Beta One: Brits23
Beta Two: duskwatcher
Twi Beta: Shasta53
Disclaimer: see chp 1
Fishtown was a small but quaint neighborhood mostly inhabited by German fisherman and their families our home, however, was a secluded old colonial attached to a small stable with two chestnut steeds and an elegant carriage. Our nearest neighbor was almost a mile away. Our home, however, was a secluded old colonial attached to a small stable with two chestnut steed and an elegant carriage. Our nearest neighbor was almost a mile away. Considering we lived on the town's border, it would only arouse suspicion if we arrived everywhere a foot. During our travel from Japan to Philadelphia, I had been skeptical that I could love another house as I had in Tokyo. However, once we had arrived at the large colonial home, I had fell, in love with the house and the large winding porch, and lush garden that surrounded the home. This house was no longer the Pembroke Estate, but the home of Mr. and Mrs. Cullen. Yes, I was now a married woman. I had married the man I loved so dearly, yet my darling husband remained none the wiser to my ever growing feelings.
On our boat ride from Asia, Carlisle had once again started in about us living in sin even when I pointed out we had done nothing for him to feel shame, but this was Carlisle. He had such passion in his beliefs that it was hard for me to extinguish the ever hopeful spark in his eye. So when he had taken me for a midnight stroll around the ship, he had blindsided me with a proposal I had only fantasized about. Unfortunately, his proposal had been one of convenience. The ceremony had been small conducted by the Captain, and Mr. and Mrs. Mertz, an elderly couple that had witnessed our union. Mrs. Mertz had been so touched by a couple so in love as we that she had the cook aboard prepare a meal fit for a queen for us, and those aboard ship, much to her husband's protests. Angela Mertz had not taken our objections to heart and had even given me her own honeymoon night dress that she took on everyone of her travels. She had even taken it upon herself to decorate our cabin with nearly a dozen candles. While the gesture had been pure in heart, her mothering had gone unused.
Our entire first night as husband and wife had been spent not in a constant lover's embrace as I had once dreamed of. Should Carlisle ever return my love that is. It was quite the contrary as I spent the night gazing out at the shadowed moon, and Carlisle had his nose buried in yet another medicinal book his mentor had gifted him. My husband had been oblivious to the silent shattering of my heart. The rest of our time at sea had been spent in much of the same way with the exception of my evening walks about the deck with Angela and her husband. Angela and Fitzpatrick good-naturedly bickered as we walked, and I could not help my envious thoughts and wishes that Carlisle and I could be like them or that he spent any time with me at all. Even Lord Lavery had spent some moments with me at the start of our wedlock, but Carlisle had yet to leave his books and mountains of notes. I, for the most part, spent my first week as a new bride with the Mertz's.
Every time they inquired of my wayward husband, I told them the water sickness had struck again, and that he was laid up abed. When they would begin to grow concerned, I had dragged my husband away from his books and forced him to socialize even if he was forced to feign illness. The same vicious cycle continued for the few weeks they remained at sea. Upon arrival in New York I bid a tearful farewell to the elderly couple that reminded me so of my loving parents, as they were off for Jamestown and we for Philadelphia.
Arriving in Philadelphia, more specifically the small town aptly called Fishtown, on a cloudy murky morn, Carlisle set out to procure us a home on the border close to the untouched wilderness. Although upon inspection the town was not ripe with any animal other that horses or house pets. We would be forced to hunt just across the river in New Jersey, where the forest was ripe with deer and a small population of bears.
The first week in our new town had been spent in the small inn called Pryzyibla, run by a sweet middle-aged Polish couple. We resided there until Carlisle had found us our home.. Before we had even properly moved in, he set out to find himself an office to aid the citizens we would both unknowingly grow to love.
Carlisle found a spacious corner home to house his office in a matter of days and had officially hung out his shingle. I smiled at the thought of his beaming face when his office was flooded with thankful, and curious immigrants. I however, now had a day job besides my night stalking. I was now his assistant, as I was probably the only being on earth that could read his atrocious handwriting, filing charts, cleaning the equipment, and scheduling appointments.
When Carlisle had first suggested I help out in the office, I had been skeptical at best. I had already found my calling; protecting those around me from the monsters that forever lurked in the darkness of the night. Although I had to give it to Carlisle, brilliant man that he was. He knew I would fall in love with the people that surrounded me. I had become quite fond of a small Polish family. The Furtek's were the most hospitable family in Fishtown. Lily and Evan Furtek and their dashing son Alexander had been Carlisle's first patients. Lily had immediately introduced herself with a giddiness I had not seen since Rebecca was fourteen, and I would watch her from the tree tops.
Evan was more subdued than his wife. While he was kind and the epitome of a gentleman, he was shyer than the overpowering force that was his wife. Alexander was quite shy for a man as handsome as he was. To all the young ladies in Fishtown he was the Polish version of Romeo, the perfect husband material for any young debutant or fisherman's daughter. Or at least that is what Olivia Baumgärtner had sighed as she waited for her father to conclude his examination. Yet Alexander remained none the wiser. His mother was not as oblivious and had merely rolled her eyes. As Lily had so often said, her Alexander was meant for schooling at University, not yet settling down into marriage. Alexander seemed to agree as he was in two months time beginning his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, a university Benjamin Franklin had dreamed up and put into works back in the seventeen hundreds.
Lily, in the few short weeks we had inhabited the small town, had become the dearest friend I ever had the pleasure of having. She was a force of nature, that girl.
Carlisle and I had only been in the town for four weeks when we were invited to dinner. With Lily's unwillingness to take no for an answer, Carlisle and I had been forced to endure a meal that Evan and Alexander assured us was quite delicious. We would have to take their word for it.
It was that night, after the dinner party had concluded ,that I began my patrol. Never had I expected to find a starved newborn yards from my dear friend's home. His ruby eyes glittered with murderous intent- An intent that I would never allow to be fulfilled. He never tasted the blood of the Furtek family as they obliviously went about their night. All he tasted was justice, for I had tried to get him to convert to a life of peace. An invitation which had been crudely rejected. He was easy pickings for me. I could still remember the surprise on his face as my teeth sunk into his flesh and uprooted his head from his shoulders. It pained me that I felt no remorse as I slowly tore him to shreds and set him ablaze. Even now I knew I would do so again. I would never regret ending the lives of murderous beings out to end the lives of the mortals around them for nothing more than sport and food. So many I had destroyed had claimed it was just their nature. Nature was learned as far as I was concerned. Carlisle and I had changed our predestined nature; it was a choice. A choice so few had made.
"Bella?" Carlisle spoke from behind me, startling me out of my memories. How this man always managed to sneak up on me was quite annoying. Scowling, I turned from the window and struggled to retain my irritation at the sight of his breath-taking smile. Over the past month, my feelings had been spiraling out of control. My stomach was constantly in knots every time he smiled; I was enthralled with his personable approach to life. He was everything Peter wasn't, everything I had always dreamed of.
It had taken me years to truly see my childhood fantasy prince morph into the man that had saved me. It was growing more difficult by the day to hide my love and devotion. Giving myself a mental shake, I forced a smile to my lips. Today was my one day off from the office, the day I used to entertain the ladies from town and swap stories over our needle point.
It was not something I particularly enjoyed, but Carlisle had suggested it would look odd that I was the only lady in town to never attend nor host a 'ladies' circle. The things I did for that man. Having Lily there to share mocking glances with, however, was its only redeeming quality.
Carlisle shifted nervously, as he always did when he inquired about the 'Ladies' circle. "How was your day, dear?"
I scowled in return and lifted the basket of supplies from the hall chair. "Oh, quite enjoyable, sweetie. Widow Burger was quite graphic about her nights with Mr. Adlersflügel, the town barber, and her days with Lance the stable hand. The others were scandalized that a sixty year old lady would talk of such things." I called back over my shoulder as I headed for the den to store the art supplies.
Carlisle coughed uncomfortably and followed me down the hall, only pausing to dust his father's cross with his sleeve. I swallowed a giggle. For a man of medicine, he was quite uncomfortable with the subject of love making. If I still had the ability to blush I would have, but what Carlisle didn't know wouldn't hurt me. While I had been slightly embarrassed by the Widow's crassness Lilly had found it nearly hysterical. Continuing into the study, I opened up the large hope chest and stored the supplies before turning to face my love. Carlisle fingered his collar and closed the lid of the chest with a loud crack.
I hissed at his stupidity and examined the antique the Mertz's had gifted me and had shipped by carriage all the way from Jamestown.
If the fool had so much a splintered the wood I would tear him the shreds. Finding the chest still intact, I turn and slapped him sharply against his chest. Luckily for him he already had a sheepish look plastered across his chiseled features. He was about to open his mouth to speak when the pounding of horse hooves in the distance distracted them and the faint smell of fresh blood gave us pause. Expecting no one, I knew it was an emergency. Silently Carlisle sprinted from the room to clean and organize his supplies while I moved swiftly to the guest room, stripping the bed of its musty unused linens and replacing them with fresh white homespun cotton ones. I had made these sheets specifically for moments like these.
The smell of fresh blood became stronger with each beat of the horse hooves. The smell alone alerted me to the severity of the injury. Something was horribly wrong. After completing a quick swipe of the room, removing every dust particle in sight, I rushed toward the large window of the living room. The carriage had finally arrived with Carlisle already out the door and wrenching the carriage door open, nearly releasing the heavy wood from its hinges. I cringed and hustled to the kitchen for the fresh bandages and water Carlisle had already set out. I quickly set about pulling his tools from the alcohol bath he had placed them in and onto the linen wrapped sterling silver tray.
I cringed at the agonized cries of the injured man and heartbroken cries of a frightened woman as they bled through the walls and assaulted my sensitive ears. Even with my knowledge of the amount of blood present, I sent up a silent prayer to the Lord praying for the patient and for my husband. Carlisle had a soft heart and took every loss as his failure. "He thought that if only he had been better, more educated, and more talented that maybe he could have saved them.
Grabbing up the tray and balancing the water basin on my arm, I rushed into the parlor as Carlisle and an elderly man carried in a screaming young chap. A chap I knew all too well. Alexander Furtek was being carried into the bedroom by Carlisle and Evan, bleeding heavily from his neck and shoulder. Lily appeared in the doorway in her white Sunday best church dress, saturated with deep crimson rivers and rings of her son's blood.
Her blue eyes found me as I stood frozen. Dimly I knew Evan had returned and relieved me of Carlisle's equipment and the porcelain basin. Yet I could only focus on the cutting gaze of my dear friend, my sister in every way that mattered. For moments she said not a word before her tearful eyes burned into mine.
"Save him Bella. You can save him."
"I am no doctor Lily. I-" I began to protest but her hard, knowing voice halted my rambling tongue.
"Make him one of you," she demanded. I felt my world shift on its axis as I stared openly shocked at my friend.
"One of us?" I questioned stupidly. Her nod was sharp as she stepped forward, placing her blood encrusted hand on my arm.
"Make him a vampire. Please, give him the same chances in life that you and Carlisle have had," she whimpered. "Make my boy a hero." She sobbed when Alexander's agonizing cries echoed throughout the silent halls.
"How?" I asked feebly.
"I have always suspected something odd. But that night of the dinner party I saw you. I saw that beast," she explained, twisting her hands. "He was evil, I could see it. You spared us. The grace of God brought you into our lives to save us. To save Alexander. Turn him Bella. Train him to be a hero."