DC: I don't own it

Summary: AU. Carlisle never told Esme about his past because he never dreamed that it would show up on his doorstep. He also never denied Edward anything, that is until the one thing he wanted was the one thing he wasn't willing to give. BellaxEdward

Chapter 1,

Carlisle sat at his desk looking over scraps of paper. His bottom lip found it's way between his teeth as he searched for something. He reached over and grabbed his quill, he dipped it in the ink pot at the edge of the desk and marked on a map.

"Carlisle, supper is ready."

He looked up and put his quill aside. He stood up and right away he knew something was off. He looked down and found it instantly. A pair of wide brown eyes were looking up at him under chocolate ringlets and a big grin.

"Your mother will be looking for you," he said with a small smile as he reached down and picked her up.

"Papa play with me," she ordered.

Carlisle chuckled and kissed her cheek. Anything for her. He knew it was sad that his life had, for the past five years, revolved around a little girl. "Well first I think we should have supper, and then you, my little one, are getting a bath."

"No!" She whined.

"It's been four days, Bell, you know the rule," he reminded her gently. She folded her arms and pouted. "None of that."

He set her down and she walked with him into the other room where her mother was setting out their bread and chicken. She smiled at him as he sat at the head of the table. She sat next to him on his right and Bell sat on his left. Her little hands clasped together for night prayer. Carlisle led them in the prayer and as he thanked the lord for everything he had been blessed with he smiled softly.

"Your father wishes to speak with you," his wife said as they ate.

"Did he say about what?" Carlisle asked after he swallowed his bite.

"Mama I'm done," Bell said.

"Then go to your room and practice your vocal lessons until your bath," her mother said.

When Bell disappeared around the corner, Carlisle looked back at his wife.

"He's had some offers," she said, "for Bell."

"What kind of offers?" Carlisle asked stiffly, wondering why his father hadn't come directly to him.

"For her hand," she said, "the child is only five and already she has fair prospects."

"No," Carlisle said sharply, "Bells is only a child!"

"Carlisle you have to consider her future! Listen to the offers and maybe she can be offered something better."

"I will not sell my daughter to the highest bidder and this conversation is over, Mary."

He was the head of the house. His word was law. He stood up and walked out of the room. He left the house and went into the town to find his father.

--

"Papa I don't want to sleep," Bell said that night as Carlisle tucked her in.

"Why not?" he asked as he smoothed the quilt.

"Because I don't want to be eaten."

"You will not be eaten," he promised, "whatever gave you that idea?"

"The boys in town," Bell said shifting uncomfortably. "They said that the vampires will come and drink my blood and bring me into their dark folds."

"Well," Carlisle said sitting on the edge of the bed and patting her head, "your papa won't let that happen. In fact I will personally check every crevice in which a vampire could hide."

He stood up and checked her wardrobe, and then he checked under her bed, and finally just outside the window.

"But what if a vampire comes while you are sleeping?" she asked in the same worried tone.

"Well," Carlisle said, sitting again, sighing as she crawled into his lap and messing up the bed. He held her anyway and smoothed her hair softly. "Do you think that a vampire is stronger than I am?"

"But papa you sleep!"

"Then ask god to protect you through the night. Did you say your prayers?"

"I was waiting for you, papa."

Carlisle smiled and stood. They both knelt by her bed and she clasped her little hands.

"Father almighty I pray to you on this night that you protect little Bell from the demons that satan has put upon this earth to hurt and tempt us. Lead our hearts into your eternal light. Forgive us our sins and have mercy on our immortal souls..."

Carlisle put more into his prayer tonight then ever before. Demons were close on this night. A coven of vampires was near, he knew it.

"Amen," he said as he finished. Bell said it to and crossed herself before standing. Carlisle crossed himself as well and picked her up. "Do you feel better?"

"God will protect me," Bell said. "He knows how scared I am."

Carlisle kissed her forehead. "He will always protect you, as I will."

He laid her back down and kissed her goodnight. "Goodnight papa."

"Goodnight my little angel. I love you very much."

"I love you too, papa."

He hummed softly as she fell asleep. He smoothed her hair absentmindedly as he watched her. She was precious to him. A sweet little angel that the lord saw fit to reward him with. For what he still didn't know, but he was thankful all the same. He named her Bell, as she was born to the sound of the church bells on a Sunday morning. Carlisle led the sermon that morning with his newborn safe in his arms. It was no secret that he was fiercely devoted to her. Almost as devoted as he was to his faith.

When she was fast asleep, he went into his own bedroom where his wife was waiting. He kissed her forehead gently and patted her head. "Are you well?" he asked.

"Very," she answered. "Do I make a good wife for you?" she asked.

"Of course," he answered, shrugging out of his clothes and changing for bed.

"Even though I haven't given you a son?"

"That child sleeping is everything I could have ever hoped for," he said, "wishing for another would be greedy."

"If you could have another, would you?" she pressed.

"If god wills it," he answered.

"Carlisle would you lay with me?"

Carlisle's hands slipped on his pants as he tried to remove them. A flush spread in his cheeks. After six years he still got a little flustered at the idea of sex with his wife. It was always an average experience. He was attracted to the woman but only a little. His father had arranged the marriage and while he loved her he knew he should love her more.

"Would another child make you happy?" he asked.

"I feel that by not giving you a son..."

"Then another we shall have," Carlisle said gently with a small smile, "for you."

He came to her and fulfilled his duty as her husband. He didn't usually enjoy sex. It was just a way to make children. His thoughts wandered to his daughter, sleeping in the other room, and the dangers outside that threatened her and his wife.

--

"Papa where are you going?" Bell asked after Carlisle tucked her in, still fully dressed for the day.

"I have some business to attend to," he said. "But don't worry little one, I'll return."

"Do you promise?" Bell asked. Carlisle nodded. He reached around his neck and took off the gold necklace he always wore. At the end was a cross.

"I found this when I was a boy," he said, "it has brought me comfort since. Keep it close to you, Bells, and I will always be near."

He kissed her forehead and patted her head. He sang her to sleep and then, with difficulty, he stood and left the house to destroy the demons that lurked in the darkness.

--

"THIS WAY! OVER HERE!"

The monster that sank his fangs into Carlisle perked up and ran. Carlisle pushed himself up. His hand went to his shoulder where the vampire had bitten him. Already his muscles were weakening. A painful paralysis was spreading. He stumbled into the nearest shelter. If he was found...well he didn't want to think about that.

The fire was engulfing his shoulder and arm as he collapsed on a pile of rotting potatoes. He burrowed into them. Anything to keep safe until the pain stopped. Was it a vampire that attacked him? Or something else. The streets of England were crawling with hells minions.

Carlisle murmured a prayer as the pain engulfed him. He begged god to see him through. To keep him from the darkness. If it was a vampire...if he became like them...

"Please, almighty father please protect my daughter," he pleaded in a raspy ghost of a voice. He was in so much pain. If he opened his mouth again he would surely scream. He bit his lip so hard he broke the skin. He didn't taste his own blood, rather something else. Something sweet and tangy. As he laid in agonizing pain Bell's face appeared in his mind. He would never see her again. he would never protect her from the dark creatures in the night. He could only pray that god would take mercy on her. Such a sweet little girl.

What of his wife? He had left a fair savings for them but it was nothing she could live forever on. Would his father take care of her? Bell would be given to the man who promised the biggest reward. It wasn't fair. His mistakes would be paid for by his child. He squeezed his eyes closed and his last tears rolled down his soft cheeks as his heart stopped beating.

--

He promised himself that he wasn't going to be like that other vampire. Like any vampire. He was Carlisle Cullen, the son of a pastor and a servant of god. He longed to see his daughter again but he knew that if he went anywhere near her it would be the end of her. The sun was setting. About this time he would be tucking her into bed and kissing her goodnight. With his excellent hearing he could hear Bell sob into her pillow, willing him to return.

He closed his eyes. Why him? Of all the people in the town...he had to be chosen. The one who had everything he could have ever wanted. He had what he needed and wanted what he had. He wanted for nothing. Why him? Why not Mr. Parker down the road who laid with another woman while his wife bore his son? Or Mr. Seymore who gambled away everything he owned, even his daughter. Why not the men who craved wealth, lied to their families and friends or fornicated with women?

Carlisle's fist clenched. No, it was him. He who had all he had ever hoped for. He who had a young child crying for him. What had he done in his mortal life to deserve this hell? He had been a good boy who grew into a good man. A mistake here and there but surely not enough to be condemned to an immortal hell. He turned his back on the town and fled, knowing somewhere inside that he was turning his back on god as well.

--

"Carlisle, are you alright?"

He looked up at Esme and smiled softly. "Just thinking about things."

"Will you tell me or will I have to ask Edward?" Esme asked, sitting on his lap and curling her arm around his neck. He leaned up and kissed her lightly.

"Edward is at school," he said, "so you have nothing my dear."

"Oh please tell me," Esme pleaded, pouting to get her way. Carlisle laughed and kissed her again.

"My human life," he said, smiling as she twisted some of his hair around her finger.

"What about your human life?" she asked. "You looked upset."

"Did I?" Esme nodded. "Don't worry your pretty little head about it," he said, "I have everything I could ever want here."

Almost.

--

Bella got off of the plane and looked around the airport. It smelled of humans. She took a deep breath and sighed, a natural thing for a human to do. She pulled her back pack onto her shoulders and walked through the crowd. She had no idea where to start looking. All she had was a name on a scrap of paper and a region.

Carlisle Cullen. Olympic peninsula.

She wondered if he had done anything that would bring attention to his name. The Olympic peninsula wasn't terribly big. It wouldn't be too hard to find a three hundred some year old vampire. With that thought in mind she left and headed down the street. She found a Starbucks and went in.

People stared at her. That wasn't surprising. With her pale skin and blazing golden eyes it was no surprise that she was getting attention. She just wished it would stop. It was kind of annoying.

Bella tossed her hair aside and sat in the back of the shop, taking advantage of the free internet service. She opened her laptop and got online. She had an e-mail from Marcus.

You are in so much trouble!

She rolled her eyes and ignored it. She went onto google and typed in what she needed.

Carlisle Cullen. Olympic peninsula.

The results were interesting. She searched through them. Most of them were results for the surname. Babblings on a blog about some boy named Edward. Apparently he was a popular stud. Bella sighed and ignored them. Then she found what she was looking for.

Forks General Hospital

Dr. Carlisle Cullen M.D/Surgeon

It gave a list of credentials. He graduated from Yale. He was thirty two and specialized in heart surgery and general medicine. Bella smirked. So he was good at multi-tasking. She wondered if he could be the same Carlisle Cullen she had been searching for. There wasn't a picture. That would have been too helpful. But could a vampire resist the scent of blood like that?

Then again after three hundred years the smell of human blood didn't phase her either. Like father like daughter maybe.

There was a link at the bottom of the page. She clicked it.

"So Forks General Hospital is looking for help," she said softly with a grin. Well she did have to make a living while she was here.

That settled it. She was going to Forks. To her papa.

TBC

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