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What It Takes To Be A Cullen

After a decade-long relationship with Tanya Edward had finally had enough. He moved back in with the Cullens, wondering where his life was going to take him, when two precious children unexpectedly step into his life.


1. Malls and Moodiness

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Edward POV

My exasperated sister heaved a sigh, “Enough with the moody piano playing already!” She stood just a couple yards away, her puny arms crossed. I pursed my lips, and played on. And maybe, just maybe…she’d run off and be a bother elsewhere.

Then again, I never knew Alice to be one to take hints very well.

“She’s right, man,” Emmett chirped, making his over to lean against the doorway to the living room. “It’s gettin’ kinda old.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’d play forever if it’s keep you out of my head”

Alice raised a brow, “Really? And how’s that working for you?” She was amused.

Emmett, as protocol, was grinning like an idiot. Eh-heh! You hear voices, you hear voices, came his taunting sing-song voice.

My hands froze on the keys, my lips a very tight line. “You can imagine,” I muttered, thinking that maybe it’d be tad bit quieter if Emmett’s limbs spent some time apart.

Alice tried her very best to stifle her triumph, now that I wasn’t using the piano as an excuse to ignore her. “Come with us to the mall today,” she ordered, jumping up and down.

I narrowed my eyes. It was an innocent enough question. Except that I knew her to be waiting to ask me to tag along for quite some time now. Images of us--at this very moment--frequently made visits to her mind. It was more than enough to make me suspicious. Not that it was, in any way, unusual for her to anticipate anything that goes on around here.

But still.

I grimaced, only mildly curious to what she was up to. The possibilities were endless, really.

“Come on, Edward.”

--“Come on, Edward,” echoed Emmett.

“Everyone’s going go,” she all but whined, tugging at where my shoulder met my arm.

He coughed.“Except you, of course.”

Alice whipped her head around to face her much bigger brother, “He’s going,” her voice was very final.

I shook my head. “I don’t--“

“Great! See you outside in two minutes,” Alice pecked me on the cheek.

And both of them were gone.


It was only slightly cloudy today. There was certainly a chance that, given the circumstances, they could give away completely and the sun would finally make an appearance in Forks. Not a very propitious day to be out indeed.

But Alice had insisted we come to its only mall--and not even a bigger one in Port Angeles! She’d received several strange looks, and an eye roll from Rosalie who was convinced that the Forks mall had nothing. She’d gone off with Emmett as soon as we’d arrived to pick out what suits she could find with him, and the rest of the boys had gone off to department stores to look around. That left Alice and I to wander around the scarcely populated promenade, looking at nothing in particular. She seemed strangely distracted. And what’s more is she hasn’t bought a thing all day.

Very disturbing.

“Alice, honey?” I began in a careful, measured tone, “Are you okay? Do you want to some shoes to make you feel better?”

“Hmm? Oh, no thanks. I’m fine.” she replied with the same blank look.

I raised my brows, blinking rapidly.

She took my hand and led me to the right, “Let’s keep walking that way.”

We’d reached the very center of the mall, jars and jars of large candies on display in the middle of the walkway. While many other children ogled them longingly, only to be tugged along by their parents, one small boy with large, dark eyes slowly crept up behind one of the jars. The manager of the mini-shop was on the phone, alert, but hardly aware of the black-haired child who wasn’t even tall enough to see over the candy.

So abrupt that even I was surprised, he snatched as many gumballs as his puny hands could hold and dashed off. Alice, previously occupied with whatever occupied Alice, noticed it a half a second later than I did.

The small boy would have probably gotten away with too--if he hadn’t collided with an adult passerby. He fell backwards, his stolen candy spewing in all different directions, shattering on the floor. The stout man on the phone whipped his head around, immediately shouting angry obscenities at the boy who was parked on the floor, frozen with fear.

I wasn’t completely sure what happened next. I just reacted. What was I supposed to do, just let the poor boy sit there while other people walked by, stared and did absolutely nothing? Let him be viciously assaulted by someone who is clearly supposed to know better?

The young boy was all but shaking with fear when Alice and I approached him. The owner, mistaking us for his care-takers, instantly quieted.

He looked about five years old. He had a yellowish tint to his olive skin, his cropped hair a glossy black. He was completely alone.

“I won’t do it again, I promise,” he rushed out, breathing heavily.

Suddenly a rush of anger surged through my spine at the unruly candy shop owner. For the love of god, he was just a child! I was surprised that man hadn’t frightened him to tears at this point.

“Relax, sweetheart. You’re not in trouble. Are you okay?”

He quickly helped himself up from the ground. He didn’t look up. “Yeah, I’m okay. It’s just--I’m just…”

Alice kneeled down to his eye-level, frowning. “Just what?”

“Hungry,” he said to the ground.

Alice’s frowned turned angry, mirroring my thoughts.

“What about your parents, sweetheart? Are they here?” I asked.

He shook his head, “I don’t--I don’t see them anymore.”

My heart just about dropped to my stomach.

“What is your name?” Alice suddenly asked.

He sniffed, “Shia.”

She stood up and held out her hand to him, a determined expression on her face. “Come with me, Shia”

She marched him up to the shop owner. He was talking on the phone again. He only got the hint when she gave withering glare.

“A word, please,” she began as he shut it off, utterly bamboozled as to why he should get such a look from such a dazzling young lady. “That was the most disgusting behavior I have ever seen in my life and I’m not talking about the child, you despicable human being,” she said this all in a very calmly manner, accentuating each word. Meanwhile, both the man and I had our mouths parted in shock.

Behind me, a giggle escaped Shia’s lips.

“I should report this and have you removed,” her eyes narrowed. Shia’s twinkling eyes darted from her to the man, amused at watching him struggle for words. I had a sudden urge to laugh along with him.

“Miss, I’m so s--“

But” she continued in a sickishly sweet tone, “since I have no intention of making a scene over your unforgivable conduct, all I require of you is an apology.”

He was more than ready to oblige, “Really, Miss. I’m so very deeply so--“

“Not me, fool,” she crossed her arms, causing the shop owner to look down at Shia with an incredulous look.

He smiled sweetly back at him.

“I’m…sorry,” he forced out, trying very hard to keep the anger out of his voice.

“Like ya mean it…” Alice urged. At that point I was thinking that this had gone too far and that maybe I should stop it. But then I got one look at Shia’s joyful grin, his dimples making their first appearance, and the thought was immediately discarded.

The man gave Alice one last look of something that I would label along the lines of pure hatred, before composing himself and looking down at Shia again. “I deeply apologize for speaking to you that way. I promise it will never happen again.”

Alice kneeled down again, “Do you believe him, Shia?”

The endearing little one scratched his chin, concentrating hard. After a few seconds he gave the man a thumbs up. “Yup! I believe ‘im,” he said cheerily, causing both Alice and I to laugh. He didn’t find It as funny.