This is a Valentines present from me to you! Happy Valentines Day!
I present to you-
A Story Of Love…
The last in this fanfic…
through the eyes of our much loved Esme!
Disclaim.: Don't own. Bleugh.
I woke up alone, the house drafty through the open window, and dust billowing at my feet.
Oh dear, I thought, this house is so dirty. It doesn't look like it's had a good clean in ten years.
I shuffled across the room, my feet kicking up clouds of fluttering, billowing powder. I tutted inwardly, why hadn't the room been taken care of?
I was in what looked like a dark study, and the curtains were hanging lankly over the windows, riddled with moth holes. A large bookcase covered one wall, the books haphazardly crammed onto the shelves, and overflowing. There were piles and piles of sheets, leaflets, and papers sitting on a large wooden desk, and some littered across the floor.
I walked over to the desk, and picked up a sheet of paper that was resting on the top of the pile. It was made from thick cream paper, and the writing was curved in the eighteenth century style.Birth and death papers, medical notes, and files for the client:
My eyes widened with disbelief. I recognised my own name at once, like it was jumping out of the paper at me. And suddenly, as if a shroud had been lifted, my mind began to bulge with questions, where before it had just been blank confusion.
Why are my medical records in this strange room? Why hasn't the room been cleaned in so long? Where was my baby? Why did the letter clearly say death papers when I was standing right here, seeing and smelling and touching…?
I jumped a foot in the air when I heard a bang from behind me. I shot around, and saw the tall, lean figure of a man. And then it all came rushing back…
My husband, gone away to the war. Becoming pregnant, fleeing home from abuse. My beautiful baby dying, jumping off the cliff…
As an irrational fear swept through me, I stepped back, raising my hands in front of my body, as if to protect myself. Men, men! How had they treated me except with contempt and cruelty?
The man just walked forward slowly, murmuring, "Don't be scared."
I couldn't see his body or face, the room was too dark, but his voice somehow soothed me. It was pleasantly deep, and low, like the soft notes on a piano.
It made a shiver run down my spine.
And then he stepped closer, and my eyes began to sharpen and focus, and my vision became clearer. It didn't matter that the room was almost black, tinged through shades of grey. It didn't matter that the only light was that which managed to break through the thick material of the curtain. Nothing mattered; I knew this man!
The strong line of his jaw, the golden eyes like pools of liquid amber. The blonde hair, that made my hands urge to reach forward and run my fingers through it… And most of all, that kind, understanding look in his eyes that had endeared him to my memory all those years ago in the hospital.
"Dr. Cullen?" I whispered. At once, my demeanour changed. I became frozen, and odd look on my face, and hope daring to burn behind my eyes.
"You can come closer, I don't bite," he said, with an sparkle of amusement in his eyes. His perfectly white teeth flashed in the darkness, somehow attracting the little light in the room.
I stepped forward, one little step, shocked and amazed in equal measure that he seemed to look no older than he the day I had first met him.
"Please," he murmured, extending his hand, "Call me Carlisle."
I took his hand gently in mine, and turned it so his fingers were pointing upwards. I couldn't help staring… I remembered so well those large hands with the perfectly rounded, short fingernails, that seemed to shine like diamonds were embedded in each finger. Those hands that had explored my leg and thigh with a fleeting touch all those years ago when I had broken my leg, making my skin burn and my cheeks flush. Those hands that I had imagined roving over my body whenever I was alone in the darkness of my room.
I couldn't believe he looked the same.
He slid his hand out of my soft grip, taking it back to his side. I was worried I had offended or disgusted him, clutching it in my own for so long, but when I looked up, he was smiling.
"I'm sure you have some questions you'd like to ask…" he prompted me, shuffling papers off a couch and onto the floor. He extended his hand for me to sit down, and I did so nervously.
He then sat down behind his desk, and stared at me intently through his misty eyes.
I was silent. My mind was blank; I was stuck in a rut, my brain functioning too slowly- taking him in.
His gaze lingered on my face for a few minutes, before he whispered under his breath, "I know you. I recognise your face."
I could help the smile that stretched across my face. He remembers me, even though it was all those years ago?
"I know what your name is of course," he said, gesturing at the pile of my medical records. "But now I look at you properly, I recognise your face. You're that young woman who broke her leg falling from a tree?"
I nodded once, my smile growing. "Dr. Cullen."
"I thought I asked you to call me Carlisle?" he said again, his voice lilting with a pleasant effect that sounded like music.
"But I know you as Dr. Cullen," I said, "It would be strange… to call you anything else."
"You may have a long time to get used to it," he murmured, almost too quietly for me to hear. I was surprised my ears could catch it. "Although…" he added, a thoughtful look coming on his face, "It depends… whether- of course, you may not want to… you may decide differently."
I looked at him, confused.
"I apologise," he said, "How rude of me. I was asking if you had any questions."
"I wondered why my death papers were on your desk, when I'm sitting here, obviously alive?" I said.
"Obviously?" he said, "What makes you think that?"
"Well, of course I am! I can breathe. I can run around—" I stood up, and ran across the limited space in the room, and then skidded to a stop. Had that really just happened? Had I really just crossed the large room in so short a time? Had my limbs really just felt light and free and unrestrained as they sped beyond the speed that was normal to run at?
"Ahh," Carlisle said. "I see you are finding out for yourself."
"What is this?" I said, "What am I?"
I looked down at my hands. I hadn't noticed before, but my skin was deathly pale like marble. I crossed the room, to where a gilt framed mirror hung above the fireplace… and screamed at the top of my lungs when I saw my reflection. I jumped backwards, knocking over the coffee table and sprawling onto my back. It made a massive crashing noise, and I looked down to notice I had snapped it clean in half. My chest heaved with fear. What had I seen in the mirror…?
The door creaked open almost soundlessly and a boy came into the room. His auburn-bronze hair shined in the light as it hung around his topaz eyes. His angles of his face were sharp were Carlisle's were soft, and his lean body more boyish. He was as jarringly beautiful as the other man in the room.
"Is everything all right?" he asked politely. "I heard a crash."
"Yes, thank you, Edward," Carlisle said, a smile coming onto his face as he saw the boy.
Edward walked slowly into the circle of light cast by the candle. He peered down at me with a thoughtful look on his face.
Oh no, I thought, I've just blown it by breaking their coffee table! They are going to throw me out and I'll have nowhere to go!
"I'm sure that's not going to happen," Edward smiled, as if answering my thoughts.
Carlisle came to stand beside Edward, and offered me his hand. I looked shyly up from under my eyelashes as his strong fingers wrapped around mine as he gently pulled me up from the floor.
I saw a small smile creep onto Edward's face as Carlisle steadied me by the waist.
My skin burned where his hand had been, and my fingers tingled. Carlisle went to sit behind his desk again, and Edward walked towards the door.
"I'll leave you to it, then Carlisle," Edward said. "Nice to meet you Esme."
I nodded back at him, and as the door closed, I realized I had never told him my name. How had he known?
"Is that what I look like?" I said, staring back into the mirror. My eyes were like fire, and my skin was so pale it was almost see-through.
"Don't you like what you see?" Carlisle said softly.
I ran a finger down my cheek, and then traced my jaw line until it turned into my neck. I ran the other hand over my stomach, across my butt, and then up my back. I played with a couple of strands of my caramel hair as I stared into my reflected eyes.
My body feels firmer, I thought, and I like that. But red eyes? How has this happened? And what's this prickling in my throat?
"May I have a glass of water?" I asked.
A smile stretched across Carlisle's face, and my knees began to feel a little weak.
"Water isn't what you need," he said softly, getting up from the chair. My breathing came faster as he neared me. "It's blood."
I frowned. "Pardon?"
"I don't know how to explain this," he said. "It's hard. But it's going to be worse for you."
"What are you talking about?"
"You fell off the cliff, and you died, Esme," Carlisle said.
"I jumped," I corrected him, and then the rest of his sentence sunk in, "What—?"
"You were hardly breathing when I found you," I said. "And when I saw you, I couldn't let you die. So I bit you."
What was he talking about? Was this man, who I had dreamt of so frequently in my teenage years and onwards, completely mad?
He continued, "I'm a vampire, Esme."
Okay. He was definitely mad.
"…And so are you, now."
"What are you saying this for? Vampires don't exist." I said. I looked around the room. "Did you take too many pills? Oh no, you didn't, did you? Doctors should know better. They are supposed to be for patients only…"
I walked forwards, intending to lower him into the chair and find a cold cloth to wipe his forehead with, when he shook his head.
"I'm not joking," he said. His amber eyes bled sincerity.
I frowned deeper. He wasn't joking. And he didn't look like he had taken any pills.
"I don't understand."
"How can you deny it when you saw how different you look now?" he said, "Look in the mirror again, Esme. And tell me, do humans have skin as pale as snow, and eyes as red as a flame?"
I stared at my reflection. I was certainly not human. I hadn't been this unearthly beautiful before, with lashes as dark as charcoal and lips as red as blood.
"Blood?" I said, "You said blood was what I need?"
"Yes," Carlisle said. "It's what we feed on."
"I wont drink any," I said stubbornly.
"You can't avoid it, Esme," Carlisle said, "I tried when I was first turned into a vampire, and I went mad. I ended up drinking in the end, we always do."
My eyes widened. This man, a killer? I couldn't believe it. He had been a hero-like presence through my childhood. He couldn't have killed people.
I backed towards the door, ever so slowly. Could I make it to the front door in time? I didn't even know where the front door was! Would he catch me?
"Is Edward a vampire, too?" I said to distract him as I edged backwards.
"Yes," Carlisle said. "He almost died of the Spanish Influenza. I saved his life. Or doomed it, it depends on how you see it."
I stepped the last step backwards and put my hands behind my back, running my hands up the wall and finding the doorknob. I kept my eyes locked on Carlisle's so he wouldn't look elsewhere and see my hands on the door.
"So how many people have you killed?" I said, trying and failing to control my voice. It wavered at the end.
If he admits to murder, I run.
I grasped the doorknob tighter.
"Murder?" Carlisle said, "Well, I wouldn't call it murder. I only bit Edward because he was going to die anyway. His mother begged me to save him."
Oh, thank god, I thought, he isn't a murderer. Stupid Esme….
"And what about me?" I whispered, "Why did you bite me?"
"Because you were going to die."
"People die all the time," I challenged.
"I know," Carlisle said, "But it's my job, as a doctor, to try my best to prevent that."
"I don't think this counts as part of your job," I said, gesturing to myself. I looked sideways into the mirror again, and opened my small mouth. I ran my fingers along my teeth. "Why don't I have fangs?"
"Vampires don't have fangs," Carlisle said.
"Of course they—" I said, and then was seized by a sudden curiosity. "Can I see your coffin?"
A heard a loud laugh from in the house. Edward? He'd heard me?
Carlisle was smiling widely, his eyes twinkling. "Vampire's don't have coffins, either."
"Won't I be able to go to Church anymore?" I said, "Not that I enjoyed going, anyway… but I could get hit with holy water."
"Holy water!" I heard Edward snigger. He had come back into the room, and walked around me, sitting back on the sofa. "Oh, I have to hear this…"
"I presume garlic smells disgusting now, too. And probably potentially dangerous."
Edward was now holding his sides as his frame shook with laughter.
"And I hope no one around here has silver bullets. Or is it gold?" I said, looking at Carlisle for confirmation.
"Garlic? Coffins? Holy water?" Edward sniggered between each word, "Silver bullets? Where are you getting all this from?"
He seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.
"Edward," Carlisle said. "It is not polite to laugh at the guest."
Edward fell silent immediately, but a smile still lingered in his eyes.
I twirled a lock of hair around my finger nervously. Why was what I had said so laughable? I felt embarrassed, and stupid.
vampires in your fairytales…" Carlisle explained, "Are nothing
like real vampires. Firstly, real vampires don't sleep in coffins.
To be honest, we don't sleep at all. And silver, and gold, and
whatever material you like, doesn't harm us."
"And neither does garlic," Edward added with a wink.
"We wont ever die…," Carlisle said.I was beginning to like the sound of this!
"…But we can never have children."
"Never?" I whispered. All I had ever wanted was a child. And I had had one, but my beautiful baby boy had died as an infant. I missed him so much.
"I'm sorry," Carlisle said ever so gently, his voice low and soothing. "I know you had a baby."
I looked around and noticed Edward had gone. His footsteps were so quiet, I hadn't noticed.
Then it finally hit me that I would never have a child of my own. I would never raise a family.
"That isn't fair," was all I could whisper. It felt like I should be crying, but no tears came. I felt a hard lump in my throat and my frame crumpled. In a second, I was sitting on the floor, my feet tucked underneath me, sobbing. Occasionally I let out a wail of anguish.
I was about to sob again, when I felt two solid arms wrap around me from behind, pulling me up off the floor. Then I felt a cold, but comforting body pressed against mine, soothing me as every angle of his body completed mine. I sighed deeply, but the sound was not one of sadness, it was one of contentment.
"Esme…" I heard him say. His voice was soft but tortured. He started to pull back, but I locked my hands in his so he couldn't move an inch.
"Don't," I murmured. "Just forget whatever you've learnt about being a gentleman."
I felt him smile into my hair. How did I know he wanted what I wanted? He was as reluctant to move away as I was. I could hear it in his voice, and I could feel it in the way his body reacted to mine. The way his arms wound tightly around me, as if to protect… the way his wandering lips found tender skin as he brushed his way down my shoulder, and a deep sound much like purring rumbled from within him.
This, I thought, is worth everything I gave up.
I hope you enjoyed reading this fanfiction!
Please review to tell me what you thought of it, this chapter, and all of them as a whole!
I hope you have a good Valentines Day, and for all those people (me included) who are yet to find love, then don't stop looking!
(Okay, cheesy lines are over now…)
Ps. To the person who threatened me with a giant kitty if I didn't update, then I hope this satisfies your sadistic taste!
Thanks for reading!