Disclaimer: I don't own the Twilight series. That right belongs to Stephenie Meyers.

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Salvation

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Thump…

thump…

thump…

The echo of a heartbeat resounded in my head as I walked past the doors of the hospital morgue. I couldn't help but walk into the ghastly room; the sound intrigued me. Nobody was around except the corpses of those whom lost their lives.

thump…

thump…

The drumming began to weaken as the minutes ticked. Perhaps I was being deceived and the heartbeat was coming from another room. That was a logical conclusion, but then again, logic never seemed fitting to me. After all, I was supposed to be a figment of the child's imagination. I was a paradox. A vampire.

thump…

thump…

I breathed in the air around me and an instant burn caught my throat. Excess venom coated my mouth as I realized I wasn't alone with death. I tried to focus on which door the weakening pulse was coming from. I sniffed again and moved to the right. I grasped the handle of the chamber and yanked it open to reveal a small woman.

My ears perked as I heard the thrumming of her heart. It was her. A surge of pity ran through my body as I saw scars and fresh wounds marred her body, and then it hit me. I knew this woman. Sixteen-years-old. Such a happy girl she was, but life changed for her. The poor woman lost her child. I bowed my head in knowing that she purposely took her life.

I couldn't let her die like this. Surely she would go to hell for committing suicide; she deserved much more than hell. This woman deserved more than anything to be in heaven with her son, but not even I could beseech the Gods to make an exception. I knew what I had to do, and within time, I hope this woman could forgive me.

thump…

Panic washed over my body as I realized that she wouldn't make it much longer. Without another thought, I sank my teeth into her delicate, supple flesh. A small gasp escaped her lips. I was surprised. When I had changed Edward, the boy had screamed a fit. When I thought I had done enough, I pulled away from the beautiful woman and was surprised once more.

Her eyes fluttered open for only a brief moment, revealing a pair of hazel eyes. Traces of a smile lasted on her lips as she sank back into unconsciousness. Whether out of grief or compassion, I placed a light kiss on her perspiring forehead. It was happening. The woman's body began to tremor slightly and soon she would be what I been born as.

Rebirth.

Swiftly, but carefully, I took the woman into my arms and ran out of the hospital before anyone could question my presence in the morgue. I decided to take her back to the home I shared with my son Edward. Not so long ago had I changed the young, vicarious boy upon his mother's request. Salvation. Edward thought of his life as an abomination. All faith he once had was lost and I pitied him.

I made it within only minutes to spare. The moment I had stepped foot inside my home, the frail body in my grasp began to convulse. Edward stared at me with his haunting eyes. Ink black. I sighed for he didn't feed the previous night. He didn't abstain well with my lifestyle, but I knew he didn't want that life.

"What did you do?" He whispered in horror. His dark eyes burned with both hunger and repulsion. "Y-you said-"

"I gave her another chance," I replied quietly, "another chance to redeem herself."

He was quiet then and didn't say much more. I watched as he gripped the armrest tightly and turned his head away from me and the woman in my arms. He was in pain. Confused. Scared.

But I would be there to save him. I would be there to save the woman in my arms. No one wants to be a monster. No one wants to be feared. Edward scoffed, but continued to stare blankly out of the window. His mind reading abilities were developing well; it made it easier for him to understand why I changed this woman.

She whimpered softly as I placed her gently on the couch. It was only the beginning. I began to recollect the turmoil and agony I suffered through during my own transformation. Edward hissed. I stared kindly at my son and nodded. He didn't like to think back on the pain he endured. Edward was still coping.

Night fell and I watched as the moon appeared through the blanket of stars. I held her hand, caressing it every so often, brushing my lips against her knuckles. There was something about her. For some reason, I felt undeniably close to this woman I had only met on occasion. She began to cry at points, calling out for her lost son.

I wished that her anguish would ease, but even I knew wishes were fallible. I spoke of the world and all I had seen to her. I told her of the majestic French waters, the magnificence of Volterra, the crisp air on top of Mount Olympus…

I did not leave her side once those three days, not even to feed. Nothing was more important to me at the moment. Only she mattered. This significant, nameless woman in front of me was my connection to humanity. Even though my heart had stopped so long ago, I felt something I hadn't felt ever since was a boy. Love.

I did not know her and yet I loved her. An ardent romance. A faint whisper into the darkness. She was my air. My existence. An escape to a more appropriate reality. I had a fools heart. Surely she wouldn't forgive me for granting her immortality. Only time would tell.

Her screams were unforgiving. Till the last beat of her heart to the first breath of her rebirth she had suffered because of me. Did I regret giving her a second chance? No, I did not. No matter how much hatred this woman might feel for me, I knew that it was the right thing. I wouldn't condemn her to eternal servitude as the devil's advocate. If anything, I would rather she become an angel-even if that met she was born to kill.

As her trembling began to waver, a soft knock came to the door. Edward opened the door quietly, hesitantly standing in the doorway. He stared at me and I apologized for putting him through this torment once more.

"I've made the arrangements."

I smiled and nodded with approval at Edward. Ashland was not a suiting place to stay anymore. Perhaps we would take our chances in New York. "Thank you Edward."

He merely shrugged. His dark eyes then shifted towards her. "Is she…"

"She is alive," I responded.

"Hardly," he spat bitterly. Edward lifted his gaze and immediately bowed his head. "Excuse me." He then walked back out of the room.

I shook my head and stared back at her. Soon she would be awake from her final slumber; her last sleep. She began to stir uneasily and for the first time in three days, her eyes opened once more.

It wasn't like the last time. Her eyes were a deep burgundy. The color of a fine wine. I drank in her presence. The corners of her lips turned upwards as she caught my eyes and sighed.

"Who are you?" She murmured musically.

"My name is Carlisle Cullen."

Her eyes began to close and I knew she was still going through the transformation process. "Esme," she whispered.

Her body began to shudder, the venom taking its final toll upon her. Despite the uncertainty of what tomorrow should bring, I smiled down at her. Esme. Her name was suiting. She was beloved.

I had always sought out a companion in my life of loneliness. Though I had my new son Edward, I found that I gained something more. I thought the hollow feeling within me was an effect of being such a monster, but amazingly enough, the emptiness was filled by her.

My beloved Esme.