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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. :)


4. Honeymooners and Sneaky Uncles

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4329   Review this Chapter

The transition into Cullen family life was virtually painless, a fact my parents were immensely grateful for. Loving a Cullen was like loving chocolate; it came naturally. Well, to me it did anyway. One would have thought I had hit the jackpot when I heard I had another aunt and a cousin. I was the luckiest girl in the whole world. To go from having nothing to having everything was like meeting Santa after some Grinch had told you he was a phony. My wildest dreams couldn't have fabricated anything this close.

Only one snag had bogged down my Mia and Popeye: the strain of being 24-7 parents had taken its toll on their relationship. As of recent, they had been drilled through a sort of parent boot camp. While, I'm sure they treasured our first few months together, I had forced them into an agonizing abstinence. Well, perhaps it was not total abstinence; that was beyond them. They were not that saintly. It was simply that their allotted time for lovemaking was no longer without interruption. I often woke up in the middle of the night and intruded, asking to get into bed with them. To them, it was the most painstaking inconvenience and they both had turned into real grumps.

In one day, Popeye punched a hole in the wall over a lost bet, and Mia had it out with my Uncle Edward over some snide remark that only she heard. She showed her displeasure by ripping a score of his music into confetti which she then tossed over his head. He responded by threatening to shave her head. I watched with wide eyes, while Popeye kept Uncle Edward from dishing out justice. Nana and Uncle Jasper finally broke it up, threatening to call Papa Car home from his morning rounds.

Seeing the exhausted and edgy state of the first-time parents, Nana practically pushed them out the door, insisting they take some time to themselves. Mia and Popeye consented and agreed to give their honeymoon another chance. Suitcases were packed in an instant; only four days after we had moved in, they were leaving again.

Mia lingered at the door for a long time, bidding me goodbye. I could sense the tension in her perfect posture. Leaving me was harder for her than she could have ever imagined. The internal battle painfully tugged her heart strings in opposing directions. For a moment, I thought my begging had swayed her to stay, but my Popeye was the voice of reason. He convinced her that not only was it in the best interest of the family, but the continual existence of her hair depended upon it.

They had no doubt that I was in safe hands as they left me to bond with my new family. It was little more than a weekend trip, four days at the most. Moreover, they would be ‘a phone call away.' It was always the promise, to her and to me.

Aunt Alice's shoulder was sodden with tears; even an hour later, I was still weeping in her arms. Nana sat next to her, humming in my ear, calming my sprit. While I was convinced that aunts and nanas were God's gift to mankind, they were no replacement for mothers. Alice distracted me to the best of her girly abilities. She painted my toes and I watched as if she were magic. I saw her as my first friend, and I loved her dearly. The only complaint I had against Aunt Alice was that, for some reason unbeknownst to me, she married tricky Uncle Jasper.

Uncle Jasper was devious; I discovered this the first two nights he conducted bedtime. When he put me to bed, no matter how much I wanted to jump on the feathered mattress, I was asleep in seconds - emotionally drained. I only let Uncle Jasper put me down twice before I announced that he was banned from the bedtime routine.

"Why?" he asked, as Nana's grandfather clock chimed in the corner. His smile was smug; Uncle Jasper's eyes even appeared to be laughing. It was as if he had a secret that I did not know about. He was the illusionist, while I was the ignorant audience. I glared up at him with all the fury a five-year-old could rally.

"Because you cheat!" I yelled, putting my hands on my bony little hips. My jaw flexed in defiance. The room bubbled with laughter, drowning out the sweet, familiar melody of Uncle Edward's piano. Despite my love for Bach's ‘Air on a G string,' I kept my mean face on. Uncle Jasper looked at me questioningly, still faintly amused about my allegations.

Uncle Edward turned a page of music and pivoted on his piano bench, a smile flashing across his face. Alice scooped up the cards from our recent ‘Go Fish' game with nimble fingers. Her smirk, as well, was all knowing, yet she too ignored my finger pointing. I stomped my new designer boots, demanding the attention they were denying me. Nana gave in and came to my side in attempt to pacify me.

"Rose said she was observant," Nana Esme said, lifting me up from the ground. Her maternal nature took over; she must have felt a fit coming on. She stroked my back gently, walking toward the stairs.

"Nana Esme, he really is a cheat. I just know it," I alleged, working myself to tears thinking they did not take me seriously. I was mad, misunderstood, and so not ready for bed. They were still laughing, unaware of my water-brimmed eyes. Of course, they thought this was amusing. I will show them, I thought. I squirmed free and ran over to a pile of fresh shopping bags from Milan.

"No!" lamented my Aunt Alice, before I even had made it across the vast room. I quickly found a blue lace dress and ripped at it with all my might until I heard the tear. My hand went into the next bag, intent on further destruction. I could hear Uncle Jasper growl and Aunt Alice gasp. As always, my Uncle Edward caught me before I could finish my naughty rampage. He was always the one to catch me, sometimes even before I did anything.

"No, you don't," he admonished, tugging me toward the couch. I immediately struggled like a little fish on a hook, but he hauled me there effortlessly. I was certain he was going to hold me down so Uncle Jasper could take his revenge, but he laughed and corrected me.

"No, Emma, I am not going to hurt you. Now stop squirming," he demanded, still amused. He restrained me in his metal cage-like grip, and pulled me onto his lap. Tears burned like fire in my emerald eyes. Eventually, I calmed down enough to look around at the blurry figures. Uncle Jasper was no longer smug, just cold. His eyes flashed to my Aunt Alice, who was clearly distraught by the death of her lingerie. My Nana Esme looked sad, so sad it made me feel like crying anew. I knew I had found the right way to get back at Uncle Jasper and all my disbelieving family. Yet, now it did not feel so good. Suddenly, I realized they may no longer like me. More tears rolled down my flushed cheeks. I wanted my Mia and Popeye; they loved me even when I was horrid.

"And we love you too. It's just, presently, we are all sad to see you acting poorly," my Uncle Edward claimed in his perfect, silken voice. He hugged me in his cold arms. My Uncle Edward was also a daddy. His Nessie was old now and never bad like me, Mia told me - those not being her exact words. Nessie and her Mia were on a trip; I had been waiting to meet them.

I hugged him because he appeared to be my only ally at the moment. "What do you say we give Emm- I mean Popeye a call," he suggested, promptly wiping my tear stained face with one of my Elmo tissues.

"But Popeye said only ‘mergencies and breathkiss time," I recalled between sobs, hitching my breath. He did not bother to correct the mispronunciation of the words. He swiped my tear-matted hair out of my face and smiled half way. Probably 'cause half of him is still mad at me, I thought to myself.

"I think we can get him to make an exception," he stated hopefully. Looking around, I found that the large, open, sitting area was now empty save for us two. Nana Esme was talking to Papa Car on her silver phone in the open foyer area and Uncle Jasper was comforting Aunt Alice around the corner. His hushed voice was sweet and consoling. The rotten feeling grew even stronger. I realized that Uncle Edward was already talking to my Popeye; my heart pounded as he gave the incriminating account of my behavior. Then, the phone was pressed to my little ear.

"Emmalie Alice Marie Cullen, did you destroy your Aunt Alice's overpriced negligee?" he inquired sternly, but he seemed as if he might have been smiling. Sometimes, he was funny and stern all in one moment.

"I think so, Popeye," I whispered into the phone. Really, I was wondering what a 'negligee' was.

"Why?" he asked harshly. I wished he would tell me a funny joke instead of barking questions. I tried to remember the Popsicle stick joke I read this afternoon, but he got too impatient. "Emmalie?"

"I wanted to get back at Uncle Jasper and I knew that would work," I confessed honestly.

"What? I don't think I understand you. Are you telling me, that you hurt Aunt Alice, to get back at Uncle Jasper?"

"Yes, Popeye, I already said that," I scolded, frustrated that he was not listening. He could not hold in his growl. He growled whenever I gave him my sass. He claimed it was the one thing that made me, without a doubt, my mother's daughter; that and my fits.

"Popeye, why do you bark at me? You are the one who stole my Mia. And Uncle Jasper is a nighttime story skipper, so I get none, ever! No ‘Fumblilina' or ‘Peanutbutter Pan', noffin! He is a big cheater. I should bark at you, Popeye. This is your fault," I said in my best Mia imitation, I even added a faint growl at the end.

Audible tidal waves of laughter boomed though the minute speaker, causing me to have to pull the phone away in attempt to save my eardrums. I clenched the small phone and glared at it. But Uncle Edward pried it from my fingers before I could fling it.

"Come on, Emmett," he negotiated, speaking into the silver phone. "She obviously misses you and she is at the age where she doesn't understand laughing." He paused and rolled his tawny eyes. "...Emmett, do you honestly think I care what you and Rose were in the middle of?" my Uncle Edward continued slightly annoyed, a grimace of disgust on his face. "Put her on," my Uncle demanded, winking at me. "...Rose..." and then he rambled so fast I could not make out the words.

I was ecstatic at the thought of Mia. Uncle Edward was the best at making Mia do what he said. Well, not really; it was more that he was not afraid of telling her the truth. Mia listened to Nana Esme and Papa Car. Mia sometimes listened to Popeye, but only when he was playing the role of peacekeeper.

"Ok, I'll give her the message." Yayyy! I shouted in my head. "Whatever, Rose. Just don't keep her waiting to long. It's late," he reminded, snapping the silver phone shut.

I started jumping up and down when I heard the words. But Uncle Edward had to be the party pooper. "I would not be that happy if I were you," he warned. "Your Mia says that until they get home, you can wait in the naughty corner."

"Oh, Uncle Edward, I do not mind, honestly," I said shaking my head back and forth. He tried not to smile, but I think only half of his faced listened again.

"Alright then," he said, raising one eyebrow at me. By this point, I realized that the others were in the room.

"Can it be the glass corner, so I can watch for the red Barbie car?" I asked, referring to the glass wall that faced the winding drive.

My Uncle Edward looked over at the glass wall and nodded. I ran faster than any kid had ever run to any corner in history. But all of a sudden, I was side tracked and had to disclose my reason for excitement. I quickly ran over to Nana Esme and shared.

"They are coming home because I was bad," I announced wrapping her slender legs in a hug, then pulling away to dance around. I was so happy, I did not hear the side door creak open.

"Uh-ohh," said my Papa Car, taking off his jacket as he walked through the door. He was always helping the sick people and he often got home late.

"Sounds like a misconception to me. Should we re-inform her or let the first-time parents do the job?" he asked, kissing my beautiful Nana. Nana's face lit up like the morning sun. He pressed his forehead to hers and they seemed to dance in each other's embrace.

"I have already raised mine. I think I would rather just spoil her rotten and let them do all the dirty work," she said with her smile. When Nana smiled like that, she looked so young. Papa Car pulled away realizing he had an audience. He tossed me in the air until blissful giggles echoed in the large room.

"So, Thumbelina," he said, using his nickname for me derived from my favorite story. "What was this naughty deed which has your parents coming home two days early from their favorite love spot?"

I looked down at my toes and then bit my lip. Papa Car, who was entirely upright, was big on treating other people acceptably. Ripping up other people's newly purchased dresses did not fit into his code of conduct.

"I really don't want you to know too, Papa Car. It will just make you sad at me," I explained, not looking at him.

If I had been looking, I'm sure he would have been smiling. He loved my made up phrases...

You are sad at me (I have upset you),

Don't give me the black eye (stop staring at me),

Don't use your ice-cream hands (your hands are cold),

Mermaid time (bath time),

Mermaid fishing time (the time when you try to get me out of the bathtub),

Thunderball (my nickname for baseball),

The Car House (the garage),

Monkeyback (same as piggyback),

I am un-listening (I heard you but I am doing my own thing),

Magic money cards (Alice's credit cards),

The game turn-er on-er (the remote control),

And last but not least, every ones favorite saying,

Popeye is putting Mia to bed. That's why she cries so much (the explanation I gave my extended family when I answered the phone for my Mia, because she was ‘napping').

"Well, I am not going to make you tell me, but I always try to give advice when I can," he told me with another icy peck to my cheek as he set me down. He always found a gentle way to provide guidance, never forcing anything on anyone.

"What is ‘vice, Papa Car?" I freely asked. Papa Car was always teaching me new words. He was like a walking dictionary.

"Well, advice tells you what you should do next," he shared in his teacher voice, he over-enunciated the word 'advice.' He explained just about anything, except where babies came from - he did not know that one.

"Oh, I already got some of that. I'm ‘posed to wait in the corner," I clarified quickly, not really wanting more of that advice stuff. He fought bemusement, his face only disclosing a phantom of a smile, appearing and disappearing as fast as it came. My Uncle Edward decided to help him out, he being a Popeye too.

"No, advice would entail possibly apologizing to Aunt Alice," he said, glancing over to my little Aunt Alice. She was running her small hands through her gorgeous black hair, the contrast of ink on paper. As soon as he said it, I remembered what I did and began to cry.

"Aunt Alice, I am sooooo sorry. I should not have broken your princess dress," I exclaimed running to her. She immediately picked me up and stroked my back with her snow cold hands.

"I forgive you, Emmalie," she told me in her flute-like voice. She did not ever stay mad at me; her temperament was always so even.

"It is just that Uncle Jasper is a big fat story skipper. And that makes him a chea..."

"Emmalie," interrupted my Papa Car in a low, disapproving tone, his brows pulled together. "Typically, when one is apologizing, one does not insult the person's spouse."

"Papa Car, I never insulted her mouse, just Uncle Jasper," I defended, perplexed at his words. He still looked at me with his angry eyebrows lowered. The cute card was sooo not going to work.

"No, Emmalie. Her spouse, your Uncle Jasper," he explained. His paternal stare told me to stop, but I still wanted to persist in my point. Uncle Jasper decided to fix the problem before it got too out of hand. He was always the gentleman, well, most always.

"Emmalie, I am sorry that I skipped your bedtime stories. I promise to take your bedtime more seriously from now on," he said, his golden eyes sincere. My Uncle Jasper was still learning to be an uncle. He was not naturally fond of children. His other niece was easier for him to get along with, more like him. At his promise, I wiggled down from my Aunt Alice and cuddled his solid legs. He was a little dumbfounded by my display of affection, but he played it cool.

"And you will read stories?"

"Yes," he conceded with a sigh of defeat.

I tore up the steps and returned with my worn copy of Thumbelina and handed it to him eagerly. He snarled slightly, but he took it, letting me curl up in his lap as he read. Aunt Alice and Uncle Edward watched, pleased with the tortured look on Uncle Jasper's face. He fought to keep the boredom from tinting his voice. I was careful to remind him when he skipped a page.

"The mouse page, Uncle Jasper! We missed it," I pointed out before he could start with the next page. He was very grateful for my help.

"So we did," he admitted begrudgingly, "the pages must have been stuck together." He flipped back, tearing the corner of the page. When we finished, I sighed contentedly, almost asleep. Uncle Jasper looked over at his wife, who was trying to piece together the remains of her lingerie. She gave up and tossed it back in the bag.

"Next time I slip, I know who I am going after," he said, getting her full attention and a judgmental sigh from my newspaper reading Papa. ‘Slip' was one of those commonly used words that no one really explained to me.

"And who would that be?" she asked, none too alarmed. I had no idea what they were talking about.

"The sick-minded fool who thought it was acceptable to write a 57 page picture book," he growled, muttering the author's name under his breath. My Nana clicked her tongue at him and came over to gather me. "I know what you're thinking, Carlisle, but I am confident parents everywhere would praise me for it." Alice laughed and pried the book from my sleepy grip. Nana started to hum to Uncle Edward's playing, but I sprung up, resisting anything that remotely resembled an attempt to get me to my bed.

"You will read ‘Fumbalina' with me, tomorrow?" I asked, making him verify his promise. His lean, handsome face smiled at me. He put his hands on his knees, bowing, so that we saw eye to eye.

"I will read Thumbelina every night until I can convince you that I am no cheat," he stumbled on the last word. He was his hardest critique; he probably felt guiltier over this than he deserved to. But why not use it to my advantage?

"WOW, I'm sure glad we got home when we did," boomed a familiar voice. "Next, she will be requesting that you dress up as Snow White and sing Yankee Doodle dandy." My Popeye was carrying all of my Mia's designer suite cases though the front door - he was her own, personal bell-hop. I would have run to hug him were he not masked by the pile of luggage. Instead, I jumped, jittery with excitement.

"Would you really do that, Uncle Jasper?" I demanded animatedly, giggling at the thought, thrilled about the arrival of my parents.

"Maybe the Snow White part, but never Yankee Doodle, never EVER Yankee Doodle," he said, wincing in revolt. Everyone chuckled, even I did. Uncle Jasper said that Yankee Doodle was a very bad song, but not nearly as bad as the ‘Yankee Doodle Dandelion' song.

Uncle Edward left the room abruptly. He may have harbored some hard feelings towards my Mia. When I was young, I never noticed the underlying abhorrence they had for each other. Moreover, when I did, I was convinced that somewhere deep inside they really did like each other, even if they were not consciously aware of the fact. The problem was they were always conscious.

"Why are you not in the corner?" questioned my Mia in her hissy voice, her perfect eyes narrowed in vexation. She was still dressed like beach Barbie, even though she came back to our rainy, old house.

"MIAAAA," I shrieked as I skipped to her, too happy to be taken aback by her scolding. She knelt down, embracing me, and I flung myself at her, hard enough to induce bruising. She smelled like sandboxes and flowers. I happily cried on her sundress before she pulled me away. I inhaled her scent, trying to memorize it by heart.

"I missed you with my whole heart," I said sincerely. I hugged her tightly as if I was never going to let go.

"Me too," she agreed. Her chalk-white thumb swabbed away my salty tears and her pretty lips curled into a smile. Her love was like a locket I could wear around my neck; everyone could see it.

My Popeye looked in the shopping bag and smiled. "Huh...not bad, squirt. I think you're getting stronger," he commented before trudging up the stairs with all the stuff. My Mia rolled her eyes at the misplaced affirmation. Aunt Alice shot him a death glare. But I turned my attention back to my Mia.

"Do you want to play Sleeping Beauty with me? You can be Rose and I'll be Milly-phant?" My eyes were wide as I invited her to play. She looked at me like I stepped on her pedicured toe. I was being nice; I always asked to be Sleeping Beauty and she had to be the dragon lady with the funny name. Despite the gesture, she declined.

"You have to do time-out and then we have to go be real sleeping beauties," she said, raising her little brows above her honey eyes and glancing down at the watch I got her for Mommy's Day.

"If you don't cry at bedtime, neither will I," I promised, referring to the cries I heard on occasion. Mia's perfect face faded from bewildered to horrified. Popeye, who was back from carrying Mia's traveling wardrobe, tossed his head back in laughter. He was always in a blissful mood after spending time with her.

"Your Mia only cries at bedtime because she is such a whiner," Popeye explained, messing up my Mia's hair with his big hands. I glared at him, impersonating my Mia. Sometimes, he was not very considerate of a lady's hair. Yet, he did recently save her from eternal baldness. Maybe, he was entitled to mess up her hair a little. He kissed away her feigned pout. When his lips met hers, any displeasure melted like snow in the noon sun.

"I'm not a whiner, Popeye," I reminded proudly, fighting for my share of attention. He gave me a bear hug and pulled me away.

"Will you do corner time with out whining?" he requested with his eyebrows raised. That meant it was a challenge.

"Bet you I can," I said meeting the dare. But, I immediately regretted telling him that I could. He pointed to a daunting corner and I went looking over my shoulder for reassurance. I was always very sensitive about time-out.

He had to tell me to face the corner at least a dozen times. I think I kept on turning around to make sure he was still there, to see if he was happy with me. After I did my time of five minutes, or in child time - 45 to life, I was allowed to come out. I immediately ran to him and asked how I did, to which he just tickled me into fits of joy. I crumpled on the floor in laughter, but I still did not say it. He rolled down on the floor with me, wrestling gently.

"Aww, come on say it," he encouraged in his playful tease. I rolled this way and that, squirming like a caterpillar, trying to escape his giant fingers. Several pairs of adoring eyes watched us wrestle. Not even my mother offered a refuge from the onslaught of tickling.

"Say it, Emma," he continued until I gave in, white flag up. His eyes were so golden, they shined. He smiled his usual carefree smile.

"I'mmm...heeeheheheh, daddy's...he he...girl," I squealed between giggles.

"How long?" he prompted with yet more tickles.

"For... heehehahaa," I started but could not finish. A tickling finger got under one of my arms.

"Forever," I screamed quickly, when I could take no more. I kissed my adoring audience goodnight. Then like always, I was wrapped in a bear hug, carried away to bedtime and sweet dreams.