The bowtie around Edward’s neck does all but suffocate him as he stands in the entry way. He’s not sure why his father insisted he get dressed up. After all, Carlisle has dated several women since Edward was placed with him. Carlisle had been friends with the Masen family for years, Edward Sr. worked alongside him at their private practice. Sadly, both Edward Sr. and Elizabeth passed away by the time their son was three. Carlisle was single at the time but agreed to take in little Edward and raised him on his own for the past 13 years. It was nice, his dad tended to give him space. He had met a few of the women his father had dated, but none really stuck. Edward could always tell when a woman wasn’t right and had a sneaking suspicion this one would be no different. After all, Esme didn’t seem to have a lot going for her. A widower with no job, pretty much spells out gold digger to Edward.
And yet, his father had laid out a collared shirt and some slacks, so Edward obediently got dressed. Carlisle didn’t expect much of him, excused some substandard grades and gave his son a big allowance to spend as he wished. Edward would throw him a bone there.
The doorbell rang and Carlisle burst past his son to open it. On the other side stood a tall woman with wavy brown hair and nearly golden eyes. A warm smile spreads across her face when she looks at Carlisle before kissing him. Edward rolls his eyes, gaining composure just as they pull away.
“This is Edward.”
Esme’s smile grows so wide, Edward worries it’ll break off her face. “Hello Edward,” Esme coos as if he’s six, not sixteen. “I’m Esme.”
Edward extends his hand. “It’s nice to…”
Esme doesn’t waste time pulling him into a tight hug. His face involuntarily squishes against her breasts, forcing him to inhale her disgusting perfume. Edward struggles against her, but she clings on. Edward tries to peer over her strong arms to his dad for help, but Carlisle is just watching it all with a smile.
Eventually, she pulls off and cradles Edward’s face in his hands. “You are just so much more adorable in person,” she coos, squeezing his left cheek.
Edward turns bright red. “Um, thank you,” he manages to get out as she starts to pinch the right.
“Oh, Carlisle, you didn’t tell me how precious he was! Look at him, dressed up like a little man.”
“I am a man,” Edward grumbles, but that all goes ignored.
“I bet that little tushy is just as cute.” Esme gives his face a break, before pinching his bottom. Edward jumps, covering himself. Esme and Carlisle just laugh. “Oh, you’re a shy little thing.”
“Edward’s always been very shy, haven’t you?” Carlisle ruffles his hair.
Edward looks between the two, perplexed. Why are they acting like he’s a kindergartener? He opens his mouth to talk, only to be interrupted by Esme.
“Something smells absolutely delicious. Did you cook, Carlisle?”
“I did. Edward helped.”
“Aw, are you Daddy’s little helper?” Esme pinches his cheek once more.
Edward frowns. “I’m not little,” he mumbles.
“Of course you’re not,” Esme coos patronizingly. “You’re such a big boy. Why don’t you show me to the dining room?”
She holds onto his wrist, doing more of the leading than him. Edward is a bit too speechless to really react to any of it. Throughout dinner, Esme and Carlisle talk as if he’s not even there. Carlisle goes on about how Edward is a “very good boy” and Esme mentions all the fun they’ll have together. The most attention he gets is Esme cutting up his chicken even smaller, so he “won’t choke”.
At the end of the meal, Esme wipes his face. Edward squirms for a moment, finally managing to pull away. “Edward,” Carlisle warns. “Don’t act like a child.”
“I’m not!” He whines. “She’s the one treating me like a baby.”
“Don’t be silly, Edward. You have sauce all over your face,” Esme tsks, finishing the task. “You seem to be getting a little fussy. Perhaps it’s time for bed.”
“It’s only 7 o’clock!”
“Esme, it is getting late,” Carlisle interrupts. “I’ll talk to you later.”
“Of course.” Esme plants a big, wet kiss to Edward’s cheek. “It was nice meeting you Eddie. Sweet dreams.”
Edward avoids his father for the rest of the night. He changes into some sweats and crawls under the covers, texting his friends about the psycho his father is now dating. A few hours later, Carlisle knocks on the door.
“Come in,” Edward calls out.
His father enters and settles into Edward’s desk chair. “I know Esme is a lot.”
“A lot? Dad, does she think I’m six or sixteen?”
Carlisle sighs. “I told you that Esme’s husband died, but I didn’t explain everything. You see, he was in a terrible car accident and their six-month-old son was in the backseat. He didn’t make it out alive.”
Edward frowns. “That’s terrible.”
“She lost everything at once. Her husband, her child. It’s why she doesn’t work. She can live off the life insurance but doesn’t have the heart to go back to teaching. The thing is, her son would’ve been your age now.” Carlisle shakes his head. “Maybe she’s a bit eccentric, but she’s been through a lot. Do you think you could cut her a break? For my sake?”
Edward bites his lip. “Do you really like her?”
“I do, son. She makes me very happy.”
Edward sighs, but slowly nods. “Okay, Dad. For you.”
A big grin falls across Carlisle’s face. “That’s my boy.” His dad kisses his cheek. “You get some rest now, it’s getting late for real.”
Unlike the last girlfriends, Esme becomes a regular fixture in their lives. She’s over almost every day. Esme mothers Edward as if she’s always been around, giving big hugs and kisses. She reminds him to do his homework and eat his vegetables. It can be a bit much, especially all the cheek pinching or when she pats his bottom to get him to move along, but it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Carlisle’s schedule is typically good for a doctor, given he works for a private practice. However, once a month he’s on call at the sister hospital and spends most of his time in the ER. Ever since Edward turned thirteen, he was trusted to stay home alone. That changes the first month after he meets Esme. She insists on staying with him and Carlisle doesn’t disagree.
Edward finishes his homework and comes down the stairs to the smell of lots of cheese. He stumbles into the kitchen just in time to watch Esme produce a large pan of bubbling, oozing mac and cheese. Edward falls into a chair.
“That smells great, Esme.”
“It’s a family recipe.” She portions out the bowls but keeps them on the counter as she takes in his brown button down. “That is such a nice shirt. Would be a shame if it got dirty.”
“I know but I really don’t want to change.”
“Don’t go through all that trouble. I have a solution.”
Edward is so zoned out by the smell, that it takes him a moment to realize Esme is tying something around his neck. He looks down and finds a bright blue baby bib. Edward frown sand tries to rip it off, but it stays in place.
“Esme, I don’t need this. I’m a teenager…”
“I know, but this will prevent you from making a mess.”
Edward frowns, but doesn’t say anything further. He knows his dad would want him to keep it on, appease the heartbroken Esme. So, he simply nods. Esme beams and comes back over carrying one bowl.
“The bib isn’t covering everything, so I think it’s best if I feed you.”
Again, Edward opens his mouth to protest and a large spoonful is shoved in. He carefully swallows, looking up into Esme’s doe eyes. She has so much love to give, it’s not her fault she lost out on time with her son. He can indulge her…for one night.
He allows her to feed him, even when she starts saying stupid things like “here comes the plane” or “are we ready for landing”. The food is too delicious to pass up on. Esme spoon feeds him a whole bowl, before giving him seconds and even thirds, despite his protest. By the end, his stomach is full and he can barely choke down the glass of milk she gives him. Esme unties his bib upon him finishing and pats his back.
“I think it’s time we go potty, then off to bed.”
“Esme, it’s still early. I’m going to play a video game, got a tournament going on with my friends. Thanks for dinner, though.”
Edward heads up the stairs and crashes onto the gaming chair by his desk. He pulls on his headset and starts the game, shouting demands at Jasper and Emmett. He’s only been playing a few moments, when the screen goes black. His head shoots up to find Esme standing there. The smile from her face is gone.
“Did I tell you it was time for bed or no?”
Edward glances at the clock. “But it’s only 7! And I was playing with my friends. What the hell?”
“Language, young man! See, it is getting late and you are cranky.”
“One more word out of you and you’ll go over my knee. Now, get on that potty, I’ll lay out some jammies and then it’s off to bed.”
Edward’s eyes widen. “You can’t tell me what to do! I’m going to talk to my dad.”
He fiddles with his phone, expecting a freak out from Carlisle. Surely, his dad will understand…
Edward Anthony Cullen, you were told to do something. Now do it. When I’m not home, Esme is in charge.
His heart sinks to the bottom of his chest. Edward slowly looks back up at Esme, who’s smirking. The genuine, loving smile is gone.
“He said to listen to you,” Edward mumbles. He pulls himself up. “I’ll go to the bathroom and brush my teeth.”
“That’s a good boy,” Esme coos, patting the top of his head.
As he heads for the bathroom, a sharp smack collides with his bottom. He looks back at Esme in shock, but she’s busied herself with looking for pajamas. Edward sighs and goes into the bathroom. He brushes his teeth, does his business and comes back out. The pair of pajamas Emmett got him as a gag lay on his bed. A Carebear onesie complete with a hood and tail. He never planned on wearing it.
“Esme, usually I just wear boxers to bed.”
“It’s getting too cold for that. Put this on, you’ll look darling.”
“But…” He’s reminded of his father’s words and Esme’s sharp smack. “Fine. Can I have some privacy?”
“Oh please, you’ll be fine.”
Edward sighs once more and undresses, trying to keep his back to Esme. He puts on the onesie, squirming at how warm it is. Esme pulls back the sheets and covers, which he gets under. She tucks him in, nice and tight before pressing a kiss to his lips.
“Goodnight, angel,” she coos. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
Esme starts off by spending the night just when Carlisle is on call, but six months in, she starts staying over on weekends too. Edward wakes up to clothes laid out for him and a written reminder to go “tinkle” and “try to poopy” before he gets dressed. Esme’s been buying clothes for him, typically bulky turtlenecks or overalls. Other items are cartoonish past the point of vintage to straight babyish. Even all of his underwear have been replaced with childlike boxers, splattered with dinosaurs or monkeys.
One Saturday, he wakes up to actual bloomers, a pair of white pants trimmed with navy blue. The top is similar with a collar and mock tie. It takes Edward a moment to realize, it’s a sailor suit. He debates putting on something else, but every time he’s argued with Esme’s fashion choices, it gets him a pop to his bottom. Carlisle tells him that Esme can punish him however he feels.
Edward gets dressed, heading downstairs. Carlisle immediately pulls him in for a hug and presses kisses to his face. Lately, his father has been treating him younger too. No video games, 7:00 bedtime and he’s spoon fed so he doesn’t “make a mess”. His dad even talks to him like he’s younger.
“Don’t you look so cute,” Carlisle coos, pinching his cheek.
Edward blushes. “Dad.”
“Always my little boy.”
Esme rises from the table. “I even have a matching hat! Oh, he’ll look even better.” She busies in her purse and returns with a sailor hat, plopping it onto Edward’s head. “Aren’t you a little cherub?”
She’s pinching his left cheek while Carlisle does the right. Edward kicks his legs a little.
“I’m hungry,” he whines. “Can we eat?”
“Of course.” Carlisle gives him a big kiss. “Esme made you oatmeal.”
Of course, Edward is spoon fed the oatmeal. When they’re done, he’s ushered off to the car. As usual, they head out on a multitude of errands, Edward being forced to hold one of their hands. After a trip to the shoe store and then to look at even more babyish clothes, he’s done. He throws himself against the backseat once they reach the grocery.
“I’ll wait in the car,” he announces.
“No, you won’t. We’re doing this together,” Esme says
“I’ll wait here,” Edward repeats.
“Edward,” Carlisle warns. “Esme said you’re going into the store.”
“I don’t want to! My feet hurt and I hate this stupid outfit! You can’t make me!”
“Edward Anthony! That is not nice. Esme went through a lot of trouble to get you this outfit…”
“I hate this stupid fucking outfit! I’m not a baby!”
Carlisle gasps, but Esme remains calm. She simply unbuckles Edward and grabs hold of his ear. He wiggles against her as she drags him out of the car and leads him around back.
“Hey! Let go of me! I said let go you dumb bitch!”
Her hand collides with his bottom and he jumps in place. Esme pops the trunk and sits down, pulling Edward over her lap. Before he knows it, the shorts are down, followed by the bloomers.
“Hey! No! You can’t!”
“Edward, if you are not quiet right this instant, things will be worse.”
She rains down the smacks. Edward’s cheeks tinge with heat as he thinks of all the people walking by. Soon, the pain kicks in and he starts sobbing.
“Please,” he begs. “I won’t do it again! I’m sorry!”
Esme ignores him, making each spank count.
“Dad…Daddy!” Edward screams. “Make her stop!”
“You were very naughty, Edward,” Carlisle says, solemnly. “This is what you deserve.”
Edward wails, kicking his legs. Esme continues on for five minutes, tanning his bottom so well, he’s unsure he’ll be able to sit for a week. Just when he thinks she’s done, she starts up again. The whole thing takes 10 minutes and by that time, Edward is sniffling and limp. Esme sits him up, clearly apathetic to his exposed lower half and aching bottom.
“Do we use those words?”
“No,” he sniffles.
“That’s right. Are you going to do it again?”
“No, I promise.”
“What do we say?”
“Give me a kiss.”
Edward shakily kisses her cheek. Esme pats his sore bottom and he moans. His bloomers and shorts are pulled back up. To his surprise, Esme is able to lift him into her arms. Carlisle shuts the trunk and Edward is carried to the cart coral, deposited into the front seat of one. His legs feel a little rough, but he fits otherwise.
“You say your feet hurt,” Esme explains without being asked. “Then we’ll push you.”
Edward sniffles, rubbing his eyes. Esme reaches into her purse and produces a large pacifier. It’s inserted into Edward’s mouth and with a ribbon, clipped to his shirt. He doesn’t bother to spit it out, terrified of the consequences.
Edward knew the wedding wasn’t a question of if, rather than when. It takes place a year after he’s introduced to Esme. He’s seventeen now, but hasn’t really aged at all. If anything, he’s been made younger. Edward is forced to wear the clothes Esme picks out. She and his father spank him if he gets out of line. He’s spoon fed, carried most places. Even his role in the wedding, is ring bearer. The most childish you can get. Still, he doesn’t argue.
The morning of the wedding, he expects to have a break from Esme but she gets ready with Carlisle. It’s her second wedding, she doesn’t believe in those old wives tales. Before Edward can find his suit, Esme instructs him to lay down. He knows better than to argue. She pulls down his pajama pants and he frowns.
“I’ve been good all morning!”
“Shhh, my little love, I know you have. But I also know today is going to be very long. You might not get to the bathroom in time.”
Edward already knows what’s coming. His underwear are removed and a fluffy white diaper is placed under him.
“I’ll be okay,” he tries to bargain. “Please, Esme…”
“Nuh uh, after today, it’s Mommy.”
Edward looks over at Carlisle, who just smiles. The diaper is taped up onto Edward. Esme removes his shirt. In its place goes a white button down, but that’s the most adult part of the outfit. Over the shirt is a pair of gray overalls that snap at the crotch and a tiny newsboy hat adjusted to his head. A pacifier is clipped to the overalls, the nipple going into his mouth. Esme smooshes him against her chest and cuddles him close.
“Mommy has her baby back,” she coos.
Edward whimpers and wiggles, but is only passed over to his father who pinches his cheeks and coos all over him.
There’s a 2 week reprieve when Esme and Carlisle go on their honeymoon. Edward gets to stay with Emmett, who thankfully wasn’t invited to the wedding and doesn’t know his friend wore a diaper through it. Edward soaks up the two weeks of staying up late and playing video games, eating junk food.
And then he’s returned to the house of horrors.
Esme changes him in the car: he’s put in a diaper and a duckling sleeper. He’s even strapped in a car seat. Carlisle is the one who carries him inside, up the stairs to his room.
Or what used to be his room.
Now the green walls have been painted light blue, with the alphabet in block letters on the trim. His desk has been replaced by a train table. His dresser is bigger, now white with cars on the knob. Stuffed animals are piled everywhere along with a playpen filled to the brim with baby toys. A changing table is one corner with everything they could need for diaper changes.
And of course, the middle is where the crib sits. Unlike ones Edward has seen in most nurseries, it has a door with a lock. It includes light blue sheets and covers with yellow ducklings, a matching mobile overhead. Carlisle looks up at his father, pure shock written across his face. Carlisle just grins.
“How lucky am I to have my baby boy back?”
“Let his momma hold him, it’s time for a feeding.”
Carlisle transfers Edward over. Edward tries to talk, but no words come out. All he can do is stare up at Esme as she lowers herself into a rocking char. She unbuttons her shirt and reveals two engorged breasts. Edward whines and tries to pull away, but his head is directed towards them.
“Don’t fight it, you’ve wanted this all along.”
But no! He hasn’t! He just wanted to make them happy…
Edward screams and cries, thrashing in her arms. Eventually, Carlisle comes over. Esme holds open Edward’s mouth and Carlisle thrusts the breast in. Edward lets out one last muffled scream before bits of milk begin to go down his throat. He’s left with no choice but to suckle as he’s rocked in his new mommy’s arms.
Why had he been so nice to her?