A/n: Sorry, I know it's been a while…

Chapter 3

Perhaps on the day Carlisle Cullen and Esme Platt met, the stars aligned. Or perhaps the angels sang. Or perhaps the whole universe smiled.

But it was clear that Cupid was having an 'off day'. Because an arrow of love did not pierce the hearts of each, causing them to fall very much in love within moments of their momentous meeting.

In fact, our of context, the meeting was not momentous in the slightest; it was simply a normal hour, of a normal day, of a normal time. Esme had spent her summers day imagining that she was an explorer in her garden. Her perfectly cut terrace had become a jungle; and the prim roses had become vicious animals that she could calm with a touch of her little hand.

The meeting between our protagonist and our heroine occurred after a loud cry of 'ouch!' from our heroine, and a rushing to the scene from our hero.

Carlisle, you see, heard Esme's cry from the next door garden, where he had been lurking among the weeds, and came to her rescue.

"Are you okay?" he asked her - his first words to the girl next door.

"No!" she answered immediately with a pout. "Stupid rose!"

She kicked the offending plant daintily with one of her sandal-covered feet.

Carlisle then noticed the blood on her hand, and pulled it towards himself.

"Let me see", he said, timidly and gently. The girl did not answer, but watched the little boy wipe away the blood with his sleeve, and produce a plaster from his pocket, which he stuck over her bleeding wound.

"You need to look out for the thorns" he told her, suddenly sounding a little more confident in himself. Esme nodded mutely; she was recalling a time when her own father bandaged her hands. She had a sudden rush of affection for the boy before her.

"Thank you", she whispered softly, and watched as the boy's lips curled upwards a little, as though he were trying to smile, but couldn't. Then she heard a yell of her name from inside the house, and turned away from him. She ran across the garden, back up the steps, and into the house; where her mother was waiting for her with a plate of lunch, and a glass of orange juice.

Carlisle slunk back into the weeds of his garden, because there was really nothing else he could do in such a situation. But instead of returning to his house, he suddenly decided there was something he needed to do, and, without bothering to tell anybody - since there was nobody to tell, he took off in the direction of the town centre.

He stopped shortly before he arrived in town however, and snuck into the public toilets, which were located on the town road, about three minutes away from the first shop. Once he was inside, and had decided that there was nobody else inside, he quickly locked the door, and made his way over to the opposite side of the room.

Once he had crossed the dirty tiled floors, he found himself looking into a mirror; one which was far clearer than any of those at his home. Usually the boy cringed away from mirrors of any sort, because they showed him things he was not willing to see. He knew he was different to the other boys in his school. He was dirtier, and he was short. He was the blondest boy in his class, and he had old, nasty clothes; because that's all his parents could afford.

But today he looked, and he focused on his lips, which were soft and pink. He watched them as he tried to curve them upwards into an expression similar to those of the boys in school. They twitched up a little in the corners, but there was little difference. He then placed his fingertips at each end of his mouth, and pushed upwards, so his lips curved upwards in a strange manner. He tried to hold the pose when he took his fingers away, but his lips quirked downwards again and it looked odd to him.

Carlisle sighed loudly, and tried once more, before giving up.

He had only wanted to imitate the smile of the girl he had met that morning.

A/n: Oh CARLISLE! Review?