"I devote my life to you"
Summer soon ended and autumn began. It was the beginning of October. I had spent my birthday not working at the clinic, Carlisle had assured me I didn't have to be there for one day. The clinic wasn't going to be in absolute shambles if I wasn't there. I had eaten a small store-bought cake from Thriftway that Charlie had surprised me with. He didn't buy me anything, years ago I had gotten presents from Charlie along with Renee and Phil for my twenty-fifth birthday. There wasn't anything special with me turning twenty-eight.
Now though, I wasn't at the clinic. Instead I was heading up to Seattle so I could buy a new copy of one of my lovingly used novels, it was about Clara Barton. She was the founder of the American Red Cross and had risked her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field during the Civil War. She had partly been the woman who had inspired me to become a doctor (the other being Florence Nightingale).
Dressed in a white sweater that fell mid thy (I put on light gray smug wool leggings) and with bell sleeves which ended right at my hands I wasn't dressed to go into the clinic. My black heeled boots, not that high to begin with, were more worn out than any of my other boots. I wasn't one who could claim she was a fashionista but with age I slowly began my own style. Of course, my style didn't have anything to do with one aesthetic, I just had clothes throughout different styles, and I would choose what style I wanted to wear on the day I was going to wear it.
Charlie was lounging on the sofa when he saw me coming down the stairs with my long black leather satchel, which held my doctor I.D. incase there were a medical emergency so everyone would know I was an actual doctor. My phone, along with a small calendar journal were also in there.
He turned to me, "this is a surprise. You're going somewhere that isn't the clinic…" His teasing remark only made me roll my eyes at him and fix my long strap of my purse once more, "I'm getting a new copy of my Clara Barton biography. The only copy they have is up at Seattle. I don't mind; besides, it's been a while since I've seen Seattle. I doubt much has changed."
"If you stay too late then get a room at hotel there. I don't want you driving back so late in the night," Charlie advised. I sighed and agreed, I didn't plan on staying that late. It was almost lunch time and by the time I would come home it wouldn't be too late. So, I didn't think it was necessary to have to get a room at a hotel.
Grabbing a warm winter coat, I said goodbye to Charlie and headed to my car. I turned on the heater before I drove out of the gravel driveway, making sure that I wouldn't have to wait for it to heat up when I was driving down the road. I played a Classical Music station, it always made me drift off and be relaxed. Clair De Lune was currently playing; it was my favorite piece.
The rain got harsher the closer I got to Seattle, which in return made me aggravated to say the least. The last thing I wanted was to be soaking wet by the time I went to the bookstore. I didn't want to deal with the rain, but then again living in a state that was known for rainy weather kind of made it hard for you to not be welcomed with it every once and a while.
The traffic got worse but when I arrived in Seattle, I breathed a sigh of relief and drove in the direction of where The Elliot Bay Book Company was located. As I pulled up there were tons of people that were entering and exiting the bookstore. I fought against the irritation that radiated from me, the last thing I needed to do was have a resting bitch face. It was so easy for me to have that face; in fact, I was known for having said face in high school and in medical school.
Entering the bookstore, I went to the biography section, in the corner of my eye I could see children heading off to the children's section. Their parents were telling them to stay in that aisle so that they could come and get them when they would be finished with their own aisle(s). The children eagerly nodded their heads before they rushed over to where their own section was.
As I picked up my biography I had wanted, I let my eyes wander towards the fantasy section, noting that they had restocked the Harry Potter books. I eagerly went over and picked up Half-Blood Prince. With my books in hand I went up to the check out desk and paid for my books, the woman that was on the other side of the desk didn't have much emotion. She didn't seem as though she cared much about her job or showing any cheerful emotions towards the customers. Partly I was certain because it was a busy day, and smiling could get tiring.
Noting what time, it was, and how it was dinner time, I pulled up my phone and saw that there was a restaurant that was a few blocks away. Putting my books into car and locking it, I started to head in the direction of where the restaurant was. The crowd seemed as though they were heading in the same direction as me, because when I reached the restaurant there seemed to be a waiting time. I groaned as I was told that it was an hour and a half wait until I would get a table.
Deciding to say screw it, I went towards my car again and knew I would go through a fast food drive through when I was going home. I didn't really eat fast food to begin with, Renee didn't like to cook when I was growing up so she would order pizza and other easy delivery meals. I had stopped though when I had entered medical school and learned how much fast food could affect the body, so I ate it as little as possible.
Getting into my car, I turned on the radio station once more and went in the direction of where Forks was. The music was soothing, and I absorbed it eagerly. I would have closed my eyes if I weren't driving, if I were back at Charlie's house and was in my bedroom I would have.
I was only half way back to Forks when I noticed that my tank had gotten low enough that I needed to stop at a gas station. I had already gone through a fast food drive through and gotten me a simple grilled sandwich, nothing special, and ate it in one of the parking spots. I wasn't going to be driving while eating, especially when it was night time. I wasn't planning on getting into a car wreck anytime soon.
Pulling into one of the gas stations, I went into the gas station and went in the direction of where the flavored waters were. Pulling one out, I went up to the register and paid for my drink before I went outside and started getting gas. I barely paid attention to what was happening around me. I just wanted to get back to Forks so that I could relax and get some good sleep.
"What's a pretty little thing like you doing here?"
The strong scent of liquor radiated behind me; I almost dropped the pump as I pulled it out of my gas tank. I took a slow breath and turned, noting that a sleezy man who looked as though he was in his late thirties was looming over me with a twisted smile. He had his hands in his jean pockets and stood too close to comfort.
"That's none of your concern," I merely responded back, keeping my voice from cracking. I knew that my purse was too far away, in my driver's seat. He was in between me and my car, the pepper spray that I always with me was too far away. If it weren't, I would have sprayed some in front of him, making sure that he would be blinded so I could get away.
"It is. A beautiful woman like yourself shouldn't be alone, especially at a gas station late at night."
The man stared at me knowingly, waiting for me to remark something to him. I let my eyes wander towards where the gas station was, there wasn't anyone else that was here. The clerk didn't seem as though they were concerned with what was happening outside, figured.
Without even thinking I said, "my boyfriend is—"
"There is no boyfriend here. It's such a cliché line, how the women always claim their boyfriend is nearby. I saw you enter the gas station, there was no one with you," he informed me, his voice more dangerous. His eyes seemed to darken, the florescent lighting above us didn't deter him any less. He wouldn't care if there were other people watching, he had chosen me out of anyone else.
He reached his hand out and went to put it against the side of my head, as though he was going to tuck my hair behind my ear. With no hesitation this time I went to run past him and get into my car. He was faster than me, stronger than me, and grabbed me by my arm before throwing me back towards the place where the gas pumps were located. I hissed, knowing I would end up having nasty bruises.
"Where do you think you're going, bitch? I didn't say you could leave," he hissed, spitting venom from within his voice. I gulped, my eyes wandering around and hoping someone could save me. I could barely call myself a Christian but at that moment I prayed the hardest I ever did, hoping that God would send me someone to save me. I didn't expect what would happen next.
A car came speeding into the gas station parking lot, turning so it stopped in front of my car. My heart stopped as I realized I knew that car. It was Carlisle's car, the black expensive car almost glistened underneath the lights above us. The man growled, deciding that he was going to intimidate the man who thought that he could be my little savior.
The driver's door opened, revealing Carlisle as he came out of it. He was wearing one of his Oxford button up shirts, the sleeves were rolled up on his biceps and his dress shoes and pants allowed everyone to know not only was he stylish he was also in the higher class. His golden hair was stalk against his pale skin, his eyes on the other hand were the deepest gold I had ever seen. If I didn't know him, I would have been just as scared about him as I was with this man.
"Bella, come here," he softy instructed me, the man on the other hand grabbed me by the arm and shook his head. "I don't think so, pretty boy. I called dibs on her first, you'll have to wait until I'm finished to have your turn."
Nausea burnt inside of me, as I shivered at the thought of the man doing something horrible. I didn't want to think that the man would rape me, I wouldn't recover from it. I would be too damaged.
Carlisle came forward, with purpose, emitting such an aura that the man felt it. He loosened his arm around me, and I sprinted forward, hiding behind Carlisle. He turned towards me and without thinking he pushed my hair behind my hair, he was caressing me as though I was a fine piece of china. I couldn't help but take it eagerly, almost forgetting the situation.
"Get into my car, Bella," Carlisle quietly whispered, I listened to him and went into the passenger seat of his car. Without thinking I pushed down the lock button and felt secured with having a shield from the man. My eyes were focused completely on Carlisle and the man.
I couldn't hear them, but the man stiffened, and his eyes became terrified. He didn't last standing in front of Carlisle long, he ran away from the doctor without a second hesitation. Carlisle merely watched him leave before he turned and came up to the car. I unlocked the car and sprung out, throwing myself into his arms and letting him know how grateful I was.
Tears sprung up in my tear ducts, but I knew for once I shouldn't be too embarrassed with what happened. "Thank you, Carlisle. I don't know what would have happened if you weren't here."
Carlisle's muscles clinched as though he thought of what was happening, he hugged me almost tighter but loosened himself when he realized that he was going to squish me in his arms. He pulled away from me and shook his head, "don't think about it. I am here, and I will always protect you."
As though they had finally noted what was going on, the gas station clerk came outside with worry. "Are you all right? Do I need to call the police?"
Carlisle shook his head, "we're fine, thank you though." The clerk bit their lip before they nodded their head and went back into the gas station.
Turning towards Carlisle with curiosity I couldn't help but ask, "how did you know I was here?" There could be no possible explanation on him coming pelting into the parking lot as though he knew this was going to happen.
"I was heading home from Seattle; I was visiting an old friend from medical school and as I was driving almost past here, I recognized you. I couldn't help but to make sure you would be okay," Carlisle told me. I didn't see how this wasn't possible, so I took it without any suspicion.
"I think it's time to go home," I decided, which Carlisle agreed. I gave him another smile and without thinking I hugged him again. He held me the same way as before, longing was between us. I knew it was silly but some part of me thought he felt the same longing as me.
Carlisle helped me into my driver's seat and drove behind me as we headed back to Forks. I kept looking up in my review mirror, making sure that he was here. Every time I did so more peacefulness soaked me. I knew with him behind me, making sure I would be fine on the road I would be okay.
I hadn't expected though for him to park at the curb of Charlie's house, before he got out of his car and helped me out of my car again. He led me to the front door. Charlie was in bed, though I knew he wasn't sleeping that well.
Leaning forward I kissed Carlisle on the cheek, he took a sharp breath, before I pulled away from him. He was staring at me as though I had kissed him on the lips instead. I blushed and ducked my head down.
"T-Thank you, again, Carlisle. Um, I'll see you at work, thanks again." I unlocked the front door and rushed in, shutting the door behind me and locking it. Carlisle's soft footsteps went away, and I giggled.
The sudden sound of footsteps coming downstairs tore me my thoughts, Charlie came down the stairs and wiped away the crusts in his eyes. He saw me standing there and sighed in relief as he came closer to me.
"Oh, thank the Lord you're back. I was so scared that something happened to you."
"I got my books though," I joked, it was the only thing I could do.
I wouldn't tell him what had happened at the gas station. He wouldn't let me out of the house except for when I had to go to the clinic. I would have to tell him I wouldn't get hurt anymore but I could only do so much.
"I'm going to bed. I'll see you in the morning," I announced, earning a nod from Charlie. He reached forward and hugged me. He must have seen that I was tired, that I just wanted to curl up in my bed and go to sleep. I wanted to forget what had happened just hours ago.
Dragging myself upstairs, I went into my bedroom and sat my books onto my nightstand before I went into my bedroom and took a shower. I relaxed, letting the water pour down on my head. I gently washed myself, along with my hair, before I got out and wrapped my towel around myself, while grabbing another one and wrapping it on my head. The steam had rolled up and gotten foggy on the mirror, I went forward and wiped away the mirror before peering at myself.
I studied myself, wondering what there was about me that had gotten the attention of that creep. I was average, there wasn't something that was eye catching about me. My skin was too pale, and my hair had darkened. The red highlights in my hair weren't prominent and I had some acne around my chin. I groaned at the sight of them and made sure to open them before I put on some of my medicated cream on them, hoping that they would go away this week.
Drying myself once I went into my bedroom, I slipped in one of my matching pajama sets, they were cozy and warm. I put my towels into the washing machine and yawned. Charlie was snoring as I went into my bedroom again, the little lights that were strung throughout the room allowed me to know I was safe. If I had the lights on, and I wasn't in the pitch black I could feel safe tonight.
Sadly, I wasn't safe in my dreams. I had nightmares, where Carlisle hadn't come in time and the man managed to drag me behind the gas station or into his car and driving away. I dreamt I had been raped, it felt as though it was real. I wanted nothing more than to wake up.
"Bella! Bella! Wake up!"
I screamed, lunging upwards and finding Charlie standing in front of me, he sat down onto my bed and reached forward, wrapping his arms around me and keeping me in his arms. "Tell me, please. Let me know what happened. Something must have happened when you were in Seattle or on the way."
Gulping, I took a deep breath, and quietly told him what had happened. He had stiffened when he first heard the beginning of what had happened, and then when I mentioned Carlisle coming and rescuing me, he sighed in relief. He pulled away from me and wiped away the tears that were falling down my cheekbones.
"Oh sweetheart, I'm so sorry. I'm glad that Carlisle was there for you," Charlie murmured. I didn't have the energy to tell him he shouldn't feel pity for me, but I let him do so. He was my dad after all, it was his job to worry about me.
"I'm fine now, Dad. I'm going to try and get some sleep," I let him know and he was hesitant before he nodded his head. He got up and went back into his bedroom. I rolled onto my side and wrapped my arms around my pillow before closing my eyes.
I dreamt of Carlisle this time. I dreamt of him saving me, letting me know he was there for me. He was my knight in shining armor, as cliché as that sounded. He was an angel, a guardian angel in that very moment.
I woke, not completely freshened, but got ready for work. I smoothed down my scrubs and pulled my hair up in a high ponytail. I put some concealer on, making sure that I covered my lines underneath my eyes. I didn't put any lipstick on, but I slipped on my comfortable shoes and went downstairs. Charlie left a note next to the answering machine, I furled my eyebrows before I read what he had said.
Called the Clinic. Told them that you needed the day off.
Anger came in full force, enough that I grabbed the note and ripped it. I grabbed my car keys and a Tupperware of a meal I had made the other night before I went out of the house and locked the front door behind me. I stalked forward and got into my car before I pulled out of the gravel driveway.
My fingers were tight upon the leather steering wheel. I didn't have any music that was playing, tension was rising in me. I drove faster than normal but I was nearing the speed limit. The last thing I needed was for one of Charlie's friends to pull me over and tell me to head home because they would know I had distress and I shouldn't worry about going to the clinic.
Pulling into the parking lot, I parked in my usual parking spot, and closed my eyes. Focusing on my breathing, I pulled my car keys out and got out, locking the door behind me. The sliding doors let me in, and I went forward, only to see that Jennifer was the only one who was at the lobby desk. She looked up and frowned, "I heard that daddy dearest had called in and said you needed a sick day."
"Where's Melissa?" I almost demanded this but kept my voice under control. Footsteps came and the doors opened, Melissa came out. She immediately came forward and hugged me. Tears were falling down her face and she almost gave sobs; it was as though she knew exactly what had happened.
The doors opened again, this time it was Carlisle that came through. Melissa pulled away; this was embarrassment that was across her face. Carlisle gave a reassuring smile, "I'm glad that you've become close friends. I'm concerned though if you should be here, Bella."
I straightened up and showed a brave face. "Can we go into your office?" Carlisle nodded his head, and we both went in the corridor where his office was. We didn't say anything, until he shut the door behind us.
He came close to me and reached towards me but paused and let his hand drop. "I'm both glad and upset that you're here, to be honest, Bella."
I sighed and spoke, "I need to be here, Carlisle. I need to get my mind from what happened last night. I wouldn't be here if you hadn't saved me. I don't know what would have happened. I know though that this is my passion, this is what I love, and I need to focus on it more than anything else right now."
Carlisle whispered, "I know how you feel, Bella. Just please do not over stress yourself."
"Of course, Carlisle." I turned and opened the office door, peering out. Thankfully, there was no one looming, waiting to see when we would come out. Maybe they were hoping we were doing something inappropriate so they could have a reason for me to get fired. They were waiting for me to fail, but I would prove them wrong.
Entering the lobby with my head tilted high, noting that a patient was sitting in the lobby. I went over to her, knowing that she was one of my patients. She perked up when she saw me, "Dr. Swan! I'm so glad to see you. Jennifer told me on the phone that you wouldn't come in today. I was going to see Dr. Walters."
I had a feeling that Jennifer had made sure to have Dr. Walters be the one my patients would go to when I was not available. My patient, Ms. Grayson, on the other hand seemed as though she had preferred me over Dr. Walters. She eagerly stood up and allowed me to wrap my arm around hers (she didn't have the best balance, in fact she just had knee surgery so she couldn't walk with much pressure on that leg) before I directed her in the direction of the rooms.
She could tell I wasn't that talkative today, so she wasn't that cheerful. She held patience I had to admire. She allowed me to check her knee, without any protests as she always had before. She was a tough cookie in the past. She wasn't one who followed rules that doctors had give her. She would bitch and gripe but for once she was letting me work on her without her grumbling too much.
As soon as we were done, she went into the lobby and made sure to book her next appointment. Melissa was the one who had gotten to her before Jennifer could, which allowed me to know Ms. Grayson wasn't going to talk back to Jennifer. She had done so before, I had heard, I had moved here.
Taking a step outside I sat down on the bench, observing the cars that were passing by without any worries in the world. I never thought so much could happen in the four months I had been here. I had gotten a co-worker friend, found myself hypnotized by my advisor, and faced the harassment that a sexist old doctor had towards me.
Turning my head, I noted that Carlisle was standing off to the side. It was odd that he was always there when I was always troubled. I turned towards him, allowing him to know I was fine, "I'm fine, I'm just taking my smoke break."
Carlisle arched his eyebrow, studying me, before he couldn't help but chuckle. "I never took you as a smoking type. You continue to surprise me."
He knew I was joking, and he went along with it. Others wouldn't joke with me, then again, I didn't joke with people often.
Carlisle came forward and sat down next to me, putting his right hand on my left one. The freezing temperature of his skin could never make me become accustomed to it, but I didn't find myself shivering as much when he touched me. He looked forward but softly spoke, "I'm proud of you, Bella."
"Thank you," I whispered back, knowing that I had been thanking him a lot lately. He smiled next to me; it was a half-smile, but it was still there. It made my heart flutter, the smiles he gave me made my heart race. The way that he was with me, how he was a gentleman through and through was refreshing.
"Are you ready to go inside?" Carlisle probed, before I nodded him. He pulled his hand away, before I stood up and we both went through the clinic sliding doors. I made sure to keep my head tilted up.
I wouldn't let them see me weak.
Twilight doesn't belong to me