After Brad had given all the information about the security box and gave the extra key to Emmett, he also informed him that he had added him to the signature card for the box.
“Emmett, even if Rosalie and you decide not to be put in the will as legal guardians, I trust you will be able to get the contents of what is in the box to Bree, when she reaches the age of eighteen.”
“Of course. Just let me talk over your proposal with Rose, and I will let you know very soon.”
Brad looked out the window at the cold bleak day, and knew that it was only a matter of time before Caius would be back to cover his tracks and those who were actually behind this whole situation. Brad was smart enough to know that Caius wasn’t the man behind this whole thing. He had thought about trying to contact Carlisle Cullen, but was not sure who to trust and who he shouldn’t. This was more than evident when he happened to look up the funerals of Elizabeth and Isabella Marie Cullen. In one of the photographs of the crowd, there, in the background, was Caius. This proved to Brad that this was orchestrated by someone close to the Cullen family.
“Thank you, Emmett, for considering this. Louise and I will sleep better knowing that little Bree will be taken care of should something happen to us.” Brad said, then walked out of the office.
Emmett got up, locked the door, and walked out the back door and down the walkway that connected his office to the main house. Once inside the mudroom, he removed his boots and went out to find his darling wife. He found her in the den. She was sitting on the couch, wearing a tight pair of yoga pants, fluffy socks, and one of Emmett’s sweatshirts that was ten times too large for her, but, in his eyes, it made her even sexier.
“Hello, good lookin.” Emmett smirked.
Rosalie looked up from her book, and smiled at her husband. She counted her blessings daily to have someone like Emmett love her. “Hey, sweetie, did you get some work done?”
Emmett picked up her legs and slipped underneath them. “I did, Brad Mathers came in to have his will updated.”
Rosalie looked at her husband’s face, and, instantly, could tell there was something more he was saying. “That is nice. I really like Brad and Louise, and, of course, Bree. She is such a little angel.”
“Rose, I need to talk to you about something that Brad requested.”
“What?” She questioned.
“If something would happen that both Brad and Louise were killed, or died at the same time, he has asked if we would consider becoming Bree’s guardians?”
Rose couldn’t believe what she heard. She knew that Brad and Louise had no other relatives, as well as how much they seemed to care for Bree, but why would they want them as guardians? She instantly lost herself in the thought of being Bree’s mother. She could see them doing everything that a mother and daughter would do: she saw them walking down the mall together with shopping bags in their hands, baking cookies in the kitchen, and talking about boys.
“Rose, what do you think about it?” Emmett asked, wondering what Rose was thinking about.
“Emmett, of course, I would love to be a guardian to Bree.” Rose declared.
“Rose, dear, this is just in case something happens to both Brad and Louise, which could happen or never happen. I know you care for her, but remember that Brad and Louise are still her guardians.” Emmett explained.
“I know, but I want us to be there just in case something horrible happens. I need, no, we need to be there for Bree.” Rose implored.
“We will be if we are needed. I will call Brad and let him know our decision, but Rose I must also tell you that I have a funny feeling that something is wrong. Please be aware of your surroundings when you are with Bree.”
“Do you think she is in danger?”
“I don’t know, but Brad was definitely scared today. I couldn’t live if something happened to you.” Emmett begged.
Emmett called Brad and let him know their decision; Brad was relieved. That night, when Bree was all tucked away in her bed, Brad told Louise that Emmett and Rose had agreed to their request. He had kept nothing from Louise and she agreed with him that they had been lied to about Bree’s father. She had broke down when she saw the photograph of Carlisle saying his goodbyes to his daughter. Brad had told her that he was sorry for pulling them into this mess and putting her in danger, but he wasn’t sorry for helping Bree. The months with Bree had been some of the happiest of his life.
**************I C ****************
Aro had been keeping a close eye on Carlisle, and, several months after the funeral, he was sure that Carlisle didn’t suspect that his daughter was still alive. When Esme and Edward had started coming over, he was worried that Carlisle would marry Esme and have another possible heir, but, after doing some investigating, he was happy to find out that Esme couldn’t have anymore children. She had had some complications after Edward’s birth, and the doctors had to do a complete hysterectomy. After learning that piece of information, he began leaving hints to Carlisle about moving on with his life, and how wonderful Esme seemed to be.
Carlisle knew how wonderful Esme was and how precious Edward was, but he thought it was too early to try to move on. Even though he never truly loved Elizabeth, he did care for her. Could he really allow himself to give over to the feelings that he had for Esme?
One day, Aro was in Carlisle’s office going over some business dealings. “Carlisle, brother, I think you should really consider taking the next step with Esme Masen. She is already in the family and she seems to have some very serious feelings for you.”
“Aro, it is too soon.”
“Carlisle, Elizabeth would want you to move on and be happy. I am not telling you to forget them, but to start living again.” Aro pushed.
“I will think about it.” Carlisle answered, as he looked at Aro. Never had his brother had concerns about his feelings, and he wondered why now. Maybe his prayers had been answered and Aro had finally come around to be the brother he had always prayed for.
After Aro left, Carlisle mind was flooded with memories of the conversation. He thought of Esme and how she had allowed his heart to open and allow the love that he had locked away inside for her out. The warm, peaceful feeling poured over him into every cell of his body, and, for the first time since Elizabeth and Lizzy Bell’s murder, he felt lighter. Aro was right, Elizabeth would have wanted him to move on, and he knew his little Lizzy Bell would be cheering him on from heaven.
Picking up his phone, he called Esme. “Hello, Esme, how are you today?”
Esme was excited to hear from Carlisle. “I am well, and yourself?”
“Good, busy as always. How is Edward?”
“He is currently cleaning his room. I can’t believe how dirty it can get in such a short period of time.”
“Yeah, we are just that way. Must be in our DNA. The reason I was calling was I was hoping that you and Edward could come over dinner tonight.”
“Oh that sounds nice. What time?”
“How about six-thirty?” Carlisle asked, knowing that he would have enough time to get everything he needed to ask Esme to marry him. They could spent months in dating before he asked, but why wait? Life was too short.
“That sounds wonderful.” Esme cooed.
“I will pick you up.”
“Oh, you will? We will be ready. I am looking forward to it.”
“See you then.” Carlisle confirmed as he hung up.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with Carlisle going to his jeweler and picking out a ring for Esme and arranging the special dinner for them. He even went out and purchased a new suit for the occasion. After a long drawn out argument with Garrett, where he decided to take his favorite Bentley to pick up Esme himself. Carlisle finally convinced him that he would keep an watchful eye out of danger. Garrett wasn’t happy about it, but agreed. He had been unable to find out who had murdered Elizabeth and Lizzy Bell. Whoever had done it had covered their tracks very well. But he continued with his investigation, because he would find out who had done it and make them pay.
Carlisle arrived at Esme’s house and rang her doorbell. The door was answer by a smiling Edward. “Mr. Carlisle, we are going to your house?”
“Yes, you are.” Carlisle chuckled, then he saw her. Esme walked toward them wearing the most beautiful navy blue form fitting dress, with her long brunette hair swept to the side. As she got close, he reached out for her hand, and brought it to his lips, and began kissing the back of her hand with several light kisses. Then, he looked up at her. “You look lovely.”
Esme blushed a bright shade of rose on her cheeks. “Thank you and you look very handsome as well.”
“Can we go already? I am hungry.” Edward insisted.
“Okay Edward. Let’s go feed this hungry monster.” Carlisle joked, then offered his arm to Esme, took Edward’s hand, and took them to his car. Once inside, Carlisle began driving back to the mansion.
“One day I am going to have a car like this.” Edward exclaimed, excitedly.
“Yes, you will.” Carlisle confirmed, because if Esme said yes, Edward would his son and he would have all the privileges and wealth that Carlisle had. After dinner, Edward wanted to go out to the garden and play. After putting on his jacket, hat, and gloves he was out the doors and began playing in the new snow that had fallen overnight. It had been a cold and snowy November and a cold December had been forcasted, as well. Carlisle and Esme bundled up as well and went out to watch as he ran around and played in the snow.
“He loves it here.” Esme stated.
“I love having him here, as well as you.”
“Yes, very much so; actually, I was hoping that you would agree to marry me and come live here forever. What do you say Esme, will you marry me?”
Esme was shocked by Carlisle’s question. She couldn’t believe he wanted to marry her. She loved him with all her heart and soul, but never imagined that he would ever return her feelings, because he was Carlisle Cullen, the head of the Cullen crime family. “Are you sure?”
“Esme, you have done something that I never thought I would ever be able to do again and that is to finally find love. I want to share all that I have with you, I want to love you with everything that I am, and.” He said, then stopped and looked up towards Edward. “I would love to be a father to Edward. So, what do you say? Will you marry me?”
“Yes, oh yes, I will marry you.”
Carlisle pulled out the ring and slipped it onto her finger, then pulled her close, leaned in, and began to kiss her. The feeling of their lips together ignited a fire in him that he had never felt before, and the love that he had for her poured into the kiss.
“Eww.” Edward boomed.
Carlisle pulled from Esme’s lips, and smiled at her before turning toward Edward. “What is eww about that, little man?”
“Girls have cooties, and if you kiss them you get double cooties.” Edward explained.
Carlisle chuckled at Edward. “All right, but I will remind you of this one day. Come over here, your Mom and I want to tell you something.”
Edward came over, and climbed up onto Carlisle’s lap. “Edward, Carlisle has asked for me to marry him.” Esme said.
“What does that mean?” Edward asked.
“It means that Carlisle will become my husband, and, if you’d like, he can become your father. Now I know you still miss your dad, but he would want us to be happy, and I am happy with Carlisle. So what do you think?” Esme proposed.
Edward thought for a moment, and then looked up at Carlisle. “Does this mean I can come over whenever I want?”
“Edward, you will be living here all the time.”
“Cool. Let’s do this. Come on, Mom, I need to go home and pack my toys.” Edward demanded as he jumped down from Carlisle’s lap, and grabbed his mother’s hand.
“Hold on there. We won’t be moving in until after the wedding.” Esme explained.
“Well, when is that?” Edward asked.
Esme looked at Carlisle. She never expected to get married again. Her first wedding was a formal event, and she really didn’t want that again, but she wondered if Carlisle needed to invite all the family. “What type of wedding do you want?” She questioned.
“Anything you want, my love. It can be the grandest of affairs or a simple wedding between just us and the priest.” Carlisle answered.
“I would really like something small, just a few friends and immediate family.”
“Then that is what you shall have. Edward, do you think you can wait a few weeks?” Carlisle asked.
“Do I have to? Come on, Mom, this place is huge I am sure Carlisle has room for us now.” Edward pleaded.
“He is right, you know. You can stay in the guest suites in the west wing until after the wedding.” Carlisle said, hoping she would consider it. He didn’t want to pressure her, but the thought of seeing her daily gave him great joy.
Esme thought of the offered and knew she wanted to be here with him as soon as possible. “I like that idea, a lot.”
“Wonderful, Edward, you need to help your Mother pack, because it looks like you are going to start living here very soon.”
They all went inside and Carlisle showed them where their rooms would be. Then, they talked about the move and the wedding. After calling Father Christopher, Carlisle called Garrett, and told him the great news, then called Aro to thank him for pushing him.
After Aro hung up with Carlisle, he quickly called Caius, and told him to start planning tying up the loose ends; he wanted it to happen right after Carlisle said I do.