A/N: Let me set things straight: I don't own Twilight. Who told you I did? I want names.
I am fully aware that the majority of you who voted in my poll did not pick this chapter for Carlisle's POV. But after I thought about it, I figured it made more sense to start right here. If you think I did a good job, I promise that I will write at least 1 or 2 more chapters from his perspective - maybe more. But until then, here is chapter 2 of Clementines from Carlisle's POV. I hope you like it.
Four years she ate my dinners
Four years she drank my wines
And all the while
I was nourishing her
For some other crummy swines.
I slammed another useless book shut. Why was it that every poem I read reminded me of Esme?
Researching this book was going to drive me insane. I was used to my own personal library of musical literature where everything was familiar and made sense to me. In this giant library, searching for appropriate poems to compare to Debussy was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Frustrated, I was lost in my thoughts, when the something crashed into the back of my legs. Hard. Not so hard that it hurt, but hard enough to piss me off. I rolled my eyes and silently cursed as I heard a large amount of books topple loudly to the floor. Perfect. Angrily, I spun around to confront the imbecile who clearly needed to pay more attention to what he was doing.
"Excuse me?" I shot back without thinking.
I was expecting to see a clumsy teenage boy I would have to chew out, so imagine my surprise when I turned to see a young woman standing before me. Despite the fact that her large brown eyes stared into mine with shock and embarrassment, they were probably the prettiest eyes I'd ever seen. Her dark brunette hair trailed down the back of her purple and blue plaid shirt in tousled waves - almost down to top of her form-fitting jeans that were the style with a lot of my female students now. A lovely shade of pink was slowly spreading across her cheeks, and her mouth hung open in slight disbelief. My instinct was to gently close her mouth with my hand and give her the old "catching flies" routine, but I wasn't sure she'd find the same humor in it that I did.
"I mean, ar-are you okay?" she stammered, shifting uncomfortably before me.
Her adorable insecurity quickly dissipated my anger and I gave her a warm smile. "I'm fine, really - no harm done."
She seemed to visibly relax, but only for a moment.
"Again, I am so, so sorry. I should really look where I'm going." She crouched down and started picking up the books that had tumbled to the floor. "I'm such a freaking klutz."
"Ah, now I don't believe that. It was just an accident." I squatted down next to her and grabbed a few books to place back on the cart from which they had fallen.
"Oh, believe me, I make Gerald Ford look like Gene Kelly. And I'm not exaggerating."
I got the feeling that she wasn't just spouting self-deprecating humor - she really felt that way about herself. For some reason, it made me want to pull her into my arms, stroke her long hair, and tell her that it was all in her head. Obviously, I couldn't do that, so I tried to reassure her in another way.
"You weren't even alive when Ford was president, so I don't think you're allowed to make such comparisons."
I reached for another book, only to realize too late that she was reaching for the same one. Her hand shot back, and she must have lost her balance, because the next thing I knew, she was practically in the fetal position, lying on the floor. It was so coincidental with what she had just said, that I figured it couldn't have been an accident.
"You did that on purpose," I accused.
Slowly, she straightened herself up until she was on her knees - and for a split second my mind went into the gutter.
Watch it, Carlisle.
"I wish, but nope that was all me. I told you so." Clearly, she was now even more upset with herself because her cheeks flushed an even darker shade of red.
I started to laugh again, and she hastily began to gather the last of the books.
"I'll get those," I quickly offered, trying to stifle my laughter so the poor thing wouldn't feel any worse.
"Don't worry about them. I've got 'em. But thanks anyway...uh..."
"Carlisle. Dr. Carlisle Cullen."
"Dr. Cullen. Nice to meet you. I'm Bella. Again, my apologies for ramming into you like that. I hope you aren't pretending to be okay for my sake."
A small shiver traveled up my spine when she said my name - I liked it.
"Of course not, Bella. It's actually been a pleasure talking to you."
It was true. As short as our encounter was, there was something about her that had piqued my interested. I had the feeling that a remarkable, interesting woman lay under her shy exterior. She struck me as the kind of girl who had no idea how beautiful she really was. I hadn't been teaching for very long, but I had met plenty of women - students and colleagues alike - who were drop-dead gorgeous and used it to their every advantage. Of course, I had been with Esme all that time, so it hadn't mattered, but it had sort of bothered me just the same whenever they tried to flirt their way to a higher grade or position with me.
I don't know why, but something told me that Bella was different from any other girl I'd met.
I extended my hand to her, and she grasped it almost hesitantly. My fingers curled around hers and squeezed gently. Her small hand trembled a little, but then quickly relaxed. I couldn't help but grin stupidly at her, partly because I wanted to reassure her that everything was fine, but mostly because I simply enjoyed the feeling of her smooth skin on mine.
To my delight, she actually smiled back. It looked genuine and was just as beautiful as the rest of her, if not more so.
"Perhaps we'll run into each other again sometime," I continued. Just the thought of another encounter with Bella was reason enough to start frequenting the library much more often.
"I certainly hope not," she giggled.
Her captivating giggle was my only clue that she was making a joke; otherwise, I wasn't sure I would have been able to hide my disappointment from her.
"I admit, bad choice of words," I laughed with her. "Have a good evening."
"You too, Dr. Cullen."
I didn't really want to end our conversation, but I was aware that she probably needed to get back to work, so I reluctantly walked to the elevator to leave. It was pointless to try to do any more research; there was no way I'd be able to concentrate now.
Still, as I stepped inside, I turned to discreetly take in one more look. To my surprise, she was watching me as well, and my hand automatically waved to her. Just before the doors closed, I thought I saw something besides embarrassment on her face - longing.
I didn't know exactly what she was longing for, but I was already planning my return trip to the library before I'd even reached the second floor.
A/N: The poem "Good of Love" belongs to Spike Milligan
Oh, and a huge "thank you" to my lovely ladies, uhyesplease and StormDragonfly who nursed me through a lot of self doubt on this little drabble.