Summary: Chicago, Illinois. 1918. Carlisle agonizes over whether or not to save Edward Masen's life by turning him into a bloodthirsty monster.

Three Days

Carlisle frowned as he considered his options. He could not change the boy, could leave him human and let him die; or he could turn the boy into a vampire and induct him into an infinitely long life, one that the teenager may not want. To add to his dilemma, Carlisle had never created a vampire before, so he wasn't completely sure how to turn the boy into a vampire. He knew he'd have to bite him, but did he have to do it in a certain place, the neck perhaps? Or bite him for a certain amount of time, long enough to inject the amount of venom needed to instigate the change? Was there a specific amount of venom needed?

Blonde eyebrows knitted in frustration, Carlisle turned to survey the human boy on the stretcher in front of him.

Edward Anthony Masen. Aged seventeen years. Unusual bronze hair and striking green eyes. Potential vampire, and, at the moment, sole survivor of the Masen family. On the verge of death due to Spanish Influenza. Carlisle brushed back the teen's sweaty, lank hair and let his cold hand settle for a moment on Edward's fevered forehead.

Edward Masen's mother, Elizabeth, had begged Carlisle to save her son in a way that only Carlisle could. This befuddled Carlisle, because he had no idea how Elizabeth Masen could have known that he was a vampire. And what if she had not been referring to his vampirism at all? What if she had simply thought that he was a remarkably talented doctor who had some medical means to save her son?

The boy gave a feeble stir; his eyes fluttered open for a brief second, allowing Carlisle a glimpse of emerald eyes dulled by illness. Compassion welled up in Carlisle, and in that instant his decision was made. He would save Edward.

After a fleeting moment of indecision, the doctor decided that the safest way to go would be to recreate the wounds he himself had suffered at the hands of the vampire who had turned him. It would be painful, he knew, so Carlisle whispered a sincere "I'm sorry" to Edward before baring his teeth and preparing to strike.

x x x x x

Day One. It took three days for a human to transform into a vampire. Carlisle pondered this as he listened to Edward moan and thrash about on the bed. Maybe it was of some religious significance. It took three days for Jesus to rise from the dead; it took three days for Edward Masen to die. Or maybe it just took three days for the body to die in such a way that enabled it to function even after death. You think too much, reprimanded his brain, and Carlisle sighed and focused on Edward.

The teenager's pulse was slower than was normal, his temperature was rapidly declining, and his pallid skin had become even paler. His wounds were beginning to heal.

x x x x x

Day Two. Edward had begun screaming. Terrible, agonized screams that shredded the air and made Carlisle feel guilty because he longed to ease the boy's pain but did not know how. To add to his guilt, he was sure that by recreating his original wounds he had caused Edward more pain than necessary. So he sat by Edward's bed and held his hand and whispered soothingly as the boy writhed and cried out and continued slowly dying.

He wondered whether Edward would take Cullen as a last name. Even though many people who had known Edward Masen had died from the influenza, those that were still alive thought that he was dead, cremated along with the other unfortunate victims of the epidemic. Yes, Edward would have to change his name.

Carlisle liked the sound of Edward Cullen.

x x x x x

Day Three. Edward had been lying still for most of the day. Neither his pulse nor his breath had stirred. His skin and muscles had assumed a rock-hard, icy feel. Carlisle sat by the bedside and waited for the boy to open his eyes; he knew that when he did, the eyes would be pitch-black, darkened by an unfamiliar thirst for blood.

Finally, as night fell, Edward twitched. Carlisle leaned forward, bracing himself in case he had to restrain the young vampire. A frown wavered across the boy's pale, handsome face, then his eyes flitted open. As Carlisle had predicted, the irises were of darkest ebony.

Carlisle reached out and helped Edward sit up. As he supported the weak, newly formed vampire, as he almost cradled him in his arms, he felt a strong surge of love for Edward. For his first creation.

For his son.

x x x x x

Author Note: Wow, look, a non-depressing Twilight fic! That's a first. Hope you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!