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Afterglow

Summary:
The in canon tale of the daughter Rose never thought she could have. When my mother found me, fate seemed to link us together. Not only was I the daughter she never dreamed she'd have, I was unusually unappetizing for a human. However, being raised by vampires does not come without conflict. This is my tale about growing up Cullen and finding love in the most unexpected place. The world's largest coven is about to get a whole lot larger!


Notes:
Sorrowfully, I do not own the Twilight saga or any of its characters. They belong to the glorious Stephenie Meyer. But Emmalie is MINE, as is the plot. :)


3. Guess Who

Rating 3/5   Word Count 3365   Review this Chapter

Three days later, I was plagued by an unquenchable boredom. The Fork's weather was slightly more vicious than normal, caging me inside. My Popeye and I resigned to assisting Mia in the ‘car house,' but that only lasted so long.

He handed her different tools upon request, one giant shoulder jacking up the car. While trying to help her, he also had been trying to amuse me. She would ask him for a certain thing and he would purposely hand her the opposite.

"Babe, could you hand me a line wrench?" she asked sweetly, her little greasy hand sticking out from under the car. He picked up a tool, but I stopped him.

"Popeye, that is not a line wrench! It's a monkey wrench," I said giggling. He smiled at me as he intentionally made yet another mistake. "And that isn't either. That is a lug wrench, for the wheels, Popeye." His dimples furrowed even deeper, when I giggled.

Mia, however, did not think the game was funny. She slid out on her red-leathered creeper, giving us a silencing glare. She proceeded to get the line wrench, mumbling to herself. She only put up with us for about ten minutes, before she pointed us to the door.

Instead, the two of us settled on Option B: board games. My playmates were limited for a number of reasons. Uncle Jazz was in the basement doing some ‘work,' while Alice was filtering closets, purging us of clothes she considered to be unacceptable. My grandparents left on a trip earlier that morning. Uncle Edward agreed to play a game with us. He, however, did not seem too happy over the selection of ‘Guess Who.' We camped on the plush white rug, which covered the cherry floors in the sitting area. I nestled next to Popeye, accepting his assistance with the whole ‘yes or no question-thing,' since I still did not get it.

"Ask Uncle Edward, if his person has a big forehead like him?" my Popeye would direct, with a cold whisper. I would look over at my Uncle and giggle to my Popeye. Uncle Edward's forehead was perfect but that did not keep my Popeye from messing with him.

"I'm not gonna ask that, Popeye," I told him, shaking my head, pigtails smacking against my face. My Uncle Edward had already threatened to stop playing if my Popeye keptit up. I of course did not understand what it was. Edward, now, just glared at my Popeye with dark eyes, his dexterous fingers tapping so hard against the plastic that it threatened to splinter.

"Honestly, Emmett, if you're not going to teach her to play right, why are we even playing?" he asked curtly. I began to feel sad.

"Ohhh, Uncle Edward, please! Don't stop playing, please," I begged. He grinned, and then his head whipped to the front of the house, as if only he had heard the doorbell ring. He stood up rapidly and looked at me with a smile.

"Let me guess. Your person is Anne with the earrings," he said, his all knowing smile still dazzling holding me captive. Unlike most kids who lost a game, I was delighted that he figured it out.

"You're right, Uncle Edward! You're right!" I exclaimed, wondering just how he did it. I hugged his legs and beamed up at him and said, "When I grow up, I hope I can play ‘Guess Who' just as good as you can," I confided candidly.

I heard my father mutter and shove the game back in its box, nearly breaking the plastic frames. He shot his brother a jealous glare, and then picked me up.

"Your Uncle Edward is not as great as you make him out to be, Emma. He really is just a cheat, just like your Uncle Jasper," he said self-righteously, his coffee and cream eyes big like they always were when he was telling me a story. My Uncle Edward let a sigh slip through his lips and went over to look out the door. My Popeye watched him with a grin. Just then, Alice descended the spiral stairs and nodded approvingly at the large Grandfather clock.

"Just in time," she said to herself. She too looked very elated, more so than usual.

Motionless, they stood in anticipation, golden eyes all fixed at the door. Confused, I looked to my Popeye, who gave me a few butterfly kisses. Suddenly, the door flew open, smashing against Nana's Esme's egg-shell-white wall.

I immediately squirmed down and ran to hide in the corner, behind my Papa Car's oversized leather chair. My heart fluttered as I peeked out to witness a beautiful girl skidding across the room. She was about sixteen, her body boyishly thin and her skin a creamy ivory. As she ran, her bronze ringlets flung behind her like shimmering banners. Her rich brown eyes were overflowing with affection, as she launched herself into Uncle Edward's arms.

"Daddy," she squealed, her smile a warm reflection of Uncle Edward's. "I missed you," she confessed sweetly, laying her beautiful head on his shoulder. She did not have the reserve of a typical teen. Instead, she cuddled with him like I would my Popeye. His response was a joyous laugh.

"I missed you too, sweetheart. Why, I just sat here and moped until you and your Momma came back," he teased, placing a tender kiss in her silk curls.

"Oh, Daddy, you didn't, did you? I told Momma we shouldn't leave you that long," she shared with her doe-like eyes, consumed with worry and regret. But he banned her worry in an instant with an obstinate stare. He brushed his hands crossed her cheek and it was as if some unspoken secrets were passed between them. Her eyes still held a little worry.

"Now, now, I can see that you enjoyed yourself and that is what matters," he reminded, placing a kiss on her little nose. He sat her back on her feet.

"Oh, Daddy, you'll not believe the melody I thought up on the ride home. I can not wait to play it for you; I know you'll just love it." I looked around and noticed all eyes were now on her. Not even my Popeye noticed my absence.

"Oh, Alice," the girl exclaimed affectionately as she embraced my pixie-like Aunt. They hugged for a moment more as if sharing something the others did not. As they pulled away, Alice's warm loving face suddenly twisted in appall. "Yes, I know, Alice. These are the jeans you keep throwing away. And yes, I do keep pulling them from the trash," she added noticing her Aunt's renewed disgust. Alice stood speechless. But the girl sweetly kissed away any hard feelings and smiled before dashing to my Popeye.

He embraced her, boosting her a full three feet off the ground. He was giving her my bear hugs. I watched the scene through angry slits of eyes.

"Need to take in - 300 mL of O2 - a minute. Must breathe," she muttered dramatically, between forced breaths. She demonstrated her teenage histrionics quite well. He plopped down and disheveled her perfect curls with his big hands.

"You little brat," he joked. She smiled, her chin jutting out defiantly. But the pretense clouded over.

"Uncle Emmett, how was your extended honeymoon? It was not the same here without you. Is Aunt Rose here?"

He was about to answer her but he was interrupted by what sounded like the cry of a wolf or a least a really big dog. Nessie's face lit up at the call and she flew over to a window and tossed it up with ease.

"Jacob Black, I told you I'd be out after I saw my family. So you can quit your howling," she yelled, her small body leaning out the window. She was met with a yelp and an eager whimper. "Yes, you're family too," she admitted to the whiny pup. "Just give me a minute, ‘kay?" The window was forced back down and she turned on her heels, laughing to herself. I almost came out of hiding just to see the puppy. It was not fair that she got to have a puppy, while I couldn't even buy another goldfish.

"Aunt Rose, I'm home. Come, let me show you my trip," she called impatiently. "Uncle Jazz, where are you?"

Shyness overwhelmed me and I shrunk down even more in my corner. I hid like a field mouse in a barn with a half a dozen cats. Little did I know, this was probably one of the more appropriate reactions I had displayed as of yet.

My Mia came prancing down the stairs gracefully, a full grin upon her porcelain face. She must have snuck passed us at some point. I could tell she was freshly showered, with not a single grease smudge to pollute her pastel hues.

"Nessie, dear, you've grown," my Mia commented, clasping the girl's angel-like face between her hands. My Mia planted a kiss on this Nessie's forehead.

Emerging from the forbidden basement, Uncle Jasper snagged the girl from behind and twirled her around as if she was still my age. Nessie gave in and giggled good-naturedly as he sat her down.

Nessie was a hair away from full maturity. In fact, she was more mature than most teens. For this reason, she tolerated her family treating her in such a childish manner. She felt it more important to appease them, than to demand her rights as a new adult.

For a moment, I felt awkward, as if I was peeping into someone else's life, a life that I did not belong in. No one commented or made note of me at all.

My eyes were drawn to the open door where another woman, about my Mia's age, stood with her head rested against the door frame. She looked as if she was savoring the moment. Her deep chestnut hair hung loosely at her shoulders in soft waves and her skin was ivory pale, maybe even paler than the rest of my family. She of course had the eyes of everyone else in my family: vibrant gold. She was small but striking.

I do not think anyone else noticed her at first. She seemed to be content without the attention. But at that time, my Uncle Edward's eyes darted to her. He walked to her as if he was under a spell and picked up her up cradling her head to his chest, whispering words only she was meant to hear. And then, they kissed passionately, the kind of kiss one would see in the end of some old movie. I watched, entranced by their affection.

Next, they came in together and she greeted every one with a hug. Nessie looked happily at her reunited family. Unexpectedly her face clouded over in a scowl as if she recalled something. Her little pout had everyone fretful.

"Where are Nana and Papa," she bemoaned sorrowfully. Alice and Popeye glanced at one another as if they had uncovered some top secret scandal.

"Well, your grandfather claims they were attending a Medical conference in St. Louis but Alice says she found Victoria's Secret receipts in your Nana's hamper," my Popeye informed with an impish voice. "Soooo..." he prompted.

"The Island," stated Nessie with a sigh.

"Emmett, would you please stop corrupting my daughter with gossip," grumbled the woman still in Uncle Edward's loving arms.

"Momma, why do Nana and Papa not just tell us they are going on a love trip," Nessie asked boldly, as if it was something that everyone should do.

"Renesme, I do not know. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that when they do, your Uncle Emmett tortures them with continuous innuendos and perverted pranks in their travel bags," she spit more at the accused than at her daughter.

They all laughed; they had such a history together, it was hard to tell what exactly they found amusing. However, I knew that it was most likely something my Popeye did.

"Awww, come on, little sis! Who doesn't enjoy a good surprise?" my Popeye boomed, nudging her forcefully. She gave him a little growl and pushed him back. Next, Popeye clouted the small body of my new Aunt into the wall, dislodging a shelf. My Uncle Edward seemed unconcerned with such abuse. Not a moment later, she tackled him, chastising the antique wooden floor with the buckling force of his weight.

"Speaking of surprises," interrupted Nessie in her engaging voice, "Momma said you had one for me, Aunt Rose. Where is it?" She was like a child waiting for ice cream, she could not contain her anticipation.

I hung my little head at this. My Mia was even buying this pretty girl presents. I did not make a sound; I simply sunk lower in the corner and let silent tears fall.

My mother looked frantically around for a moment. Both my Uncle Edward and Uncle Jasper must have felt the same urgency to find Nessie's present, because they too seemed troubled. My Popeye was too busy fending off my new Aunt to look for anything.

Five seconds into their search, my Uncles stumbled upon me. They were the best seekers in the entire world, or so I thought. My Uncle Edward looked baffled and my Uncle Jasper distressed.

"Emmy," my Uncle Edward's voice whispered as he gathered me from behind the chair. I tried to wipe my tears on his shirt. They remembered me, I thought to myself. "Of course we remembered you. You never were forgotten," he half-scolded. My Popeye looked up, now aware of what was going on.

"Darlin', why are you so upset?" Jazz questioned before another wave of tears flooded into my eyes. Embarrassed and upset, I slid down from my Uncle's arms and searched for comfort.

Her arms were cradling me instantaneously, consoling me as I wept. Her hand smoothed my hair and rubbed my shoulder. My Popeye came to assist her. A wave of tranquility overcame me and I quieted my snuffles.

"You got her a present, but not me," I meekly admitted, trying not to let the others hear. Hurt tinted my little voice.

"Sweetling, I did not buy anyone gifts," she said looking to my Popeye, her gem-like eyes confused. My Popeye shrugged.

"Mmm-hmmmm, you told her you have a surprise," I accused with a whiny tone. Her eyes lit up. She chuckled a little and kissed my cheek.

"You ARE the surprise, Emmalie," she informed calmly, awarding me a hug. I was so relieved; she did not forget me next to the pretty girl. I hugged her back. The sadness evaporated as quickly as it came.

After that, she let me meet my Aunt Bella and Nessie. They were both sympathetic and caring. They even invited me over to play, that was after Nessie spent most of the day with her Jake, who to my disappointment was not a puppy. He was just a tall, long haired, half-naked boy who was almost as funny as my Popeye.

As soon as I shared that I thought he was a puppy, Nessie laughed. I was told I was just hearing things. My Mia promised me that there was no puppy or even a dog. When I asked her about the possibility of a wolf, she stared through me with x-ray-like eyes to Jake who sat on the sofa, curled up with Nessie.

"The only wolf who gets that close to you will be a dead wolf," she promised loudly, her tone almost frightening me. I tried to see what she was glaring at, but there was nothing. I may have imagined it, but I thought I saw Jake nod. At the time, I did not realize it but she was dead serious. My Mia was not the type to make empty threats.

That evening, when Jake had left to hang out with his ‘brothers,' I went with Nessie to her house. She read me stories and pulled down toys that might amuse me. She was more of a babysitter than a playmate, but I had fun nonetheless.

Our favorite game to play was the battle of Cane Hill. Nessie taught it to me, showing with green plastic men just what was supposed to happen. It really was a game of memorization. We would play this game many times throughout my childhood. Different battles were learned as I grew: The Battle of Petersburg, The Battle of Pickett's Mill, The Battle of Plymouth, The Battle of Natural Bridge, The Battle of Harpers Ferry, and so on.

Sometimes, Nessie and I got into little tiffs about what should happen next, what platoon went where. It was usually pretty one-sided. I would fight while Nessie would try to tolerate me. She was always right, yet she never shoved it in my face. In any case, we would go get my history buff Uncle Jasper to show us.

My mother would have much preferred me to play with dolls, but both Nessie and I liked this game. The addition I added was that whatever the battle, it was right next to the Olympic Memorial hospital, where all plastic solider men came back to life. I told Uncle Jasper we needed more nurses, since the bag of green men only came with one. He laughed and promised that he would order more off E-bay, maybe even replace the green men with more accurate figurines.

"I bet they needed more nurses in the real Civil War, huh, Uncle Jazz?" I asked knowing he would know. I had grown to like him with time and multiple story readings.

"You bet they did, kid," he promised, ruffling my hair that I now wore lose to match Nessie's. Aunt Bella peeked around the corner to join the action.

"Nessie, you and Emma start cleaning up! The Battle of Bull Run is not going to be spewed all over my house. It's time the Confederates gave it a rest," she said tossing me in the air and glaring at Uncle Jazz.

"Never," I shouted. Aunt Bella laughed and Uncle Jazz nodded in endorsement.

"You're going to grow up with such a skewed version of American history, thanks to some know-it-all Confederate General," she said punching my Uncle in the arm.

"Who is she talking about, Ness?" I asked innocently. I could tell Nessie knew; she just wasn't going to tell me.

"No one," she said as she swiped up the plastic men. Aunt Bella gathered me in her arms and cuddled me. Aunt Bella enjoyed holding me, so I let her. She would kiss me and tickle me. My Popeye must have told her all my ticklish spots, because she knew them all.

"Oh, Nessie, it feels like you were this little just yesterday," she reminisced as she held me on her lap. I loved Aunt Bella's house. But soon at dusk, my Mia came to pick me up, telling me it was almost bedtime. I only whined a little as I shuffled out the door.

"Thank them for inviting you, Emm," my mother reminded me sweetly.

"Thanks for inviting me," I repeated as directed, before I leaped off the cottage porch. Mia let me walk home instead of carrying me. She pretended to be patient as I kicked the leaves and scuffled along. I'm sure she recognized my attempt to stall.

My room was on the second floor, directly to the left of my parent's giant L-shaped room and across the hall from Uncle Jasper and Aunt Alice's massive corridors. My room used to be Nana's study, but Nana selflessly gave that up since I arrived. Papa Car's study and "painting room" were on this floor as well.

That night, after my bedtime story, several drinks of water, a bear hug from my Popeye, and a dozen kisses from everyone, my mother turned off my bedroom light. She was going to flick on my night light, the one that kept me from stumbling when I got up at night, when I interrupted her.

"Mia," I sleepily called.

"Yes, doll," she said, coming back to my little bed in one stride.

"Thanks for inviting me," I said sincerely, followed by a small yawn. My eyelids were as heavy as lead; they flickered shut then open again.

"Inviting you where, sweetness?" she asked, her blonde hair cascading over her shoulders as she leaned over me. In the dark her paleness almost glowed.

"Inviting me home," I clarified, slipping into dream land.

"You're welcome, baby, you're welcome," she whispered, sealing my sleep with a frosty, sweet kiss.