Esme Cullen put her hands on her hips and looked over the decrepit stone cottage before her. She rolled up her sleeves, and while she did she visualized the fruits of her coming labors. She closed her eyes and smiled.
“Why imagine when you can have the real thing?” Alice said suddenly. Esme's adoptive daughter had appeared out of nowhere. As she approached she made a “jerking off” hand gesture for some reason.
“Alice, I didn't hear you coming,” she said.
“Well, I've tried to be quieter ever since you and Carlisle complained,” Alice said.
“That's not what I meant. I mean I didn't hear you coming in the forest.”
“Right,” Alice said as Jasper stepped out of the trees, zipping up his pants. “That's what I thought you meant.”
Esme just shook her head, then turned back to the cottage. “Okay then, out with it. What do you see?” She gestured toward the house.
Alice let her eyes go out of focus as she looked into the future, to what Edward and his new bride would be doing in their home. She frowned. “I don't think you want to hear this, Esme.”
“What?” Esme looked crestfallen. “They don't like it? What do you see?”
“Well Bella's on her back on that antique ottoman you bought at the flea market, and Edward is just pounding—”
“Enough,” Esme said as Jasper chuckled.
“Anyway, you can probably guess why I'm here,” Alice said. “That bitch is not bringing a single scrap of her fucking khaki mujahideen garb onto the property. I simply won't allow it.”
“Alice! Language!” Esme said.
“This is fucking deadly serious,” Alice said, her eyes on fire. “Her fashion sense is an affront to all that is holy. I will literally commit fucking seppuku if I am seen with her in another khaki skirt and sleeveless white sweater. What's next, a fucking bolo tie?”
“Hey now,” Jasper said. “There's a time and a place for those.”
“Yeah,” Alice hissed. “Appomattox fucking Court House!”
“Now that's just mean, baby,” Jasper looked stricken.
“I'm sorry, that was harsh. Anyway, Esme,” Alice turned back to her mother casually, pulling a piece of paper out of her back pocket. “I've taken the liberty of drawing up some plans.”
Esme looked over the blue print. “What are all these leather straps for? Hanging the clothes?”
“Oh shit,” Alice said, snatching the paper out of Esme's hands. “Those are plans for... something else I'm building. This is the one I meant to give you.” She handed Esme another sheet of paper, containing plans for a massive closet.
“Alice, this is enormous,” Esme said.
“That's what she said,” Alice said.
“That's what who said?” Esme asked, suddenly shocked. “You didn't tell Bella, did you?”
“No, I was, uh, referring to Rose,” Alice said. “But listen: it won't be visible from the front, Jasper and I will handle all of the parts and labor, and it will make me really happy. Please? Please? Please?”
Esme looked at her daughter, who was now jumping up and down, hands folded under her chin. “Okay, fine.”
“Yay!” Alice hugged her.
“Honey, you know this won't make Bella love you, right?” Esme said quietly.
Alice broke away. “Now why the fuck would you go and say something like that?”
“Oh, honey, I just didn't want you to be filled with false hope.”
“You don't know that it's false,” Alice said, her voice strained. “There could still be a chance!” Her voice broke, then.
Jasper looked off awkwardly into the trees, shoving his hands into his pockets and whistling a tune to himself.
Alice fell to her knees.
“Alice, dear,” Esme said, lowering herself traditionally to the ground. “She and Edward are dedicated to each other. You know you can't come between them. You've known this for a long time.”
“Fuck, I know,” Alice said, staring at the ground. “I just thought—I don't know. I thought she'd get bored. Edward is so fucking boring.”
“I know, honey. I know,” Esme patted the back of her head. “So I guess we won't worry about the closet then?”
“Oh don't even pull that shit with me, Esme,” Alice said, rising suddenly to her feet. “We're doing this.”