Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Christmas to Remember Outtake

It's gonna be a Christmas to remember
I know it's true
Time doesn't stand still
Many things can change
But we know some things never will
The memories we share
The songs we always sing
The mystery of life
The hopefulness this season brings
And I have a dream or two
Maybe they will come true
A Christmas to Remember ~ Amy Grant

December 24, 1986
~*~Princess Esme Cullen ~*~

"Esme you have to calm down if what you're saying is true there is no reason for you to be so… so stressed out over what Carlisle is going to say."
I stopped my pacing in front of the fireplace and turned to meet the very concerned face of Alec Bane. He was the only person in the entire country that I trusted with this kind of secret. Nevertheless, I did not want anyone to know that I was expecting my first child until I had a chance to tell Carlisle.
"It's not just his reaction I am worried about Alec; although I am concerned that the news will get out and he'll find out from someone else," I said shooting him a glance. "I am on the other hand worried that he won't be able to make it back from Africa for me to tell him on Christmas."
"Carlisle is an honorable man Esme, if he says he'll be back on time he'll be back on time."
I walked over to Alec and cupped his hand in mine. "You're an amazing man Alec, any other man would be properly green with envy to see the woman he was engaged to, married and expecting a child by another man. I am so sorry for making you go through this."
"I'll always love you Esme, but we just weren't meant to be. When I saw the two of you together for the first time I just knew your heart would never be with me the way it was with him," he said before placing a kiss on my forehead and walking away.
"Well fine, you're okay with this but I know bloody well Jane and your father aren't okay with it. They have wanted nothing more than to be a part of this family for decades. Hell Alec, that's how we ended up arranged to be married to begin with. Tell me they aren't being difficult because you called off the engagement."
"Esme really, there you go worrying too much. I am more than capable of dealing with my father and that status hungry twin of mine. All I want you to focus on is that amazing baby growing inside of you. I must bid you adieu however, I have to go and meet Jane and Mum for some last minute Christmas shopping."
"Thanks for stopping by Alec; I've missed you while you were away at the academy, especially since Carlisle has been away."
"No problem Your Highne… oh excuse me, Mrs. Cullen."
Alec let out a quick chuckle before giving me a kiss on the cheek and leaving. I walked back over towards the fireplace rubbing my slightly rounder stomach. I am an eighteen-year-old newlywed and now mother to be. All of my years of training to one day be queen has not prepared me for the overwhelming feeling of bringing a beautiful life into the world. Carlisle would return tomorrow and I'll share with him the wonderful news until then I mustn't worry about things I cannot control. There was a knock and I turned around to see my favorite lady in waiting peeking in nervously.
"Your highness, the Queen has requested your presence in her study."
"Thanks, Victoria let mum know that I shall be there momentarily."
"Yes Ma'am, is there anything else I can do for you?"
"I would greatly appreciate it if you could let everyone know that Dr. Cullen should be arriving tomorrow afternoon and that I would like to make sure everything is prepared for his arrival from Africa."
"I shall let the staff know, is there anything else?"
"No that is all for now Vicky," I said as she turned to walk back out of the room. "Oh and Vicki he just needs some time, but Alec is definitely worth it," I said with a wink.
"I – I your highness I didn't mean no…" Vicky started turning every shade of red from rose to deep crimson.
"Victoria calm down, you should know by now that the maids in the palace are the worst gossips. Word gets around when a certain someone has a crush on the newest member of the MPS, especially when said officer was once engaged to the Princess."
"Princess Esme you have to believe me when I tell you that I meant no disrespect. Please don't have me fired, I've wanted to work for you for as long as I remember," Victoria said jumping up from her seat releasing some of her curly red hair which was pulled back into a tightly wound bun.
"Oh please, I am extremely happy to know that someone as sweet as you is interested in Alec, he deserves someone like that. Especially after… Either way your secret and your job is safe with me. Besides that's what friends are for," I said grabbing her hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze.
"Well I mustn't keep mother waiting," I said getting up and walking out of my room leaving Victoria behind to digest our conversation.
I walked through the palace corridors humming Christmas jingles as I admired the holiday decorations, especially the special ornaments made to celebrate mine and Carlisle's first Christmas as a married couple. The palace was full of cheer and I just could not bloody wait to give Carlisle the best gift of all. I reached the end of the corridor and walked up the staircase to the third floor. Upon reaching the third floor landing, I bumped into Prime Minister Bane who appeared to be in his usual mood.
He quickly apologized for bumping into me and proceeded to descend the staircase as if the palace was on fire. I turned and walked towards my mum's study picking up my humming. I walked in to find mother and father standing side by side hand in hand starring out of the window facing the square.
"Oh Esme, it is so good to see you daughter," my father said walking over and pulling me into a warm embrace.
"As you father, how was your trip to France, is grandmum doing okay?"
"Oh of course, you know that mother of mine will probably out live us all, but she sends her love she is headed out on a two week cruise today and promises to come and visit as soon as she gets back."
"Wonderful, I know Carlisle and Gran have really hit it off and I know he will enjoy getting to spend more time with her. You know having a family is so important to him since he has been alone for so long."
"We know dear, which brings us to why we wanted to see you," My mother interjected taking a seat behind her desk. "We just had the most unfortunate exchange with our dear friend the Prime Minister and he is not at all happy about you being married to anyone but Alec, but alas that is a mute point. He did however remind us that as it stands Carlisle has no official title in the court because normally marrying a Princess does not make you a Prince, unless the Princess becomes Queen."
I sat down across from my mother getting the feeling this was going to turn into quite the lesson on official titles. "Yes mum I am well aware of the rules governing official titles."
"Well darling your father and I have been talking and we absolutely love Carlisle and we love how you've been practically glowing for months and we were trying to figure out what would be the best present to bestow upon the two of you and then it hit me. I… well your father and I, would like to give Carlisle and official title so that he will feel like a true member of the royal family."
"I appreciate that truly I do, but Carlisle could care less about a title. Just being a part of our family is enough for him."
"Well darling your mother and I figured that which is why…" my father said walking over to the door and opening it up revealing my Carlisle standing there with a huge smile and opened arms. I could not get out of the chair fast enough before I was securely wrapped in Carlisle's arms for the first time in months.
"What are you doing here love, you were not suppose to get in until tomorrow. Mother, father what are you two up to?"
"Well knowing how much Carlisle doesn't care for titles and is content with just being a part of the family we figured what better gift for the two of you than being together for your first Christmas, and…" my mother said before stopping and turning to my father holding a large covered frame of some sort.
"Now this is not your official present by far, but we thought this would make you both extremely happy," he said pulling the cloth off and revealing our brand new family portrait.
"Your Majesties, you honestly didn't have to do this, just accepting me into your family was enough of a present," said Carlisle.
I was speechless looking at the oil painting feathering my mother sitting on her throne with my father standing to her left, and Carlisle and I to her right. It was a simple act of love that I knew would mean so much to Carlisle.
"Well since we're giving out gifts early I have one I would like to give all of you as well," I said looking from the painting to my family. "Actually this gift is as much from Carlisle as it is from me. But the palace is going to have a new little resident in… oh about six months."
All of them stood there gapping at me for a moment before we were all hugged together in a group hug of excitement and joy. This was by far the best Christmas I have ever had, I honestly do not believe my life can get any better. I have a loving husband, a baby on the way and the most amazing parents I was truly blessed.
Christmas 2011
~*~ Queen Esme Cullen ~*~

"Esme darling we have been looking all over for you, have you been in the library all day?"
"Carlisle do you remember the Christmas when my parents gave us this painting?" I asked motioning towards the painting of us hanging on the wall.
"Of course I do, I believe that is still one of my favorite Christmas ever. Between your parents giving us this painting and finding out that you were pregnant with Edward I do not have many holiday memories that can top that."
"This Christmas should be just as magical for our family, Alice and Jasper is getting married in a week, Emmett has finally settled down with a suitable young woma..."
"And then there's Edward… darling I honestly don't know what to do to pull him out of this funk. I mean when I found out that you were pregnant with him I was over the moon to finally be a father, but he has not shown the slightest interest in Tanya or the baby."
"And that's exactly what has me worried Carlisle. The country has had to deal with so much of Edward's troubled times that I do not know if they'll support him if he doesn't stand by the mother of his baby and marry her. However, whenever I bring up the topic of marriage Edward just… Carlisle I am really worried."
"Esme has anyone ever told you that you worry too much?"
"My entire life, but I do vaguely recall a strapping young gent telling me those exact words 25 years ago when I was worried about telling you I was pregnant."
"Well to this day I greatly appreciate Alec looking out for you, I always feel better knowing that he's around even when I am not," Carlisle said walking up behind me and putting his arms around my waist and resting his chin on the top of my head.
"Yeah well things were so much simpler back then; I mean no one was doing a secret DNA test on my baby to make sure it was actually yours. I honestly believe after spending time with Tanya that if our suspicions are correct then this was not her idea. And knowing that power hungry mother and father of hers I am sure this has their names written all over it. I swear on my mother's grave if I find out they're plotting to hurt Edward in the worst way I will make them pay for it one way or another."
"I know dear, we'll have the test back any day now and when we find out for sure I'll be right there with you ready to get revenge on them for sucking the life out of our son. But in the event the test does validate our suspicions I have a surprised lined up for Edward."
"Oh Carlisle you sneaky man what is it?"
"The one thing that matters the most to him; Isabella Swan here in London."
"Well Carlisle Cullen I do believe you will singlehandedly bring our son back to life with that surprise. I can't wait," and with that I leaned up and gave my darling husband a passionate kiss.

A/N: Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all enjoyed this special holiday outtake be sure to leave your comments and let me know how you think the DNA test is going to turn out.
We are currently 10 chapters into Royal Bliss and it's been the most amazing seven months of my life working on this (among other things), and as always I have to thank all of you because without your interest in Princeward & Co I don't think this story would have gone past the initial idea we had for chapter 1.
I'll update chapter 11 within the coming week and then I'll see you all after the New Year.
~ D. Walls

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