I'm not Stephenie Meyer, and I'll put her characters back in their boxes when I'm done playing with them. I promise.

A Sense of Foreboding

Carlisle's POV

I made my way up to Edward's room where I heard Claude Debussey's Claire deLune playing from his stereo. I smiled; he'd been playing that a lot lately. I knew he had his reasons for playing that particular peaceful nocturnal tune. I also knew we hadn't had a chance to talk about what happened in Phoenix. Edward was mostly quiet and I had a sense that not everything was right on the drive home. Charlie insisted on flying back with Bella and Alice only.

"Edward, can you come take a run with me - it wouldn't hurt if you hunted while we were out as well. And, how much longer until you need to leave to see Bella?" I asked this as I translated the surgery of a heart transplant into Italian.

He sighed before responding, "I have a couple of hours," he said while flipping off the stereo. I never thought I'd see the day that my "youngest" son would have to deal with the grounding of his human girlfriend.

"I know," Edward said with a slight smirk.

I chuckled at the thought, granted it was far later than I ever expected, but he gave new meaning to the word father, for me. We made it to the clearing we used for our games before stopping to rest on a boulder.

"Edward, I get the sense of foreboding that you're going to leave us again someday. Why do I feel that way?"

Edward sighed, "Bella almost got herself killed because of me. I selfishly brought her into our world, even though she doesn't belong here. One of these days something is going to happen and I'm going to have to leave her."

I gaped at him before answering, "Edward, she's your mate."

"We haven't done that," Edward growled at me.

What? That's not what I was talking about. "That's a conversation for another time; I'm talking about the repercussions of your leaving her. That would tear you apart, not to mention her."

"She's human, humans fall into and out of love all the time, she'll get over it, she'll get over me. Carlisle, have you ever seen the front of a teenage girl's notebook? There are so many scribbles with names of boys crossed out underneath "I love" their flavor of the week. It's ridiculous. Love doesn't hold the same meaning for humans as it does for us."

Girls these days are so forward, what did the women's liberation movement do? "Edward, I'm well aware of that. What I'm also aware of is the level of commitment I've seen between the two of you. In all my years, I'm not sure I've seen any level that can rival it." She loves you, whole heartedly.

"I'm sure it's different for her, but yes, I love her. I love her more than I should. When I'm away from her, like now, I'm uneasy. Nothing is right in the world when I'm away, but when I decide I need her to be away from me because it'll be safer without me, then I'll make sure it's as if I've never existed."

"You would just disappear if that's what's best for—her?" I could barely choke out the words. Could he?


Did he just answer both questions?


What? He wouldn't... "Don't you think she should get a choice in the matter?"

"She would choose wrong and if it comes down to her mortality versus her immortality, then no."

"So you gave her the choice to fall in love with you, but—"

"Look, Carlisle, humans 'break up' all the time, this really isn't that different. To the outside world we're just two teenagers who broke up because it didn't work out."

"She loves you, and I'm not sure it's revocable, if that possible for a human. Should I get Jasper to give you a rundown of her level of commitment to you the next time she's around?" Because I can feel it myself, the way she looks at him is the way Esme looks at me.

"That's not necessary, Carlisle. My job is to protect her from every outside force that is willing to hurt her. If that means taking myself out of the equation then I will. I'll suffer for her so that she can have a happy life without me. She deserves so much more than this life or existence."

"You wouldn't be able to stay away. I couldn't leave Esme, at least not for any serious length of time. If something happened to her then I couldn't live in a world where she doesn't exist."

"Then you get my point."

"But that is my point, as her husband, no, as her mate my job is to stand by her, not turn tail and run as soon as something bigger comes along to break us apart. Please, just think about, Edward."

"I have. This is the best solution I have come up with. Bella and I have discussed this to an extent. I promised I wouldn't leave her unless it wasn't the best thing for her anymore."

"So, she knows there's a possibility you'll leave her?"


"And how did she take it?" When did this discussion happen?

"The heart moniters were quite erratic, and she was just short of a panic attack."

My thoughts were muddled and my mouth started talking before my brain could catch up. "You talked to her about this in the hospital? Edward, she just came through a harrowing ordeal and you discussed this in the hospital?" I shook my head, even Edward had sunk to a new low that I didn't know was possible for him.

"Yes, that wasn't my most brilliantly timed conversation to have with someone. She's so adamant about being changed it just kind of happened."

"You know Alice's visions haven't changed, right? She still sees Bella as one of us." Cold, pale, red eyes...

"That's all the more reason for me to get away from her when I think it's time for all of us to leave."

"You'd make us all leave?" Leave? The family is not going to like this.

"When I leave, I want to make it as if I never existed, I told you this. That would include all of us leaving her. I want to make a clean break and let her have all that life has to offer with out the interference of us, as if we all had died as were supposed to."

"I suppose I will honor your wishes, but I will make sure that nothing happens to make you have to make that choice. Something tells me that it would not only tear you up, but the rest of the family as well." Not to mention Bella, I can't make that a promise.

"Can you promise me that you'll respect whatever I decide is best for her?"

No. "I can't promise that. I can respect your wishes, but as your father, I have five other people I have to take into consideration as well. Actually, six, I consider Bella a part of the family. She's the missing puzzle piece we've all waited for. And we didn't know it was missing. Please consider that as well."

"I will accept that, if that's as good as it's going to get from you."

"Edward, don't leave us, don't leave her. You can't."

"Funny, she said nearly the exact same thing to me."

Then listen to us...

I let this sink in for a little bit. We sat looking over the field; I was contemplating how we got to this point. I could almost see the three nomads coming out of the tree line when Edward hissed at my internal thoughts. "Sorry, Edward, this is the first time I've been back since our baseball game, so much has happened in such a short amount of time."

"I know, believe me, I know, but if leaving is the best thing for her, then that's what I'll do. But not today, I'll let you know when the time is right."

"I really hope that day doesn't come. The devastation that will come to our family is not one I'll enjoy. Not to mention your devastation. Losing a mate is not something to be taken lightly. Please consider, and consider again."

"I will, Carlisle, thank you."

"Ready to go back?"

"Yes, Charlie will be snoring soon," Edward said with a smile.

As we ran back I still couldn't shake the sense of foreboding despite our talk. If anything, it was more ominous.