This is not the Carlisle story I had originally planned to post. I'm still working on that one. As you can predict, I do not own Twilight or its characters. Anything not covered under that umbrella, is from my own twisted mind. I hope you enjoy!

5/5/10 ← After time with my darling husband, I have re-worked part of this chapter. No changes in the outcome.

Chapter 1 – A change in direction

I sat in my office listening to Jasper try, once again, to reason with Edward.

"I am so tired of hearing you whine about not wanting to change Bella. That little woman loves you, boy. If you give up her love, devotion, and passion because you think you might damn her soul, you are an idiot!

She wants you, she's your singer. You'll be her sire and her mate. The two of you will experience so many firsts together. Do you know how many people crave what you have? Stop whining and man-up!"

I listened to the conversation, thinking that Jasper summed up every point I had tried to make, and with more impact. Once he had finished, I heard Edward and Jasper stomping off in different directions.

I sighed. Bella's unwanted birthday party would be interesting.

A few hours later, as expected, Bella's discomfort radiated from her in waves. How Edward and Alice could overlook it was beyond my understanding. Her awkward smiles and quietly mumbled words of thanks were enough to make me want to call the whole thing off.

And then it happened. I heard the gift wrap slice through the skin on her finger. I heard the pulse of blood as it pooled and pushed its way through the tiny slit. As if in slow motion, I watched as the single crimson drop hit the floor. Still not fully aware of what 'vampire' really meant, Bella did not react.

Edward and Jasper each coiled, reacting in different ways to the just-released ambrosia. Even I could not fully deny the potency of Bella's blood.

The aftermath was interesting. While I tended to her injuries, Bella and I had a good talk, though not the one I really wanted to have. I wanted to tell her what to expect. I wanted to reveal all Alice told me after she and Jasper first arrived, and then after I realized she was The One.

With each piece falling into place just as Alice's visions showed, I was ready to get to the end result of a once again happy family.

After Edward returned from driving Bella home,I could hear Edward and Jasper arguing again.

"We aren't safe for her to be around. We have to leave." Edward growled out.

"I will not leave a member of our family. I would never have hurt Bella. Ever." Jasper's calm voice was barely a whisper in contrast to Edward's holler.

"Then what do you call what happened tonight? You lunged for her over one drop of blood! You can't tell me you can control yourself when one drop makes you react that way!"

"You arrogant little prick! Why do you think I struggle? Did you ever stop to think about that, you little asshole? My control is second only to Carlisle unless I'm in a room full of thirsty, blood-lustin' vampires! I have turned hundreds of thousands of vampires and slipped only the first time. I can't fight against all y'all, especially when even Carlisle feels the burn!

Have you noticed that in the time that I've lived with you, your bloodlust is under control? No urges to slip until you met your singer? Why do you think that is? Because you are so exceptional that you're the only vampire who has ever resisted draining his singer? Are you so much better than Emmett? No, you're not. So I'll tell you: I absorb that bloodlust." I could hear Jasper's hand pound at his chest and my heart broke for his pain.

"Absorb! Not notice, not reflect – absorb. So fuck you and your self-righteous rant about my lack of control." I knew Edward was shocked to silence, though it would not last long once I stood with Jasper.

"Carlisle! I need you!" Jasper's voice rang out.

I ran down the stairs to stand for my closest friend. The surprise on Edward's face when I stood next to Jasper was nearly comical. He was such an unobservant boy sometimes.

Edward made his plea for the family to pack up and leave Bella. Even without Alice's visions, I would never leave Bella.

"How can you ask your family to leave a member behind? I would no sooner leave Rosalie or Alice behind. What you are asking is selfish and cruel. Absolutely not." I could feel Jasper's anxiety rising, pouring off him. I wanted to reach out to him, but here was not the place.

"I want a family vote, then. You can't very well make the decisions for all of us." The pout in Edward's voice showed him for the seventeen year old he was when I changed him.

"Edward, you can't very well make this decision for all of us. We don't need a family vote to decide if we will abandon a member of the family. It. Will. Not. Happen. There is no discussion. I suggest you take some time away. Go to Denali until you come to your senses." Edward did little to hide his anger as he stormed to his room and slammed the door. With that, Jasper and I left for a hunt and a bit of time away.

What Edward had failed to realize over the years was that Jasper and I had become very good friends in the time since they showed up at our door. It was true that Jasper struggled with our diet, and for the very reasons he told Edward.

Being the selfish boy he was, Edward saw only that Jasper slipped. He never saw the burden that his own bloodlust, and that of everyone else, had on Jasper. He never saw the abject horror and remorse Jasper had after a slip. Only Alice and I saw those times. After a while, only I remained as witness to Jasper's soul-wrenching anguish. I knew that his guilt over this near slip would overshadow any actual slip he'd ever had.

As with each move over the years, Esme made sure that I had a small house or cabin near the big house. The space was always just for me, and held some of my favorite things from my travels over the nearly four hundred years of my existence. Only Esme ever came to my place. It served as a haven for my mind and my soul. Everything in it had moved to each new place we lived, packed and unpacked by only me.

After one particularly difficult slip for Jasper, I invited him to spend time with me at the cabin. During that time, we found that, while we had little in common in our experiences, we had much in common in our outlook. While Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, and even Alice, were like children to me, Jasper stood out as more of an equal. Each of the 'children' had something they needed from me. With Alice as his companion, Jasper had no expectations of me at all. For me, it was a refreshing place to start a relationship.

Over time, Jasper and I found that we enjoyed our time together, both in silence and in animated discussions. We discussed our experiences, historical events we'd witnessed, politics and how it changed over the years. We argued and debated our opposing points with fervor and passion. More often than not, we would agree to disagree, though on a rare occasion, one of us was able to sway the other to our way of thinking.

During a discussion about Jasper's ability, we realized that, even in a room full of humans, the ever-present hum of bloodlust was gone while Jasper and I were together. Jasper found solace in my company because I had become nearly immune to the siren song of human blood.

Over the years, more and more of Jasper's things made their way into my space, until his most prized possessions occupied it. The surviving pieces of his Civil War uniform, small trinkets he was able to 'liberate' from his childhood home, as well as items he'd found over the years, all found places amongst the shelves of the cabin. Only Esme ever joined us there,, and she rarely ventured out, saying that our conversations bored her to tears. We all enjoyed a laugh over that.

Leaving my musings to re-focus on the present after our hunt, Jasper and I ran to my cabin, well, our cabin, in silence. I could feel him relax the closer we got to our retreat.

Once through the doors, I sat on the leather couch, appreciating the warmth generated by the already lit fireplace. Alice's gesture was a subtle reminder of her care for Jasper.

Trying to work through his agitation, Jasper paced. I could tell he was getting ready to vent his frustrations. His hands began to gesture, fisting and relaxing, pulling at his hair.

"The nerve of that arrogant ass! He's going to tell me I don't have control! He's going to tell me to split my family so Bella can 'be safe'. Fuck that! Little bastard. I aughta kick his ass."

I kept quiet, knowing that Jasper was not actually talking to me, but muttering while he paced. Once he calmed, a task I was silently helping with, he would be ready to talk.

During Jasper's pacing, I thought back to the first time I invited Jasper to the cabin for relaxation, rather than to recover from a slip.

That day, Edward's lonely brooding and anger over one of Emmett's jokes had Jasper on edge, so I took him down to the cabin. I showed Jasper around, pointing out this or that object and telling its history. Jasper took some time to look at the books on my shelves. One particular title, Civil War by subject, caught his attention.

"You know, this book has the most inaccurate descriptions." Jasper pulled it carefully from its place to show me. It brought a smile to my face when I saw it.

"That was the first book I bought after you and Alice came to stay with us. I wasn't really affected by that particular war, so I wanted to learn more about your time and place. I have learned more about that time, but that book has certain nostalgia for me, now." Jasper look of surprise was at once sweet and disheartening.

"You do know that you are my family, don't you Jasper?" His answering shrug told me that I had not done as well as I thought at letting Jasper know his place. I gathered my feelings for Jasper; confidence, friendship, care; and tried to push them out for Jasper to feel.

"Thank you, Carlisle. It's good to feel that." His smile was bright and his drawl strong. My name came out as 'core liiiiiile' with the 'i' sound nearly its own syllable. I had to chuckle at the marked difference in our accents, though mine was nearly gone.

"You know, I really would like to hear about your experiences from that time. I'm interested in your opinions of the political climate and social implications."

"Really? Are you sure? Everyone else seems to have gotten tired of that." Jasper looked skeptical, but hopeful.

"Really, Jasper. I think it'll be fascinating to hear about that time, first hand. And it will give me a little insight into you." I smiled, showing him that I was sincere.

What followed was one of the most interesting, educational, and entertaining discussions I've had in years.

The more excited Jasper got, the more his arms moved, punctuating his points in the air. His smile was electrifying as he reenacted a ridiculous bayonet duel he was in, shuffling his feet and moving bodily through the space.

The fondness of the memory, and Jasper's ability to pick up on the emotions I had in recalling it, at last had the desired calming effect on him. I was brought back to the present when he sat next to me.

"Sorry, Carlisle. I shouldn't let him get me so worked up." Jasper's shoulders were slumped, head resting in his hands.

"I know why you do. He doesn't look around to see his effect on us. He is every bit a teenager in many ways."

"Neither of us is that much older than he is." Jasper turned to face me. I could see the emotions battling in his eyes. He had yet to address the guilt over nearly attacking Bella. I decided to let that go. Only for now.

"No, we're not, but the time when he grew up and the apparent coddling I've done over the years don't help."

Just as Jasper started to speak, his phone emitted Alice's ring.

"Yes ma'am." Jasper's voice was back to radiating calm confidence.

"Edward is about to do something really stupid, Jasper. You need to go get Bella from the woods behind her house. If you leave right now, you can put that idiot in his place." Alice's voice was laced with anger at her brother and sadness for her sister.

"We're on our way, Babe."

"No, Jasper, just you. Leave Carlisle at the cabin and take Bella there."

"As you wish." Without another word, Jasper was gone.

Thanks to TillyWhitlock for looking this over and making sure it didn't stink and for giving me some excellent ideas. I needed that little bit of extra confidence. Let me know what you think. I have the first four chapters written. You know I'm impatient when I have stuff written, so expect quick updates. I expect this will be ten or fifteen chapters, so hold on for a bumpy ride! The edits I made on this chapter are because my husband asks all the right questions and helps me be better. Thanks, Love! And, thanks to MrsAlreyami, who knows what I meant to say, even if it doesn't make it out of my head.