Title: TheUnspoken Word
Word Count: 1018
Spoilers: I don't know whether I can count Breaking Dawn here because this isn't taken from anything in the book, although it is the eve of Bella's wedding to Edward so...?
Summary: "I'm getting married tomorrow," she says. "You have to tell me how you feel, Carlisle."
Author's Note: I enjoy writing short stories as they are a reprieve from longer pieces that need attention and consistency, hence this is my third one-shot in a week. I would absolutely encourage any fanfic writers for the Bella/Carlisle fandom to try their hand at the fic-a-thon table as there are plenty of thought provoking words to choose from! As I mentioned before, I cannot post links on this page but if you visit Google and type in 'Carlisle and Bella fic-a-thon' or something resembling that, the first search will be the LiveJournal page with the challenge details. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading this and I'll see you all again soon!
The unspoken word never does harm – Lajos Kossuth
"I'm getting married tomorrow," she says firmly as we stand facing each other in the music room. She had followed me in here, a look of grim determination marring her beautiful features. Her youth is betrayed by the lines on her forehead. I feel my fingers tighten around the neck of my cello.
"Yes," I say, finding my voice in the pit of despair.
"You need to tell me now how you feel, Carlisle." She pleads with her eyes but I don't know whether she wants me to confirm that I am in love with her or insist that the feelings she suspects I harbour are nothing but her imagination.
I am conflicted by how urgently she needs to know and I wish that I could see inside the enigma of her, work her out. Perhaps then I could understand why she affects me as she does and learn how an ordinary human girl had taken everything I knew and had turned it on an axis. If only I could see inside her and understand what she wants me to say.
Indeed her eyes continue to plead, but her expression gives nothing else away. I am alone in this decision, left to make a choice that will alter the path of my future and hers, irrevocably. I could tell her the truth; that I love her with every sentient of my being. That I think of her in Persian so Edward won't understand the desperate and always illicit train of my thoughts. I could tell her that nothing in this mortal world could give me as much happiness and pleasure as being with her until the end of time. Until the apocalypse is upon us and our judgement day is reached.
I could tell her that barely a moment passes in which I do not pause to linger on a thought of her and that she symbolises everything that is joyful and intriguing and beguiling in my life. That love is not just a hollow notion created by poets and playwrights to fill books and theatres. That it becomes a real, corporeal being in the mind and that it breathes life into a withered soul.
Or I could deny my feelings, dismiss them as a fleeting idea belonging to a lonely vampire with too many years past – and too many still to live. Or better yet, I could deny the existence of them altogether. Then she can depart the music room into Edward's arms, safe in the knowledge that there was only one path written in this world for her and that she is going to take it tomorrow. She can sleep in Edward's embrace and believe that fate offers one destination and that all roads will eventually lead to it.
She watches me now, shifting with anxious impatience while I stall. While I make this life-changing choice with such little time and without ample reflection.
If she believes that life might offer another end and that it lies with me, I will destroy the foundations of my family; Edward will never survive the implosion of his heart and Esme's golden eyes will hint at an eternal despair that I cannot fathom ever being willing to see. They are good people with hearts filled with kindness and love, whose already tortured existence cannot be made worse by my selfishness.
And selfish it would be to speak of my love for Bella. Even if she too might feel the claws of forbidden love in her heart, consideration must be made for others. We are not an island, untouched or unreachable. Not all thoughts and feelings can be spoken, declared, confirmed.
She takes a step back.
"Your silence tells me all I need to know," she says calmly. "Goodnight, Carlisle." My knuckles hurt as my fingers tighten further around the neck of the cello. Watching her go is like being impaled by a burning spike. Her retreating back sears my chest and fills me with fiery longing and I almost relent. I almost call her name. The syllables form on my tongue and are mere seconds away from verbalisation. But I stand my ground... her hand turns the doorknob, she takes another step forward and another and then she's gone.
"Goodnight, Bella," I say to the empty room. The air around me is charged as though the spirits of the universe had been an audience to this moment between us. It must have Bella's presence that had held them in captivation, for the electrical energy begins to dissipate now that I am alone. The atmosphere becomes as hollow as the void in my chest.
A choice has been made and the future sealed. It's almost godly how easy it is to manipulate the path of fate, to change a potential outcome from one thing to another. Merely words left unspoken. A confession... an admission of love. If I had told her, she would have called the wedding off. She would have lamented about where her heart lay and possibly – probably – she would have been swept away by my courageous declaration of love. Bella would have become mine.
But such a choice would not have been courageous. Courage is the difficult choice. Courage is sacrifice and on this night, on the eve of my son's wedding to the woman I had fallen so wholly in love with, I have sacrificed the single chance I had to be with her.
Tonight, the hearts of many have been spared. Bella will be happy with Edward because she does love him, Esme will never know of my betrayal to her and my son will finally be joined for eternity with a mate – after almost a century of loneliness.
I sit behind the cello, position the horsehair bow above the strings and draw a reverberating melody of despair and melancholy from the bowels of the instrument. As my fingers move with practised ease, my mind continues to muse about the choices that I have made.
The unspoken word never does harm.
Except to me.
A/N: I know it is mentioned in the books somewhere what instruments all the Cullens play, and I cannot remember what they are. I tried to research it on Google, but to no avail. Anyway, in my mind, I just always imagine that Carlisle can play the cello and this is because the cello is a lowly, melancholy sound that (in my opinion) seems to fit his sort of hidden sadness.I hope you liked this and, although it didn't end happily (because not all stories do), I hope the insight into Carlisle felt accurate in your minds. I am going to go write another chapter for Saviour in the Night, which I hope to upload later tonight. I am still sick, and it really, really sucks not being able to breathe through my nose! Grr! Please review! Pereybere x