Chapter 21:

ESME

I had contemplated going and getting Carlisle from the moment I escaped from that concrete hell hole, but I kept talking myself out of it. I couldn't look him in the eye and tell him that I left our baby girl in there, while I roamed free. Even though Alice told me that I'd have to leave her there in order for everyone to escape, I still did so against my better judgment. Fortunately, it all worked out in the end.

Now, Alice is free and Aro is still out there. If there is one thing that I know for sure, it's that Aro will not leave Carlisle alone if he thinks for even one second that he could be used as leverage, to get me to come back and do his bidding. I have to get him and bring him back, even if I'm the last person in the world he wants to see right now. If Edward's welcome when he first saw me is any indication, Carlisle's is bound to be especially bad.

I flew as quickly as I could to the house that I knew he was living in. It was dark, with no signs of life within. I quietly landed on the roof, and crept into the dormer window that was open on the upper floor. I systematically proceeded to check every room in vain. Carlisle was nowhere to be found.

I took comfort in the fact that the house didn't look like a struggle had ensued, or that he'd left in a hurry. It just looked empty. I decided to try the hospital instead. He always was a bit of a workaholic, so I'm sure since he doesn't have anyone at home waiting for him anymore, it has only gotten worse.

From what Edward had told me, his father was now the head of neuro-surgery at Seattle Grace Hospital. His workaholic tendencies had driven him to greatness, and Edward said that he is there far more often than home. Unfortunately, I couldn't risk being out in the open. There are facial recognition cameras everywhere around hospitals and Aro has access to that type of thing. He no doubt has my face flagged in the system already.

I landed stealthily in the alley behind the hospital and walked into a side entrance where the ambulances came and went from. It was fairly late in the evening and the hospital was relatively quiet. I quickly grabbed a magazine off of a side table and held it up in front of my face as I walked towards the elevators. I noticed two cameras on my way in and made sure to look away and keep my face obscured, just in case.

Once in the elevator, I quickly scanned the directory and selected the seventh floor, which is where neurology was apparently located. After a minute, the ding from the elevator alerted me to my arrival. I stepped out and found the nurses station deserted. I was pleased that I wouldn't have to deal with any of the vapid nurses that were always trying to get my poor husband into compromising positions, way back in our happily married days. Carlisle was clueless when it came to their obvious advances, which made me love him all the more for it.

I padded quietly down the hallway, trying desperately to calm my nerves before I see him. It has been so many years, and I didn't exactly tell him what was going on at the time. I had known that Aro was coming for me back then, and in a stupid effort to keep him safe, I lied. I knew that if the worst happened, which it did, that he would come after me and end up getting himself killed. My heart never hurt more than when I uttered the words that I didn't love him anymore, to keep him safe.

At the far end of the hallway, I saw a sign for a lab. If I knew Carlisle, when he wasn't in the middle of a surgery, he was in the lab doing research. He's always been bound and determined to unlock the mysteries of the brain. I slowly opened the door, holding my breath as I waited for my eyes to land on the love of my life. The sight that greeted me, as I let out a shuddering exhale, was not in a million years what I was expecting. Before I could make an unnoticed exit unfortunately, the door creaked rather loudly, causing two heads to quickly snap in my direction.

"I'm sorry, I'll…uh…just come back later," I quickly turned around and shuffled out of the room, still half stunned at the sight of Carlisle hovering over the bare ass of a woman bent over the lab table.

"Esme?" Carlisle questioned, obviously confused at my impromptu visit after years of no contact. Not exactly sure how to act in this situation, I just kept walking straight for the elevator, with my head down and shoulders hunched forward. "Stop! Come back!" He persisted.

I could hear his feet clanking loudly on the tile floor behind me. He was gaining ground and if I didn't hurry up he was going to get to me. I wasn't sure what I expected to come out of this reunion exactly, but I knew that seeing him in an intimate position with another woman made my heart feel like it was shattering into a thousand pieces. But was running away even an option? Regardless of the state of my heart, his was wounded just as badly when I left him all of those years ago and I couldn't exactly leave him to fend for himself if Aro does decide to come for him.

Before I could even begin to abort my plan to flee, Carlisle's approach halted and I heard the nasally voice of the last person I wanted to have a run-in with right now.

"You better do what he says and stop right now, or I'll inject him with this syringe full of mystery juice," that bitch Victoria taunted. I halted my forward momentum abruptly, causing my shoe to skid on the floor as I spun around to face them. Had I not been so shocked at the full moon I was gazing upon when I walked into the lab, I would have noticed that the ass in question belonged to that slut-tastic skank who made it her mission to torment me on a regular basis at the compound.

She stood behind Carlisle with a syringe held to his neck, with a sadistic grin plastered to her face. "Fancy meeting you here," she sneered. "I thought for sure you'd have flown yourself to the other side of the world by now, but Aro swore that you would come for him."

Carlisle stood there with a stunned look on his face. I felt a wave of emotion come over me as I stared at the man I never stopped loving, wishing that my fucked up life hadn't put him in this situation. I had to do something fast.

"Let him go Victoria, it's me you want. I'll go with you if you just let him go," I pleaded. I knew I was no match for Victoria. She is a muscle mimic and she can move lightning fast and kick my ass ten ways to Sunday without even batting an eyelash, before I could even begin to react with my telekinetic ability.

"Don't be so sure Peter Pan, the Doc here is quite important to me," she smirked as she stuck her tongue out and licked along the outer shell of his ear. I shuddered at her implications and prayed to all that is holy that Carlisle never took a spin on the town bicycle. That slut could give him STD's that don't even have a name yet.

"He has nothing to do with this. Please let him go." I stood rooted to my spot, my mind going a million miles an hour trying to figure out a way to get that syringe away from his neck. I had no idea what was in it, or what it would do to him, but I couldn't risk it. I thought about sending it sailing out of her hand, or flinging her away from him with my mind, but she has such quick reflexes, there would be no telling what she would do. She could snap his neck quicker than I could push her away.

"I'm sorry sweet heart, but he's not going anywhere. He's just as important to Aro's work as you are. Now why don't you be a good little girl and walk back into that lab. There's a set of hand cuffs in my bag, just inside the door. Get them out and secure yourself to the table," she commanded. "And don't get any ideas. One false move and this needle get's plunged into Doc's neck, and you don't even want to know what it'll do to him."

"Please Esme, do what she says. I have no idea what is going on right now, but if that syringe has what I think it does in it, I really don't want to find out what it will do to me," Carlisle begged. With no other choice, I cautiously walked back into the lab and grabbed the gaudy leopard print bag sitting inside the door. The handcuffs happened to be quick to spot, as they were the kind with the fuzzy pink stuff around them. I shuddered at the thought of where those handcuffs had been.

I fastened them around one wrist then looped the other side around the leg of the heavy metal table before securing the other side. "Alright, I'm secured. I can't go anywhere so you can let him go now," I demanded. If she did anything to him now that I couldn't move, I would never forgive myself.

I watched as Victoria slowly lowered the syringe from Carlisle's neck. He visibly exhaled and slumped forward as the tension released from his body. Before he could step away from her though, she looked me square in the eyes, smirked then plunged the needle deep into Carlisle's neck.

He screamed and fell to his knees, immediately going into some sort of seizure. My heart fell to the floor. The man I loved, and thought that I could save by coming here, was now on the floor writhing uncontrollably from some unknown substance.

With nothing else to lose, I gathered every last bit of strength I had and ripped free from the pink fuzzy confines of my restraints. I had laser focus on the glowing red, demon-like halo of hair in front of me and charged…then everything faded to black.

A/N: Sorry about the cliffy. (Not really. Love the reviews they seem to get ;)

Not to worry though, the next chapter should be along shortly.