Hi again! Today's second chapter is shorter than the first, but it's also a reader request. Here, Carlisle and Esme discuss how hard it must be for Edward to resist the pull of Bella's blood; this chapter takes place on the day of Edward and Bella's date in the meadow during "Twilight," and I can just imagine Carlisle and Esme sitting at home, nervously hoping that everything's going well, and not being able to do anything but wait and wonder. (Also, in my other story, "I'm Always In Love," there's a chapter that describes the birthday that Esme refers to below.)

Thanks once again for all your wonderful reviews: I'll be on vacation next week, so no new chapter, but I'll hopefully be back in two weeks with two more. There aren't too many chapters left in "Eternity," so if anyone has a request, this is your last chance to let me know. Have a great week! :)

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer is the author of "Twilight," and I've decided: I'm finally going to send her a fan letter. I know it's a bit weird that after years of loving her books and writing fanfic about her characters, I'm just now doing this, but here we are. Allons-y! :)

2005: Restraint

Carlisle's POV

It was a sunny day, which was part of the reason that Carlisle had taken the day off from work, but mostly, he was glad to be home that day just in case anything went wrong during Edward's date with Bella. Of course, if the worst happened, there would be little he and Esme could do but try and comfort Edward, though he suspected that that would be extremely difficult; Edward barely knew the girl, but given his reaction to her, it was clear that if he hurt her today, he would be heartbroken. Of course, Carlisle knew he could hardly go along and supervise. All he could do was sit at home and wait, like any nervous parent waiting to hear the result of a first date. At least he and Esme could wait together.

"Okay," Esme said after a few minutes of sitting on the couch and attempting to watch a movie. "I think we need something else to do—something that will be more distracting."

"How about a game?" Carlisle asked. "Chess, mahjong, Scrabble?"

"Scrabble sounds good," Esme said with a smile. "I could use some practice—it sounds like Bella is a big fan of reading, so she may turn out to be a formidable Scrabble opponent." Then she frowned. "I shouldn't be planning ahead like that though. It isn't as if he's going to just invite her over—"

"He might though, if things go well today," Carlisle pointed out.

"—but even if he does, and I say this as someone who really isn't superstitious, I don't want to jinx this date with Bella."

Carlisle chuckled as he held the bag of Scrabble tiles while Esme drew seven without looking. "I doubt that just talking about their possible future dates could bring them any bad luck."

Esme sighed. "There's already a lot of bad luck inherent to their situation though. I just don't want to add to it by letting Edward know how much I want to meet her—he shouldn't feel pressured to introduce her. And I'm not sure meeting your boyfriend's parents qualifies as a proper date, though I suppose that depends on the person."

"But you do want him to bring her over sometime, and if they're dating, doesn't anything they do together count as a date?" Carlisle asked innocently, smiling as Esme shook her head, holding out the bag of tiles for him.

"I will be ecstatic if and when I get to meet Bella, but only if it's safe," Esme said. "And only if she wouldn't be uncomfortable. Going on a date with someone you don't know very well is terrifying enough without knowing that your boyfriend's mother is waiting with bated breath to meet you, even if your boyfriend's mother isn't a vampire."

"I daresay the vampire issue isn't too big a hurdle for her, since she did agree to go out with Edward," Carlisle said. "Then again, she's purportedly very intelligent. At some point, her fondness for Edward could be overruled by her sense of self-preservation."

"But if she really likes him," Esme argued, "she might just decide to ignore the danger. People do crazy things when they're in love. Remember when I lit all of those candles up on the roof on our birthday?"

Carlisle laughed. "It was beautiful, and you didn't even burn the house down." He frowned at the board as Esme put down four tiles to spell out GEMS for 14 points. "Edward hasn't said much about it, but it has to be very hard for him, just being close to her."

"I can't imagine even trying to kiss you, let alone attempting anything more intimate, if you were human," Esme said quietly. "I've never understood how Tanya and her sisters manage the way they do with human men."

"Practice," Carlisle said. "And Edward has had a lot of years to practice being gentle with delicate things. Given his attraction to her blood, he's already shown a lot of restraint around Bella—hopefully, it will get easier for him to resist her scent, as time goes on."

Carlisle played AXIS for 22 points, and then they were silent for a moment.

"I keep thinking about when we first met, and how it must be like that for Bella all the time," Esme said with a small smile, setting down tiles for LEGION, worth 16 points. "Except for her, it must be even more embarrassing, because she knows that he can hear her heart beating too fast."

"And he'll be worried about staring too much, and not blinking enough, and being too cold, and just not looking human enough," Carlisle said knowingly, playing LOSING (which often happened when he played Scrabble against Esme) for 8 points. "And I'm guessing that he's worried about saying too much, or moving too fast, and telling her that he loves her already."

"But maybe she loves him too," Esme said with a fond smile. (FUMES, 20 points.) "And if they love each other, then maybe they'll find a way to make it work. Love has had to overcome bigger obstacles in its time."

Carlisle took a deep breath and then let it out slowly—Esme's scent, while exciting to him, also had a way of calming him down when he was uneasy. "You're right. Things seem a bit frightening now, and fraught with insurmountable difficulties, and I hate having to wait and see how things progress, but..." Carlisle paused, played CUFF for 24 points, then took Esme's hand. "Things worked out for us, impossible as that would have seemed when we first met."

"Exactly," Esme said fondly, squeezing his hand. Then she played MOVIE for 18 points and shook her head, her smile fading a little.

"Still, it is hard to watch them and know that we can only help so much. If Bella chooses to stay with Edward—someday, in the still-hypothetical future—she's going to have a lot of difficult decisions to make."

"We'll just have to wait and see what happens," Carlisle said quietly, and Esme sighed. It was going to be a long day, regardless of what they did to distract themselves. Suddenly, Esme smiled wryly as Carlisle set down tiles for HOMER, 12 points.

"You know, we could play strip Scrabble."

Carlisle laughed. "How would that even work?"

"Every turn, whoever puts down the word worth the most points wins, and the other person has to strip." As she spoke, Esme put down tiles for NAPS, worth 6 points.

Carlisle smiled as Esme's foot brushed his leg under the table. "I love it. And if we're starting now, HOMER is worth more points than NAPS."

"So it is," Esme said, smiling demurely as she removed a sock. Carlisle grinned. It was going to be hard to resist the urge to push the board off the table, grab her, and kiss her before too many more turns had passed (assuming she didn't do the same to him before he had the chance) but for now, he could wait. If there was one thing Carlisle excelled at, it was self-restraint.