After the first seven years of pretending to be Carlisle's brother, he is still getting used to introducing himself as Edward Cullen. Dishonesty was never in Edward Anthony Masen's nature. His father, an aristocrat from an age of rigid decency, had taught him better.

"What age are you passing for this time?" he asks as they look over their new home they just moved to.

"Twenty-six," Carlisle answers.

"I cannot fathom how tired you must be of pretending to be something you're not everywhere you live. I am already getting weary of it."

He smiles. "I suppose after the things I've seen in my very many years, I simply don't believe anyone is quite what they claim to be. Humans gravitate toward the normal, what is not upsetting, and they see what they want to see. They cover up a world of poverty with sophistication and manners and let people like me do the healing out of sight. And they don't notice vampires until it makes a good myth to explain their infidelity."

Edward laughs. "True. I would just think...it must get lonely staying hidden."

Carlisle looks closely at him, some subtle warmth in his eyes, then turns away as he replies softly. "Well...not anymore."