"To the Wolves"
Rating: T/PG-13 (Occasional mild language/violence)
Summary: To prevent open war with the neighboring Quileute kingdom, Carlisle Cullen must give up the first daughter born to his family and throw her to the wolves... literally. A fantasy AU fic of political intrigues, murder, seduction, war... and, of course, true love at first sight.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Ms. Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
Prologue – Legacy
20 September, 4032
My father is finally gone. His memory will fade soon enough as well.
24 September, 4032
I have been in counsel with my advisors all day. We received word early this morning from scouts at the border that a large army is moving onto our lands. The first reports assumed the army was from the Quileute nation to the west, given the man-sized wolves that head the party; subsequent reports have confirmed this. I have no choice but to believe that they come with the intention of exterminating me, my family, and our people.
We have, up till now, always been peaceful, if wary, neighbors, and their king, Ephraim Black, is a wise, fair ruler, I am told. I cannot imagine what could have sparked this aggressive move, but as yet, none of my scouts or messengers have been able to make civil contact with them.
Even as I write this, I am preparing to leave the Capital, my home, my wife, son, and unborn child… I go to meet the force that would annihilate all I hold dear. I will ride out at dawn tomorrow to meet with Ephraim Black himself and, God willing, make him see reason.
26 September, 4032
It is all madness. To think that my people, subjects of my own court…
The crimes Ephraim described to me were committed by foolish, spoiled, rich, young men, men scarcely younger than myself. Low, foul men, not even worthy of that title… As my esteemed neighbor said, how despicable that the daughters of the Quileute cannot even venture into the forests that have always been their ancestral domain, cannot enjoy the gifts of nature as is their right, without being set upon by lusty, disgusting men…
I would renounce these men if I could. I would try them in the highest court of my kingdom, strip everything from them, but they are unknown, undetectable. And the Quileute are adamant in their cries for blood.
I cannot believe the audacity of his demands. I cannot believe that one thinking, feeling person could require such a thing of another… Appealing to him father to father only seemed to strengthen his resolve. It is for the daughters of his people, he said, that he does this.
It will break my poor wife's heart. My dear, sweet, Esme… I cower at the thought of relating these things to her. I am sickened myself by what I must agree to, what I must give up to save my people.
I tried to convince Ephraim that my people are not wholly bad, that every society, no matter how sweet and light, will have its share of villains. His response: "Prove it. Show me yourself how good you people can be."
I have no choice. God forgive me.
30 September, 4032
Esme wept as I told her of my meeting with Ephraim Black. She wept and clutched her swollen belly as though I would take the child from her myself. I wept with her, for I know not what else to do.
18 November, 4032
It's a BOY! A boy, I tell you! A son! Another son!
We will name him Edward, after Esme's father's brother. He was born just before daybreak this morning, my sweet wife laboring through the night to bring him into the world…
And yet, beyond all the joy of parenthood, most of all I feel… relief. The uncertainty of the last month and a half is ended; we will not have to give up our child.
Emmett and Edward. They will grow up good and strong, and we will all live secure in the knowledge that our family will never be torn apart by the threat of war.
15 January, 4039
Another emissary has returned empty handed. The Quileute king will not budge, will not even hear negotiations. He is as stubborn as his father was when first laying out his demands. I do not even have any daughters… His only reply is this: "We will wait."
3 December, 4043
My emissary returned late last night, beaten and bedraggled. On his horse's flanks were large bite marks, larger than any normal animal could inflict. This new Quileute king is offended at the mere mention of reviewing the terms of our peace.
1 October, 4059
Edward has just announced that his wife Isabella is pregnant. They expect the baby in the spring, and, like all of us… they hope for a boy.
I will send again to the king of the Wolves… How much longer can they insist on such a brutal sacrifice?
12 April, 4060
I have a granddaughter. They have named her Renesmee, after my wife and my daughter-in-law's mother, Renee.
This should be a day of joy. She is a beautiful, sweet baby… but despite the unconditional love of a grandparent, all I can feel is dread.
13 April, 4060
A Wolf appeared at the city gates today. When he was led into the palace, he said simply that they would be watching… and they would come for her when she came of age. She is but a day old, and already her days are numbered… God help us all.
AN: These are excerpts from Carlisle Cullen's journal. Did I mention this was AU?