Note on “Packages”: The inspiration for this fic was two-fold. One, HMonster4 and emibella issued a challenge for everyone to write her some more Emmett fics before Valentine’s Day. And two, on the Ithaca is Gorges Twilighted thread, a long discussion about the similarities of the saga’s character’s names prompted kittandchips to ask a very provocative question. These two things collided in my head one evening while I was making tea, and “Packages” was born.

for KittandChips, HMonster4, and emibella

It was one of those completely plain packages. Too plain, really. Red-and-white Priority Mail stickers, and a simple return address.

A simple return address I recognized.

And it was addressed to E. Cullen.

I was going to have a fucking field day.

Footsteps fell at the doorway before I’d had a chance to think further about how best to wield this dangerous information. “What has you so excited?” came my brother’s voice. He already had a tiny smile on his face, confused as it was.

I held up the box. “I just brought in the mail. This came.”

Jasper took it from my hands. He inspected it, front, back and sides, before handing it back, looking all kinds of confused.


The laugh was out before I could stop it as I tapped the return address. “This.”

He looked at it again. “D & F Systems. So…you ordered a computer part?”

“I didn’t order shit,” I shot back. “Edward bought this. And I know this address. It’s an online sex toy store.”

Jasper’s eyes got huge. “Really?”

“Yeah, Rose and me have ordered stuff from there before. You know, they send stuff under a fake return address and all that. This is the fake address.”

A grin spread across my brother’s face. He took the box back from me and shook it with fascination. “Sounds big,” he said, and then added immediately, “He must be making up for something.”

Making up for something. That was a good question. “Have you ever seen it?”

“Seen Prudeward? You must be joking.” Jasper looked thoughtful, turning the box over in his hands. “It would explain, though…”

“Explain what?”

“Well, you know, Tanya has a lot of experience. If he’s not packing…”

We both threw hands over our mouths at once; Jasper’s laugh came out half-choked, like a donkey.

“Where is he?” Jasper said a moment later when we’d both recovered. “I want to be here when he finds this out.”

“Finds what out, exactly?”

Edward was standing in the doorway, his arms crossed over his chest. He always looked like that—holier-than-thou. But I was having the last laugh on this one.

“This, little brother.” I threw him the package, and he frowned at it. Typical Edward. It was impossible to get a real reaction out of him, because he’d see what reaction you expected and do just the opposite. “Oh, enough of that,” I added. “We know your dirty little secret. What is it?”

He rolled his eyes. “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, Emmett. Perhaps you ought to explain. I would ask you to do it simply, but for you there is no other way.”

Oh, he had not just said that. I shot across the room to catch him in a headlock, but he dropped the package and was on the other wall before I got to him. I hated his stupid mind-reading.

“Only because it gives me an edge,” he answered, still laughing. “Now, what is this about?”

“Nothing,” Jasper said coolly. “We’re just proud of you, that’s all.”

Edward’s eyes narrowed. “Proud of me…for…what?”

“For getting over yourself, Prudeward.” I grinned, picking up the box again. Crossing the room, I slugged him in the shoulder. As always, he winced.

The lightweight.

“It’s about time you showed Bella why it’s good to love a vampire,” I said.

For my money, he looked even more confused. “I dislike that nickname,” he answered slowly. “And what the hell has gotten into you two?”

“Come on now, Edward,” Jasper said, his wide grin spreading across his face again. “We know what’s in here. We know where it’s from. Emmett said he and Rose ordered from here before. It’s okay, brother. You can man up. It’s a good thing to want to give your woman some pleasure. I mean, were it me, I’d do it with the tool God already gave me, but you want to wait, and that’s certainly…noble.”

The last word came out as a snort, and I was done for. The next thing I knew, Edward was prying the box out of my hands as I doubled over guffawing.

“What the—” He was looking over the box again. “Emmett, this is addressed to you.”

“Oh, I didn’t buy shit, Little Brother,” I answered. “You’re going to have to own up to this one. Caught red handed. Or…white-handed, maybe.”

Jasper snickered.

Winding Edward up was always fun, because he eventually got to the point where he started pitching a hissy fit. Always. You almost expected him to start stamping his foot like a little girl. And sure enough, we were there.

“I. Did. Not. Order. That.”

Sure you didn’t.” I clapped him on the shoulder. “Just as an FYI, it’s generally considered a bad idea to get her used to something bigger. That thing in there is huge, if it’s what I think it is.”

“I—” he practically snarled at me, but he clearly changed his mind about the approach and whirled on the third party. His face went back to that cool look that he learned from Carlisle at one point or another. “Jasper, I don’t know what he told you, but it wasn’t the truth.”

“Oh no, little one, you are not getting out of this—”

But Jasper was suddenly frowning. He looked from Edward, to me, to the box, and back to Edward. “He’s not lying, Ed.”

I started to say, “I told you so,” but Jasper beat me to the punch.

“And neither are you.”


“That’s what I said,” Edward spat. “I don’t know where this came from, but it’s not mine. I don’t know what’s in it; I don’t want to know.” He shoved it back at me with such force the box crushed partway under his fingers. “But take it and do whatever it is you do with…whatever it is.”

I fingered the box for a second, as Edward continued with his little-girl pout. Jasper was still frowning, looking from me, to Edward, to the box, and back to me. His head was cocked to the side real funny. And then his look changed from confused to a sly smile.


He looked back at the box in my hands. “E. Cullen?” he said dryly.

“That’d be what it says.”

“Well,” he said, his voice was shaking with laughter, “if it isn’t you, and it isn’t Edward…”

Not me; not Edward?

Oh, hell no.

The package went skidding across the floor.

Jasper was already doubled over wheezing, and Edward’s lip was curling in disgust. And of course that was the moment she breezed through the doorway as though she’d been listening to our entire conversation.

Which I reckon she probably had.

“Hello, boys,” she said sweetly. She bent to the floor, picked up the nondescript box, and smiled. “Thanks for bringing in the mail, Emmett. I’ve been waiting for this.” She scrutinized the three of us for a moment—Edward’s shock, my horror, Jasper’s poorly-contained laughter. “I thought all of you were going hunting?”

Well if we hadn’t been before, we sure as hell were now. I had no intentions of finding out what was in that box, on purpose or by accident.

“We’re on our way,” I heard Edward say absently, his jaw still gaping a little. But he didn’t move.

She frowned at us. “Are you okay?”

I felt myself nodding, and I could see Edward’s head bobbing up and down, too. It was Jasper who controlled his laughter just long enough to squeak out the line that ruined us all:

“But it’s…it’s huge.”

And I will be forever damned but that she didn’t give all three of us the most patronizing, motherly face as she answered him.

“A woman gets used to a certain size, Jasper.” She shook the box in our direction and the item rolled around with a heavy thunk. “And I would be careful, were I you, assuming that any given man needs to ‘make up’ for anything.” With another smile, she turned on her heel and was gone.

Three jaws dropped open and stayed there for several minutes, long after we heard her disappear onto the third floor.

Edward was the first to recover the powers of speech.

“She did mean Carlisle’s—”

“Shut up!” Jasper and I yelled at once.

I was still staring at the spot where Esme had vanished. If the mysterious box hadn’t disappeared, it was almost as though she had never been there at all. Which, now that I thought about it, was probably the way to play it.

“This. Never. Happened,” I muttered.

Edward nodded. “Agreed.”

Jasper looked meaningfully at us both. “Let us never mention it again,” he said solemnly.

We made tracks for the front door before any sound could float down from upstairs.

Back to Canon Backfire

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