I do not own Twilight. I make no profit from this work of fiction.
Author's Note: This is AU. Some elements will not conform to canon. You may disagree with my interpretation of some historical persons – feel free to offer debate. This chapter isn't intended to be preachy, but it must be remembered that Carlisle's father was an Anglican pastor. As such, certain ideologies would have been second nature to him.
Chapter one has been revised. If you read it previously, you may wish to re-read it.
For those who like to use Facebook to follow stories:
w-w-w [d-o-t] facebook [d-o-t] c-o-m /pages/RogueMudblood/684906514892205
Questions can be asked there, but I will remove abusive posts.
Constructive criticism is most welcome – please don't hesitate to tell me what works and what doesn't.
At first he had been angry. If he had been taken before Parliament, or before the King, he might have been able to argue his case. He had not gotten the chance. Being turned had changed more than just his diet. He had become everything he hated, and he despised his very existence because of it. He loathed himself to the point that he had tried to commit the unforgivable sin.
Stepping into the sunlight had given him a great shock. The sight of his skin sparkling had at first made him think he was slowly catching fire. When the sparkle had continued and no pain had resulted, he was both confused and angry. Carlisle had wanted nothing more than to end the horrifying life he knew he would have to lead. He had held no qualms in destroying the monsters. Yet when it came to murdering humans in order to survive, he could not reconcile himself to the act.
Finding he would not be able to destroy himself with sunlight, he had walked to the nearest church. With his skin glittering, the congregation had assumed he was a fallen angel. His unearthly beauty had awed them immediately. The added ethereal aspect of his skin in the light had not given them any reason to believe he was only a mortal. His skin had resumed its normal pallor once he was inside the cathedral and he approached the font, dipping his hands in the sanctified water. Carlisle had wanted to openly weep when he found that neither sanctified ground nor holy water affected him as he and his father had long thought they would harm nosferatu.
Not knowing how he would be able to end his existence, he had left the church quickly. The scent of the parishioners' blood had been strong, and he had found himself nearly unable to resist. He may have no longer been a child of God, but he would not be the cause of these losing their faith.
He had fled the Boston harbor, heading north. Keeping to the slightly less densely populated areas, he had managed to feed from the dregs of society. Harlots had already given their souls to Satan, and though he had not intended to make a pact with Beelzebub handing over his immortal life, he would not be responsible for the premature death of the chosen of God. Though he did not condone murdering them, Carlisle had often fed from those whose hands he found branded with the thief's 'T'.
Despite finding many recently hanged corpses, he had abstained from drinking the blood of those already dead. The only exception he had made without remorse with respect to ending a human life had been those who were left in the pillory overnight. He had no qualms in ending the lives of those who mistreated women and children, those who caused the deaths of others. The townsfolk in the places where he would end such criminals assumed that the punishment was from God. As Carlisle kept to the shadows and night as much as he was able, he never did correct any of them, though he could easily have argued he was the devil's collector instead.
After three decades wandering about the Massachusetts coastline, he had found himself in the town of Salem. He had heard the reports of young women being in a daze, and had easily recalled his ability to entrance anyone when he stepped into the sunlight. The widespread panic that had erupted throughout the towns he had managed to skirt had not escaped him. On more than one occasion, the more zealous villagers had ventured into the forest. Though their intention was to search for the witches the girls had been accusing, several had inadvertently run across him instead. Carlisle had been careful in dispatching them, making use of his inhuman speed to keep them from clearly seeing him as he attacked. Occasionally he would leave one just conscious enough to hear his parting words.
"There are worse things in this world than witches."
Entering Salem under over of darkness, he had been careful not to draw too much attention to himself. He had found the town's inn with rooms to spare, while the town's jail seemed to be filled to capacity. Carlisle relied on his hearing to give him any information he might need rather than asking questions which would be deemed suspicious. Sitting at a table in the main room with a glass half filled with ale, he overheard mundane conversations, tidbits about the seamstress not having the clothes done up right and other such nonsense. When one of the younger women began talking, he had been careful to keep his face hidden. Her words gave more away than she realized.
"He said we could have more if we brought him food." The whinging from the girl at the edge of the group caused the others to glare in her direction.
"He wants untainted meat. That's what he said." The speaker had apparently assumed that a self-assured tone would mean her words were above question. The scoff that answered her declaration proved otherwise.
"Yes, and we're just so tainted, young as we are and never having seen a thing beyond our own town." Without looking up Carlisle could clearly picture the rolling eyes that must have accompanied the cynical statement. "Look, they're going to start the trials next week. Here it is the end of May and already they've arrested people we never named. They haven't listened to me about any of them – claiming that I'm denying their involvement because I'm still under their power."
Tittering from several girls followed the statement. "Well, you might be under his power, but that's a different matter, isn't it?" More insipid giggling filled the air, Carlisle cringing as the high pitch aggravated his sensitive ears.
"Oh, grow up, will you?" A few gasps sounded through the group, but none of them spoke to contradict her. "We were all turned by a pretty face. A pretty man who has delivered none of what he's promised to us."
The sound of a chair scraping against the wooden floor caused Carlisle to look up, sipping some of the ale to cover the movement. "You best be careful." Standing with her nose nearly touching that of the dissenter, the girl elaborated on her implied threat. "You never know just who might be the next person found guilty of witchcraft." The speaker turned, her hair flaring out behind her so that the tips slapped the cheek of the other girl. The group traipsed from the inn, leaving the one girl standing alone, rubbing her stinging face.
He allowed his footfalls to sound as he approached her, waiting for her gasp as she turned to face him. She did not disappoint. Gently removing his hood, Carlisle watched her with some boredom. Her nearly defensive pose melted immediately to acquiescence. He lifted a finger to her face, gently caressing her cheek. "So easily swayed." She sighed, her eyelids drooping. Resisting the urge to roll his own eyes, he gave her a soothing smile. "Tell me, child, where is the man you and your friends were talking about?"
Giggles erupted from her. Carlisle fought the urge to frown at her, letting his finger and thumb tug on a lock of her hair gently. She kept her eyes downcast as she moved the hair from his grasp, tucking it behind her ear. Her cheeks flushed as she looked up at him, a shy smile blossoming on her face. "I can take you to him." He smiled and nodded, looping her arm through his as they turned to leave the inn.
Carlisle had listened to her insipid high-pitched laughter through the entire journey. She had led him out of the town and into the nearby woods. When they were at least a mile into the thick trees, they came upon a clearing. Her demeanor changed immediately. She turned on him, pulling a dagger from a sheath hidden in her waistband.
Though the girl's movements would have surprised any mortal, they were interminably slow to the vampire. Moving almost the moment that her muscles had tensed in order to turn on him, Carlisle merely smiled as he vanished back into the trees. He watched her as she turned in circles, her blade dropping as she relaxed her stance. Confusion wrinkled her brow. The sound of a tree branch cracking behind her caused the girl to twist sharply so she was facing that direction, her dagger once more raised in preparation to attack. The blade lowered quickly as her visitor stepped into the moonlight.
Carlisle knew with merely a glance that he was staring at another vampire. Where he had been able to guess before his own turning, the increased acuity of his senses allowed him to determine what type of creature he face no matter where he traveled. The nearly black eyes of the man standing in the clearing left no question as to his species.
Circling the girl, the other vampire emitted a low growl. The girl cringed, lowering her head in submission, gibbering nonsense when she assumed he would attack her. He laughed at the last, wrapping a hand in her hair and yanking her head backwards, exposing her throat. "I thought you lot wanted me to … attack you." He leaned forward a bit, licking her neck lightly. Placing a kiss over her carotid artery, he raised his head. "There really is enough for both of us, you know."
She stuttered her confusion, the sound ending in a squeak of dismay as Carlisle entered the clearing once more. "I'm afraid I don't know you well enough to share meals with you."
Smiling, the other vampire inclined his head slightly. "Guillaume Archambault. Recently transplanted from Acadia."
Carlisle's brow furrowed in confusion. "I thought you French despised us English after that whole business at Port Royal two years back."
Guillaume threw his head back, laughter echoing in the clearing. "What care we for the affairs of mortals." Smiling, Carlisle nodded his agreement. "Now, I've given you my name, good sir."
"Ah, yes. Please forgive my manners." As he spoke, he had moved closer to the girl, whose skirts now reeked of urine as she had allowed her fear to overtake her completely. "Carlisle Cullen, recently of London."
"Thought you'd get better pickings further away from the overly zealous Englishmen, eh?" Guillaume laughed at his own joke, stopping only when Carlisle had not joined his amusement.
"No. I turned at sea."
Consumed with laughter once more, the vampire loosened his hold on the girl. "Oh, that must be a marvelous story! Some day you must share it with me."
Carlisle plastered a placating smile on his face. "Perhaps." Making use of Guillaume's distracted state, he pulled the girl gently towards him, wrinkling his nose at her odor. Once her wrist fell completely from the other vampire's grasp, he wrapped her tightly in his arms, rushing into the trees. Guillaume's outraged bellows echoed behind them, the sound of his feet as they tramped through the forest in pursuit also reaching Carlisle's ears.
As he raced through the woods, feeling the limbs slash his face, he noted the way the branches left mild scrapes in their wake on the girl's skin. He reigned in the desire to feed on her. It would have been a simple matter to sate his hunger. Carlisle was practical enough to realize that it would also make him vulnerable to the other vampire – if he had even been callous enough to simply end her life in such a way. Though he tried to keep the scent from bringing the other vampire directly to them by covering a good distance, he recognized that it would only be a short time before Guillaume made his way to them.
Hoping they had covered enough area to deter the other vampire for a time, Carlisle made his way back to the clearing, holding the girl tightly to him. Taking a moment to double over and expel the small amount of ale he had consumed at the inn, he expected that the disgusting dose of reality would have jarred the girl from her daze. Looking back up once his stomach had been emptied, he found her still in a robotic trance. He sighed before trying a more mundane method of bringing her attention back to their predicament. "I know you brought us here through the most roundabout route you could. What's the quickest way back to town?" She looked up at him, her face reflecting complete bewilderment. He was not entirely certain she had understood him. Hands firmly grasping her upper arms, he shook her a bit. "Focus, child! Unless you want to end up his dinner, tell me which way leads back to town!"
Her arm lifted to point him to the most direct path, but she found herself unable. Guillaume had entered the clearing, tearing her arm off at the elbow as he forged a path between them. The sight of the blood seeping from the wound caused the young girl to faint, her body a dead weight in Carlisle's arms. Lowering her to the ground, he watched as his opponent casually discarded the girl's limb, tossing it into the trees.
"Just because she's missing a limb … Well, part of one, anyway – that doesn't mean we can't dine. I'm still willing to share. I understand the tendency of you jeune hommes to try to hoard food. Me, I spread mine out a bit." He grinned malevolently with the declaration. Carlisle kept his face devoid of emotion.
"Is that why the girls were dazed?"
Guillaume's smile widened. "Of course, mon ami! Why feast on them one by one when you can have a little from all of them at once?" Carlisle forced himself not to grimace, but was unable to keep a slight frown from his face. Noting the expression, the other vampire's congenial mood vanished. "You need not be so arrogant, gamin."
The forceful blow to his chest had been unexpected, knocking Carlisle from his feet. Leaves crunched underneath his considerable weight as he landed, his body forming a small crater in the moist earth. Quickly rising from the ground, he bared his teeth before charging Guillaume. The two vampires were a blur of movement, punches and kicks being countered before they could adequately connect to damage the other party. They stood on roughly the same patch of dirt throughout the exchange, too consumed with their own quarrel to notice the young girl who approached with an older man from the town. Seeing her dismembered friend lying on the ground and the two men fighting so close to her body, the girl screamed. The horrified sound echoed through the trees, bringing the man out of the trance to which he had apparently succumbed.
As he raced back to town, the two vampires ceased their battle. The lack of movement allowed the frightened girl to finally see them clearly. Guillaume's left hand was firmly anchored in Carlisle's hair at the base of his skull, pulling the younger vampire's head to the right in order to expose his neck. The fingers of Carlisle's left hand were pushing forcefully against Guillaume's right cheek, keeping the older vampire from finding the best angle from which to feed. The pair appeared as a comical farce, somewhat frozen in shock as they were for the moment before the girl turned to run.
Guillaume released his hold on Carlisle, intent on chasing after the girl. Determined to keep her from an untimely death, the younger vampire leaped towards his quarry, catching the older nosferatu around the waist. His momentum brought them both to the ground, Guillaume growling as he rolled to fend off Carlisle once more.
"Stop, you old fool! Think for a minute. There's absolutely nothing that can be done about that girl!" Carlisle pointed back to the cooling corpse of the one who had brought him to the clearing. "If two go missing in one night, whatever you've managed to carve out for yourself here – no matter how distasteful I may find it – will disappear. They won't stop at witches. These mortals will start seeking you out."
Guillaume's eyes narrowed as he considered the truth behind the younger vampire's words. He snarled, relaxing his muscles as he threw his head against the ground beneath him. Sighing, he sat up, pushing Carlisle off of his legs. He glared at the younger vampire, his brow furrowed in thought. His voice was filled with venom when he finally spoke. "I'm going to have to move on from this little hamlet, aren't I?"
Standing, Carlisle swept the dirt from his clothes before offering Guillaume a hand. "Afraid so." The older vampire accepted his hand, a moue of distaste firmly set on his face as he stood. "What exactly did you do to them?"
Guillaume grinned, looping his arm through Carlisle's as he guided them through the forest, away from Salem. "Why, I just promised those young girls the one thing every young girl wants – eternal beauty. They saw what happened to the older women in the village as their looks waned. Those girls merely wanted assurances that their own beauty would never fade. They brought me meals, men and women alike who would then claim to have seen the devil himself." Carlisle groaned. "I see you're aware of the puritan ideology then. Yes, they assumed those people were cavorting with Satan, conveniently overlooking the barely healed cuts on their arms. Or, when they did notice them, crediting the injuries to blood rites in order to conjure demons."
"Why cut them?" Carlisle's confusion showed plainly on his face, the emotion reflected in his actions as he tripped over a small rock lying in his path. Guillaume snickered, helping to right the younger vampire, before he answered.
"That many newborns would completely eliminate any viable feeding ground, and that many murders would do the same. I cut them, holding a cup the girls were supposed to bring with them underneath the wound, and drank their blood that way. No venom enters their blood, no risk of newborns."
"Brilliant." Carlisle's voice was barely more than a whisper.
"I rather liked it myself." Exiting the woods, the two found themselves approaching a beach along a rocky shoreline. "I suppose this is where we part ways, mon ami." Guillaume offered his hand to the younger vampire, grinning widely as Carlisle took it and gave a firm shake. "Until we meet again."
Watching the older vampire run off along the coast until the landscape blocked his view, Carlisle shook his head in amusement, a small smile playing on his lips. "Until we meet again. Friend."