DC: I don't own it
Summary: AU. Crowned prince Edward finds himself in a small town with no memory of who he is or where he came from. He finds Bella, a sweet half vampire girl and she brings him into her home. But as his memories slowly start to return he has to ultimately choose between the life he was born for, and the one he desires.
The vampires in this story are like the ones in Vampire Heart. They are born not created. They have control over their thirst for human blood for the most part.
Edward sighed yet again and got the attention of his servants. They perked up, ready for any instruction he may give. He dismissed them with a lazy wave of his hand and went back to looking out the window. It was a beautiful sunny day and his skin was glittering dully. He ran a hand through his perfect bronze hair and stretched. Not that he needed to but it was habit. He stood and leaned on the sill. He saw children playing in the street, their skins like diamonds. Their parents were watching nearby and when they strayed too far their father would go out and usher them back.
He heard a soft knock on the door and turned slightly. The shy servant girl bowed and brought a glass of blood to him.
"Excuse me, sir, but will you be requiring anything else?" she asked in a small and quiet tone.
"No," Edward said after he took a sip.
She nodded and left quickly. Well as quickly as a human could leave without falling over herself. Edward sipped the blood and watched the view from his window.
"Edward are you sulking again?"
Edward looked over and saw his uncle, Aro, walking in.
"I wasn't sulking, I was pondering whilst in an unhappy mood."
"Well whatever you're doing could you wrap it up? Your attire for your coronation has arrived."
"Joy of joys the world may continue to spin," Edward sighed as he set his glass on a polished wooden table.
"You can cut the attitude," Aro scolded, "just be grateful that I am here to help you."
Edward rolled his eyes. He had heard that line far too many times. His uncle believed that it was only out of the goodness of his own heart that the throne was being kept safe for his nephew. Edward believed otherwise. He knew that his uncle enjoyed ruling in his brother's place and wasn't anxious in the least about his nephew's coronation.
"Now stop being so stubborn and come with me. Everything has to go perfectly. A perfect coronation means a long and healthy rule."
"Not really," Edward sighed.
"Not really? Well then was it simple a coincidence that my dear brother had several mishaps in his coronation and his rule failed?"
"He didn't fail," Edward defended, "dying and failing isn't the same thing."
Aro sniffed and muttered his disagreement but Edward chose to ignore him. He was quite defensive of his father. He paused as they passed through the hall of portraits. He looked at the painting of his parents. Edward the seventh and Elizabeth. He touched the painted skirt as if he would be able to feel the soft fabric. That's what he missed most about his mother. He missed her tenderness. He remembered sitting in her lap as they read a story and she stroked his hair and forehead.
Childbirth took both the queen and her unborn prince. Edward remembered the pain and devastation in his father's eyes when it happened. He was nine at the time and didn't know much about life and death. His father had carried on of course. After a year he didn't cry as much anymore though he still longed for his wife. He had become much more protective of his living son. Edward noticed that he was often accompanied by a guard wherever he went and constantly protected.
He had been so distracted with his own life at the age of thirteen that he didn't notice the change in his father. It was small things at first. The king would retire to his bedroom and sleep for a few hours and he drank less blood. Before Edward knew it his dear father didn't rise in the morning. He slept constantly as if he were and old man instead of a young king. Edward remembered sitting in bed with his father, begging him to get better. He held the big hand in his smaller ones and begged over and over again. His father's hands were as warm as a human's. His pupils were ringed with white, the final stage of one of the few infections strong enough to kill a healthy adult vampire. After the death of the king, his brother, Aro, took the throne. Edward was left in his care with the promise that when he was of age he would become king.
"Edward please don't dally around!"
Edward looked away from the portrait and nodded. He followed silently.
The sun was peeking through the curtains and hitting Bella square in the eye. She moaned and turned over, pulling her blankets up over her head. She knew that any minute her dad would wake her up for breakfast. The thought had barely crossed her mind before she heard his gentle voice floating up the stairs.
"Wake up sleeping beauty."
Bella clutched her stuffed panda tighter to her chest and moaned. She felt a cool hand on her forehead and she turned. She saw a pair of pale red eyes and a gentle smile under blonde hair.
"Wake up sleepy head."
Bella smiled weakly. "I don't wanna."
His gentle cool hand brushed over her hair and then pulled the blankets off.
"Da-ad! I'm not wearing any pants!" Bella cried sitting up sharply.
"Oh relax I used to have to bathe you," her dad laughed. "Now I'm going to make you some breakfast and you will be down to eat it in a few minutes."
Bella sighed and nodded. After her father left she stood and stretched. She pulled on her sweats and put on a clean shirt. She padded down the stairs and smiled when a calico cat rubbed up against her leg. She smiled and bent down to pick her up.
"Cali has come to visit," she said.
"I smelled her earlier," her dad said from the kitchen.
"I think daddy has a treat for you," Bella cooed into the cat's soft fur. She walked into the kitchen. She smiled at her dad as he cooked her eggs for breakfast. She didn't know very many vampires that could cook. There was a bowl of cat food waiting on the counter. Bella walked over and set Cali down. The cat purred and nuzzled against her dad's leg to show her thanks. Bella smiled when he reached down and gathered the cat up for a nice scratch.
In Bella's opinion there was no better vampire than Carlisle. He nuzzled the cat affectionately and she purred and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Cali wasn't officially theirs. She was a stray that they had found and nursed back to health. She preferred life on the outside but she was a frequent visitor. She knew that every time she came by she would get a snack of sorts from them.
"Do you want some breakfast too?" Carlisle asked with a smile as he scratched the cat's head. Cali meowed and purred. Carlisle set her down and she went to enjoy her meal. Bella hopped up and sat on the counter top while Carlisle cooked. "You know I don't like it when you do that."
"Don't worry about it, I'm fine," Bella said with a shrug.
"Remember when you were nine and you fell off? Do you remember how loudly you cried?"
Bella scowled at him, earning a laugh. She hopped down anyway and Carlisle handed her the plate of eggs. She set it on the table and grabbed a glass of milk. Carlisle sat down with a bowl of blood and they began breakfast.
Their routine was simple. Bella would wake up and eat breakfast. On weekdays she would go to school and on the weekends she would stay around and help with whatever Carlisle needed. On that Saturday after breakfast they went into the yard. Cali followed and stretched out on the patio in the sunlight. Bella sat with her and gave her a scratch. Carlisle knelt by his garden and tended to the flowers.
"They're pretty this year," Bella said.
"Yes, we've gotten just the right amount of rain," Carlisle said with a smile. He pulled weeds from the flowers and made sure they were secure in the ground. Bella smiled when he shifted to a special patch in the middle of his garden. It was a circle of lilies that he kept just for her.
"You plant those every year," Bella giggled.
"Because they are special every year," Carlisle said with a smile, "but you know why I plant them."
"Because they're my favorite."
Carlisle nodded and went back to working on them. Bella knew the flowers had a different meaning. It was ten years ago when Carlisle had come out when he heard crying over the rain. He had gone into the garden to find Bella there. She was curled up wearing grimy clothing. She was hugging her knees and crying. Carlisle had picked her up and saw the blood on her face and bruises on her body. He carried her inside and wrapped her in a warm blanket.
"Sometimes I wonder why you chose me," Carlisle said as he brushed dirt off of his hands. "Of all the houses in the town you chose mine. A vampire. I don't know why you felt you would be safer with me."
"Because you're different," Bella said with a warm and gentle smile, "dad you're not like those other vampires."
"No I am," Carlisle said sitting on the warm cement with her. His skin sparkled in the sunlight. "I just chose differently. Just like Esme down the street."
Bella laid back and looked up at the crystal blue sky.
"How long will the fighting keep going?" she asked.
"I don't know," Carlisle said honestly.
Bella never knew a time of complete peace. There was always war between the humans and the vampires. With their superior natural strength the vampires believed that conquering the humans would be no problem. However advanced technology helped the humans hold their own and the two sides had been in a constant stalemate.
"Why did you leave the city dad?" Bella asked.
"That was so long ago," Carlisle sighed closing his eyes and taking in the warmth of the sunlight. "I got so sick of all the politics that came with living in the city. I was expected to hate people I never met. I was just barely older than you when I found this place. It's a paradise."
Bella nodded in agreement. They lived in a small town of about five hundred people. It was a place where humans and vampires lived in peace. Most of them, like Carlisle, appeared seeking a refuge from the war and the politics. Fights broke out from time to time in the form of bar scuffles.
"What's on your mind Bells?" Carlisle asked.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that frown you've got," he laughed.
"Thinking," Bella said into her knees.
"Life I guess," she sighed. She stood and stretched. "It's just unusual for me, that's all."
Carlisle stood and patted her head. "Tell you what, why don't you go into town and get Cali a treat. I'm sure she'd like to go with you."
Bella nodded and knelt down. The cat came up and purred. Bella lifted her up and walked out of the yard with the cat on her shoulder.
Edward got out of the car to stretch. He hated countryside tours, especially when he was all alone. It was just him and his security guard.
"Don't go to far!"
Edward rolled his eyes and strolled off of the road into the woods. He liked the trees and the way the wind felt on his skin. He closed his eyes and tilted his head up. The birds above him flew away. The coronation gown fit and the crown fit too. Everything was going to be perfectly fit to Aro's vision.
"Are you excited about the coronation?" his body guard, Alec, asked.
"I suppose," Edward sighed, "I mean why wouldn't I be excited about parading around like Aro's trained puppy."
"But surely you want to be king?"
Edward looked up at the sky again. Did he want to be king? Of course he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and take hold of the kingdom. He wanted to change things for the better and to end the silly war with the humans. But being king meant he would have to take a queen, and his current choice wasn't exactly ideal.
"I suppose," he said finally.
"I hear your uncle wants to build another Warehouse here," Alec said.
"When did he say that?" Edward asked looking back. "I didn't know of any construction plans outside of a new fort."
"Well we don't want those half breeds getting out of control," Alec laughed.
"Indeed," Edward sighed. He wanted to end the conversation. Talking about the Warehouses was like talking about old ladies having sex. Nobody wanted to hear about it or picture it. It was one of those things that just happened. He very rarely wanted to admit that his uncle had a part of the development of such places.
"Your uncle worries about when you will be king," Alec commented.
Edward glanced back slightly annoyed. "Whatever my uncle thinks about me and my becoming king is none of your concern, Alec so I think it's best that you keep your thoughts to yourself."
"See you need to start worrying about my thoughts," Alec said with a grin. Edward turned and he was struck hard over the head.
Bella stretched out and laid back in the soft grass of her favorite meadow. Cali had left to do her own things by then. She curled up on her side and sighed. The smell of the meadow was always comforting to her. The grass was long and it brushed against her skin in the wind. She could smell the fresh wild flowers that dotted the wild grass. Nearby a stream bubbled and Bella wondered when she and her father would go exploring it again. It was their monthly ritual when the warm weather hit and she was excited to go again.
Bella could picture it. They would start at the edge of the woods and explore the stream, looking at the creatures that lived there and looking for anything that suited them. Then they would go into the woods and explore the trees and the earth. Maybe this year she would ask Esme to join them.
Her thoughts were broken when she heard stumbling footsteps. She sat up and saw someone coming out of the woods. It was a boy by the look of him and he looked hurt. Bella jumped to her feet and ran to him.
"Oh my god are you okay?" she asked. He stumbled again and she put her hands on his shoulder to stable him.
"Where am I?" he asked as he put a hand to his head. He pulled it away and saw pale pink blood on his hands. "I'm bleeding?"
"Yes, quite a bit actually," Bella said digging into her pocket for a tissue. It wasn't much but she could at least clean the blood from his eye. He had a massive gash on his forehead that she knew should get medical attention. "What's you name?"
"My name?" he asked. "Oh...right...Ed-Edward."
"I'm Bella," she said. "What brings you all the way out here?"
"I'm not quite sure," Edward said putting his hand on the back of his neck and pulling it back with more blood. He took a step and stumbled right into the stream. Bella jumped and rushed into the shallow water to help him.
"You're disoriented, even for a vampire," she said as she helped him stand, "come on, I'll take you to my dad. I just wish I had something to tie your wounds off with for the time being."
"You can use this," he said tugging lightly on his shirt, "it's pretty much ruined anyway...somehow."
Bella nodded and he shrugged out of what was one probably a nice button up shirt. She tore strips from it and wrapped it around his head, neck and upper arm. Then she pulled his good arm over her shoulders and helped him walk.
"So what is this place?" Edward asked as they made their way towards town.
"Rosebud," she said, "I know it's a cheesy name but it's home. It's more or less a sanctuary for refugees from the war."
"War? What war?"
"Have you been living under a rock or something? It's an ongoing war between the vampires and the humans. Anyway there are some people who object to the war, like my dad, and have moved out here. Some have no choice. Then there's me."
"What about you?" Edward asked.
"This is the only place I could feel safe. Being what I am...I don't belong to either side."
Edward looked at her. Now that he thought about it her skin was warmer than his and her eyes were deep brown. But she was strong enough to practically carry him, and fast too.
"You are both."
Bella nodded and they finished the walk in silence.
"So I send you to get a treat for Cali and you come home with a vampire?" Carlisle said with an amused grin.
"I was going to go nap in the meadow but he stumbled in on me. Can you treat him?"
Carlisle nodded and led Edward into the kitchen. He sat him down and grabbed a first aid kit. "If you were Bells I'd have to stitch you up, but I think these will heal fine. I'm going to clean them though."
Edward nodded and Carlisle pulled out a bottle of medicine. Bella didn't know what it was because he never used it on her, but rather on his vampire patients. She knew it was some kind of rubbing alcohol that burned her skin. Edward didn't seem phased by it. Carlisle took care in cleaning his wounds and Bella saw that they were already healing.
"You have a very deep wound here," he said pointing to a part of his own head to demonstrate. "Which may have caused some mental damage. Do you know who you are?"
"Do you know where you're from?" Carlisle asked.
"No...I can't remember...anything."
"Amnesia," Carlisle diagnosed as he continued to examine Edward's head, "hopefully it's temporary."
"Hopefully," Edward agreed quietly.
Carlisle looked him over again. He paused and studied the younger man's face. His eyes were dark red and deep. He looked confused and disoriented. But there was something familiar about him. About the shape of his nose and lips. His bronze hair was matted with blood and had leaves in it. His chest had some scratches but that was about it. He must have been through quite an ordeal to have damaged so much of his vampire skin.
The doorbell rang and Bella went to answer it.
"Oh, hey Esme," Bella said happily.
"Hi Bella, is Carlisle available?"
"He's with a patient," Bella said looking back, "do you need something?"
"Oh, I just made some crimson cake and I wanted to give you both some," Esme said with a smile, "Goodness knows you two need a treat every once in a while."
Bella laughed and nodded. "You take such good care of us Esme."
Esme smiled. Bella was always in awe over her beauty. Long wavy caramel hair and a soft heart shaped face with a bright and warm smile. How she was still single Bella would never know. She was sure that any sane man would sweep her away at the first chance.
"Your hair is getting long again," Esme said tucking some behind her ear, "are you going to cut it again or let it grow out?"
"I haven't decided," Bella said looking at her hair. "I have split ends."
"Ah who has time to keep those away?" Esme asked with a soft laugh. "I could cut them for you if you'd like."
"That would be great!" Bella cried happily.
"Do you have time this afternoon?" Esme asked.
"Absolutely. Do you have time now?"
Esme nodded and came in at Bella's invite. She went into the bathroom with Bella and sat on the toilet while Bella got the scissors and a spray bottle. She sat on the rug and Esme ran her fingertips trough her hair, testing for tangles.
Bella looked up as Esme was spraying her hair with water. Edward looked at her nervously.
"Hey! Come on in, have a seat!"
Edward came in and sat on the rim of the tub.
"Esme this is Edward," Bella said.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," Esme said with her usual smile. "Are you new around here?"
"Um...yeah...listen Bella, I wanted to thank you for helping me."
"It's no problem," Bella assured him, "so how do you feel?"
"Better. Your dad said I can stay here. You both have been so nice."
"Well looks like it's a party," Carlisle said joyfully. "Ah, Esme, I didn't expect you."
"Yes well I figured that why I'm here I should trim Bella's hair."
"Yes she does need it."
"Aw thanks a ton dad," Bella moaned.
"Don't worry I think you're pretty," Carlisle said with a playful smile. "Anyway Jodie down the way wants me to take a look at her daughter. Will you be okay alone?"
"I'm seventeen, dad, more than old enough to care for myself."
Carlisle raised his eyebrows then looked at Edward. "Please keep her out of trouble."
"Sure," Edward mumbled. Bella looked offended and Esme giggled.
"I brought you some cake Carlisle, I put it in the dining room."
"Ah Esme you are too good to us," Carlisle sighed happily, "your cake is a dream! If only I could make blood into solid delicious foods."
"It's nothing really," Esme said as she snipped some of Bella's hair, "I'll have to teach you someday."
Carlisle nodded. "I'll see that you do. But for now I must leave."
"Alright, bye Carlisle."
Carlisle waved and left. Bella sighed and looked at Edward.
"One day he'll have to stop treating me like a baby."
"Oh I'm sure he will," Esme said as she trimmed more hair, "he cares about you very much."
"He cares about you too," Bella told her.
"He is a dear friend," Esme said quickly, closing the subject abruptly.
"She was friendly," Edward said as they walked down the street.
"Oh Esme? Yeah, she's a sweetheart," Bella agreed, "I've known her since I came here."
"Did you and your father move here?" Edward asked.
"I don't remember coming here," Bella said looking up at the clear golden sky. "I just ran towards what felt safe. That was Carlisle. He nursed me back to health and let me stay with him. He has never really adopted me, but I started to call him dad after a while. After I learned to speak properly."
"What happened to your real parents?" Edward asked quietly.
Bella was silent for a moment. She could only guess where her real parents were. She had never met her father but she could only assume that he was living in the city with the other vampires. As for her mother...she remembered her.
"I don't care," she mumbled. "Carlisle is my dad now and that's all I care about."
"He's a good man. I can't thank you both enough for helping me."
Bella smiled at him. "That's how dad is," she said happily, "he's kind, warm and always wanting to help. Well...not literally warm but you know what I mean."
Edward laughed and nodded. "So you're not a human or a vampire."
"No I'm both. Mom was human and dad was a vamp."
"They both live together in this town," Edward said as they got to the store. A bell chimed as they walked in.
"Hey there Bells," a vampire said from behind the counter.
"Hey there Greg!" Bella said back.
"So who is your friend?"
"This is Edward, he's going to stay with us for a while."
Edward looked nervously around the store. He saw a vampire looking at a cooler of blood and across the way he saw a human looking at the price of produce. A human child was tugging on the hand of a vampire child, trying to drag them away from the blood candies.
"That's what I love the most about this place," Bella said, noticing where he was looking. "Nobody cares what you are."
"Should they?" Edward asked as he followed her down an aisle with lots of bread and tortillas. Bella didn't answer him and pretended to be distracted by the products on the shelves. Edward found the answer in her silence. Whatever the war was about, it meant that the two species were separated and they very much cared about what each person was.
"Here, in this small town, it's like a separate world," Bella said picking up a loaf of bread. "We don't get very much news from the cities. We're closer to the human city so if we get news its from there. That's how we'll know when there is peace again."
Edward walked with her through the aisles and helped her carry the groceries. He had only been in the town for less than a day, but already he loved the quiet feel and the peace. He offered to carry Bella's groceries after they paid and she agreed to let him carry half. By then the sun had fallen, leaving the sky above a beautiful velvet purple with a rich array of stars.
"So beautiful," Edward murmured as he looked up.
"Tomorrow night is supposed to be clear too. Dad and I were planning on going stargazing, do you want to come with us?"
"I'd love to!"
"Hey you two, just getting back from the market?" Carlisle asked as he turned onto the block.
"Mmhm, and we picked up that science magazine you love so much," Bella said reaching into her bag to hand it to him.
"Ah! Wonderful! That saves me a trip! Thank you sweetheart."
Edward watched as Carlisle beamed at his daughter and gave her shoulders and affectionate squeeze. He began to wonder if he had a father like that. Thinking about that made him feel a bit sad, but he wasn't going to let them know something was wrong. So he put on a smile and laughed along with them until he was alone for the night.
I don't know how this story is going to work out but I am optimistic. The story is kinda complicated, especially later on when it gets more into the war.