I woke up, feeling jittery and excited. It took me a moment, as I lay bed, to remember why I was so keyed up, and when I did I shot out of bed like a bullet. I remembered Esme, in the hospital, on her own, waiting for me? I hoped she was.
I took a warm shower, relaxed my tense muscles, and took longer than I initially planned to. I dressed hurriedly and ran a comb through my hair before heading out the door. I was in such a rush I took the car again, and forgot to eat breakfast.
I walked into the hospital and something by the counter caught my attention. Heather was waving frantically at me. I considered ignoring her, but the compassionate side of me took over, and I went to meet her.
"Carlisle!" she greeted me. "How are you?"
I sighed, "Fine Heather. And you?"
"Just perfect." she giggled. Then peered closely at me, "are you sure you're fine?" she asked, taking a step towards me.
"I'm fine." I repeated just managing to reign in my annoyance.
"But are you sure?" she almost whispered. She had walked even closer and had started to reach out towards me.
I nodded and hurriedly took a step backwards.
She noticed this. "You have something on your face." She told me and stroked her fingertips across my cheek.
Uncomfortably, I took a step backwards, out of her reach. "Um, thanks."
"You're welcome." She smiled, and started to speak again. I hurried away before she could ask me anything.
The first room I visited was Esme's, but I hesitated briefly outside her door. Something stronger than butterflies was battering away inside my stomach; I took a deep breath and knocked on the door before walking in.
Esme was sitting up, hands folded in her lap, and smiling at me. I could only smile back goofily for a second before remembering what I as there for. "Hello Esme." I walked over and sat in the chair that was right beside her bed.
"Good morning Carlisle."
"How are you feeling?" I kept up the doctor persona.
She grinned, "I'm fine. How are you?"
I laughed quietly. "I'm great, but this isn't about me though is it? Is your leg hurting you?"
Her lips slipped into a pout, "No. I'm good."
I nodded and took in the upset expression on her face. "Are…" I started carefully, "Are you sure?"
She stared at me for a few more seconds before speaking, "When's my operation?"
"Um…" I was taken aback by the sudden change of subject, "The day after tomorrow." She nodded and looked away avoiding eye contact. "Um… E- Esme, are you sure you're okay?" I couldn't understand why I was having such a problem with coherency around her.
Her sharp periwinkle eyes twinkled at me. "I'm… just fine." And she smiled finally.
A lock of caramel coloured hair fell across her forehead, and I felt, once again, a longing to push it back, to touch her face just once. Clearing my throat, I leaned back, away from her. She noticed, and her face fell slightly. I felt ashamed of myself suddenly, I wanted to see her smile again.
"So…" I searched around for conversation again. "Are you expecting any visitors today?"
I was pleased when a smile graced her lips. "Yes. I think Lizzie and Edward are visiting me today."
I nodded. "What about your parents?"
She pursed her lips and a tiny frown appeared on her forehead. "I don't think they will be coming." She spoke slowly.
"Sorry." I apologised. It was obviously a difficult subject for her. "I didn't mean to pry."
"It's fine." She smiled, "it's just… I don't expect them to visit me."
I was going to ask her why. But I decided not to. So I simply nodded. I had to leave shortly after that to check on my other patients.
The hospital was unusually quiet, and the time passed by in a blur. I paid attention to the people when they complained and whined and I checked them over, but my thoughts were really elsewhere. I bandaged a child's knee and reassured the mother, but I was thinking of other things. I dodged a persistent Heather, but not only because I didn't want to date her, I wanted to date someone else, someone who was sitting in their bed, with a fractured femur, broken ribs and a broken wrist, someone who had bright, striking cerulean eyes.
I walked back towards Esme's room trying to think of an excuse as to why had come back so early. I paused outside her door before knocking.
I took a deep breath to steady myself before opening the door. Esme was sitting up in bed, watching a baseball team being interviewed on the TV. She turned the sound down and looked up at me expectantly.
I raised an eyebrow at her. "You support The Clippers?"
She shrugged unperturbed, "I told you I was from Columbus." I nodded and she noticed my expression. I realised my mouth was open. She laughed, "What? You didn't expect me to like baseball?"
"No." I grinned at her, sitting down next to her again, revelling in the closeness. "I just thought that maybe you'd support a team that were actually any good."
She raised her eyebrows in mock shock, "and who do you support?"
"Seattle Mariners." I told her confidently.
She chocked back a laugh.
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing. I just thought that maybe you'd support a team that were actually any good." She grinned. "Weren't they the first team to be eliminated this year from the playoffs?"
I ran my fingers through my hair, attempting to look nonchalant, whilst really being amazed at her blatant knowledge of baseball. "Um… no."
She laughed at me. "Yes they were. Yes they were. They had the lowest-"
"And The Clippers are so much better." I said sarcastically.
She grinned again, "of course."
"What other sports do you like?"
"Hmm…" her eyes narrowed as she thought, "I'm not sure." She admitted, "I've never played anything else."
I nodded and stood up when I heard a gentle knock on the door. Lizzie, the bronze-haired woman from yesterday and a tall man with black hair walked in, both with slightly worried expressions on their faces. The woman ran to Esme and gave her a hug before talking, "Are you okay? Is anything wrong? Where's the crazy receptionist?"
Me, and Esme both laughed. "Esme's fine and you won't have to worry about Heather today." I promised. I'd stand guard outside the door if it made Esme happy. As soon as I thought that I immediately shook my head to try and get rid of the thoughts. What was wrong with me?
The black haired man turned to me, "When will Esme be out of here?" he asked.
"In a few weeks."
He nodded and held out his hand, I shook it. "I'm Edward Masen." He introduced himself.
He smiled and nodded in acknowledgement before his attention was suddenly caught by something else; he turned away and looked at the TV before sighing. "Okay… who supports The Clippers?" he demanded.
"Me," called Esme from the bed.
He stared at her for a moment before shaking his head despairingly. "I should have known. Still strictly minor league." He glared at her in mock shame.
"I'll give you guys some privacy." I said quietly before turning to let myself out of the room.
"Wait." Esme called to me before I could leave, "you don't have to go. You can stay."
I turned back towards them. Elizabeth and Edward were both standing close to the TV, eyes trained on it. Tactfully ignoring us.
"Would… would you like me to?" I stammered nervously.
She nodded. Looking at her hands, rather than me, a blush creeping onto her cheeks. "Yes… I would like that very much."
I felt my face grow hot at her words and went to sit next to her. Elizabeth and Edward were talking to each other in quiet voices, and it was then that I realised they were holding hands. I looked back at Esme… I realised then that I wanted to hold her hand. Reach out and grab it, I told myself. But I didn't.
The four of us talked for a while about a medley of things. And I soon discovered that Edward and Elizabeth were engaged. They chatted to us about the wedding for a while, Lizzie was practically bouncing with excitement and nerves. I felt a rush of happiness, they were obviously two very nice people and were very much in love, it was obvious by the way they looked at each other, the adoring look in their eyes.
After a while I left them again, after reminding them that I still had other patients to take care of. "Can't they look after themselves for a while?" asked Lizzie, who was bouncing in time to her words.
I laughed easily. "Yeah, right. They'd suddenly catch some rare disease and they'd sue me."
Esme laughed. "What rare disease would they catch?"
"Hmm…" I paused thoughtfully. "Lingua villosa."
She raised an eyebrow. "What's that?"
"When you get a hairy tongue."
Lizzie burst out laughing, and Esme grinned, "Seriously?"
"Sure." I winked at her.
I didn't take long. The hospital was still unusually quiet, so I wandered round the corridors for a few minutes. I didn't want to seem like I was looking for excuses to stay in Esme's room, but I ended up walking back to her, it was like I was drawn to her.
Lizzie and Edward had left and Esme was talking to someone on her phone. She gestured me over to her silently, I closed the door behind me and crept to sit on the chair.
"Yes, mom." She grinned at me and rolled her eyes. "I'm fine. I promise." She was frowning and appeared to be having some kind of argument. "No. No, I will be out soon I'll still be able to make it over there next week." And after a moments pause, "Look, would you like to talk to a doctor?"
I sat up a little straighter, taken aback.
Esme grinned at me, "actually there's one in here right now." And she held the phone out to me.
I reached out hesitantly to take the phone off her.
"Hello, who am I talking to?" The woman demanded. She had a loud, angry voice and seemed to be on the verge of tears.
"I am Dr. Carlisle Cullen." I introduced myself nervously. Esme shot me an apologetic smile. I heard the woman on the phone say something, but I wasn't paying attention, Esme's smile was still lingering on her lips and a strange dizzying sensation ran through me that made me want to lean in closer to her, run my fingers through her hair, press my lips to hers.
"Excuse me?" the woman on the phone was almost yelling and Esme was still smiling, obviously able to her mother's loud voice through the receiver.
"Will my little girl be able to visit me in ten weeks?" I saw Esme blanch at the words 'little girl', and I also realised she hadn't looked away from me once; I shifted in my chair, more nervous than I had been before.
"Yes. She will be able to travel to Ohio, but she will still need crutches, so she will obviously need someone to go with her and help her."
I heard the woman sigh. "Thank you for all your help." She didn't sound thankful at all. And then she hung up.
I stared at the phone for a second before putting it down on Esme's bedside table. She looked at me, waiting for my assessment on her mother.
I sat down slowly, clearing my throat before speaking. "Erm… your mom seems… nice."
She snorted. "Yeah, right. She's mad at me for messing up her perfect little family reunion."
I stared at her for a second; her perfect lips had slipped into a pout. Slowly, carefully I reached out a hand and held hers. She looked up at me and smiled slowly. My heart started to beat faster in my chest and I was beginning to worry that she would be able to hear it. We sat like that, silent and motionless, for a moment together before she spoke. "Lizzie and Edward had to go. They wanted me to tell you that they're sorry they couldn't say goodbye." She smiled, "They both like you."
She bit her lip. "I'm pretty sure Lizzie will be back tomorrow to invite you to her wedding."
I raised an eyebrow.
She chuckled at my expression. "She has a 'good feeling'-" she made little air quotes with her fingers "- about you. And you'd do well to accept her invitation, otherwise she'll make sure you'll live to regret it."
"Well I'll make sure I remember that."
Esme smiled. "Good. It's one of the best pieces of advice you'll ever get."
"I'm sure it is." I said nodding seriously.
"Of course it is." She grinned. "Seen anything of Heather lately?"
I grimaced. "I had something on my face this morning and she wiped it off for me," I explained shuddering slightly at the memory of her fingers lingering across my cheekbone.
A look of disbelief crossed over her face. "Ah."
"What?" I inquired.
"Did you have anything on your face before you came out?"
I thought back. I had glanced in the mirror quickly, but I hadn't noticed anything. "No…"
Esme's mouth fell open for a second before she cracked up laughing.
"Aw, Carlisle." There was a strange look on her face that I couldn't quite recognise. "I don't think that you really had anything on your face."
"I think…" she started slowly, "She wanted an excuse to… touch you." She explained while shuddering slightly.
I considered this for a second before shaking my head.
She raised an eyebrow. "No?"
"Nobody, not even Heather, is obsessive enough to do that."
She peered at me before shaking her head in mock sadness. "Carlisle, for a Doctor you're not very good at reading people."
I smiled at her, replaying the moment that she said my name in my head over and over again, before glancing at the clock on her bedside table and sighing.
"What's wrong?" She asked, anxious at my sudden change in expression.
"Nothing. I'll just have to go soon, my mother's visiting me tonight and if I haven't got dinner ready she'll flip."
Esme laughed. "When do you have to leave?"
I hesitated slightly before telling her, "My shift ended about half an hour ago."
Esme blushed slightly and giggled. "Okay, promise you'll be back tomorrow?"
"Good." She laughed again. "I'm going to have to teach you more about women's thoughts."
I grinned. "I look forward to it."
I was sitting at my dining room table, my mother and father opposite me, the two of them talking about… stuff. I wasn't sure what, I wasn't paying much attention. My thoughts were busy. I couldn't stop thinking about Esme. It was almost like she was a magnet, I was so drawn to her it was impossible to resist. I had only learned a few things about her, and I had only known her for a short time, but everything about her was perfect.
"Carlisle Cullen, are you listening to what I am saying." My mother's annoyed voice jerked me out of my stupor.
"Yes?" I tried.
She glared at me from across the table. "Really? What was I just talking to you about?"
I hesitated slightly before answering. There were two things my mother loved to talk about more than anything else, my career, and my love life. "My career." I guessed.
"Wrong." She snapped. "What are you thinking about so intently?"
"Nothing." I pressed my lips together hopefully, praying that she would buy it.
But she didn't. My mom could always tell when I was lying. She narrowed her eyes, assessing me. "Are you thinking about a girl?"
I suppressed a groan. My mom could read my face like an open book. "Yes." I admitted, honesty was always the best policy.
My mom grinned. "What her name? How long have you two been dating?"
"Whoa, slow down. We're not." My voice sounded sad, even to me.
She raised her eyebrows in disbelief, while my dad cleared his throat nervously and left to wash his plate. "Why not?" she demanded.
"Well… we're just friends mom. Probably not even that."
"What on earth are you talking about? How did you meet each other?"
I sighed and rubbed my temples with my fingertips. "Well… we kind of ran into each other in a park." I thought about going into more detail, but decided against it. "She's a patient in the hospital." I added.
"When will you ask her out?" my mom pushed.
"I'm not sure if I will."
She sighed quietly, before speaking softly. "Carlisle, how often do you think of her when you're not with her?"
I looked up and met her gaze. "I think about her all the time."
My mom cracked a grin. "Then go for it."
It took me a while to update again. Sorry. This chapter is only really a filler, even though it was longer than most of my other chapters! But it needed to be written! Please review, I love it when you do! :)