A few reviewers asked what happened after Esme bought the ring. Well, here ya go! Please let me know if you liked it, even if it's just a smiley face!
"Where is she?" Carlisle asked, his voice tense with worry.
"Where did she go in such a rush?" I heard Emmett ask. Although he would never admit it, I could detect that he was nervous. A moment later, he asked, "Do you think she's ok?" A pause and then I heard the sound of a fist hitting flesh and quickened my steps, hoping against hope that my actions had not caused them to turn on each other. "She better be ok...or else!" Emmett growled and I signed in relief when I came around the corner and saw him pressing his fist against his other hand.
"There are no screams of terror or bodies laying about suspiciously drained of blood... I think she's ok," Rose huffed, causing Edward to turn and snarl at her.
I started towards them but paused as I caught sight of Carlisle's anguished face. "Where is she, Edward?" he whispered, voice breaking slightly.
"I...don't...know!" Edward ground out, his back towards me, hands pressed against his forehead. "For the tenth time, I can't hear her!" he groaned, clearly frustrated.
I blinked back tears that would never come, angry at myself for running off so suddenly. They were silent, watching Edward. After a moment, Emmett said slowly, "What do you mean, you can't hear her?"
Edward sighed. "She's blocking me. Or too far away. I don't know." He turned to Carlisle, his shoulders moving as he took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, Carlisle. I can't find her," he said softly, head dropping forward.
"She's right there you idiot," Rose sighed, pointing towards me with her nail file. "Looks fine to me."
I stood on the edge of the parking lot, frozen in place by a heavy sense of guilt for the worry I had caused. Their nervousness was evidenced in their words, in their body language and in the fact that I was able to stand and watch them without their noticing me or my scent.
In mere moments, Emmett, Carlisle and Edward had crossed the parking lot to stand in front of me, eyeing me warily.
"I'm sorry," I began, swallowing nervously. "I'm sorry I ran off like that. I'm sorry I made you all worry."
Edward grabbed my shoulders and stared down at me, "Are you ok?"
Emmett pushed him out the way, moving to stand in front of me, his brow furrowed. "Where were you? What happened? Who..."
I reached up and ran a hand across his forehead. "I'm fine. No one bothered me." He narrowed his eyes, clearly confused.
"Mom," Edward whispered and I smiled at the term of endearment from him, "we were worried about you. I couldn't hear you... You shouldn't have just run off like that!"
I dropped my eyes to the macadam surface of the lot. "I'm sorry, I truly am. I agree with you that I shouldn't have run off like that," I raised my eyes and looked at Emmett first and then Edward, "I'm sorry that I worried you boys." I placed a palm on each of their faces. "I am very sorry." Dropping my hands, I turned to my husband with a wry smile. "My eyes are still gold. I was a good girl."
"Esme," he sighed, running a hand over his face.
"I heard your thoughts... you were planning on taking out an entire wing's worth of nurses, orderlies and doctors!" Edward cried, drawing my attention.
"Which, obviously, she didn't do," Rose snapped as she walked over to join us. "I told you she was fine. No bodies. No screams. Remember?"
Edward growled at her and I stepped between them. "Edward, I have slipped up a couple of times, that's true. But all of you think I have it in me to commit mass murder?" I asked, shaking my head. Rose cleared her throat dramatically and I added, "All of you but Rose." I paused and hung my head, "That all of you but Rose apparently have so little faith in me..." I trailed off, unable to finish the thought.
"But I heard you thinking..."
"Edward," I snapped, eyes darting to his face, "I might think about stripping naked and riding a horse down main street like Lady Godiva, but it doesn't mean I'm actually going to do it."
Emmett snickered, "Carlisle might enjoy that though."
Simultaneously, Rose and I smacked him lightly on the head and glared at him. I saw a few people in the lot turn around at the noise and hoped that they attributed it to a car backfiring.
"Sorry, Mom. Sorry Carlisle," Emmett muttered, rubbing the back of his head.
I turned back to Carlisle, who still had not spoken. "Children," I said softly, eyes locked with my husband, "would you give your father and I a moment."
"We'll be in the car," Rose responded, "not listening," she added in a warning tone and then they were gone.
"I really am sorry for worrying you." I watched him carefully for any reaction, his quietness beginning to unsettle me. "Carlisle, please, speak to me. I'm so sorry that I worried you. But I had to..."
My mouth hung open as I struggled to regain my concentration. "You understand?"
"I understand why you had to run, really I do..."
I continued to gape at him. "Did Edward tell you... Did you know..." I sputtered, thrown by his words.
"Of course Edward told us. And I know how hard it is to resist..."
"You what?!" I shouted, suddenly furious. "You know how hard it is to resist? What is that supposed to mean?" I snarled, my hands fisting at my sides as I leaned towards him.
Carlisle's eyes widened at my reaction. "Of course," he replied slowly. I growled and he raised an eyebrow as he stepped forward, closing the space between us, and grabbing my shoulders. "Esme, what has gotten into you? Of course I know how hard it is to resist the small of blood. I try to make it easier on all of you by changing each night before I come home, so maybe you didn't realize how strong the smell is in the hospital. It's a constant battle, even after all this time," he explaining, his grip on my shoulders strong as if he feared I was about to run away from him again.
"Blood?" I gasped. "You think I ran because of the smell of blood?"
"Esme, it's only a natural reaction..."
I laughed and he stared at me in horror. "Don't look at me like I've lost my senses, Carlisle! I didn't..." I laughed again, shaking my head, "it wasn't because of blood lust." I laughed more and if it were not for his hands on my shoulders, I would probably be doubled over in hysterics. "That's absurd!"
"People are watching us," he stammered once I had stopped laughing and I realized that we had been standing in the parking lot for far too long. A curious crowd had gathered, likely wondering what the new doctor was up to with the crazy woman.
I lifted my hands to his, which still rested on my shoulders, and pulled them away. I dragged him over to a small wooden bench nearby and sat down. Once he lowered himself next to me, I tried to explain. "It wasn't blood lust, love. It was... just lust."
"What?" he choked.
"Edward didn't tell you what the nurses have been thinking about you, did he?" I asked, threading my fingers through his. He shook his head no and I continued. "Those women you work with...They have no idea you're married. Their thoughts...about you...were inappropriate."
"Oh," he hissed, still staring at me. He lifted our joined hands, placing them against his chest. "Esme, you know... There has only been one woman..."
"Of course, I know that you would never..." I whispered, leaning towards him. He leaned in as well so that our foreheads nearly touched. "It wasn't that I thought you would do anything. It was... I was angry that they were thinking such thoughts. I was jealous. I... I'm possessive, I guess. I wanted..."
"You ran because you are possessive?" he questioned, a trace of confusion still evident in his words. "You wanted to rip their throats out because you were jealous?"
I laughed, "Yes. Yes and no. I thought about it, for a moment, a very quick, fleeting moment, but I never really considered it a viable option, Carlisle!" I leaned back and looked across the lawn of the hospital. "I would never do that to you."
He pulled his hands from mine and tucked my hair behind my ears, leaving his hands to rest on the sides of my neck. "So... where did you go?"
I smiled abashedly. "I went shopping," I said, biting my lip.
"You went shopping?" he echoed, and I knew I had him absolutely flummoxed.
I smiled and reached for my purse, which was still slung over my shoulder. I unsnapped the clasp and reached inside. "I went shopping and I bought this," I said, lifting the ring from the pocket I had put it in for safety. I held it up in front of his face.
I nodded. "But not just any ring. It's a wedding band. And I'd like you to wear it."
He smiled, his eyes nearly crossing as he looked at the ring.
I lowered the ring slightly and caught his gaze. "Carlisle, I am a completely crazy, possessive, jealous woman who wants everyone to know that you are mind. Will you please wear my ring?"
He held his hand in front of me expectantly. "You'll have to put it on properly."
I laughed as I took his hand in mine. "Carlisle Cullen, will you marry me?"
From across the parking lot, I could hear Emmett catcalling and making kissing noises as Carlisle nodded and I slipped the ring onto his finger. "I would marry you every day until the end of time if you'd let me," he whispered.
"You're making me look bad, Carlisle!" Emmett called.
"Shut up, Emmett!" Rose sighed.
"Marrying you everyday would be an awfully expensive proposition, Dr. Cullen."
"You're worth it," he whispered, leaning towards me, eliciting another round of groans and calls of 'whipped.' We both laughed when Rose was heard smacking Emmett.
"Shall we further annoy them?" I asked, my lips brushing against his, Emmett's hollers fading away.
After a few blissful minutes, he pulled away slightly, our foreheads still touching. His hands were settled pleasantly on my waist, his thumbs making small circles against the skin bared just above my skirt. "Shall we go into the hospital and I can introduce everyone to my beautiful wife?" he proposed.
I grinned, eyes darting to the hospital entrance way and then back to him. "I don't think it's quite necessary anymore. We have attracted a bit of an audience." I giggled, "They're not going to think you're lonely anymore."
"You're feeling quite pleased with yourself aren't you?" he laughed, returning my smile.
I grinned wider, "Oh yes, very pleased... although... Maybe they could use a little more convincing," I suggested with a wink.
"Well, we wouldn't want to leave any doubt," he drawled just before his lips captured mine.
As his hand lifted to my cheek, I felt the cool metal against my skin. The creature within me smiled in satisfaction. He had been marked. They would know he was taken.
And I hadn't needed to rip out a single throat.