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Now You're One of Us

Summary:
While vacationing, Alice and Jasper Hale stumble across the planning of a massacre. Emma Volding is a six-year-old who's mother is killed in the fray. Seeing she has a similar gift, Carlisle grants permission for Alice and Jasper to take her in as theirs.


Notes:
My first Twilight fanfic. It has gotten a lot of positive feedback at Fanfiction.net. And I wanted to share it with other Twilight fans.


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3442   Review this Chapter

Chapter Four

Emma was wide eyed when they pulled into the large Cullen mansion a few hours later. It wasn’t exactly what she’d been expecting. Jasper drove into a large garage that held more cars than Emma had ever seen one household own. All at once, she was apprehensive. The trip to the house had gone without incident. Jasper and Alice had made sure she had the things he needed such as food and bathroom breaks. She had gotten to know Alice and Jasper well, and during the rest stops, she spent time with Emmett and Edward Cullen. Edward didn’t say much, but Emmett made sure she got her exercise. She leaned her head back against the car seat, and let out a silent sigh.

“Alright, Emma. We’re here.” Alice said needlessly, breaking into Emma’s silent worries. She got out, and came around to start freeing their new charge of her restraints. The girl noted how nervous and quiet Emma had become, and she wondered if she was clocking in how tense Jasper himself had become. “Jazz, can you get the stuff out of the trunk?” She paused suddenly, and casually glanced over to the door that led to the kitchen. Rosalie was having a fit. She turned her gaze to Emmett, who nodded. He was already on it. She took Emma’s hand as she crawled out of the car. She was pleasantly surprised when the girl didn’t flinch at her chill again. Maybe she was already accepting they were different. She led Emma inside the house.

The house opened right up to Emma. The kitchen led into a formal dining room, which in turn led to a living room. It seemed to go on and on. She didn’t have a lot of time to ponder just how big the house might actually be. She was instantly surrounded by new members of the family she hadn’t met. A girl with brown hair came up to he r first, squatting to her level. “Hey there, little one. I’m Bella Cullen.”

“I’m Emma Mallory Volding.” Emma replied softly. She was suddenly feeling intimidated. She buried her face in the folds of Alice’s skirt. Alice smiled gently, laying a hand on her head. “She’s had a big day.”

“Aww…come on, Em. They’re not going to hurt ya!” Emmett said now. He came out of one room, and came over to her. He squatted to her level, pulling her gently from Alice’s side. “Bella’s pretty cool. She arm wrestles like a girl though.” He grinned as Bella gave him a playful swat. It widened when he saw Emma relax just a little. He nodded to someone from behind Bella. “Hey, Nessie.”

The girl Emmett had addressed as Nessie came out from behind Bella, and studied the newcomer for a moment before she began to speak. “Hello, Emma. I’m Renesmee Cullen. Edward and Bella are my parents.”

“It’s nice to meet you both.” Emma said now, addressing the mother and daughter. She felt a slight pang of sadness. She would never see her mother again. She was certain of that. She hoped Renesmee knew how lucky she was to have Bella with her. Renesmee must’ve noticed her change of expression because she scooted over to Edward, and started talking in such quiet tones, Emma couldn’t pick it all up. The girl got the distinct impression that they were talking about her. She moved closer to Emmett, as the final member of the little welcoming committee approached. She had blonde hair. Emma had never seen anything so pretty in her life.

“I’m Rosalie.” The tall girl said calmly. “Emmett is my husband.” She was studying the child with a look Emma did not understand. It felt as though she was trying to figure out how long she would have to put up with her.

“This is Emma.” Emmett said for the child now. He was silently conversing with his wife, pleading with her to be a little kinder. He picked Emma up then, however. “I think they were doing some drafting for this baseball season. Let’s go check it out.”

Emma didn’t know what he meant by that, but she was glad to get away from the one called Rosalie. She didn’t seem to like or want Emma there. “Your house is huge…”

Emmett chuckled. “You’ll get used to it.” He took her into a room far from the kitchen, and sat her on the couch there. “Now, let’s see who’s playing.” He turned on the TV, and sat back to check on his sports stats. He idly put an arm around Emma, in his attempt at making her feel comfortable. He may not have had the same gift as Jasper, but he knew apprehension when he saw it. Her encounter with Rosalie had made her hesitant about being here. “Looks like we’re getting a few new players this season.” He said this more to himself.

Emma idly watched the TV, though every so often, she let her gaze wander around the room, memorizing the way it was decorated, and the things that ran along side it. There was another hall way out, and she wondered where it went. She yawned at length, and allowed herself to rest comfortably against Emmett.

“You can sleep if you want, Em.” Emmett said, carefully helping her out of her jacket. He didn’t want to hurt her. He laid the jacket across the arm of the couch, and then laid her head in his lap. “You probably need it.” He smiled.

That was the last thing Emma heard. The TV in became background noise, dulling to a hum, as she finally gave in to sleep.

******************************************************************

It was many hours before Emma woke up. The girl was disoriented, and with good reason. She didn’t remember where she was at first. She sat up. The TV was off, the room was dark. She wondered if Emmett had left after she’d fallen asleep. She blinked, feeling something warm on top of her. Someone had come and put a blanket on her. She glanced to the open window. A fine stream of moonlight came in, just barely penetrating the dark.

“It’s nearly midnight now.” Alice’s kind voice startled Emma. The girl flitted silently to the couch, and sat next to her. “We were going to move you, but Esme thought it would be better just to let you sleep here. How are you feeling?” She and Jasper had taken turns keeping watch over her. He’d gone hunting an hour ago, needing to be sure that he’d be okay once she woke up.

“I’m….not sure…” She blinked. It just dawned on her that she hadn’t seen Jasper since they’d gotten home. Emmett had taken over. Another question. She wanted to know if Emmett had finished watching what he wanted after she fell asleep.

“I’m…not sure.” The silhouette of Alice’s head turned towards the entry way. “It’s alright, Jasper. She’s awake.” Alice scooted over so that Jasper could sit. Her husband remained standing. She stood up on her toes, and made like she was going to give him a kiss. Instead, she whispered low enough to keep it between her and Jasper. “She can sense your unease…”

Jasper nodded, and replied. “I know…” He was trying to keep his own emotions in check, and keep her calm as well. It wasn’t so easy. He took a slow breath, and tried again. He let himself sit down next to Emma. “Did you sleep well?”

“Uh huh.” Emma nodded slowly. She could feel that Jasper was tense. “Did you sleep good too?”

Her question caught Jasper off guard. He didn’t respond at first. He was trying to think of a good way to answer it, when he and Alice became aware at the same time that Emma’s little stomach was growling, begging to be full. Jasper stood up again. “You should take her into the kitchen, and get her something to eat.”

“Why don’t you come with us…?” Alice asked. She was worried about Jasper. He hadn’t been able to stay in the room with Emma for long periods of time a all. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. She put his hand in hers. “Come on, Jasper. You’re not going to get used to her, nor help her adjust if you don’t try…we’re all here to help.”

“Yeah, I know…” Jasper sighed deeply. “I’m…just not ready.” He wondered for the first time if this was how Edward had felt when he met Bella. Jasper had never taken much time to think about how hard that must’ve been for Edward. Any wrong move on either of their part, and Bella would’ve ended up dead, instead of a part of them. The trick here was that Emma didn’t even know what kind of danger she was in now. The truth of the matter is that Jasper was probably more dangerous than either of those two he and Alice had rescued her from.

“It’s alright,” Alice assured him, “you won’t hurt her.” She turned to Emma then. “Come on, let’s get you something to eat.” She took her into the kitchen. She hoped Jasper would follow, but she never pressed him if he felt uncomfortable, which at this point, he obviously did.

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Esme glanced up from the cutting board as Alice brought in the newest member of their family. “Hey there. How did you sleep, little one?”

“Good.” She was standing closer to Alice. Rosalie was in the room, and even with her back to her, she could tell the girl still wasn’t thrilled with her presence. She let Alice pick her up, and put her at the breakfast bar. She watched Bella and Esme as they cut up some fruit.

“We weren’t sure what you liked. So, we’re hoping this fruit salad will be good…” Bella explained, and she showed Emma the plate she’d started. “Do you like these?”

Emma studied the fruit presented to her. The plate had quite a few that she was very fond of. Strawberries, grapes, apples, and banana. But it didn’t hold her favorite fruit. She nodded to Bella. “My favorite is kiwi fruit, though…” She felt Rosalie tense immediately. She turned to face her. “I’m…sorry…”

“No need to apologize!” Esme said quickly, giving her daughter a stern look. “It will take time for all of us to get used to each other. Bella, dear, why don’t you check in the fridge. Maybe Carlisle had brought in some…”

Emma heard some noise from the other room, and then a voice she couldn’t figure out yet. “Who’s that..?”

“Oh, that’s my father, Carlisle.” Alice said now, as Carlisle walked in. “How did your walk go?” Like Jasper, Emmett and Carlisle had also gone hunting. They usually spent more time on it than this but they were all a little off schedule. When they had Emma acclimated, they’d go back to their normal schedules.

“Very well, thank you.” Carlisle smiled at Emma now. “Did you find the couch comfortable enough for you?”

The girl merely nodded, as Alice set the plate of sliced fruit in front of her. She wasn’t sure exactly how she felt about Carlisle, whom she learned was a doctor. Doctors were tricky people. They could make you believe anything they wanted. She began to eat silently.

Alice sat down next to her at the breakfast bar, and smiled. Everything was going smoothly so far, except for Jasper’s behavior. It concerned her greatly that Jasper was suddenly more cautious. Back at the hotel, he hadn’t thought anything of it, when he picked her up, and comforted her. She tried to conceal her worry, but if Edward or Jasper even had been in there at that moment, they would’ve been able to sense it. “After you’re done, maybe I can give you a tour of the place, and a bath. Would you like that?”

Emma nodded slowly. She still had so many questions. She wasn’t sure when she could ask them, or if they would answer when she did. They hadn’t said much to her about why they’d brought her there, instead of calling the police. It gave her the impression she’d seen something she shouldn’t have. But she didn’t understand it at all. “Do you have bubbles?”

“Bubbles?” Alice repeated, glancing over at Esme, who was joining Carlisle now. “Do we?” Alice, of course, hadn’t missed the hesitation. Her foster daughter had questions. She would find out from Edward exactly what they were, and try to find a way to answer them that wouldn’t put her in danger with the Volturi.

“We just might…” Esme was trying to remember if Jacob had used bubbles the last time he’d given Renesmee a bath. “We can check. If we don’t have bubble bath, I still know a way to make them.” She smiled at Emma now. “Slow down, sweetie. The fruit isn’t going anywhere.” The girl had finished almost the entire plate. She turned to Rosalie now. “You might want to get her some more watermelon, Rose. She really seems to like that.”

Rosalie said nothing to this. But she muttered under her breath. “Good thing we’re used to housing humans…”

“Yes it is a good thing, since your niece is…” Alice said now. Her voice was sharp, and it sounded just wrong coming from her. She said no more, as Jasper came into the kitchen. “She liked the fruit.”

“Great.” Jasper smiled, sitting next to Emma on the other side. He watched her eat the remainder of her grapes and banana. “Are you going to show her the room that will be hers?” Jasper asked Alice. He didn’t take his eyes off of Emma. He had to learn control. If he was going to be a father figure to her, it was the only way he could make it work.

“Well. I was thinking I might give her a soothing bubble bath first.” Alice said now. Her eyes were alight with excitement. Clearly, his wife was having a ball playing mother to the girl. He had to smile at that.

“Sounds like a logical thing to do.” He nodded his approval. He was most interested in Emma’s emotions. They were all over the radar now that Emmett wasn’t there. She seemed to trust Alice, but the others in the room, aside from himself and Alice, of course, made her feel uncomfortable, and ill at ease.

“Jasper…” Emma was tugging on his arm lightly. “Are you mad at me?” Her lower lip was sticking out. “Did I upset you?”

The kitchen grew quiet, and Jasper felt like he had been backed into a corner. How did he explain his thinking to such a child? He couldn’t possibly make her understand without revealing the truth of the family. And even if he did reveal the truth, there was no guarantee she’d take it right at this age. He stood up. “No, Emma. It’s not you…” He suddenly turned, and walked quickly away from the kitchen. “I’ll be in the garage. Come and get me after her bath.” A few minutes later, Emma heard a door shut.

Emma’s lower lip quivered slightly. “I did do something wrong…he doesn’t like me anymore…” She felt tears spring to her eyes, and she tried to wipe them away before anyone saw. But she wasn’t fast enough. Before she could get up off the stool to flee, Esme, Alice and Bella were there, Alice hugging her gently, and the other two saying soothing words.

“Jasper…doesn’t hate you, Emma. It’s quite the opposite, actually…” Alice said slowly. “He doesn’t really…know how to deal with children yet.” Alice picked her up, and held her gently, stroking her hair. “Shh…” She felt Emma break down, and her heart broke for her. Jasper would have to help her understand him somehow. “Don’t cry…” She knew Jasper would feel bad if he knew he’d made Emma cry.

“What’s going on here?” Emmett came into the kitchen now. He’d wanted to ask Jasper about a game of baseball the next day. “What happened?”

“Jasper’s having a bit of trouble dealing with sudden fatherhood.” Carlisle said meaningfully to Emmett. “Maybe you and Edward should go and talk to him.” He knew Emmett would get the real meaning behind his words.

“Yeah….” Emmett went over to Emma though, and ruffled her hair soothingly. “I’ll straighten Jazz out for you, Em.” He left then, to find Edward.

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Edward and Emmett found Jasper in the garage, as he promised. Edward approached him. He could see Jasper’s thought process, and knew that his brother was upset with himself for not being able to handle his better. “She really loves you, Jazz.”

“You don’t think I know that?” Jasper said now. He didn’t turn around. Carlisle had sent them. He was sure of that. “I…don’t think I can do this. Maybe we should’ve taken her to a local homeless shelter or something…”

“It’s too late for that now.” Emmett spoke up now. “Jazz, she thinks you hate her.” He went to stand in front of his brother. “She’s really confused already, but things are only getting more complicated for her, with you acting like this.”

“What do you want me to do, Emmett? Should I just pretend everything about this is okay? Do you realize how much danger we’ve just put her in, bringing her here?” And Jasper knew he was the real danger to the child. If she fell, or cut herself, he couldn’t promise he’d be able to handle it.

“You’ve never hurt Bella or Renesmee.” Edward pointed out. “ You have more control than you give yourself credit for, Jasper.” Edward put a hand on his shoulder. “There’s a very scared little girl in there right now that really needs you. It’s not you she’s afraid of. She needs the reassurance of both you and Alice, before she’ll fully trust the rest of us.”

“She already trusts Emmett.” Jasper muttered. He hated to admit it, but he did envy Emmett slightly for being able to resist the things he cannot yet. “He won’t try to eat her…”

“Jasper, neither will you.” Emmett said firmly. “You have all us here to make sure she remains safe. But you can’t keep ignoring her…”

Edward nodded in agreement. “You’re always worried about the rest of us. I think it’s time we return the favor.” He sat on the counter now. “You should be there for her. This is a difficult time for her, and she needs the support of her friends. If you can’t be a father figure to her, then just be her friend. Look, when Renesmee was born, as worried as I was about Bella’s transition, I was also worried about being a father. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without all of you guys supporting me. Let us help you.”

Jasper finally turned to face them. “But what I’m not strong enough? What if we’re just kidding ourselves?” He wasn’t ready to put an innocent child in that kind of danger. Emma deserved better. If anything, he wanted Emmett to take over t taking care of her.

“Find the strength.” Edward said quietly. He remembered that first summer with Bella. When James had bitten her, and he’d had to take care of the venom before it spread and made her immortal prematurely. Carlisle had told him in his moment of hesitation to find the strength to stop before he killed her. “I can see inside you, Jasper. You really love this little girl. When you love someone that much, you find the strength to do what you need to do. Take it from someone who knows.” He turned, and went back inside. He needed to see Bella now, reminded of that night, he realized just how lucky he was, and how strong Bella had made him. He could only hope Emma would do the same for Jasper.

Emmett watched Edward go, before he turned to back to Jasper. “If you think about that night at the birthday party we had for Bella, most of us almost lost control too. It might not have felt that way to you, but even Alice had to leave Bella’s side, for fear of being tempted. Jasper, it comes with the territory of being what we are. But we have Nessie here, and we’ve had humans in the house before. You can do this, brother. I have faith in you. Find it in yourself to be strong enough.” He turned to leave Jasper alone with his thoughts.

Jasper watched him go, and he sighed deeply, pacing. He knew Edward and Emmett were right. Emma probably did need him now more than ever. She was gifted with empathy, and they complimented each other’s talents for the most part. He glanced to the door, and then sighed. He needed to go in there, and be a friend to her. Maybe fatherhood would come on it’s own, but he wasn’t ready to push it.