DC: I don't own Twilight.

Summary: Edward Cullen has a secret that only Carlisle knows. A secret about how he came to be in the hospital with influenza. A secret that is coming back for him. EdwardXBella. Angst.

Chapter 1,

Chicago 1918

"Save him,"

Carlisle heard that a lot. He looked at the chart on the end of the bed. Elizabeth Mason, age 36. She looked at him with pleading, vivid green eyes. "I'll do what I can," Carlisle promised. She was going to die. There was nothing he could do. He turned to leave but the woman grabbed his wrist.

"Please," Elizabeth pleaded, "don't let him go."

Carlisle smiled warmly at the woman. He pulled his wrist free and gave her hand a comforting squeeze. "He won't die," he promised. He wouldn't, but moments later, Elizabeth did.

Edward Mason practically blended with his pale sheets. Carlisle looked at him with sad eyes. Seventeen-years-old. Still so young. "Hello, Edward how are you today?"

Edward looked at the doctor with tired eyes. Green, like his mothers, but dull and lifeless, "I'm fine, sir," he said in a quiet monotone voice.

"Edward," Carlisle said sitting in the firm wooden chair beside the bed, "I have some bad news."

The teenager looked out the window at the dreary Chicago landscape. It was raining. Carlisle wondered briefly if he already knew. If somehow the boy understood without being told that he was alone in the world.

"Your mother has passed."

"I know," Edward muttered. "Where will you take me?"

Carlisle sighed. He stood and put a hand on Edward's head. "Where would you like to go?"

--

Forks 2008

Edward Cullen had a problem. A big problem. A big, bulky, vampiric problem. Emmett Cullen was chasing him through the forest around their house.

"Don't be such a sore loser!" Edward called.

"You cheated you little twerp!" Emmett snapped.

"All is fair in love and war!" Edward taunted with a satisfied smirk. He was faster than Emmett and more agile.

"Yeah, I suppose you're right."

Edward only had a moment to register what he said before he crashed into the hard wall that was Jasper and Alice.

"All is fair in love and war, right Edward?" Emmett asked.

Bella and Esme were sitting in the living room watching a movie when the boys returned with a giggling Alice. "Hey Alice, do you see Edward sitting comfortably in the future?" Jasper asked between laughs.

Edward limped into the room. "You...ass...I...will...get...you..."

"Emmett, sweetie what did I tell you about that," Esme sighed. "You can actually do some damage."

"Don't worry Esme, Eddie will be fine."

"Don't...call...me...Eddie," Edward seethed.

"It's not like he's using it anyway," Emmett said with a shrug. Jasper snickered, Alice giggled and Esme rolled her eyes.

"I'd rather you kept it intact though, for later," Bella said over the rim of her mug of tea. The reactions of the room were priceless. Emmett was on the ground howling with laughter, Esme was trying with all her might to keep from laughing, Jasper was leaning on Alice for support as waves of laughter crashed through him and Alice was in tears.

Edward scowled at Bella. "Not helping," he grumbled.

Carlisle walked by the scene with a sigh and a smile. "You know Emmett, it would be better if you just admitted that he got you good."

"Shut up!" Emmett yelped.

"How far did you get it this time?" Roselie asked from the stairs.

"Almost tore the undies," Emmett said proudly. "And in case you were wondering, Bells, he still wears tighty whities."

"EMMETT!"

"Don't worry, Edward, I'm sure she isn't dating you for your undies," Alice teased. "Let this be a lesson, Bella, Emmett gives the worlds worst wedgies."

Emmett grinned and Edward tried to dislodge the wedgie. Bella came up to him and hugged him, still giggling.

"It's fun to see you guys act like siblings," She said.

"Well I'm glad that someone...OH SWEET JESUS!" Edward finished with a yell and the sound of something ripping.

"Wedgie solved!" Emmett declared proudly, holding Edward's torn underwear by the elastic.

"It was one arm wrestling match! Don't you think you've taken the punishment too far?"

"You only won because you cheated."

"Yeah, because there are really grizzlies this close to home. You were the one thick enough to fall for it!"

"Now boys, that's enough," Esme said with a gentle motherly expression.

"Fine," Emmett grumbled.

After the excitement was finished Edward and Bella went up to his room. He sat on his sofa and pulled Bella into his lap. "The big day it coming up, are you excited?" he asked.

Bella leaned into his chest and smiled. "Actually, yeah, I am."

"Alice wants to start setting up the reception hall," Edward sighed. "This whole wedding is getting...I dunno."

"Cold feet?" Bella asked.

"And hands, and arms, and legs..."

"Shut up you know what I mean!" Edward grinned and kissed her cheek.

"Yeah," he admitted, tightening his arms around her, "I'm excited about it, but I'm also waiting for you to come to your senses and leave me."

"Tempting," Bella replied lightly, "but I've already sent out the invitations and I suppose you're cute and all."

Edward laughed and kissed her lightly on the lips. "I pale compared to you," he whispered shifting so she was on her back with her arms around his neck. Bella brushed her socked foot against his and he let out an uncharacteristic giggle. Bella grinned and slipped from under him. She brushed her nails against the sole of his foot and Edward laughed.

"Stop!" He cried laughing.

"Aw, why? Vampires aren't ticklish are they?"

Edward gave her a look, challenging her. Bella dragged her nails against his foot again and he laughed. Within the minute they were on the floor rolling around, tickling each other and laughing. They finally stopped, Bella was breathless and Edward was still laughing. She looked deep into his eyes.

"Edward, I'll love you forever."

"You'll be the most beautiful vampire in the world," Edward said caressing her face, "I'll never understand while you chose me."

Bella lowered her lips to his. One more week and she'd be his wife. One more week before she'd be able to tear the clothes from that perfect body and give him everything. Edward slid an arm around her waist and looked at her. "Beautiful Bella. That's what I should nickname you."

"Bells is fine," she told him, slipping away and standing up. Edward sighed and followed.

--

For the reception Alice was going to put together a compilation of pictures through the years. Edward didn't have many baby pictures, or pictures from his childhood, but Renee and Charlie forked over the stash, much to Bella's embarrassment.

The pictures arrived that morning with Renee and Phil. There was going to be a large family dinner, as the Cullen's hadn't met Bella's mom and stepfather. Esme took full advantage of the opportunity to be maternal and spent the day in the kitchen. Bella, much to her surprise, found herself wanting to help.

"It is such a beautiful ring," Esme said nodding towards Bella's hand.

"I was nervous to wear it at first," Bella admitted, cutting potatoes, "I mean it felt like such a huge weight."

"Well, getting married is a big step," Esme sighed, stirring flour and sugar for what would be a beautiful cake. "When Carlisle asked me to marry him...oh it was wonderful."

"What happened?" Bella asked, tipping the potatoes into a bowl.

Esme grinned and tossed her beautiful hair out of her eyes. Bella was sure that if she had been able to, Esme would have been blushing.

"Well, it was about a year after he bit me. I was calming down and settling into life as a vampire. One night we went walking by a lake we lived near at the time. He was so nervous. He was trembling a little. We had been in love for a long time. In fact that was why he changed me. I was dying from an infection from injuries. He promised me everything I desired and eternal love," Esme sighed happily. "His voice was so shaky, he was so nervous."

"She exaggerates you know," Carlisle said from behind us, his arms circling Esme's waist. He rested his chin on her shoulder and rocked softly. "I wasn't that nervous."

"The way you two behave, you'd think you were married yesterday," Bella said with a smile. Carlisle closed his eyes and sighed happily.

"Edward is the same with you," Carlisle promised.

Bella blushed and went back to the potatoes.

--

"You know it really isn't fair," Bella huffed as yet another picture from her babyhood flashed on the screen.

"What?" Edward asked.

"You don't have embarrassing baby pictures."

"Well, sweetie, I lived a century ago, my family didn't really take pictures."

"That's no excuse," Bella whined, "surely Carlisle had at least one twisted fiber in his body that demanded satisfaction by snapping embarrassing shots of you!"

"Hah, no. Carlisle hates getting his picture taken and taking them."

"But surely Esme, or Alice would!"

Edward's lack of response told Bella that they had. It was probably Alice. The thought had barely crossed my mind when a picture of Edward, pinned under a bear with Emmett laughing in the background faded onto the screen.

"I think I may hurt her," Edward grumbled. Bella laughed. Another picture came up, this one in a hospital. Edward was looking at the camera with dull green eyes. His left arm was in a plaster cast, and his right shoulder was bandaged. There were bruises on his cheek and neck.

"What's that from?" Bella asked.

"Back when I was human," Edward muttered. "I don't want to talk about it."

Without another word he stood and walked out.

TBC

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