A/N: Hiyah lovely peeps. It's probably not a good idea to introduce myself with a long author's note so here goes for all who wondered how Edward Cullen came into such an enormous inheritance. I tried to stay IC as much as possible and loving Carlisle the way I do, I decided to start with his POV. Probably not such a good idea but I trust you'll let me know? Great! Just click the Review this Story/Chapter button and let me have it! I must say this story idea came to me Sunday during Church.
Note: This chapter was revised with help from Project Team Beta.
Thank you, Jess Meyer, and all the lovely betas at PTB, this was excellently done!
1. THE UNLIKELY HEIR: VISITOR
I closed my eyes briefly, yearning for a short respite from the horror and gore that overwhelmed the small clinic I had been working at for five whole years now. There were many dead bodies strewn in unnatural postures, lying in all its odd corners. Rotting unattended bodies gave off an obtrusive stench, but I paid it no attention.
Not all souls who came to the clinic were in the process of dying. A few were actually healing. It was frustrating to consider what all of this devastation and sickness would mean for those survivors. I shook the head and sighed. There was nothing that could help these poor people now. Those who had died had moved on while the living struggled to hold on to their last breath. It was all such a helpless sight.
My human colleagues were slowly collapsing with fatigue around me, giving in to the incapability of their bodies to cope with such a situation. They were quite simply tired and giving up. It pained me to their fragile and merely mortal shells persevere with what little strength they could find to keep healing and containing this unforeseen carnage.
My shift had been over hours ago, but my façade would only be destroyed if I didn't feign some symptoms of tiredness as my colleagues did so, I sat in my office and laid my head on the table. If nothing at all, I escaped into the deserted office to ensure that I did not slip from my pretenses any more.
I had been so engrossed with my work, I didn't notice Mrs. Holwick when she walked up to me at the laboratory and pointed out that the dark circles beneath my eyes would only darken more if I didn't get some sleep. I had not realized the hours I spent in the hospital and felt helpless again as I nodded and mumbled an agreement to catch up on needless sleep.
Nobody knew that today was my last day in Chicago. Edward and I were heading out west by first light. As it had been three whole days since woke up from his transformation, I was eager to take him far from any temptation of human blood.
I had hunted with him every day since the change was complete, only coming out to the hospital when I was sure he was not very volatile, and only for a few hours at a time, to pack my books and possessions. Even though I felt very reluctant to pull him away from what he knew, it was time to leave.
Quite plain and simple, I could not be sure about his ability to restrain himself and wondered if he could keep hiding in the house all day. Moreover, I was fast approaching a limit of excuses for my physical appearance and soon, it would be my 35th birthday. I was without doubt, that my youthfulness would set people wondering.
I sat stone still on the chair behind the desk that had long since quit its purpose, as there no longer was a need for consultations. All that ever passed through here now was death. I ignored the files piled high and overflowing on the wooden surface because they held no interest for me but for the solid fact that the human body was weak and easily broken. So many death certificates to sign in a day were not the mark of a good doctor . A sigh and a short prayer later, I stood to pack up the few remaining bits of who I was in the brown leather bag I had brought.
I had a new son, Edward,for whom I was responsible. I tried hard to focus on the upside of my decisions as I reflected on the son, brother and friend with whom I could spend the never ending days of eternity. Whatever he chose to be to me, I was all too willing to accept.
He had been such an attractive human boy, holding himself up with the lithe grace of a lynx I had encountered in Canada three decades ago. His clear emerald eyes were always searching and scrutinizing as though attempting to listen to the true meaning behind the words people spoke. Who would have known it would develop into a gift.
Even through all his pain, he seemed intent and perceptive like his mother, Elizabeth. I had never seen a woman fight quite so fiercely and passionately against death's inevitability. In fact, I had not seen a man do the same either. Edward had lain so still in agony as the accursed virus of the dreadful influenza ate through his body.
It was another story though, while I watched venom spread through the same body slowly and painfully. My only focus had been the screaming young man before me. Every breath he took seemed to bring me hope; an assurance and a justification for the actions I had taken. My desperate wish was that he would accept me and stay to be my friend, my companion, my brother, my son. Somehow though, every scream had reminded me of the gravity of my spontaneity. What life would he choose: my way or the other way? Would he wish to have been left to die or would he accept a new life? Was this a new life at all or were we really damned beyond all salvation?
How selfish I was, my needs were not his cross to bear. A lonely existence was no reason to subject another to this burn. I edged forward in my seat beside him and gripped his hand slightly. Another scream tore through him and I felt a good measure of self-loathing flutter through my heart. What if he was evil and inconsiderate? Impossible! This pure, almost angelic face could bear no evil.
Even in pain, he looked passionate…just as passionate as Elizabeth. Her bronze hair clinging to her forehead and tumbling into her eyes as she worked fervently over her son and whispered encouraging or adoring words into his ears. She was weak, having turned for the worst the night before, and her fever rose steadily, but she shakily drew a wet cloth across he son's forehead. Insisting that she had to attend to him herself. He had smiled a painful smile when she had said to him, "Fight Edward, fight like the solider you are born to be."
He was a solider alright; there was no doubt about that. He had taken his fate as a soldier would even though he was a bit confused at first and not entirely grateful as he slowly realized the vastness of what he had become. His response had been blunt and unwavering when I was still struggling to put coherency to my feeble explanation, my choices, my fears and the reasons behind. He had looked me straight in the eye and said, "It does not excuse this monstrosity."
My heart broke. I was at a loss for words while I turned my actions, decisions, and guilt around in my head. He had retorted carelessly to my thoughts yet again. "I will stay Carlisle. I bear you no grudge. You did what you thought was right and I know you meant me no harm."
I shook my head and sighed again while I finished my task as slowly as a human would. My good-byes were short and my steps quick enough that many would have thought I was beleaguered by the events of the past few days and was ready to be rid of them. As an excuse to stay with Edward, I had faked a sickness that resulted from stress and spent every spare moment of the rest of the week hunting with my son.
He was fast; faster than I and definitely stronger. I had been prepared sufficiently for his strength but utterly surprised by his swift feet. The shock though, was that he responded to my all thoughts. He had winced at the sight of his mother's still, cold form in my mind and smiled warmly as images of the smiling young woman who had been an enigma in her own right, filled my memories. My greatest joy however, was that he was willing to learn and he had thrown no fit as I explained his new life to him.
I was all eager to meet him at home now. How wonderful it was to meet Edward when I paid rapt attention to the stories of his life before the deadly disease struck and before he became a vampire. He would apologize where his memory was fuddled but seemed pleased to recount his human experiences. Most of the best memories were of his mother. His lips would curve into a soft smile while he searched the dim reserves through and then almost as suddenly, he'd grimace with his loss. When he realized my pleasure at the good stories, he struggled even more to remember. He was a perfect gentleman.
By now, we both realized he could read minds and he had offered a wealth of knowledge as we both tried to make sense of this gift. I had been very curious to see if it only worked on others vampires like me but the poor boy had screamed in agony when the market down the street from our home had opened and the day begun. Edward doubled over and fell to his knees. He clasped his hands over his ears while I stood by and watched helplessly.
I would do anything for my son. I'd take his pain, if I could share it, and make my own. He was just too young to be in such a dire condition and I ached for him. My cold, un-beating heart throbbed for him. My poor boy with the gift he called a curse. Was there no way to find just one good thing about whom he had become? Lord! Please, give him rest and calm his troubled head.
I walked quickly towards the little wood cottage I called home at the edge of the sprawling forest that marked the boundary between this small marsh town and the wild. Immediately I turned the last corner, I caught the scent of pinewood, sweat, blood and tobacco. Panic seized me and my thoughts called out to Edward instantly. If you are still in the house, hold your breath and leave through the back door as quickly as you can. Head for the forest, I'll come find you!
I took even faster steps, moving quickly in a blur till I got to the edge of my cottage. A fine Cadillac Town Borough had been parked a short distance from the fence and a well dressed gentleman in fine clothes stood not far from it. I looked around one more time, quickly watching for Edward or any other signs of danger before I called out as softly as I could.
"Who goes there?"
A heartbeat quickened and a startled 'Oh!' escaped the man who leaned carefully on the wooden fence in front of the cottage. He looked up quickly and smiled.
"Dr. Carlisle Cullen? It is nice to meet you finally."
I nodded quickly and shook his leather encased hands. "May I help you?" I asked while looking around once again for the newborn that hid in my house. I sniffed carefully and smiled at the well dressed man.
Edward's scent clung faintly to the still cold air. I hope he's not still there. I hope he's gone hunting.I had encouraged him last night to try hunting on his own. The forest just behind had plenty wildlife and the big carnivores were never too far to find. He had only murmured an assent and looked up bewildered when I had expressed my faith in his first hunt. Please God, let him be miles away from here,I prayed.
The cottage seemed still and dark and my sharp roving eyes caught no sight of my newborn and extremely dangerous son. I panicked even more now, as I was uncertain where he was and how he would react to the human. With a sigh and another prayer for goodwill, I turned and feigned a smile for the unassuming man who stood before the greatest danger he could ever encounter.
I would try to stop him if he attacked but I did not have the strength to fight him off. He was stronger and it would be quick for both of us. My breath hitched, and I swallowed a gulp of air. Hands trembling now in fear, I shoved them deep into the pockets on my jacket while the suddenly tense air rode high with my fright. My only thoughts were for the welfare and sanity of my son and the risk of exposure. Why, why did he come here and on the last day after we had been so careful?
"I have come to see you Dr. Cullen. It is a matter of urgency." He looked around furtively and asked, "May I come in?"
Manafest – Don't Turn Away ft. Justin Humes (Glory CD)
Oh! Cliffy huh? Pretty tell, what do you suppose will happen now? Well, here goes the first chapter of my very first fanfic.
Review, review, review! I can't wait!