for the sun to go down. Emmett promised to make it the best fireworks spectacular we’ve ever seen.

“Wait a minute, where’s Michelle?” Nessie asked puzzled. The Watchers smiled. As if on cue, Michelle appeared in the middle of our backyard with a complete and total stranger. The stranger was a female; from the looks of it and the fact that she and Michelle were holding hands, I deduced this was Kim, Michelle’s girlfriend.

          Michelle seemed very nervous as she and Kim walked toward us. Amy and Corin walked up to the two approaching women and hugged both. Kim was the total opposite of Michelle; looks wise I mean. Her hair was cut short and dyed jet black, she was an obvious tomboy. She wore a button down short sleeved plaid shirt that was a light blue color that was tucked neatly into khaki pants with a belt and shoes. She wore a very masculine looking watch on her left wrist. As they approached and the introductions were getting underway, Kim asked:

“Which one is Rosalie?” Rose who was about 4th one down the line for the introductions, raised her hand briefly and stepped forward. Kim explained:

“I was told you were good at fixing cars. That’s one of my favorite hobbies too.” She smiled and Rose’s eyes lit up.

“She’s right. She’s very handy; she can fix anything from an antique clock to a Ferrari!” said Michelle proudly.

“Wait how did you know Rosalie was good with cars?” I asked curiously.

“Heckel and Jeckel over there told me.” She said with a smirk and hitching her thumb over her shoulder toward Amy and Corin; who rolled their eyes and Corin stuck her tongue out at her making Kim grin. We all laughed.

          Nessie who was standing a little shyly to the side got Michelle’s attention and Michelle introduced Nessie as her best friend to Kim. Kim smiled and said she’s heard all about her and how awesome a friend Nessie has been to Michelle.

“I’d like to thank you Nessie, for taking such good care of Michelle, especially when she got hurt. That really means a lot to me. I can’t always be there to protect her which sucks.” Kim sounded frustrated.

“So you heard about that whole thing huh?” Nessie asked.

“Oh you mean how she got that nasty scar on her leg? And how she was attacked by those four legged freaks and how Rogue went ape shit? Yep, heard all about that….got my bases covered.” She said and we couldn’t help but laugh. She had a very dry sense of humor.

Rogue laughed too but when her and Kim’s eyes met, something fierce and serious past between them and they both nodded at each other. I guessed that Kim was thanking Rogue for getting rid of the Children of the Moon and saving Michelle’s life; a nod from Edward meant I guessed correctly. Finally, we heard some throat clearing and looked to where Emmett was trying to get our attention.

“Oh I was just wondering if you wanted to see the fireworks or wait till next year?” He said impatiently pointing at the sky.

With all of our talking, we hadn’t realized the sun had almost set and we could do our fireworks spectacular. As we got situated and invited Kim to join us to which she whole heartedly agreed and she, Michelle, Nessie, and Jacob sprawled out on one of the blankets we’d laid out in the backyard. Esme had made some food earlier which everyone would enjoy after the show. Meanwhile, no one had noticed that Alice was feverishly working away on her tablet thingy. Finally, when she was satisfied, she walked over to where Bella and Edward were sitting and showed them. When they both smiled at her and nodded, she happily skipped over to where Nessie was sitting and shoved the thing into her face.

“How about this dress for your party, kiddo?” When Nessie looked at it her eyes got wide and she looked quickly at her parents who were both smiling.

OMG, Alice! It’s gorgeous! I would love to wear that! Can I?”

“Of course you can! I got permission from the high counsel over there so now I can order it for you!” We all laughed as Edward and Bella rolled their eyes and also laughed.

          Just then Emmett got all of our attention again and very dramatically waved his arms and as the first fireworks lit up the sky, yelled:

“HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE!!”

~Carlisle Cullen 

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June

28th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ The Verdict

***I’d like to thank everyone for their patience while waiting for the website to go back up! Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for!! xoxo Olga***

Dear Diary:

          We all held our breath; you could have heard a pin drop in that court room. The only sound was the tick-tock of the clock on the side of the room. The foreman was looking at the paper in his hand. The judge had asked Ashley and her defense attorney to stand as the verdict was read.

“We the jury find the defendant Carrie Cunningham . . . ” there was a slight pause and then he said, “Guilty.”

GUILTY!

          She was found guilty. The rest of what the foreman said was drowned out by the applause in the room and the sheer elation of practically everyone there. And she wasn’t just found guilty, but on all counts. Guilty of impersonating a medical professional. Guilty of using a poison with the intent to harm. Guilty of stalking and harassment. Guilty of attempted murder. Guilty of premeditated murder. Guilty of capital murder.

GUILTY!

          After the verdict was read, the judge thanked the jury and dismissed them. He was going to determine the sentencing himself. At this point the defense had one last option, and that was to try and spare Ashley’s life; because the prosecution was going full steam ahead with asking for the death penalty. Now it was time for the impact statements. We really didn’t have an order of those so the judge gave the DA and those of us who had decided to do it some time to figure out in what order we were going to go.

          It was decided that Charlotte was to go first to get it out of the way, followed by Mr. Yang’s daughter, the relatives of those people she murdered cold-bloodedly and finally, I would go. I knew exactly what I was going to say. Before we went, Ashley’s attorney had a chance to address the court and after our statements, Ashley herself would be allowed to address the court as well as her victims. And you know something, I’m not calling her Ashley anymore because that’s not her real name. She may want to live in a fantasy world, but even our immortal world is reality, so from now on—until we no longer have to address her or talk about her—I will call her Carrie.

          The defense attorney stood up before the judge and said, “Your honor, my client has been found guilty but I implore you to spare her life. Death isn’t the answer. She will not learn anything if she receives the death penalty. And she won’t receive the necessary treatment for her illnesses. She deserves a chance to make amends and right her wrongs. Thank you.”

Well that was short, I thought as we filed back into the courtroom. Charlotte and her fiancé then Ben walked to the podium that stood between the defense and DA tables and addressed the courtroom in a statement she had written. Her hands were shaking but Ben was there to support her as we all were.

“Good afternoon your honor and everyone present,” Charlotte said. “Carrie Cunningham doesn’t deserve to live. I have never been a real believer in the death penalty, which is kind of ironic since I’m originally from Texas and that state executes people on a regular basis. But as someone said to me once, ‘You’ll become a believer once it’s happened to you or someone you love or care for.’ They were right. Ms. Cunningham poisoned me and then brutally attacked me with a massive butcher knife that I believe you only use to slaughter sheep. Why? Because of a perceived notion that the object of her obsession liked me better than her. Even if that was the case, which it obviously wasn’t, who does that? Where does that appear in the world of logic? I truly believe that Ms. Cunningham is crazy, but she’s not insane. She’s as crazy as Aileen Wuornos was when she killed 5 or 6 men in Florida because she wanted to rob them and used the guise that they all raped her to justify doing it. Was she insane? No. Neither is Ms. Cunningham. What Ms. Cunningham is, is ruthless, calculating, methodical, cold-blooded, and vicious. She needs to be kept away from society as a whole, even those in prison. She will do this and again. Please don’t let my suffering and the loss of our patients at the hands of this snake be in vain. Thank you.”

          The courtroom was silent as the judge thanked Charlotte and all you heard were the sobs of the relatives of the victims. Carrie, meanwhile, just sat there stone-faced and all but glared after Charlotte as she walked back to her seat. Then all the others who went before went up to say their peace. Mr. Yang’s daughter’s emotional statement brought everyone to tears. Even heartless Carrie couldn’t glare at her. She just sat there with her eyes down. Maybe it was finally getting through to her that she wasn’t going to skate by on her “insanity” crap.

Finally, it was my turn.

“Dr. Cullen, would please like to give us your statement?” The judge motioned me to approach the podium. At the mere mention of my name, Carrie’s head snapped back up and she looked at me with wide, startled eyes. I walked up to the podium and addressed the court. I didn’t have any papers with me, didn’t need them; I was after all a vampire with a super memory. But of course they didn’t know that. But I digress.

“Thank you, your honor, members of the court, ladies and gentlemen. I at first didn’t know whether I was going to be coming here today and speaking with you but then I decided to do it. I’m here on behalf of myself, my wife, and family, but most importantly, I’m here for the people who cannot speak for themselves and those are the patients who were in my care and the care of the hospital where I work; all of whom Ms. Cunningham murdered. I’m speaking on behalf of their families for whom it is too hard to get up here and address all of you. As a doctor, I have witnessed death in many different forms; some more gruesome than others. As a doctor, it is my number one priority to save a life, to spare a life, to make someone better.”

As I was speaking, Carrie’s eyes started to get hopeful, maybe I would actually ask for leniency on her behalf. What she heard next, smashed all of her hope into little pieces.

“However, in this case . . . I do not wish for Ms. Cunningham’s life to be spared. I fervently wish that you, your honor, sentence her to death. She has brought immeasurable pain to my loved ones and those who I work with, as well—if not more—for my patients and their families. That makes me very angry with Ms. Cunningham. It wasn’t her right to play God. The world contrary to her thought process revolves around the sun and not around her. Her obsession with me and perceived notion that I would leave my wife for her was childish and stupid. Ms. Cunningham is a narcissistic drama queen with a superiority complex and that’s where her so called mental disorders end. She’s very good at what she does having perfected her method in 2 other states before coming here. Your honor, this is a woman who even now as we all give our statements, still sits defiant and unapologetic. I beg of you, send her to where she belongs—and that’s straight to hell. Thank you.”

          That last line elicited a gasp from Carrie as she tried to say something but couldn’t. Without even looking back, I then and sat next to my wife as the rest of my family patted me on the arms and back depending on where they were sitting or standing. The daughter of Mr. Yang as well as the families of the other victims all gave me grateful looks and nods of approval; I nodded back.

“Ms. Cunningham, this is your opportunity to address the court and your victims. Is there anything you would like to say?”

          Carrie thought about it for a few seconds, than hopped up to her feet. She first looked at the judge then turned around and looked around the room until her eyes landed on me. She frowned. She looked back at the judge and said “Your honor, is it so wrong to love someone and go after him when you believe he’s interested in you? Is that a crime? Hospitals are for helping people, yes—but hey . . . it’s life, right? Shit happens! I don’t belong in hell. I belong alive and well and free. And all those people who called me names should all go to hell themselves. They’re pathetic! I know right from wrong and I know that I am RIGHT!”

With that she sat down in a huff and crossed her arms defiantly over her chest as we all looked her with utter dismay. She was never going to admit it. If family members came to seek an apology from her, they were sorely disappointed. She wasn’t giving it up.

Now it was time for the judge to speak. It seemed to me that he had made up his mind regarding the sentencing. A nod from Edward and Rogue meant my thinking was correct. All right, well this was it. All or nothing! Two choices were on the table; life without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have heard everything I had to hear today and then some. Ms. Cunningham will you please rise?” She and her defense stood up. She still had her arms crossed.

“Ms. Cunningham, the brutality of your crimes is unthinkable. Your lack of remorse, compassion, or caring makes me believe that you are a truly sad and soulless creature. You don’t have any concept on what compassion even is. If you are anything; it’s a total and complete psychopath. Therefore, my decision is thus. Ms. Cunningham, I sentence you to death by lethal injection. While you are waiting that date, you will be reprimanded to the New Hampshire State Prison for Woman until the date of your execution, which will be decided upon at a later time. Your crimes leave me no choice and sparing your life is out of the question. You didn’t give your victims a chance at life; why should I give you that chance now? You will not have any further contact with any members of the staff at the hospital, especially Dr. Cullen and his family; there will be a permanent restraining order placed against you on behalf of his family until the date of your execution. Your crimes are despicable and so are you. That is my decision. Thank you everyone for your hard work and effort. Court is adjourned!”

          As soon as he said that everyone started cheering and hugging. We did it! We won the whole entire thing. And got the death penalty. As we were all cheering and talking excitedly, Carrie was being handcuffed to be led away but as usual she was determined to have the last word.

“So you think you are going to kill me? Yeah, right! I’m invincible, you hear me? Invincible!”

The guards proceeded to shackle her completely so she wouldn’t be able to move as she continued to holler. Then out of nowhere, Rogue was right in front of her. She didn’t even care if anyone saw her lightning speed approach. Rogue got right into her face as Carrie’s eyes went wide.

“Shut up, you crazy bitch. It’s over; you lost! It’ll be nice to see them stick that needle into your arm as you gasp for your absolute last breath of air. Gasp, gasp, gasp. And then down to hell you go! Make sure to give the devil a great big kiss; he’s right up your alley!”

          Rogue whispered all of that into her ear through clenched teeth, and in that horrifyingly deep voice of hers that she only uses when the shit hits the fan. It gives even vampires’ goosebumps. So no one really heard what she said other than Carrie and all of the immortals in the room. The officers didn’t care, they just wanted to throw her in her cell until she was transported to the prison, lock the door, and throw away the key until her execution date. Besides, they all knew Rogue and knew that if she was up in someone’s ear, whatever she had to say wasn’t pleasant anyways.

          After Rogue said what she said, she turned and walked away without looking back. Carrie was standing there in shocked silence with her mouth gaping open as the officers had to push her to get her to move. We all walked out of the courtroom and met everyone, and I mean everyone outside of the court house on the steps where there was a ton of media that the FBI quickly moved aside so family members could quickly get to their cars. They all left very quickly, but not before coming up to me and thanking me personally for all I said and had done for them. Some even hugged me, like Mr. Yang’s daughter for example. I knew her father would be released from the hospital in the next week or so, so that was wonderful news. I would check up on him a few times before then.

          Charlotte was standing off to the side with Ben and her parents. When most of everyone left, except my family and the Watchers, they came over to me. Charlotte and I hugged. We didn’t need to say anything. But then Charlotte turned to Alice, who was standing off to the side and speaking softly with Rose.

“Hey, Alice?”

Alice immediately focused her attention on Charlotte and walked over. “Yes, Charlotte?” Alice, of course, knew exactly what Charlotte was going to ask and was trying very hard to keep still. We all had to hold back our laughter.

“Now I know this is probably too soon, and too soon for me as well, but I was wondering, could you please help me plan my wedding to Ben here? Dr. Cullen has said on multiple occasions how amazing you are at those kinds of things. I mean, I’m not ready yet to plan it but when I am . . . and you know, fully recovered, I can’t afford a wedding planner. They are so very expensive,” Charlotte said.

“Really? You want me to plan your wedding? I would absolutely love to! Just tell me when you’re ready and we can sit down at a Starbucks or something and go over what you guys want, or you can come to our house. It’s totally up to you! And don’t worry about the price, I don’t charge a dime for my extraordinary planning skills.” Everyone laughed at that one. Looked like our little pixie had another wedding lined up to plan. At least she’ll keep busy.

          As we all hugged and before we dispersed, we had invited Charlotte, Ben, and her parents to our house for dinner the following evening, which they graciously accepted. Bella and Leah winked at each other as they were going to help Esme cook. Finally, this large dark cloud had begun to lift off of all of us. Even though there will be appeals on behalf of Carrie’s attorneys to postpone the death penalty. We hope sooner or later it’ll get done.

This God willing that would be the last time we would ever see or hear of Carrie Cunningham!

Good riddance!

~Carlisle Cullen

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June

27th

Carlisle’s Diary ~ Closing Arguments

Dear Diary:

          Looking back to my testimony, I thought that I handled myself pretty well all things considered. Ashley, though……well……not so much. To wig out to such an extreme where she had to literally be carried out of the court room was a spectacle to be seen for sure. After I testified and left the court room that day, I had in fact gotten a whole bottle of wine and went to sit with my family on the porch as we discussed what happened. I called Bill and Betsy and told them what happened. To say they were stunned would probably be the understatement of the month. But they too were glad that she went wacko on me instead of on Charlotte when she testified. At least poor Charlotte would get some form a reprieve without having to look Ashley in the eye.

          Even though I said I wouldn’t be returning to the courtroom again until the closing arguments and so forth; all of us from the hospital went back to be there for Charlotte when she testified. Her parents had flown in for that part of the trial and her fiancé Ben was also there. She was very glad she had such a huge support system. Her testimony was so compelling and emotional that it brought several jurors to tears. Nothing the defense attorney said or asked could discredit her testimony. He gave up after about the 3rd question in. When Charlotte was dismissed from the witness stand, she walked with her head held high right out of the courtroom followed by pretty much everyone who had come to support her.

          Finally, on a Thursday after both the state and defense had rested their cases; just as the DA, Mr. Allen, had predicted the defense only brought in doctors to show that Ashley was crazy but no actual family members or friends or colleagues; it was time for closing arguments. The defense went first. We were all there; Ashley wasn’t. She wouldn’t be allowed back in the courtroom until the verdict was read. And there was still the matter of jury deliberations. No one ever knew how long that would take; it could be anywhere from one hour to multiple days and even weeks sometimes. Considering there was a mountain of evidence to review, we had a feeling it would be a while before they would return. They were going to be as thorough as possible.

          On the day of closing arguments, most of us piled into the courtroom to hear what both sides had to say. Rogue as mentioned previously, had sat throughout the whole entire trial. She was up to speed with everything both sides were doing. She also with her mind reading abilities was able to determine what the defense was going to say. She just shook her head and smiled. So as everyone sat down after the judge entered, he motioned to the defense to do his thing. Mr. Woods got up from his chair but continued to stay at his desk as he began to speak.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, good morning. Today we have here a life we are trying to say. I am not saying my client isn’t guilty because she is. She even admitted that she is on multiple different occasions but she is not mentally stable to be found guilty. Every crime she committed, she did because of the different chemical imbalances in her brain. The doctors we’ve brought before you had classified Ms. Cunningham as a paranoid schizophrenic with borderline personality disorder who also has a severe case of Munchausen by proxy or MBP. My client didn’t and doesn’t have enough mental stability to understand that her actions have consequences. She doesn’t understand that by harming someone, you’re doing something wrong. To her it seems right because that’s how her mind functions. Ms. Cunningham does not deserve to be put to death for something she was never diagnosed properly with nor had treatment for. Ms. Cunningham needs to be in a facility where she can receive the proper treatment for her multiple illnesses.”

          At this point he was standing before the jury speaking passionately and waving his arms dramatically. He then walked over to his desk and took a sip of water before continuing.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please find it in your hearts to see that my client is a victim too. She isn’t the monster the prosecution wants you to believe; she’s just a very sick person. And a sick person cannot and should not be put to death; it is inhumane. Please find her not guilty by reason of insanity. Thank you.”

           The defense having made his point, went and sat down as the judge turned toward the DA, who hesitated only slightly to look over any last minute notes and then stood up and walked up to where the jury was sitting and looked straight at them.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We are gathered for a very important reason here and that is to remember who the real victims were. The defense will want you to believe that his client is a victim when in reality she is a criminal with a rap sheet a mile long. His client heartlessly and cold-bloodedly murdered 9 people grand total in two states. For what? Attention or because she could get away with it? The defense would also have you believe that all her multiple illnesses caused Ms. Cunningham to become violent and that she didn’t know what she was doing. Yet she traveled through multiple states with multiple aliases that she stole from unsuspecting people. The only thing Ms. Cunningham is….is….ironically cunning. Just like her last name suggests. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, there are millions of people in America today that suffer from similar psychiatric illnesses that go untreated for years but live as law abiding citizens. What makes Ms. Cunningham so special? Absolutely nothing.”

He paused briefly so that his words would sink in, and then continued.

“She poisoned people, she tried to kill people, and succeeded on several occasions, she stalked someone, and she brutally attacked another person. She has held people at gunpoint in order for them to give her recommendations so she could get jobs. That’s not normal but it doesn’t make her insane either. An insane person wouldn’t be so calculating, going from state to state. Ms. Cunningham only became ‘insane’ when it came to something she didn’t like to hear like Dr. Cullen’s testimony or when things went on in the hospital as you heard from previous people’s testimonies. Have America’s worst serial killers been classified as insane? Look at Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, Gary Ridgeway, and Jeffrey Dahmer! What makes them any different from Ms. Cunningham. Ms. Cunningham killed more people than Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida. There is absolutely nothing mentally wrong with Ms. Cunningham except a really bad acting job. Think of the victims like Dr. Cullen and his family, the nurses and staff at the hospital, the patients who she killed or who survived but will never be the same again, like Charlotte Clark who lost more than half of her blood volume after being stabbed repeatedly by Ms. Cunningham.  Think about that when you are sitting in deliberation. This woman said……no screamed it herself that she will kill as many people as she needs to; not even wants to but needs to. Ladies and gentlemen, please help these victims and their families find closure and find Ms. Cunningham guilty on all counts especially capital murder. Thank you.”

          With that, the jury filed out of the court. It was a very intense morning. The proceedings lasted 2 hours and it was only noon when we all made our way out of the court house. It was now up to the jury. We had done every single thing we could. Now all anyone could do was hope and pray. My family and the Watchers dispersed to our respective homes. I needed to hunt so when I mentioned that, I realized my whole family needed to go so we all went while Nessie stayed with the wolves. No one said a word as we picked off lions, bears, deer, and any other juicy animal that crossed our path.

          There wasn’t anything to say. We all just prayed that the jury would see the light and convict her. Of course then we would have to go through the sentencing phase which was up to judge to decide whether that would be on the same day as the verdict or on a different day. It was also mean that those of us who want, can give victim impact statements. I know Charlotte and Ben both will as will Betsy, Melanie, and the 4 other nurses she poisoned. Mr. Yang still being in the hospital is sending his daughter to do it for him. I met her; she’s a sweet girl who was just accepted into Harvard Law School. She and Rogue had a lot to talk about on the subject. She wants to go into medical malpractice and that’s really no surprise all things considered.

After thinking about it very carefully and consulting with my family and Rogue who was sort of our in house counsel if you will, I decided that I would give one too. After all the havoc Ashley created in my life and the lives of my family, she deserved for me to give her a piece of my mind!

Just two days after deciding this, we got the call; jury was back with a verdict! It took them 3.5 days to decide on Ashley’s fate. So Friday as it were, we were all gathered in the courtroom, pretty much squished in because of family and relatives of victims. Rogue and Agent Kramer were sitting directly behind the DA in case Ashley would try something again. She was actually in court that day. She was wearing a lighter blue floral dress, with beige flats and a beige shawl over her shoulders. She had a dark blue brooch in her hair. You’d think she was some southern belle waiting to be called for tea or something (pictures of the courtroom and Ashley’s clothes are below).

After the judge called order, we watched as the jury filed in. Then once they all sat down, the judge looked at the foreman of the jury and said:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?”

“We have your honor.” The foreman said.

“Bailiff please bring me the paper.” The bailiff did and the judge looked over it, frowned and nodded. He then returned the paper to the bailiff to return to the foreman.

“Mr. Foreman, will you please read out the verdict for the court.”

          We all held our breath as the foreman put his glasses on, took the paper and took a deep breath.

“We the jury find the defendant Ms. Carrie Cunningham………”

To be continued………

~Carlisle Cullen

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