Chapter 3 - A Rocky Homecoming

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The Cullen coven continued their drive through the serene forest. The only break in the almost oppressive silence was the chatter between Alice and the newest addition, Lily. The lightness of their voices helped Carlisle forget about the battle that was just fought, the burning bodies of strange nomadic vampires and the dead bodies of whom he can only assume were the girl's parents.

Were. That was the key. In the span of a family afternoon, their coven had increased by one. They gained one more person. One very much human person. He knew what they were risking by taking the girl in, but how could he leave her? She knew too much and is bound to learn a whole lot more. It was dangerous to take her with them, but it was probably just as dangerous to bring her to the police. What would happen to her then? Would she live the rest in fearful silence with the knowledge that monsters exist? Would she tell someone and be sent away and discounted as crazy? So many things could have gone wrong, but for now, she was safe. She was safe and sitting in the lap of his wife and chatting away with the ever cheerful Alice. He should make a mental note to thank Alice later. She's the one who brought them the car, the one who was so expertly distracting the child from panicking, the one who wasn't present at the battle because of her mate.

Jasper.

Carlisle had failed to remember Jasper's struggles to adhere to the vegetarian lifestyle when he took the child in the car. He wondered if he was simply moving the girl to another fight, to another person who would try to harm her. His golden eyes flicked up into the rear-view mirror and made eye contact with Edward who made a point of giving Carlisle a look. He should have known his longest coven member would be listening to his thoughts. Edward, who in theory can resist listening to others' thoughts, always lacked control in stressful situations. Not that this upset Carlisle in any way. It had saved the family on more than one occasion. But, Carlisle ponders, Alice was the one who arrived with the car. She must have seen the decision and supported it. Not even just supported, but enthusiastically in favor of it. She would have seen if Jasper would lose control. She was nothing if not protective of her mate. She pushed Jasper to be his best, to be a better man. Carlisle relaxes. Everything would be fine. Jasper would be fine. They would be safe.

The moment of peace did not last long, however. Driving at such a slow speed was not helping him distract himself. He continued to let himself look at his family. They had been residing in Whitter for the past three years. His family had greatly enjoyed the peaceful town. They had been able to live without any incidents. No one suspected anything supernatural. He knew his kids were happy. Emmett and Rosalie had even decided to take college classes after graduation.

How would the new addition factor into their lives? Would people recognize her? How long did they have until her parents were found? Should he go to the authorities and report finding a lost child? Lily said she had not heard of a Whittaker, but those were the words of a child. Children sometimes forgot the details of places they had been to. He was sure that they could get a falsified foster parent license, but the state could decide to place her in another house. Their house was rather remote. Wouldn't that raise questions about how the child found them?

He looked back at the child. He did not recognize her from town. Her facial features didn't remind him of any of the locals either. He had no idea if she even lived in Alaska. Maybe, his family could be lucky. She was blonde, just like Rosalie, Jasper, and himself. She could be passed off as a cousin, a sibling, or a niece. That would be simple documentation to falsify. No one was likely to challenge them on it and they couldn't take her away. Jasper would be good to discuss this with. He was always able to formulate a plan. As long as a nationwide missing child search did not start, they should be okay.

Before he could make a final decision, he heard the child gasp. He focused on the sight in front of him and he could see their current house come into view. He recognized that their housing choices had a bit of a flair for the dramatics, but it made Esme happy. He was never good at denying his mate anything. He could hear her soft voice reaching his ears now. She was informing the child of the interstices of the home's architectural choices. He was pretty sure that the information went straight through the child's head, but it didn't matter. It had been a while since Esme had to interact with anyone younger than their odd teenage wards. He was sure she would adapt.

A Certain Metamorphosis || Rosalie HaleWhere stories live. Discover now