DC: I don't own it
Thanks to my reviewers!
We went by Edward's home town on the way to port. It had been years but he said it still looked the same. He left my side when he saw the church and ran back to the graves. I knew what he was looking for without asking. I put my hand on his shoulder as he stopped at one.
Edward Masen II
It was a large stone that marked one grave and two empty ones. He had died the same year his as his wife and son.
"He wasn't sick," Edward said quietly, "not at all. He lost both of us at the same time...what if his heart just stopped?"
I lifted Edward up and hugged him. He hugged me tight around my neck and cried silently into my neck. I patted his back and let him cry his dry tears.
"What if he died because he missed us so much? Is that possible Carlisle?"
"No, not medically. But the brain is a powerful thing."
"Oh," Edward mumbled. He slipped out of my arms and left the graveyard in silence. I could only follow and hope that he was okay. I knew that his transformation was still fresh in his mind and he was no doubt thinking about his mother. He had a certain look when that happened. Usually his eyes would darken a bit and his lower lip would find its way between his teeth and he would nibble on it absentmindedly until the thoughts passed or he was distracted by something. He looked back at me. He smiled slightly and I patted his head as I usually did. "I'll be okay."
"I have faith in you," I replied.
He shifted his little bag over his shoulder and we carried on to the docks. We were playing a young widower and his son. Together Edward and I planned our back story. We admittedly had a bit of fun doing so. We kept our first names but we gave ourselves a new last name. We were from London and had been traveling around the countryside searching for a new home. Edward's mother, in our story, had passed from a terrible illness. I could already smell some rats on board which was a good sign. They were scurrying about the lower decks. Edward and I would have some meals on this trip. We went to our rooms and Edward crawled up onto his bunk.
"And who said you get top?" I asked.
"I did," he answered with a smile, "because I'm faster."
"Oh is that so?" I asked. Before he could react I snatched him and began to tickle him mercilessly. His laughter rang through the room. When he got away from me we were setting sail. He went to the tiny round window and peered out.
"Carlisle! Look! We're moving!"
"Have you ever sailed before Edward?" I asked as I unpacked a few belongings, props actually.
"Nope. Dad always said I would when I was older though. What do you think the new world is going to be like?"
"Well," I sighed sitting, "it's supposed to be well off. After all that's where the king is getting a lot of resources."
"What will you do there?" Edward asked, sitting beside me.
"I would like to try my hand at being a physician," I answered, "but if that doesn't work I suppose I could work as a clerk or something."
"What are you going to make me do?" Edward asked, wrinkling his nose because no doubt he knew the answer.
"Schooling of course," I answered with a smile. I ruffled his hair as he pouted and couldn't help but laugh. So this was what having a son was like. Edward scowled at me and clambered up to the top bunk.
"This one is mine."
"Oh come now Edward what kind of father would I be if I let you sleep up so high?" I asked with a sly smile.
"Not gonna buy it," Edward snorted, laying back and looking up at the ceiling. I folded my arms over the side of his bed and rested my chin on them. "Is our life always going to be so mundane?"
"Who can say," I shrugged, "I can't see the future."
Edward rolled onto his side and looked at me. "But you have been alive much longer than I have."
"Not that much longer," I defended, with really no point. Maybe it was because he called me old. "Think of it this way, we'll get to see the great changes in the world."
"What are the colonies gonna be like?" Edward asked.
"Probably a lot like London," I guessed. "Everyone there is from the England. I think there may be some others there."
Edward rolled onto his back and looked up at the ceiling. "My father always talked of going to the new world."
I reached over and smoothed his unruly hair gently. It took me a while to make peace with my new life, I could only expect the same with Edward. He smiled at me and curled up like he was going to take a nap.
I watched him pretend to sleep while gently stroking his hair. I had made a mistake by taking away his humanity and giving him this immortal life. I couldn't bring myself to regret it fully though. I loved him like my own son.
"I love you too Carlisle," Edward mumbled softly.
We hit a snag on the way. A storm blew us off course. Edward and I watched it come in. His eyes were closed in mild irritation. He usually looked that way when the thoughts around him were becoming too overwhelming.
"Go to your happy place," I advised.
"You should write down those little nuggets of shit and sell them to the unintelligent humans so that they can better themselves mentally and physically."
I glanced over at him lazily. "Don't say shit."
He stood up and walked to the rail. He climbed up on the bottom rung and hung his arms over the wood.
"Seasick?" I asked.
"Good heavenly lord why do you insist on annoying me?!" Edward cried.
I chuckled and stood up. He was in a very bad mood and I didn't feel like teasing him any further. I left him alone with his thoughts. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder boomed. A warm rain began to fall. Well, warm for me. It was probably quite cold to the humans. It came down in a heavy pour that echoed off of the deck. The waves were getting rockier and I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I looked up at the sky again. The stormy sky was angry. Waves tossed the boat around and the passengers screamed.
Lightning crackled in the clouds above me. I could hear the sounds it made every time but I barely understood what it was. I know I was now immortal and very little could kill me, but I was always a little afraid of lightning in storms. It sounded so angry. Ever since meeting a Roman vampire I couldn't look at storms the same way.
Now I don't normally lend my attention to the nonsense other cultures believe in. But during thunderstorms I always pictured an angry painting of a supposed god wielding a lightning bolt. Jupiter, the master of lightning and storms. On nights like this it was easy to believe that something up there was angry.
I watched the fire in the sky and listened to the panic around me. If felt the hair on my neck prickle and the noise was louder.
"EDWARD!" I called loudly. "EDWARD WHERE ARE YOU?"
Before I could hear him respond Jupiter came to earth in a powerful flash of light that dove into the bowls of the ship, narrowly missing me by a few inches. I could feel the heat from the light and it nearly blinded me. I fell back against the wood and I was sure my skin was going to melt off of my bones.
I tried to push myself up but I was in a daze. My mind was cloudy, my body was burning and my eyes were blinded. God was smiting me. It was finally happening. I was going to die. I deserved it after killing Edward. Or rather letting him continue this damned existence.
I could hear fire and screaming. I lost my footing on the soaking wood and what little progress I had made in escaping was lost. I was barely aware of hitting the water. It felt like ice on my burning skin. I opened my eyes but I was still partially blind from the light.
"Edward," I mumbled weakly. My head was still foggy. I was aware of the darkness of the sea and that was it. I could hear people drowning and struggling to keep their heads above the icy water. I sank towards the dark bottom. For the first time since becoming immortal I was afraid to die. Afraid to leave Edward alone.
My last thoughts were of the boy who had become my son.
I was warm. Comfortable. I sat up quickly and looked around. I could see again, that much was certain. I was in a beautiful room that I recognized. I had been there before.
"Welcome back," Marcus said with a smile.
"How is this possible?" I asked quietly, getting out of bed.
"You washed up on shore an hour ago. Aro will be quite pleased to see you again."
"I don't care to see him," I grumbled. "Where are my clothes?"
"Your rags are probably burning my dear," Marcus answered, "we gave you new clothes so that you look respectable."
"How in the name of the lord did I get here?" I demanded. "I was headed for the Americas!"
"Ships get blown off course all the time," Marcus said with a dark smile. Something clicked in my mind. I had never fed with the Volturi but it occurred to me that they couldn't feed on locals without raising suspicions.
"You..." I began slowly.
"You do catch on," Marcus praised. He had a condescending smirk and regarded me as if I were a child. Okay, compared to him I was, but still...I was a grown man for crying out loud! Twenty three! Hardly a child!
I wondered if this was how Edward felt sometimes.
"We didn't get a lot of blood," Marcus said sadly, "guess Heidi will have to go fishing for us."
"Any survivors at all?" I asked.
"Some," Marcus sighed, "a few humans. Changed your mind have you?"
"No, of course not. Nearly a century and not a drop of human blood," I said proudly. I tried not to be too proud though, it was a sin after all and god had already tried to smite me. "Forgive me lord for my pride," I mumbled quickly.
"Still on with that god fellow eh?" Marcus asked, standing. "Come, Aro will want to see you."
He left before I could ask about Edward. I followed him down the marble hallway into a large round room. Aro spotted me and turned towards me with his arms outstretched.
"Dear friend," he boomed happily, "I am delighted to see you again."
He came and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I suppose it was an Italian custom but I found it odd.
"Care to say why you washed up on our shores?" Aro asked.
"I was on a ship bound for the Americas," I answered.
"Where have you been?" He asked me. "Come! We'll have some blood."
"I'll pass," I said holding up my hand, "but thank you for your gracious offer."
"Still sucking the blood out of bunnies?" Caius asked me. His voice was the same as Marcus'. I hated the twisted smirk he always seemed to have. He held out his hand and a human girl came. She was wearing a corset and underskirts. That was it. Her breasts were pressed up, practically to her chin, and Caius took her hand to draw her close. "Still a virgin too no doubt?"
"Again," I said stiffly, "not married."
"Right, right," he sighed, "Carlisle you'll find that once you let go of this god you fear, you are unlimited. Taste the pleasures of the flesh."
"I respectfully decline," I said, bowing my head slightly.
"More for me I suppose," he sighed.
One thing about vampires. They have no modesty. I had forgotten that until the girl with the raven hair and Italian skin knelt down and began to...do things to Caius. A pleasurable smile graced his lips and he stroked her hair lazily.
"Brother you forget our dear little Carly is innocent and fragile," Marcus purred, patting my cheek.
Oh my god these three brothers were going to drive me mad. But I needed their help. I also needed answers to long standing questions.
"You seem anxious," Aro observed. "Speak."
"I have some questions," I said with a bit of difficulty. "About vampires."
"You're nervous now," Aro said with a soft smile, "perhaps you wish to turn a human into your mate?"
"Just curious is all."
Aro came up to me and I unconsciously began moving away from him. After all the last time we were together I watched them do horrible things to a young woman. Aro moved quicker and before I knew it I was against the wall. Aro was practically pressed against me. His deep red eyes probed mine.
"Have you been naughty Carlisle?" he whispered softly. I could feel his breath on my skin. That alone was more than too much.
"No," I mumbled, "I haven't revealed myself to any humans, which is more than I can say for you."
The last part was something I really wish I could take back. Oh sweet Jesus and god in heaven I wish I could take it back. Aro's eyes flashed angrily and his fingertips caressed the fine silk collar around my neck.
"They never live," he purred, "sweet girls with sweeter blood."
"I'm a tad uncomfortable with how close you are."
"How do I put this delicately," Aro whispered. His brothers were closer now. The young girl was laying on the floor, most likely dead. "You are nervous about something and I recommend you tell me."
I was nervous. They couldn't find out about Edward. If the boy was alive that is...my heart sank. My son...Edward...could be dead for all I knew. But if he was alive they would want him. I couldn't let these monsters corrupt my sweet Edward.
Aro's slender fingers caressed my throat and then I could see his eyes flash. The memory he brought up was Edward and myself playing in the rain. Edward was splashing around and laughing. I ran to him, caught him in my arms and hugged him. We laughed together as we toppled to the grass below. Edward leapt on me and we rolled around, pretending to fight. It ended with me pinning him with my knees and tickling him.
"C-Carlisle! S-stop!" Edward cried through his laughter. I did and ruffled his hair.
"Come on son," I smiled, standing and pulling him up.
Aro's eyes looked dangerous and they snapped me out of the memory.
"Perhaps you should have asked your questions earlier," he growled.
"He's dead," I said quickly.
"You aren't so sure. Remember Carlisle, I can see every thought. You're worrying for him right now."
"How old is the child?" Marcus asked.
"Does that matter?" Caius asked with a dark smirk. He never liked me. "Our dear country bumpkin has created an immortal child."
"A vampire child," Aro answered darkly, "little control and childish nature."
"Edward isn't like that," I assured him.
Aro sighed and pulled away from me. He stepped closer to his brothers and turned to them. They spoke to each other in quick quiet tones that I couldn't pick up. I wanted to run for it. But to what?
I didn't know if Edward was alive or not.
"Carlisle," Aro said calmly, turning to me. "Your ignorance and innocence has saved you."
"From what?!" I cried. "I just want some answers!"
"Answers?" Caius barked. "I'll give you answers! It is against our laws to change a child and you have done just that. You risk mass chaos. The last immortal child destroyed an entire town before we killed it!"
"Peace, brother," Aro said, holding up his hand. "Carlisle this is a grave situation. Your little vampire is a danger to our people. We don't want to be exposed now do we."
"Please listen to me," I said quickly. I was nervous and shaking. "Edward is eleven. He has lived with me for some time now. I watch him carefully. I protect him from danger and being a danger."
"Even still..." Aro began.
"HE'S MY SON!" I screamed.
"AND HE WILL BURN AND BE THANKFUL YOU WON'T BE BESIDE HIM!" Aro screamed back.
I ran at him but I was snagged by four stony arms.
"Search the coasts," Aro ordered, "search for a young vampire with red hair and golden or black eyes. Answers to Edward."
"Yes, sir," the vampires said.
"Bring him to me alive."
"ARO HE ISN'T DANGEROUS!" I protested in a loud scream.
"Carlisle if you continue to make a scene I shall have you removed. You have broken a law and you must be punished for it."
"Your punishment," Caius said with a twisted smirk, "will be to watch your immortal child burn."
I was released and I crumpled to the ground. Aro and his brothers went back to their activities. Caius lounged lazily on a padded sofa and resumed playing with his human girl. Marcus was reading a thick book and Aro sat at a chess board.
"A game perhaps, Carlisle?"
I barely heard him.
"Carlisle you will either play chess with me or you will enjoy dinner with me."
I got up and slumped in the wooden chair on the other side of the marble board. My body was numb.
"Cheer up. You get to live."
"He's my son," I said quietly, "since a wild vampire bit him I have taken care of him. I love him dearly."
"I don't care," Aro said, taking my rook with his knight. "Carlisle you are a dear friend and you will learn that we vampires are easily distracted."
"I will hate you forever for this," I promised.
"I don't really care. Here's a secret Carlisle," Aro murmured, taking my queen with his, "there's something fascinating about you and I know you are fascinated by me. You will get over it."
I hated him with my whole being in that moment. The sinking sensation I had been feeling in my stomach had flared from a tickle to heavy pain. If Edward was alive...he was going to be killed. I wanted him to be alive. The thought of him dying alone in the ocean made me feel sick and cold, but I couldn't watch Aro kill him.
So I hoped my little vampire was dead. My immortal child, as Aro called him. I hoped he would never have to see my face as Aro killed him. He would see my resolve snap and they would kill me too because they would have to stop me somehow.
"Check," Aro said lazily, as his queen loomed over my king.
I knocked my king over and it clicked against the marble as it rolled into a pawn.
Short I know but it seemed like a good stopping place. I'm currently in between internets which BLOWS!!!