DC: I don't own it
Summary: AU. If I had known then what I know now I wouldn't have saved the boy. I would have let him die. But my heart wouldn't let him go. Now Edward is my life's purpose and I will do whatever it takes to keep him safe, even if it means standing against the most powerful coven in the world.
I awoke under the rotten potatoes and immediately knew that I needed to move. The smell made my stomach turn. The strange thing was that I actually felt fine but I was so used to that reaction. The smell was disgusting. But enough about the smell, I needed to figure out what was going on. From what I could tell I was in deep trouble. I sat up and brushed dirt from my hair. The worst part of being blonde, in my opinion, was how well it showed dirt. My mother always knew when I was playing in the field again because no matter how much I dusted off she could always see bits of dirt or grit in my yellow hair. My angel hair, she called it.
I found myself wondering if she was okay. I wondered if she was in the kitchen making bread like always, or if she was up worrying about me. I wasn't home all night. Or at least I could only hope it was one night. The pain was so intense it felt like it went on forever. I knew it was sunset. It had been night when I was attacked so maybe it was only one day.
I twitched when I heard voices and stood up. Potatoes rolled all around the floor and some broke open, making the smell worse. I looked at myself to monitor the damage. I held my hand up to the small window and realized that it's light wasn't necessary for me. I could see things clearly in the shadows of the cellar. My skin looked unusually white. I knew what had happened but I wasn't able to accept it. I was Carlisle Cullen, my father was a respected pastor and I was a good god fearing man who lived a pure life. Well as pure as a human could be. Okay, yes, I did steal some apples from an orchard once when I was seven but I confessed my sins and made it up to the orchard master by doing field work for a day.
I put my hand on my shoulder and there was no blood. I could barely feel the bite either. I opened my mouth and felt my teeth. They seemed a bit straighter but nothing else was off.
"Oh no," I mumbled. I walked out of the pile of potatoes and I didn't stumble. That was odd. I wasn't very clumsy by nature, but even I would have stumbled over some potatoes. I stepped on one and broke it open though. The foul stench increased. I didn't feel disoriented but definitely confused. I had no idea what had really happened or how it happened. I just remembered sharp teeth digging into my shoulder and ripping out. I also remembered dragging through the paralysis to this shed and right after I had finished burrowing under the foul smelling vegetable it had fully set in.
I left the tiny potato pit and went out into the fresh air. The sun was just about to sink below the horizon and the beautiful velvet night was setting in. I felt light and airy. I could control my body with perfect ease. Not that I had much trouble before. I jumped up into a tree when I heard someone coming. I mean I didn't want to be seen like this! Pale, half naked (I would have to figure out what happened to my shirt later) and smelling like potatoes! Imagine if that got back to my parents!
I clung tight to the limb like I would have only a few days ago. I wasn't good with heights so I was startled to find that when I did look down I wasn't dizzy. I gasped when I saw it was Anne. My beautiful Anne, the girl I was betrothed to. I didn't feel my heart race though. Another sign that I wasn't human that I chose to ignore.
"Will anyone find us?" Anne asked as she was under the tree. I was shamefully delighted when I could see down her bodice.
"It's late, so I don't think so."
She was with Henry?! Really?! Why was she out so late with him?
"Besides, almost everybody is with the Cullen family."
"Yes, I suppose you're right," Anne agreed. "His father seemed so broken hearted."
Well that was good to know. I always thought my cold father would be completely unaffected by my death. He would probably say I was going to heaven which was a reward. I looked back down at Anne in hopes that I could learn more about how my parents were reacting to my death. Seeing more of her cleavage wasn't bad either, much to my shame.
"Now that Carlisle has passed, you know what comes next."
Anne smiled. I loved her smile. I clutched the branch tighter and saw Henry touched her cheek. I bit my lip to keep from growling angrily. How dare he touch my beloved!
"Henry what if somebody sees?"
"Anne, my sweet, I would love to do more than kiss you."
More than kiss her! Meaning he had! My best friend had kissed my sweet Anne!
"But I am a respectable woman," Anne reminded him.
"Besides, you are willing to marry me."
"It is being arranged as we speak," Henry promised. He pulled her hand gently and she came to him. She let him kiss her. I quietly watched the woman I loved kiss another man. I felt heavy. My cheek rested against the warm bark of the branch and I closed my eyes. I felt sad and alone in that moment. I knew that in my new state I wouldn't have been able to fulfill my promise to marry her, but I wanted her to at least give me some mourning time. But I could hear the gentle friction between their lips and it made my stomach twinge. She gave a soft moan and he held her tighter.
I wanted them to leave. I didn't want to know that she had been in love with him all this time. I could remember how my heart skipped a beat when I kissed her hand, or how her smile made me blush softly. I had even had an inappropriate dream about her! She had been wearing only a corset! That's how naughty it was! I had felt deep shame but it was something I enjoyed at the time.
I couldn't stand anymore. I stood up and realized that clinging to the branch was not only completely unnecessary as my balance was perfect, but had caused the wood to bend. Oops. Well I hope it falls and scares them.
Okay I don't. Sometimes I hated my nobility. I jumped off of the branch and ran as fast as I could away from the scene. I skidded to a stop when I got close to my home. I hid in another tree. This time I didn't clutch the branches. I perched on the branch and listened. I could hear my mother sobbing in the kitchen and in a rare moment of tenderness, my father was consoling her. I could see them through the window. Their faces were illuminated by a single candle. I could hear others scattered about the area talking about me. Mostly marveling my bravery against hell's minions. My mother was sitting at the kitchen table with her face in her handkerchief. My father was sitting in a chair beside her and he was holding her.
"It is God's will," he reminded her.
"But he was my son! My sweet child!"
I wanted to run to them.
"I only wish he could have heard all of the kind words spoken at his funeral."
I actually did too. Most of all I wished I could have heard if my father said anything. I heard him get up and in a rare domestic moment, he brought my mother her dinner. Apparently she hadn't eaten yet.
"Catherine eat now," he said, "you haven't eaten in days."
"I don't feel hungry."
I wasn't surprised to hear my father order my mother around. He sure ordered me around a lot. I heard him walk into their bedroom and I saw him light the candle in the window. It lit up his old face and made his wrinkles stand out. He looked out at the stars and I sunk back into the tree. I pressed against the trunk like a scared child that had done something wrong and was about to be caught.
"I was always sure you would do what I couldn't as a servant of God," the old man said quietly. "you were never meant to be a physically strong man. You were always soft and sensitive."
...wow. Thank you father. I always strived for your love and affections and you throw it back in my dead face!
"The day you were born I fell to my knees and thanked the Lord for our miracle. We had lost so many children before you and so when you survived to manhood...Carlisle I was so proud of you. I loved you more than my own life my son."
I hugged my knees and buried my face in them. I wanted to go home. I wanted to go hug my mother and tell her I was alive...sort of. I wanted to tell my father that all I wanted to know was that he was proud of me.
The old man was crying. I could hear him and I felt sick to my stomach. I longed for my parents even though I was twenty three and a grown man. Even though I looked like a teenager on my best days. I took a breath and instantly regretted it. My throat erupted into flames and a powerful thirst ripped through me. Suddenly I was gripping the tree tight and trying to resist the urge to charge at the old man in the window and sink my teeth into his throat.
He was my father! I focused on that as I forced my legs to carry me away from my home. I focused on memories from my childhood. I remembered sitting in his lap as he read to me from the bible.
"So God gave his only begotten son...begotten son..." I chanted over and over again, trying hard to focus on the verse I knew so well. I prayed my strength would hold out. I kept running and came to the steep cliffs near the channel. I ran headlong off the cliff and fell into the dark waters below. I grunted when I landed on some rocks and instead of breaking my body into bits, the rock crumbled and I just sank into the water with them. I sank to the bottom of the sea and just stared blankly upwards.
So, I wasn't going to die. I should have been crushed into bits. I had been laying below the English Channel for a few minutes now and there wasn't the familiar pressure on my chest from holding my breath for a long time. So I didn't need to breathe therefore I would never drown or suffocate to death.
I wanted to get out of this. I didn't want to be a vampire. I wanted to go back to my life as a church serviceman. I closed my eyes and wanted to have this all be a dream. I wanted to wake up to the sound of my mother humming in the kitchen as she mixed batter for bread.
I came up from the water after swimming around. When I popped up I crawled up the side of the cliff and sat. Sunlight peeked out of the clouds after a few hours and a ray of light fell across my hands. I could feel it's warmth and I could see it's effect on me. My skin shone with an inhuman sparkle. I looked at my hand and turned it slowly. As it touched the light it sparkled brightly. I couldn't disguise myself like this. Damn.
Though London did have a habit of being rainy. I could live there under cloud cover. But then again my town was only a few hours walk away. I would probably run into too many friends and members of my family. I imagined what running into my parents would be like and it made me cringe. My father would declare me a specter or something like that and try to kill me while my mother cried. Nope. No London for me.
So what did that leave? France? I think not. I had been raised a good English man and therefore I turned my nose up at those silly Frenchmen. I had always wanted to travel though. Maybe to see what was beyond my village and London. I had been to Liverpool once but that was when I was very small. My father had traveled while I was a boy and I stayed behind with my mother. So this was my chance! At last! A silver lining to my situation! I could travel the world, see it for it's splendor, maybe write a log and then kill myself. Somehow. My body was physically indestructible it seemed but maybe without proper nourishment I would waste away! Yes! That's what I would do!
I stood up quickly an with a sense of purpose. I did flinch when I blinded myself with my own arms in the sunlight though. I wasn't used to the bright light as I had spent most of my morning hiding under the tree. So when I was used to that I began my voyage by jumping back into the water and swimming to France. Ick.
My plan had hit one small hinderance. I couldn't be around people. I had very nearly attacked a milk maid as she carried her pails into a barn as I passed. My throat was burning stronger now and my body needed blood. I could hear her heartbeat in my memory and the sound of the blood rushing through her veins.
Stop it Carlisle! You are a good Christian man and shouldn't think such things!
But it was rushing so perfectly! So, so warmly.
I shook my head violently to get rid of the thoughts. I would die soon and then I would face my judgement and maybe, if I was lucky, God would overlook this little mishap and see that I had made the right choice with my situation by not killing my fellow man.
Somewhere in the back of my mind a voice reminded me that they weren't my fellows anymore. I wasn't human anymore. I was something less than they were. I stopped by a brook and look at my reflection in the dark waters. The sun was gone and I should have been sleeping but I was wide awake. I realized I would never sleep again. I would never dream of Anne again. Though not that I would want to now, thinking about her betrayal made me feel queasy. A different kind of sick than I felt when I thought of my parents. For them I felt longing. I felt homesick. I felt betrayed and abandoned by the god I had worshiped my whole life. I wanted to feel a holy presence in my soul but I felt nothing. Were demons allowed to feel god's presence? Probably not. Why would I be forgiven anyhow? I had very nearly killed an innocent young woman just a short time ago!
I hit the stream with my fist and the water splashed up onto my face. It was warm against my skin even though it was late March and it should have been cold. I wondered what would fire feel like now with my body so cold? Would I melt? I saw my reflection. I saw the scarlet eyes of a monster looking back at me. I missed my eyes. My watery blue eyes that I inherited from my father. My hair was my mother's. I was the perfect combination of both of them.
I ran my hand through my hair and sat crouched by the stream for a long time, just looking at what I had become. I could smell blood again. This time my restraint snapped and I tore after it like a rabid beast. I ran so fast I could barely keep track of what was going by unnoticed. I had even passed some houses. I could smell fresh bread and a hearty stew. I felt sick for my mother again.
My body hit something warm and alive. My teeth sank deep into flesh and thick blood filled my mouth. The blood wasn't as sweet has the milk maid's had smelled. Before I could begin to chastise myself for killing a human being I realized that I wasn't drinking human blood at all. When I pulled my head back I saw what I had killed. Deer blood dribbled down my chin and I realized that the burning sensation in my throat was quieting down. I felt like I had just eaten a bowl of porridge. I didn't have the warm happy feeling that came from eating one of my mother's delicious meals, but I felt full. Or at least started to. I still felt very hungry so I attacked another deer, and then another. After four I felt so full I could burst. But I felt calmer and in control. I felt safer.
I laid on the ground looking up at the stars and realized something. I could survive on the blood of animals. I felt almost giddy at the thought of living without being a complete monster. If I could keep going this way I could find some solution to my eternal damnation and maybe redeem myself. If I could somehow do something for the greater good. Maybe use my super speed to save people from dying or something like that. Though that would lead to a lot of unwanted questions.
I could serve in war and never die.
But that would involve killing people which kind of negates the purpose.
I frowned up at the stars. Finding a purpose was hard. I had thought my purpose was to serve God but now that I was a demon that was sort of gone. After all, demons are supposed to burst into flames when in contact with a holy object and a church would probably be just as deadly to me. That was a frightening thought. I got up and ran to a barn. I grabbed a traveling cloak from a hook and put it over my shoulders. I put the hood up and left. It was starting to rain, I could hear the thunder beginning to roll and the lightning was sparking up in the clouds. There were so many new sounds I wasn't used to.
I walked through the countryside as the ran began to fall. It was peaceful and wonderful. I had always loved the rain. I felt it brought me closer to heaven in a way. I wanted to find others like me. I wanted to know how this happened. How does one become a vampire? I mean I got the biting part, but was blood exchanged? Was it some sort of fluid? It didn't make sense that it would just be biting. There just had to be something more to it. I decided that's what I would do first. I would go find creatures like me.
I hadn't planned on finding Aro. I had stumbled into Volterra by mistake and I had been spotted by a young woman that frankly looked like a prostitute. She gave me a wink and I was ashamed to have reacted like a typical man. If I was human I would have blushed.
"Hello stranger," she said in a soft seductive voice, "my master would love to meet you."
She had deep burgundy eyes and pale skin. Her dark hair was swept back like most women. She was very beautiful, in an unnatural way. I knew she was like me though so I followed her into the massive...fortress? Castle? Hm. Well I followed her in and I was taken into a large circular room where three men waited.
Two of them had black hair. The one that stood in the middle had longish hair that he kept tied back with a ribbon. He wore a loose white shirt and black pants with riding boots. Like the woman who brought me in he was wearing an ash colored cloak with the hood down. He also had deep red eyes that gave me chills.
Beside him was another man with long black hair and red eyes. This one was dressed almost the same only he had a burgundy coat on with gold embroidered sleeves. He wasn't wearing a cloak. He also seemed a bit sad and distant. The third man had white hair and his eyes were a darker shade of red. He dressed a lot like the other two and he wore a cloak as well. He had a dark sinister feel about him that I couldn't understand. He seemed a bit more devious than the others while the middle man just seemed cheerful.
"Welcome to Volterra! My name is Aro and I lead this coven with my brothers, Marcus and Caius."
He indicated to each of his companions and they gave a nod at their name.
"I'm I'm Carlisle," I stammered. "F-from England."
"Carlisle from England," Aro repeated in a jolly tone, "what brings you to this fair city?"
"Well...I don't know really..."
I was sad to find that becoming a vampire hadn't cured my shyness like it had other qualities.
"You look thirsty," Aro said, "have you fed recently?"
"Well I had a rabbit this morning."
The brothers looked at each other and then began to laugh. "A rabbit?!" Caius repeated. "Were you trapped on a ship or something?"
"Then what on earth did you eat a rabbit for?" Marcus asked with laughter in his eyes. Glad I cheered him up at least.
"Oh, I don't like to drink from humans."
They went oddly silent. They didn't seem angry, just very confused. They looked at each other and then back at me. I felt incredibly self aware and tried not to fidget.
"You don't like to drink from humans?" Aro asked me finally.
I shook my head no. "I don't wish to feed on God's children."
"How old are you?" Aro asked me, coming closer.
"No, no, I mean how long have you been a vampire?"
"Oh," I hesitated. How long had it been? I hadn't taken much care in counting the dates. "About a year I think."
I was surprised when Aro reached one hand out. "May I?" he asked.
"May you what?" I asked back.
He just smiled and touched my face. He touched...my face. I jumped back in shock and he laughed.
"Be calm Carlisle I'm merely trying to understand you," Aro said. He was to me in a flash and his hand was on my cheek again. He had a very gentle touch. I could see thoughts rushing through his mind behind his eyes. He was curious about me. About as curious as I was about him. "How precious."
"What's precious?" I asked.
"You're such a sweet little country boy aren't you?"
Sweet? Little? Boy?! I hadn't even known this man for an hour and already he was making me a little angry!
"Our country bumpkin doesn't believe in killing," he said to his brothers. He was mocking me. "He stays away from cities when he can."
"H-how did you know that?" I asked shyly.
"I can see your memories," Aro explained, his hand leaving my cheek. He did pat me on the head however which made me frown. "You're still so young yet."
"I am not that young," I reminded him.
"I am nearly five hundred years old, Carlisle," Aro told me with a smirk, "you are a young thing to me."
I was in too much shock to really say anything! Five hundred years!? Was I going to be alive that long?!
"You can't be."
"Oh but I am," Aro said with a smile, "I have seen many things and I have learned more than you can possibly understand at such a tender age."
"Just because you are incredibly old doesn't mean I'm an ignorant child," I told him stiffly.
They just laughed again and Aro pat my head as if dismissing a child. I glared at him and he just smiled back.
"Sweet Carlisle you haven't yet grown into yourself."
Grown into myself? What?
"You hold your human values dear. I had too, once. But then I grew wise and became as I am."
He put his arm around my shoulders. The gesture was a bit too familiar for my taste. I also didn't like the condescending way about it. Sure he was obscenely old, but that didn't make me a fool.
"Why when I was human I was a noble young man."
"You, noble?" Caius asked.
"Believe it brothers! Believe it! I had believed in saving my virtue until I was wed."
"And I'm sure it was worth it," I said.
"Oh hell no," Aro sighed, "I wasn't married for a hundred or so years after I was changed and I'll have you know I have had sex with many women, humans and vampires alike."
"Then he got married and kept having sex with many women, human and vampires alike," Caius snickered.
I was appalled! Did he regularly fornicate with other women like Caius implied?! How disgusting!
"I also believed that human life was sacred."
"That was a long week," Caius snorted. Aro grinned back at him.
"Human life is sacred," I defended, "we...they...are god's children!"
Caius came up to me and folded his arms. There was something intimidating about him. He smelled of blood and I wondered how many poor souls he had destroyed.
"Are you a man of god, Carlisle?"
"Yes. My father is a pastor and I was to take his place."
"Oh Caius don't beat his faith out of him so soon," Marcus moaned, "do let him continue in his ignorance for a while!"
"It isn't ignorance!" I cried angrily.
"You'll stay with us," Aro decided, "You are very enjoyable."
"His views are sweet and innocent," Caius grinned, "I can't wait to corrupt him."
"What do you mean corrupt me? Why does it bother you so much?"
Caius just shrugged and patted my head. I hated when they did that.
I had spent several years with the Volturi before something happened to make me realize I could never be like them. It wasn't the human blood drinking that got to me. It was the sadistic nature about them. I realized it when I was walking with Caius and Aro on a cloudy afternoon. We walked along the beach talking about our human lives. Caius had been a gladiator, which explained his lust for violence I guess. Aro had been a nobleman's son. I also learned that he had a sister that had passed in her vampire life.
"I do miss my dear sister," Aro said sadly, "but she wouldn't want me to mourn her."
"Indeed," Caius agreed.
I wondered if I was getting the whole story there.
"I would love to get lost in her breasts before draining her," Caius sighed as he saw a young girl.
"Delicious," Aro agreed.
I didn't agree. I didn't like the way they looked at her, as if they were violating her with their eyes.
"Oh come on Carlisle, she's beautiful and can't you just hear her blood rushing? Look at that blush."
They led me into a seaside cave saying they had something to show me. While Aro and I examined the stones that were actually kinda cool in their colors, Caius went to get lunch.
"You hate being a vampire then?" Aro asked.
"I don't know how to feel about it," I admitted, sitting on one of the stones.
"You will absolutely love this," Caius was saying outside of the cave. I smelled human blood and stood. Caius came in with the human from before. Aro smiled and I cringed away.
"Oh, you have friends here," she said timidly. "I don't know about this."
"Well you don't have any power here," Caius said.
"C-Caius be realistic! You can't possibly do that here!"
"Don't be scared sweetie," Aro said coming up to her. He touched her cheek and she flinched away.
"Aro stop you're scaring her!"
"She has good reason to be scared," Caius chuckled, "the sweet human got the attention of three hungry vampires."
I could hear her scream bubble in her throat and so could the others. Caius covered her mouth with his fingers. I shuddered when I saw how he teased her lips and tongue with his fingers. She started to cry and Aro licked her tears.
"Come now Carlisle, we'll have her before we feed."
"You can't! Let her go!"
I jumped up and tugged on Aro's arm.
"This is happening no matter what," Caius said, annoyed, "you can either participate like a normal man would, or you can sit back and watch."
I fell into a silent shock. I realized how powerless I was against them. I kept trying to stop them by pulling them away but it was useless. Caius grabbed my collar and pushed me against the cave wall.
"Aro wanted to be nice and gentle with you, easing you into a vampire's way of life. He's had years of failure and now I'm doing what you need."
Caius grabbed her arm and cut her skin. I saw Aro's eyes flash as he continued to ravage the girl. Caius held my jaw angrily.
"Look you little girl, Aro and Marcus tried to bring you back to our natural ways nicely, but you are an embarrassment to our kind."
He pushed his blood soaked finger into my mouth and I tasted for the first time what they drank. It was sweet and delicious in all honesty, but I felt sick just tasting it. I could taste the girl's pain. I realize that that was impossible but it's how I felt.
"It tastes delicious, doesn't it?"
"I'll never willingly drink human blood," I promised in a deep growl. Caius laughed and pushed me to the ground. Then he and Aro both sank their teeth into the woman's soft flesh. I couldn't watch, but I could hear them. I felt myself regress to the child I had been when I was scared. I sat there and listened to them drink from an innocent girl. Her blood lingered on my tongue and I knew they wanted me to feed from her too. It was taking more control that I thought I had to resist. My throat was burning worse than ever.
They finished and Aro took her body to dispose of it. Caius just walked out of the cave and I was left behind with the smell of her body. I had hoped I could stay in Volterra for a while. Or rather, my desire to be with vampires like me made me want to stay. But this...this was too much. I couldn't be around these creatures! I wasn't like them! I wasn't! I was a vampire with a human trapped inside! I wasn't a monster!
"I'M NOT A MONSTER!" I screamed after them.
"Whoever said you were?" Aro asked, dusting his hands off.
"You're trying to make me into one!" I cried.
"It seems we just can't see eye to eye," Aro sighed sadly.
"I'm not going back with you."
"Suit yourself," Aro sighed again. He turned to leave but looked back at me. "I do hope our paths cross again."
"Don't hold your breath."
Aro shrugged. "It wouldn't matter anyway since I don't have to breathe."
That was the last I saw of him. I left quickly and I never went back to Volterra.
Next chapter we meet Edward! I don't know exactly what this story is going to be, I just know that it's going to be a wee dark. I've also always imagined Carlisle being very naive and vulnerable as a young vampire.