A/N: Why psalm 23? I have an attraction to the words. I'm not religious, I have no draw to it, but I think this verse is gorgeous.
Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed. It means a lot.
(The Lord is my Shepherd)
The Grim Reaper sits precariously on its pedestal just below the gates of Heaven of and Hell. The scene before it is foggy and unclear but it can see the shapes and figures that have developed in the swirling pools.
A blonde man runs from his townspeople who have turned against him. They are hunting for supernatural beings and because the preacher's son refuses to take over the church they have no other choice but to determine that he has been possessed by some devil. He gasps as his legs give out and he falls to the ground on a stack of potatoes.
The crowd catches up and as they all fight to drown him in holy water and stab the demons from him, he begins the spiraling fall into another realm. He gasps his forgiveness, screams for them to stop. Plump women say how they knew he was possessed by the devil, they shove their greasy fingers in his face to gouge his eyes out and he screams.
The townspeople see him unmoving and leave, muttering that the devil must leave his body and not enter theirs. The Reaper laughs, amused with the humans who know nothing about supernatural occurrences. It is the cause for those occurrences. The Reaper gives human's that ability to take revenge upon the people.
The young man holds his bleeding head, muttering a prayer and cursing after it. Cursing God and not the people who beat him to death. The Reaper cocks its head and watches the human die, appearing before it in a bloody torrent of scratched limbs and sticky blood.
"Welcome," the reaper murmurs, its voice echoes throughout the marsh.
"Purgatory," the man laughs bitterly and sinks to his knees, sighing and flicking away the accumulated blood.
"Indeed," the Reaper assures. "I would expect no less from the son of a preacher."
The man's head snaps up and his eyes flame, indignant. "That does not define me," he snaps. "If I am in purgatory then I have choices, do I not?"
"I want them."
The Reaper shifts and it is eager to see what this man wants of death. "You can pass through the gates to Heaven or Hell." The man looks unimpressed. "Or you can seek retribution."
"I want retribution. I want them all to suffer." His voice is a hiss. He has been a compassionate man all his life, but the moment he refused to take over the preacher position the town turned against him.
"You have limited time, use it wisely," the Reaper warns.
The man nods and grins. "I will."
Carlisle Cullen was a devoted man of the Lord. He had spent his whole life studying under his father and preaching the good word. He had wanted to do Missionary work, to spread the word to those with less than he had.
As soon as he told his father this, the wrath of which the levelheaded preacher man had turned to his only son was unfounded. He had preached the word that the Devil had gotten into his son and convinced him to refuse work as a messenger of the Lord. The town followed his word without a second thought and Carlisle was in preparation to be lynched before he ran from them.
Now, the young man stands above his body as the townspeople stack wood around it, ready to burn the Devil's spawn. Carlisle looks at each face, remembering the kind words spoken to him at the alter. Mrs. Anderson baked him bread and her husband paid him to work at the front of the shop, making an honest living to put away for future use.
Carlisle mutters curses at each one of them. His fists shake in anger and he has to breathe deeply to keep the rage down. The smoke of his body rises up into the air and he immediately knows what needs to be done. He starts off his revenge with a plague. All the children standing around the fire, watching the flames lick at his skin and inhaling his flesh, begin to choke and cough. He smiles maliciously and watches.
He wanders aimlessly long after the crowds have gone. He looks in through windows and watches as parents hover over their children and wonder what could have spiked their fevers in such a short amount of time. Carlisle's father begins to make house calls, reading last rights in case they don't survive until the morning.
The town has grown silent and without the burden of humanity, he feels the confidence to enter the chamber of a woman. She has drawn a bath and covered the window of her cottage. Her husband is gone for the night, out of town as he is every other week. Carlisle thought of this young woman many a time before. His father had taught him abstinence, to never know the touch of a woman until he became a dedicated shepherd of the Lord.
She blows out the candles in the main room and the foyer then walks back to her room where she sheds the silk robe. Carlisle watches as each inch of skin is exposed to his eyes, she is bare before him, her skin glows in the light, a pale beacon in the darkness. She slips into the tub, her breasts floating as she falls in and sighs.
He wants her with a force he isn't sure exists. His pants have become tented and he is upset to find that he would not know what to do if he took her right here. She rubs a bar of soap across her skin, a sad expression on her face and light shadows under her eyes. He watches her slim body and eyes hungrily every part of her body.
Her hand pinches a nipple and they both gasp. She has been without a man's touch for weeks now. Her husband comes now and again to seek out his own pleasure and then leaves. She only finds release by her own hand now. She wants to try things, she is still young and her curiosity makes her burn for knowledge, but her husband does not allow her to touch him without his consent.
She feels as though someone sees her, hears her silent plea and is watching. She likes the feeling of being spied on and slips her hands into the water. If anyone knew of what she did at night she would be chastised publically and humiliated, but she likes to rub her washcloth between her legs and undulate with the water.
Her breasts ache and she feels as if a heavy weight is cupping them. Carlisle grabs them gently; unsure of how far he can go before she notices he is there. He doesn't like that he cannot materialize before her yet. Until someone dies he cannot seek out action.
He vows to have Esme before he goes to hell.
By morning every child at the burning the night before has died. They all sucked in their last breath at dawn and perished. Mothers cried on their porch and children who had slept through the murder try to understand that their siblings have died.
The Reaper stands behind Carlisle, a hand upon his shoulder, giving him what he needs. He has become manic with power and he wants to get his murdering out of the way to be with Esme. He wants his last moments of life to be with the woman he's held as a deity. His body shakes when he thinks of her and he likes to watch her go about daily things.
He stops at the bakery first, finding the Andersons in the back room fiddling with the gas oven. Mr. Anderson is inside the oven, poking around at the iron shelves while the Misses stands, watching him with her plump arms resting on her stomach. She is blabbering to him how she had told months ago to install a new over. He grumbles and yells at her through the cage. Carlisle moves the matches closer to the Misses and turns the gas on.
She huffs and grabs the matches from the stove. When Carlisle was little he would marvel at her nervous habit to light matches and smell the embers that had died on the wood. He liked to watch them almost burn her fingers before she shook them out.
Mrs. Anderson lights a match and as she shakes it the burner catches fire. Mr. Anderson is on fire instantly, knocking into his wife and she screams as her dress catches. They are both walking disasters flailing about the store, screaming and crying for help. A crowd gathers round but no one dares to go into the burning building.
The two die from burns, though he can't be sure because the roof collapsed soon after the fire began. Carlisle smiles as the crowd becomes skeptical. He's spread the seed of doubt amongst the people.
That night everyone floods to the church, asking forgiveness for their sins. Carlisle sits in the back, watching his father sweat and futilely promise citizens that they'll be safe. Carlisle sneers at his father and the pressure of his glare is obvious on the man. Many people choose to have their last rights read, afraid that they will wake like the children without their life.
Carlisle follows Esme home, she is nervous the whole way, constantly looking over her shoulder. She feels the same eyes as last night but there is no one to spot in the dark alley. She rushes home, her bosom heaving at the danger of someone following and watching her sends a thrill down her spine. She's always liked danger, ever since she was a child and climbed a cherry tree. She had fallen and broken her leg, and though her friends laughed at her, a young boy told her she was brave. She instantly misses her old friend and sighs as she moves to her bed.
She thinks of Carlisle often, she didn't go after him when the town called him a demon. She understands running away from fate. She ran from her husband when she was first set to marry him. She only wishes that she was as strong as Carlisle.
She moves to the center of her bed, feeling the shame and sin that bubbles up as she removes her dress and bodice. She has thought of him in place of her husband before, whispering his name as she arches her back beneath her husband. He never listens to her, though, too caught up in his own pleasure. She is nude quickly and moves a pillow between her legs as she presses her front into the bed. Her legs straddle it and she parts her lips with gentle fingers. Her hips rock on the pillow and she muffles her cries with the comforter. There is weight on the bed and she gasps.
Carlisle kneels behind her, watching her rump in the air and her glistening vagina rub against the down of a pillow. He has never seen anything like this, never in his entire life has he dreamed of the woman he loves in this position, but he likes it. He puts his hands on her back and presses his clothed hips against hers. She gasps and sits up, eyes wide and heavy with lust.
He is unseen; he has made a promise not to have her before he finishes his mission. She stays still for a moment more, looking at the blinds that have been drawn over the window. She bites her lip and decides to stay up, rocking her hips against the pillow again. She sighs loudly and he watches her breasts bounce with each pass she makes. He likes to see her body flushed and hot, and her finger occasionally skims down to touch herself. He watches to gather information for when he has her.
She begins to moan into the air, her hands tugging at her hair and Carlisle watches Esme intently, making her body break out in puckered flesh. She leans down again, her breasts mashed into the mattress and her clitoris rubbing against the seam of the pillow. She is gasping, crying out and a name spills from her lips, unintelligible to her ears, but not to the dead man beside her.
He traces a ghostly finger up her slit to the place where she is pulsing excretion. His finger moves in easily and she clamps down around the sudden penetration. When the orgasm wares off she sits up, panicked and gasping, but no one is there.
Carlisle Cullen is outside the congregational church, glaring at the oldest building in the town. Every person is inside, he has committed a series of murders the night before, knowing that everyone would come to beg for forgiveness, he was right of course.
The Grim Reaper is by his side, folded in on itself. "You are sure?" it asks.
"More than anything," Carlisle answers.
"You have twenty four hours to do as you like, by that time I will come for you and if you so choose to go to hell or walk the earth as a motionless ghost, so be it."
"That depends on what happens after I kill all these people," he murmurs. "If I kill her, will she go to you?"
The Reaper turns to him. "She will go to purgatory, but not mine. There is a separate place for those killed by the dead."
Carlisle sighs. "I want her."
"Then go." The Reaper leaves to give Carlisle his time.
He has decided what he wants. Those who have treated him the worst will suffer the same fate as he. His father, though, he wants his father to live in pain and suffer.
Carlisle flicks a match onto the dry brush and barricades the doors. He puts up the storm locks and makes sure the wind blows away so no one in the church will notice until it is too late. By the time the first scream is heard the west side of the building is in flames.
He listens to the screams and cries of agony as men and women yell for salvation. Carlisle puts his hands inside his pockets and watches with a solemn smile. His hair is blown by the wind and he listens to the sound of windows being smashed only to find that they have been boarded and are catching fire. The church is burned to the ground in an hour and Esme has appeared, breathless and crying.
Carlisle had made sure that she did not go to church this morning, smothering her until she was passed out and safe from waking before dawn. She falls to the ground, watching the smoldering ashes of longtime friends and family. She covers her eyes and cries out.
Carlisle touches her shoulder and she jumps. Her eyes meet his and she screams in agony as the dead man comes to her. He crouches beside her, looking almost the same save for the pale, hard skin and dead black eyes. She trembles away from him and falls to her back as she crawls away.
"I knew it was you," she whispers in horror.
There is a gurgling moan from the rubble and Carlisle knows it is his father. He smiles as he sees the deformed human crawl from the ashes and gasp in pain. He doesn't want to see the damage he has caused, he realizes that it is enough and he feels a sense of almost fulfillment run through him. It's the most alive he's felt since coming here.
He pulls Esme up by her shoulders and pats away the dirt from her dress like the proper gentleman. She trembles in his grasp, but he knows what he wants and won't be denied. He has her hand and begins to walk toward her home. She tugs every now and then, but it is apparent that she is willingly following him.
The door's clicking gives him sudden power and he lifts her under the knees, bringing her to the bed and throwing her down. She enjoys his roughness but fights against him and he drops to his knees on the bed. She gasps against his lips and moans in disapproval.
"No," she whispers.
"I feel that you want me," he murmurs. "I've seen you at night; know that you want a man who takes care of you." His hand has slipped under her dress and up to her thigh.
Her breathing is heavier as his hand comes flush against her dripping heat. She thinks of dirty words and utters them wantonly. His body trembles as he says the words that are so filthy and disgusting.
"I've seen… seen the way you touch your cunt." He trembles in excitement at the dirty word. He's read them in erotic novels that his aunt had owned. He never thought the words could make everything more vibrant and surreal.
She gasps and thrusts her hips up, her legs falling open, back arching to him. He removes her clothing carefully and she assists him. Esme has dreamed of him, desired him so. She feels her body heat and shake for him and what he holds. She finds herself terrified of him for killing everyone, but she feels like a willing victim as he gives her everything she could possibly want.
"I wish you were my husband," Esme gasps. His hand is timidly undoing her dress and her midair legs twitch with every touch.
"I wish I was your husband," he whispers back. "I wish I could stay with you."
"Please?" she begs, but he shakes his head, knowing it is not possible. Instead he slips in a gentle finger, trying to reenact what he'd done the other night.
"This is my last night on earth," he tells her, an ache in his chest.
She sits up, whimpering at the feel of his hand. "Then let me please you."
He shakes his head again but she pushes him back, removing his clothing quickly and desperately. His body is everything she imagined and more. She's wanted more than brawn and money. She wants the modesty that Carlisle had always held. She wants him to touch her in the heat of the night, to feel his skin against hers instead of a brutal husband who becomes angered easily.
His pants are gone and he is naked, his pure mind is shy and he aches to turn away but she is naked, too. Her innocence is in her eyes, looking at him with pure desire. She lies against him, their torsos and hips touching and rubbing her entire body against his. He bites his lip and arches his neck. She smiles against his chest.
Esme's mouth is on him, he is in her and she moans as if he is doing something great to please her. He thrashes around, his abdomen clenching and his testicles in great pain and then release comes quickly. She drinks some and what she cannot get runs down her chest. She smiles patiently, running her fingers over the semen on her chest. He likes the sight; it's a marking that will always burn her skin.
Esme lies on her stomach and bends her knees. She has become bold and wants to be pleased for once. Carlisle knows not what to do, he sees everything exposed to him, an offering as she turns her face and bobs her hips into the air. Is he to reciprocate the action of oral pleasure? He leans forward, unsure where to start, but his nose touches the perineum and she gasps, bucking her hips up and his nose brushes against her clitoris.
He licks it gently and she screams in shock of his cold tongue. Esme's body is wired, she has yet to have an orgasm from a man and she knows she's ready. Carlisle is built for her, and he wants to make her feel what she's never thought possible. Her husband is strict, ruling and selfish, Carlisle knows that this freedom is knew for her, and he eagerly dives his tongue where his finger have gone into.
Esme gasps and one of her hands grab Carlisle's, pulling it up and guiding a finger to her clitoris. He rubs, enthusiastic to do what she wants. She moves her hips with him and cries his name over and over. The more he stimulates her the louder she says his name. He hopes that if the heavens hear he will one day be rewarded with her.
She stills completely, and before he can think that he's done something wrong, she erupts into cries and moans of his name, over and over, never stopping until her body slumps and he rolls her onto her back. She pulls him down to her, desperate to have him inside of her. She kisses him frantically, dizzy with want and touches him, guiding him inside.
Carlisle moves in and she can feel him everywhere. The warmth an incredible contrast to the cold, for them both. Carlisle moves and Esme finishes quickly, seconds before him. They collapse together, but the toll of afternoon rings through the room and Carlisle feels the tug in his chest.
"I must go," he whispers. "I have fulfilled my mission on earth."
"No!" she yells, pulling back to the bed. "No, you can't leave me. No, please don't, Carlisle!"
"I have to go… to hell," he whispers sullenly.
Her eyes widen and her breathing stops. "H-hell?"
"That is my punishment for coming to earth, to seek my retribution."
"How do I go with you?" she asks desperately.
"One has to be murdered… go to purgatory and seek retribution of their own." He is selfish and wants her to be with him. He wants his eternity of pain and suffering to be shared with the woman he loves, even if he will later grow to regret it. "I must go."
He leaves her before she can convince him otherwise. He wouldn't be able to follow her and consciously keep an eye on her; he would become a detached body roaming uselessly.
The Grim Reaper waits as Carlisle crawls through the bubbling muck, clothes rumpled and satisfaction solemnly stretched across his face.
The Reaper watches him walk through and accept his fate with an open mind. He looks to the pool connecting humans and non-humans and smiles at the destroyed woman in bed, clutching a male's shirt to her chest. The Reaper watches the woman, knowing he will face her soon.
A/N: I wonder what will happen to Esme. Will she follow Carlisle or change her mind?