Rating: T.

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, if I did I would be very rich and not trying to find a job right now.

Esme wakes after her fall to find Dr Carlisle Cullen looking at her. Little does she know that her life is about to be turned upside down. Canon Oneshot, Esme/Carlisle.

Beginning to a New Life

The first thing I remembered was pain. The pain of my baby dying; beautiful, fragile, never had a chance to live. The pain of the fall. A voice. Someone bit me. Razor-edged teeth. Fire coursed through my veins. I begged for death but it didn't come. Each second felt like an eternity. I felt my heart racing; hotter, faster. More pain. Surely the end would come now. My heart would break if there was anymore.

My heart did break, stuttering weakly, the pain forcing it to its last beat. I gave another scream, cursing whoever had done this to me, the creature with the piercing fangs.

I heard muted voices like listening through water. "Her heart's stopped, it won't be long now," said a voice.

There was a noncommittal hum from a second voice. This voice was different… enticing. I felt like I could listen to this voice forever. And yet, even though the voice was magical and beautiful, it seemed strangely familiar.

I felt the last few flames in my corpse-like figure die out and the last vestiges of life drain away. My eyes flickered open and darted frantically around the candle lit room. I saw flecks of dust dancing in the humid air. A small scratch in the ceilings beams. I heard a spider stuttering across the ceiling, it sounded like thunder. The detail was terrifying.

A tender, lilting baritone voice played from above me. It was like a voice from a dream. "Esme, can you hear me?" the man that had spoken second asked.

I gazed above me and was met with a pair of worried topaz eyes. Beautiful eyes that seemed strangely familiar. Like those from a dream. My muscles tensed and fast, faster than I imagined possible, I was crouched on the opposite side of the room, growling.

The growling made me stop and wonder what had caused such a strange reaction. I didn't consider it normal behaviour for a human to growl, if that was even what I was anymore.

I noticed there were two men standing across the room from me. One was tall and slender with tidily brushed-back blonde hair. The other was slightly shorter with messy bronze-coloured hair. I noticed that they both had identical golden eyes and both pairs were watching me cautiously.

It took me a moment of searching through my dim memories to realise where I had seen the blonde man before. I'd been sixteen and had fallen from a cherry tree in the back of the family estate because I was hiding from one of my many suitors. I'd been rushed to hospital by my parents and he had been the doctor that had sorted my leg. I'd never met anyone that had held so much compassion, especially for a woman who happened to be much younger than him.

"Esme, I know it's confusing, but it'll all be okay," the blonde doctor promised, holding his hand out to me.

I took a deep breath, realising that I shouldn't have been able to last so long without doing so. It seemed that breathing altogether seemed entirely unnecessary but felt pleasant and comforting all the same. Like a piece of something familiar from a past life.

"What's happening to me, Dr Cullen?" I asked, easily remembering his name from our previous meeting. How could I ever forget the name of that particular presence in my life? My voice sounded different, had that strange musical tone to it.

"You fell," the one with bronze hair said.

"I jumped," I corrected, remaining in my corner.

"Edward," Dr Cullen scolded and offered me his hand again.

I didn't take it but made my way over to the bed that I had been previously lying on. I sat down gracefully and fixed my eyes on the blonde man once again. "What's happening to me?" I repeated. "Apart from the jumping bit." I remembered that perfectly.

I felt a painful throb in the back of my throat, the kind that one gets if they haven't had a drink in days. I suppose I couldn't have drunk anything in the time that my body had been burning. I tried to wet my mouth in order to help my throat but a sweet, thick substance that was definitely not saliva coated this area. I grimaced and looked frantically between the two men.

The bronze haired man chucked and a look of comprehension settled across Dr Cullen's features. "You're thirsty," he commented.

I nodded, surprised that even this motion was quicker than should ever have been possible.

"I shall explain as we run," he promised, gesturing for me to follow him out of the room.

As we came out into the hallway, I noticed a large gilded mirror was fixed to the wall. In that mirror, a terrifyingly beautiful young woman was gazing. I looked behind me, certain that there must be someone else there. It took less than a second for my vast mind to realise that she was me but I still couldn't accept the fact. She was gorgeous; her caramel curls falling just past her shoulders, her skin silky white (just as my mother had tried to encourage for years), her lips were full and red, her body slender yet rounded in just the right places. I stifled a gasp as I looked into her eyes; playful blue had been replaced by a vicious ruby-red, edged with black.

"They will pass," the Doctor insisted, opening the door for me like a true gentleman.

I stepped out into the darkness. Dawn was just about breaking on the horizon and there were few clouds. I noticed that the house was huge and I couldn't see any other buildings nearby, except for a stable block.

Dr Cullen motioned towards the forest that bordered the left side of the house. "Follow me," he said.

I felt the confusion seeping into my features. "I… I don't understand, Dr Cullen," I said self-consciously, wondering if they would think I was as obtuse as Charles always had.

"Esme, Carlisle will do," he said, turning to face me with a look of indulgent comprehension on his beautiful features. "As you've probably realised, many things have changed about you." I nodded once again. It seemed to be the only reaction that I could safely do without revealing all my dammed up emotions. "You have changed. I'm so sorry you didn't get a choice in this but you were dying. And, well, I didn't want that," he said slowly, his beautiful face worried.

"I don't care," I insisted, "honestly." I noticed that the other man had disappeared off into the darkness but Carlisle didn't seem to mind.

"I just want you to be happy," he said, his eyes sorrowful.

"What am I, Carlisle?" I asked, using his first name for the first time.

He said the word so quietly that if I hadn't had my perfect new hearing, I would have missed it. "Vampire," he hissed.

The syllables echoed in my mind. It couldn't be true. "But there's no such thing," I told him.

He gave me a soft and yet cynical smile. "Indeed there is, Miss Platt," he answered, looking at me with his deep eyes.

I bit my bottom lip, realising that my teeth were much sharper than I would have thought possible. "Vampire as in not human? As in creatures that drink blood?" I clarified.

Carlisle gave a slow nod.

"How?" I asked, watching his face intently.

"Our venom is used to immobilise our prey but if it's left in the system without the human dying then they become a vampire," he explained, brushing his fingers lightly over a small mark just under my jaw line. I should have been surprised that I didn't blush, but with the kind of day I was having, things seemed to be less surprising than previously.

"I remember the bite," I commented and Carlisle gave a slow nod.

"Shall we hunt then, Miss Platt?" he finally asked me, trying to banish the remorse on his face with a playful smile.

"Please," I said, the dry throb hitting my throat once again.

"Edward and I only hunt animals," he explained, "we call ourselves 'vegetarians' because we don't drink human blood. It will be a long while before you can ignore the call of their blood, but you can learn."

I looked at him, with an air of understanding. I wanted to try for him. I wanted to try so hard.

"Human life is too precious," I commented, remembering the first time I held my tiny son in my arms.

Carlisle smiled at me. "Exactly," he agreed. He took off at a fast run in the opposite direction.

I frowned and closed to distance between us. "Carlisle!" I called. He turned to regard me with calm eyes. "How did you-?"

"Forgive me, Esme," he said sheepishly. "I forgot how new you were to all this," his tone was incredibly polite. "Close your eyes and focus on the sounds and scents of the forest."

He placed his hands on my shoulders and I did as he said. I could hear a bird flying through the trees a few miles off, a forest brook to the south of where we were standing, a wet, thumping noise just off in the distance. Thrump. Thrump.

"Is that a heartbeat?" I asked.

"Yes," Carlisle replied, "a heard of deer just off to the south. Shall we?"

I followed his fluid lope this time, keeping my stride with his. I was wearing a pale shirt and slacks which allowed the motion of our swift running. I was surprised to find that hunting was a completely natural thing for me. The first drink gave a strange sensation but it wasn't as entirely unpleasant as I'd first imagined. On the run back to the house, Carlisle gave me a few tips for future hunts. I'd ended up as quite a mess with blood in the ends of my hair and some dripping down my shirt. Carlisle was spotless.

Running felt wonderful, carefree. I could run faster than he could and I adored the feel of the wind trying to grasp my hair and failing as I soared over the ground. I remembered the way back to the house without any trouble, even though the forest looked practically the same everywhere we went in it. I followed our scents back and noticed tiny details.

The sun was just rising as I came through into the wooded glade that surrounded the house. I ran into a spiral of light and couldn't help but notice the way it reflected off my skin. I gave a beaming smile; it was the most beautiful thing I'd even seen. More wonderful than the diamond Charles had given me on his engagement ring. I'd sold it after I'd run away and used it for the last few months of my pregnancy, hoping to give my baby a good life.

"This is why we can't go out in the sunlight in front of humans," Carlisle said, moving his arm into the light too. "Everyone would know we were different. It's very important that no-one knows we exist."

I nodded in understanding and watched him carefully. The way his skin sparkled in the light was much more alluring than mine.

I followed the Doctor into the house, hearing the other man moving around in one of the upstairs rooms. I had so many more questions to ask Carlisle but I realised I was still dripping in blood and that I would have to clean myself up before we talked anymore.

Carlisle seemed to comprehend what I wanted. "We've set a room up for you upstairs; I'll show you to it."

He gently pushed the door open and I heard his footsteps retreating downstairs. I slowly closed the door behind me and gazed around the room. The walls were pale cream and contrasted with the dark furniture of a bed, a large wardrobe, a powder table, a wooden framed couch and a desk. The bed was covered with silk sheets and was huge. The couch had a similar patterned covering. I peeked inside the wardrobe and was met with many different types of clothes, casual shirts and pants, casual dresses, colourful party dresses. I wondered how the Doctor could have acquired all these things and all in perfect size for me. In one of the draws on the powder table, were several sets of earrings and necklaces of various coloured gems. They all looked pretty expensive. I just guessed Carlisle didn't do things in half measures.

I drew myself a bath and placed my dirty clothes in a basket just on the inside of the small, ensuite bathroom. I washed and dried quickly, being careful not to rip the flimsy towels. Then I slipped into a casual dress and ran a brush through my wet locks, that turned chestnut when wet. I glanced one last time in the mirror and then chided myself for doing it. I may still really like Carlisle but he would never have an interest in me. I was kidding myself, just like always, pretending I'd finally be loved.

I quietly made my way into the sitting room, where Carlisle was sitting and flicking through the newspaper. He looked up when I sat down next to him on the couch. His eyes gleamed in the dimly lit room. "Hello, Esme," he greeted, "I hope everything is to your satisfaction."

"Perfectly," I answered, feeling slightly nervous at our close proximity. The last time I'd been in this close proximity to a man, he'd beaten me almost to death. But I didn't think that was why my non-existent pulse sped up.

Gazing into his perfect topaz eyes, so full of knowledge, I realised that there was so much I needed to discover about my new life. I felt like I'd known this man for an entire life time but I knew relatively little about him.

As if he sensed the reason behind my curious gaze, Carlisle slowly started to tell me his story. "I was the son of a priest in the sixteen hundreds. At the time there was a great fear for vampires and we went out to destroy these horrid creatures. I was bitten during the hunt," Carlisle explained. "I remained hidden and silent for many days until the pain stopped." I flushed, remembering the plentiful and loud screams that I had given during the change and Carlisle had done it all in silence. "It was then I realised that I had become one of them."

I placed a hand on Carlisle's hand, realising this was a painful subject for him.

"It was the worst thing that could've happened to me. I didn't want to be a monster and kill innocent people. I tried to end my existence in every way I could think of. It isn't easy for a vampire to die. I resisted drinking. I became weaker." He paused to gather his thoughts. "One day I strayed into the path of a heard of deer and I had killed before I even appreciated what had happened. I remembered that I had eaten venison as a human and decided that it was no different to drink their blood. I concluded that this was a way that I could continue to enjoy my existence without harming anyone."

"What happened then?" I asked, my respect for this man increasing even more, if possible.

"I had to leave; people would start to notice that I didn't age. I swam across the English Channel and made my way across Europe and to Italy. I stayed with the Volturi for many centuries but they were cold and didn't share my passion for life," his eyes darkened as images of the past swirled across his golden orbs.

"The who?" I asked confused.

"The Volturi are the Royal Family of our world. They make ensure that the rules aren't broken," Carlisle explained.

"Vampires have rules?" I asked quietly, feeling slightly embarrassed. I'd always thought vampires were savage creatures and yet Carlisle was telling me that they had rules and royal families.

"There is one major rule and all the others merely ensure this one rule isn't broken," his tone told me that this was incredibly important for me to remember.

"What is it, Carlisle?"

"We must keep our existences a secret from humans. They mustn't know about us."

"Oh, I guess that one is kind of obvious," I said sheepishly smiling.

"After a few decades I left the Volturi and decided to use my increased senses for good. I studied to become a doctor, after a while I desensitised myself to the smell of human blood. I travel around from village to village, moving when people start to notice our lack of aging."

Wow! Could this man be any less selfless?

"Edward was dying from Spanish Influenza when I found him. His mother begged me to do anything I could to save him. The loneliness of hundreds of years alone drove me to turn him, to make him my companion and teach him to feed the way I did. He's been with me ever since." His eyes held the same sadness that they had held when he apologised for turning me without my permission.

"You're not a bad man, Carlisle," I told him after a pause.

His eyes lit up. "Thank you, Esme," he said, his tone tender.

It was late into the night and I was surprised that I wasn't tired after the exciting day I'd had. I voiced this thought to Carlisle.

"We don't ever need to sleep," he said, his eyes humourless and telling me that he wasn't joking. Though I knew that Carlisle wouldn't joke about such things now.

"But the bed?" I questioned.

"A prop, just as the kitchen is," Carlisle explained. "People need to believe we are human."

"But what do you do in that time when everyone else is sleeping?" I asked.

"I read or have a night shift at the hospital," he commented, gesturing to a collection of books on the shelf next to him. "Edward plays the piano or teaches himself to read another language. What did you like to do in your free time when you were human?"

"I imagined the perfect little cottage out in the countryside. I wish I could've built it but woman don't do such things," I said sadly.

"If you wish to do such things then I won't let society stop you," Carlisle said fiercely. "Your life is your own now."

"You would let me leave and do whatever I wanted?" I asked, shocked that a man wasn't trying to domineer me with images of how he thought I should live my life.

"If that is what you wanted," he replied, his eyes sad.

"It's not what I want," I told him quickly; worried he'd get the wrong idea. "I'm just not used to the freedom. I want to stay."

Carlisle smiled gratefully. Our eyes met for a moment. "Well," Carlisle said, drawing me out of our intense gaze. "I have a shift now actually. Edward is upstairs if you should need anything. Have a pleasant evening, Miss Platt."

"You too, Dr Cullen," I said smiling at my saviour.

Just when I thought he was about to turn around and walk out the door, Carlisle leant forward and dropped a very slight kiss to my pink lips. I closed my eyes as a natural reaction to the tender gesture. I didn't see him leave and only opened my eyes when I heard the door shut behind him. I smiled widely to myself; today had been wonderful and surprising. It had been the perfect beginning to a new life. A new life full understanding and laughter. And above all things, love.

Wow I started this ages ago. I can't believe it's finally up! Please review and tell me what you think. I wanted to focus on Esme's feelings after the change.
I love Carlisle and Esme sooo much!

With love JLF xx