Disclaimer: I don't own the Twilight Series.

AN: Because I'm sure—I know—even passionate, kind Esme has taken her share of blood.


The entire entity of the massive, colonial-fashioned house remained under the heavy cloak of silence. Rain hammered the earth, pelting the glass of the windows and staining the smooth surface with tears from the heavens. Esme, however, felt the vague, ominous pressure consume her core, a warning of sorts that plagued her mind. Rain: the theatrical sign—particularly in novels—of a terrible tragedy brewing on the grey horizon. Her crimson orbs traveled from the pages of the dog-eared paperback, and then toward the moon-sheathed night.

Carlisle was absent, having opted to work late this night. Edward remained on the first story of their South Carolinian home, the harmless tunes of his self-composed songs echoing throughout the house. The piano was his savior, his closet friend for now, being one of the few ways of drowning out meaningless thoughts of others, although he didn't think of her thoughts as meaningless. More so as tiresome, seeing as various thoughts constantly engulfed him day-and-night. It was described as "a burden".

Thunder boomed, chaotic and sinister.

The abrupt halt of the piano keys startled her as the garish noise of an off-key pattern erupted shortly. "Edward?" Esme called worriedly, rising from her position on the sofa, tossing the book aside, too, before exiting her room and descending down the steps of the enormous staircase. Her fingers briefly carved into the banister when she stopped on the last step, concern flooding her system.

"Edward…?"

The bronze-haired vampire emerged then, golden eyes wide in sheer panic. "Esme," he pleaded in a velvety, panicked voice, "you need to get upstairs, now! There's a human coming, so you—"

A profound knocking at the door sounded, loudly and harsh, yet another thing slammed into her. The overbearing, delicious scent of something warm—human blood—rushed into her mind, consuming her thoughts and her reason. Why hadn't she quenched this fire in her throat so long ago? The scent, a sensational rapture, clutched her shoulders and guided her forward, temporarily blinding her as she followed it. Vaguely, she could also sense fingers digging into her waist and shoulders, yet it was barely there.

Her hand slammed open the front door, and her burgundy eyes didn't register the young human woman situated before her, but the wounded, blood-coated hand hovering in front of her; crimson absorbed into a thin, white cloth. Her teeth flashed as her lips curled back. The dry ache in her throat near exploded as the overwhelming desire flamed in her stomach.

"Esme!"

It was almost as though the blood was… calling to her, baiting her, using her name in a clear voice.

Esme complied; clasping the woman's shoulder and snapping her neck sideways, the brief scream ending, and pressed her lips against the slender curve of the human's neck. Cold rain drenched her back; soaking her white dress—mud splattering her entire torso—and pale tresses. Her eyes closed in pure satisfaction once razor-sharp teeth split open a vein, warm, mouth-watering blood pooling into her body; throat liquid and not dry, as it was before.

How could she deny such a wonderful, euphoric sensation for so long?

"Esme, please!"

The blood continued spiraling through her, reawakening dull senses—reestablishing the predator once hidden behind a mask. Was her name Esme? Do murderous creatures deserve names? The questions shortly brought the world crashing back into place, the crushing rain clouding her vision. Her teeth sucked nothing but air. Something powerful yanked at her, forcing her backward and onto her back; an object she couldn't see slipping from her loosened fingers.

"Damn it, Esme!"

She inhaled, the scent of rain and earth coming with the oxygen. What happened? Limping to her feet, she slowly turned around, uncomprehending as to why Edward seemed beyond words—eyebrows knotted together, lips threaded into a deep scowl, expression conflicted. The woman… where was she? Esme swiveled back around, already understanding then. Her feet stumbled back, away from the tattered corpse—once blue orbs staring into nothing.

"I…"

She bit her bottom lip, momentarily convulsing, before shifting back around the gaze sorrowfully at Edward. A heated ecstasy of grief swallowed her chest, making it as empty as a hollowed shell. Edward tilted his head, shaking it once, and reached out to her, pitifully; attempting to tow her back into the safety of the house.

"…Esme…?"

His deep voice rooted her to the spot. Breathing unevenly, despite the task being unnecessary, Esme turned back around; hair plastered to her face. Carlisle stood several paces away from her, his gaze skimming over her, before trailing down to stare at the body. For several moments, he seemed… wounded. She clasped her hands together, covering her mouth as to contain the sob rumbling in her chest. Her eyes widened in numbing pain.

"We need to hide it, Carlisle," Edward ordered, tone impatient, "before someone—"

His words cut off as Carlisle strode around the body in easy steps, marching toward Esme. She staggered back, startled by his aggressive movement. Memories sealed away rushed back into her mind, and her hands smoothed to cover her face; shoulders slouching as she prepared to take a kneeling position—to roll into a ball—yet the painful blow never occurred.

Strong, iron arms wound around her waist, reassuring and affectionate in every possible way. Instinctively, Esme leaned into Carlisle's embrace, hands curling up his chest, face buried into the fabric of his shirt. She felt ashamed, guilt-ridden, and the rain bombarding the land did little to wash away these emotions. Carlisle's hand ran reassuringly up and down her back.

"Carlisle…" Edward's voice lingered. "We need to…"

"I know," Carlisle responded, slowly easing away from her, but allowing his arm to remain around her waist. After guiding her back into the house, he gave her one last loving stare—begging her to remain composed—, before sauntering outside. Esme collapsed on one of the beige-colored sofas, the vacant area of her chest expanding, a terribly unpleasant aching. Her orbs lingered on the crystal vase—placed on the coffee table—, the floral scent emanating from the various flowers dimming her predatory and alert sense back to human.

That woman had a family, perhaps children. Or maybe she was single, and her two loving parents would never see the day she marched down the isle clad in her beautiful white gown. The idea was maddening, and with a start, the sob once contained tore from her throat, shattering the still atmosphere of the house. She ducked her head in her hands, ripping apart strands of hair.

Crying—tears—seemed pleasing at the moment.