Another tardy chapter for this old story. If you haven't already read it on my profile, I'm sad to say that this will be the one and only Twilight themed story that I'll write. Nothing else needs to be said on that note, except that I do plan to finish the fic, though it may be truncated. And yes, the story is going to get crazier as we move along.

I listened as the door closed downstairs. Edward and the rest of them were gone. I worried just what would happen if they did catch up with Jasper. How would they get him to return? Would they even be able to talk to him? And what if he wouldn't come back without a fight?

Esme came up to me and put a hand on my shoulder. "If you need anything, we have food in our fridge."

My stomach flopped. There was no way I could eat anything, let alone think about eating anything. I shook my head. "Thanks though."

She smiled and I knew that at least that little bit of her humanity was intact. The other bit of her that I'd seen every time I breezed though the Cullen house's doors seemed to have died with this tragic incident.

Esme looked longingly at Carlisle in the bed. I felt like I was in the way and the last thing I wanted to do was intrude on them. "I'm going to go downstairs." I said.

She nodded.

"Do you need anything?"

"That's alright. I'll be fine."

I descended, glancing back over my shoulder. Esme disappeared into the bedroom. I caught her hands cupping her face as the doorframe obscured her.

With each step that I took, I felt my throat grow tighter and tighter. Everything in me knew that I should be doing something to help, something that could bring back Carlisle from his non-stop convulsing. What was he suffering from? What had Victoria done to him? And why had Jasper done nothing about it in the office?

I stared at the still open office door on my left.

Nothing had been touched since Edward and Emmett had carried Carlisle upstairs. The chair was still tipped over on the opposite side of the desk, the pen that Carlisle had been holding when he'd fallen was on the rug, uncapped. The phone teetered on the edge of the desk where I'd left it after hanging up with Emmett.

I took a step inside and shivered. It seemed as though it was ten degrees colder in there. Steeling myself, I walked over to the desk and stared down at the stacks of papers.

Office work; or at least that's what it looked like to me. I couldn't make heads or tails of some of the things but they all looked like they were in the health related field. Another stack was about property tax and insurance to protect the house against fire and flood.

In the center of the desk lay a book, slightly off kilter from the typed forms around it. Carlisle's sculpted handwriting flowed across the lines, filling pages and pages with endless information.

I dropped into his seat and turned the pages of the book back to the beginning. There were no marks inside to distinguish that this was a journal of any kind, but I had a feeling that it was. I turned to the next page and was greeted with a confirmation; the first entry was dated, as were the following ones.

29 September 1999

Edward thinks that it's a waste of our time to be making a home in such a small community. While he still longs to travel the world and revel in its glorious sights, I am longing for stability. We , The Cullens, have roamed for so long, a home never in sight or in mind when I think that we've finally settled in. When I came here, when I felt the northern wind and smelled the musky scent of the night, I knew that we'd found some place special; some place where our family wouldn't need to continue to hide who we were.

It's true that when we finally move here (which won't be for some time), we will need to have the kids attend classes and yet again, graduate high school. They've all memorized the curriculum with Emmett being the least interested in having to continue this rigmarole for much longer. I have a feeling that this will be the last time though.

I can't describe it but somehow I know that Forks will be our true home.

I felt myself smiling at this. If Carlisle hadn't felt this way about Forks, they could have ended up somewhere entirely different, and I would never have met Edward.

I began to wonder what would have happened if the Cullens had picked a different town or city to live in. Would Edward have just continued on his way, still searching for the one person he was meant to be with, or would he have settled with some other girl and been happier?

Shaking my head out of those thoughts, I turned to a later page in the book. 'As if my thoughts couldn't be depressing enough, I have to imagine that…'

I found last year, the year that Edward and I had met. Carlisle's handwriting hadn't changed.

05 April 2005

And so Edward had finally found his love; his la tua cantante. And ever since Bella has entered our lives, everything appears to be growing closer with our family; with the exception of Rosalie who may take a little time to get used to our new addition.

But something is amiss. And again, it is something I cannot explain. That feeling that I got when we moved to Forks has raised itself inside me once more. What is this strange sensation? How do I describe it? I can't. All I know is that it appears when she is around. I suddenly feel as if all the errors in my life are melted away, everything I feel that I have done wrong is lifted off of me.

I stopped reading. My heart was throbbing. Was he talking about me? I don't understand. I flipped to a few months later.

30 June 2005

Why do these confusing emotions torment me? I thought that I had things figured out with Esme. When I met her, when I first set her leg when she'd fallen from the tree, I knew that she was mine, that we had been made for one another like twin apples on a branch.

I have known Esme for many years. She is patient. She is enduring…. gentle… a soft creature with so much hospitality and empathy that I feel cruel next to her. Alas, I don't feel as if I have found true happiness in this place with her. Is there something that I am missing?

I stood up, putting the book down on the desk. I shouldn't be reading this. These were Carlisle's private thoughts. I was invading them. But what if Esme saw this? What would she say? How would she react?

I picked it up, thinking of some place where I could hide it from sight. Instead, I sat back down and turned to the last entry in the book.

11 August 2005

Everything has fallen to pieces. I fear that I have given myself away to my son. He looked straight into my eyes last night, and he knew that I harbored something stronger than just simple paternal care for Bella. It makes me feel sick to think that I may have just ruined everything that those two worked so hard to salvage during this last year with the encounter with James and the other nomads.

I wish I didn't feel this way. I wish that the confusion would end and I could go back to a point where I was sure of things. Instead, I sit here in my office, restless at night and wonder just what I'm going to do; how I can possibly break this trance that's fallen over me.

Edward has already been keeping things from me. He doesn't trust me, he doesn't think that I can give advice like I used to and judging by what he read in my thoughts, I can see his point. But if he does what I fear he will do, it will change everything. The wall of happiness and security that we built will come crashing down. At that point, this confusion will tidal wave over me and I'll have no choice but to submit to it. There won't be anything in my way to keep me from saying the things that I so desperately need to say to her.

Esme, I have failed you. I am not the husband you wished me to be.

Bella, I--

The sentence drifted off, a scratch of pen drawn across the page from the bottom cross of the 'I'. This must have been where Jasper had interrupted him.

I sat in the chair for the longest time, breathing softly and staring at the book in my fingers, feeling the crisp paper against my skin. I was only barely aware of the tapping of rain on the window.

If this was all true, it meant that there was more at stake than I'd initially thought. Had Victoria somehow stumbled on Carlisle's journal? Had she discovered his feelings for me, if that's what they were? Was this supposed to be punishment for me?


I turned.

Esme was in the door.

Gasping, I spun in the chair, simultaneously dropping the book under the desk. "Sorry! You scared me."

"What are you doing in here?" she asked. She stayed outside the door. I wondered if she was afraid to come in.

"I was just… trying to figure out what happened."

She reached a hand out to me.

I stood up and though I kept my eyes from looking at it, my thoughts lingered on the incriminating journal lying with pages spilled open underneath the desk.

"Come on. Edward just called. He has some news."

I took her hand and we both stepped out. Esme closed the door behind me.

"What did you hear from Edward?"

"Jasper isn't in the woods. Alice thinks he may have gone into town."

I gulped. If he was in town, how many more lives were in danger? Even if it had been Victoria who'd done this to Carlisle, it had been Jasper's emotions that had made it possible. They'd made Carlisle weak enough to be blindsided. Or was it Victoria who had perpetuated Jasper's out of control emotions? I wish I knew.

"Do they have any idea where?"

"Edward and Alice are doing a sweep of the school right now. Rosalie and Emmett are at the police station."

"Is-is Charlie there?"

"I don't know."

I suddenly felt scared for my dad. Even though he had a gun and liked to brag that he could more than accurately take care of himself, I knew that he would be no match for a vampire. They were faster and more ruthless than he was, or could ever be with a gun.

Esme squeezed my hand. "I know you worry about him. They'll make sure he's safe." She steered us toward the kitchen. "I'll make you some soup."

We stepped into the kitchen and I thought about what she'd said. If Carlisle hadn't been safe, then what made her so sure that Charlie would be?

My mind was still reeling from the clandestine journal entries. Me. Carlisle loved me. Even if he didn't, he had mixed feelings about me and I was confusing him. But why? I'd never made any advances toward him. I would only know if and when he woke up. And I wasn't sure I wanted that to happen any time soon.