Emmalie Hale Cullen always had a unique perspective on life. She was adopted as a tiny baby. Her adoptive parents cherished her and one another, and she grew up with a large extended family in a beautiful home in the mountains of Washington State.
Emmalie was named for her father, Emmett, and her mother, Rosalie. They tried to protect and nurture her to the best of their considerable abilities, and they never used the V word in her presence. That word, of course, is vampire. Emmalie's parents would tell her that they were vampires, in due time. But they planned to raise her in as normal an environment as they could manage until then.
One of the first purchases the new parents made, after a crib and nursery furniture, was a bed for themselves. Other kids' parents slept in beds, after all. To their surprise and delight, they found that they enjoyed cuddling in their super sized, sturdily built, comfy bed. When Emmalie came looking for them in the night, she would usually find them, cuddled up together like kittens, and they would soothe her until she fell asleep. With their super hearing, she would never actually surprise them, but she didn't know that. Then one of them (usually Daddy) would gently carry her back to her little bed, where she would spend the night in safety and comfort. As a matter of fact, few children in the world slept in safer quarters, guarded by a houseful of v… um, vegetarians.
Emmalie was a bright, happy baby. It's amazing how quickly children learn to adapt to their environment. She swiftly learned that running into anyone's leg was like running into a fire hydrant, so after a few bumps and bruises she stopped doing that. She learned to wait for her parent (or other relative) to gently pick her up, and that worked very well, since she had them all wrapped around her little finger from the beginning. She never had to wait long. Even Uncle Jasper, who tried to be aloof, was eventually charmed.
At the first sign of a cough or a fever, Grandpa Carlisle would be consulted. Emmalie loved his home office and had her own doctor kit in his office to play with. She enjoyed spending time with him, and the young shape shifters from the Quileute reservation were accustomed to seeing her speeding around in her walker when they came to be treated by Dr. Cullen. Any other doctor in town would be out of the question for their particular needs, but Carlisle had a unique understanding of their wolf peculiarities.
The Cullens had declared June 1 to be Emmalie's birthday, and her first birthday party was a huge success. Uncle Jake and Aunt Bella, hugely pregnant with Emmalie's future best friend, were there, as well as an eclectic mixture of werewolves, vampires, and even a few humans. Almost everyone brought her a book, knowing how she loved to be read to. It was difficult to know who loved it more – Emmalie or her family. She especially liked Dr. Seuss books, and her favorite reader was Uncle Jasper, who could be as silly as was necessary. Their giggling could often be heard from the den as the other family members smiled, shook their heads, and then carried on with their daily business.
Alice never tired of shopping for her little niece. Emmalie was the best dressed baby in Forks. For her birthday, Alice had her attired in pink from head to toe. She looked like a princess, which was appropriate, since that's how everyone treated her. But she was not spoiled. She was sweet and kind and seemed to have inherited her grandfather's caring nature (though they were, of course, not actually related).
Uncle Jake good-naturedly provided wolf rides for the children at the party, and that was the most fun of all. Aunt Bella had to rescue him from the bushes when he phased back to human form for the picnic and found himself without any clothes. She always kept spares in the car, and the vampires had a good laugh at his expense. He would, of course, get even.
The birthday cake was a marvel to behold. Grandma Esme had baked and decorated it, and it was a huge castle-shaped confection, complete with ice cream cone turrets and candy windows. After all the pictures were taken and the adults and Emmalie had their servings, the wolf boys and girls were turned loose on the cake to Emmalie's delight. She laughed and clapped as they devoured the whole thing.
That night, after Emmett and Rosalie had bathed Emmalie and put on her new pajamas, a gift from Leah, they tucked her in with her favorite stuffed animal, a dog named Jakey. They stood in her doorway, contentedly watching her sleep. Rosalie sighed and smiled at Emmett, then took his hand and kissed him sweetly before they walked away.