This story has been edited! I've gone through and fixed many of the grammar and punctuation errors. It's not perfect because it isn't beta'd, but it's so much better. I hope you all enjoy!

Edited 8/10/11

A/N:Here I go! I'm trying to write a good full story of Carlisle and Esme as parents. I've made some changes that you should know about. First off, Carlisle was changed when he was twenty-nine years old, not twenty-three. Twenty-three is just a little too young for me and I mold Carlisle after Peter Facinelli's portrayal, so he doesn't exactly look that age. Esme will always be Elizabeth Reaser, that's how I imagined her and I think it fits perfect so her age can stay around twenty-six.

So far I don't think Edward or Bella will be in this story, but they might be, just not how Stephanie Meyer had them. Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett will be mentioned and eventually will be a larger part, but as of now I don't know when. In this story, twilight never happens. I have my own ideas, so if something doesn't match up with the books tell me and I'll explain why.

I hope you give this story a try and review to let me know if you like it. Like everyone says I DO NOT OWN TWILIGHT! So no sue!

Carlisle's POV

Bliss… one-hundred percent bliss. That was what I was in as I walked hand in hand with my Esme through the streets of Duluth, Minnesota. With her hand in mine, nothing else mattered. Every time she 'ooh'd' or 'ah'd' at something, it was music to my ears.

The city was decked out with Christmas lights and decorations — that was why we came here for the weekend. Christmas was Esme's favorite time of the year and she wanted to see the decorations. Of course, we had planned on going to New York, but unfortunately my work schedule didn't allow it. The seasons were changing, so doctors and nurses left and right were starting to get sick and needed to take time off. The hospital needed me here in case of an emergency, so instead we made the not so far trip to Duluth to see their decorations, and of course Esme wanted to shop. This was the first Christmas in almost 50 years Rose, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper wouldn't be with us. This was our Christmas, yes, we missed the kids, but alone time together was never a bad thing.

"Oh, Carlisle! Isn't this beautiful? Everyone looks so happy and the city is so lit up and cheerful!" Esme exclaimed as I smiled to myself and pulled her a little closer into my side.

"Yes, il mio amore, it's beautiful," I sighed kissing her perfect cheek as she giggled softly.

"You're not bored are you, dear?"

"Of course not! I'm perfectly happy just being near you, though, these lights have nothing on your beauty."

She laughed. "Have you even looked at the lights?"

"I'm caught by you once more, aren't I?" I smirked as she snuggled closer into my side while we continued our journey.

It was a little after ten in the evening when Esme came to an abrupt stop in front of an alley — halting me along with her. I looked to where her gaze was and saw a child, a girl, huddled against a brick wall. She was shivering and crying, wearing only a t-shirt and what looked like… shorts. Dear lord, she must have been freezing! It was barely thirty degree's outside.

Esme loosened her grip on me and pulled away towards the child as she shrugged her coat off. I stayed back for the most part as I too pulled my coat off. The child obviously needed it more than I, and Esme's wasn't exactly that large. Yes, it would cover the tiny human, but it wasn't heavy or big enough to cover the girl's legs.

"Sweetheart?" Esme said softly.

I could hear the child's heart rate spike, but she didn't lift her head or even acknowledge Esme's voice on the outside. I followed her now, one worried about the child's health, and two concerned as to why she was even out here.

"Honey, you must be freezing. Here take my coat," Esme said holding the material out. The girl flinched at the movement.

"Please don't hurt me," the child whispered, barely audible even to us.

"Child, we won't hurt you. It's cold outside and you're barely covered. We just wish to help," I said now standing beside Esme. The child finally lifted her head at my voice. Her face was bruised along with her neck and it looked as though she was…

"Oh, my!" Esme said seeing the bruising.

Her neck had two large hand prints on it — she had been choked. Now that I could see her face, she didn't look much older than thirteen, maybe fourteen. She was about four feet nine and looked to be around 70 pounds — small and malnourished. She was dangerously gaunt. Her face should still be a little pudgy, but this girl was almost skin and bones — not an ounce of fat on her.

"Sweetheart, my name is Carlisle and this is my wife Esme," I said motioning to Esme.

I reached into my wallet and pulled out the card with my picture and information on it. I hoped showing her it would earn a little trust. She'd see neither Esme nor I would want to hurt her — we just wished to help. "I'm a doctor, here's my ID badge from the hospital I work at so you know I'm not lying."

Her tiny hand reached out and gently took the badge from me, pulling it close to her so she could read it. "You're good?" She once again raised her eyes to meet mine.

"I won't bring any harm to you. Neither would my wife. May she wrap our coats around you? Give you some warmth?"

She looked back at the badge, and then reached her arm back out to give it to me before nodding — a little reluctantly. I smiled and passed my coat to Esme. She wrapped her smaller one around the girl first, and then laid mine on top of hers. As the girl opened her mouth to speak, her eyes clouded and she slumped to the side losing consciousness. I hurried and caught her, lifting her into my arms before her head could touch the ground.

"Carlisle, should we take her to a hospital?" Esme asked as I felt the girl's neck for her pulse; it had slowed down considerably. She was hypothermic and possibly in shock.

"Let's take her home. I can treat her there," I said as I readjusted the child so her front was pressed against my chest and the coats covered her back.

"The car is a few blocks away. Do you want me to go pull it around?"

I nodded yes, digging through my pockets for the Mercedes keys, and then handed them to her. She climbed up the building and ran over the roof tops; it was faster and no one would see her movements. Not but two minutes later, my black Mercedes pulled up to the opening of the alley. I opened the front passenger door and laid the child in the seat — turning on the seat heater. Esme already had the heat going at full blast.

"I hadn't thought of the seat heater," Esme murmured.

"It might get her warmer faster. She's moderately hypothermic and in shock. We need to get her home, so I can start an IV for fluids to treat the shock."

I buckled the little, unconscious girl in and closed the door. Esme moved to the backseat so I could drive. The drive back to our house outside of a small town called Grand Marais would normally take a good two hours — at a normal speed. I didn't go a normal speed, let's just say. I completed the one-hundred and twelve mile drive in less than forty-five minutes by going one-hundred and fifty miles per hour just about the whole way once I got out of the city. Once we got home, the girl was much warmer, but I was concerned at what her blood pressure might have been. I knew it would be low, but I couldn't get an exact reading without a sphygmomanometer.

After laying her down on our bed, I went to my study and retrieved my instruments. Esme had quickly changed the child into a warm pair of flannel pajamas. Of course, they were much too large, but they would keep her warm, and that's what mattered. I also noticed she had put socks on her feet and a wool hat over her head.

"Thank you, love, that's very smart. It'll keep her body heat in."

I smiled at my wife as I sat down on the bed on the girls left side. After running my hands through a candle flame to warm them up, I pushed up the sleeve on the girl's pajama top to find a vein, but I had difficulty finding one. Her veins were tiny — expected — but also very thin and difficult to tap. I checked her right arm finding the same thing before sighing in defeat.

"What's wrong?" Esme asked.

"I can't find a useable vein, and I don't have any pediatric size needles. The ones I do have would burst her vein."

"What are you going to do?"

"I have a central line kit. It's more invasive, but it would give me better access anyway. I might need that access. I'll be right back."

I went back to my study to grab the kit and then walked back into our bedroom.

"Could you remove her top and take the pillow from under her head?" I asked.

While she did that, I went into the bathroom and washed my hands before grabbing a few towels. Esme had done as I asked, but kept the sheet up to cover the girl's chest for modesty. I laid out a few towels under the girl's body, and then sanitized her neck with the antiseptic wash before positioning her.

"There will be blood," I warned.

"I'm fine, dear."

I got to work inserting the line, and then ran fluids wide open before checking her blood pressure. It was low as I thought, dangerously so if left untreated. She was definitely in physical shock, but she hadn't gone into an arrhythmia yet, so I doubted it couldn't be reversed. After I finished a basic exam — finding her body about seventy percent bruised with some minor cuts, none of which required sutures — Esme redressed her.

"Those bruises are from someone's hand, a large hand," she whispered as she gently caressed the child's face.

"I would guess abuse, some are older than others. I'm worried about how thin she is. She's very malnourished, so I'd say she was neglected as well. Once she wakes, she needs to eat. Let's try something light first to make sure she can handle it."

"Then what? What will happen to her?"

"I…" I didn't finish my thought because I heard the child's heart rate increase. I turned my attention back to her — she was beginning to wake up.

"Sweetheart?" Esme asked, lovingly touching the girls face.

"Mmm," the girl groaned, and then flinched away from Esme's touch as her eyes flew open. Fear and panic flooded through her light green eyes.

"Child, you are safe, no one will hurt you. We won't hurt you. Do you remember us?" I asked.

She looked confused, but then reality must have sunk in as relief flushed through her. "Y…y…yes, w…where am I?"

"You needed medical attention."

"I can't be at a hospital!" she screamed jerking up violently — about to tear out the line in her neck before I gently restrained her.

"You're not in a hospital. I'm a doctor remember? We brought you to our home and I'm treating you here."

"Oh," she sighed, obviously relieved.

"Can you lie back down for me? I had to get fluids in you, but I couldn't get access through an IV, so I placed something called a central line. It's in a main artery in your neck, so we don't want to have it torn out or pulled."

She laid back down — listening to me. That was good; she needed to listen to me.

"So I… I'm still in Duluth?" she whispered.

"No, we live outside of Grand Marais. It's about one-hundred miles from Duluth. Can I ask your name, darling? I'm Carlisle, if you remember, and this is my wife Esme," I said once again motioning to my wife.

"Nicole, I… I go by Cole."

"All right then, Cole." I smiled, warmly. "How old are you?"

"Fourteen, how… how did I get here?"

"We drove you here. I didn't know what kind of situation you were in, so I thought it best not to involve a hospital, which would call social services, until we know exactly how you ended up in an alley with almost no clothing on. You could have died out there."

"I… had to get away. Thank you for not taking me to a hospital. They'd send me to a group home."

"What about your parents? Any other family?"

She shrugged. "Dead… I guess, or at least they are to me. They gave me away when I was little. I got tired of foster and group homes, so I ran away a few months ago."

"You've been on the streets for months?" Esme asked.

"No… he took me in," she said, shaking her head. "He's bad. He'll kill me if he finds me."

"Who?" I asked

"Mark… he seemed nice at first."

"And then? Did he hurt you?" I asked and she nodded yes. "I'm just assuming, but the hand marks on your neck and body tell me this man was much bigger than you — not your age."

"He… said I reminded him of his daughter and he'd help me, but he didn't help me. He just hurt me."

She cried and I cautiously rubbed my hand over her arm. She didn't flinch away, which was good. Esme then gently brushed a lock of her strawberry blonde hair behind her ear, she didn't flinch at that either.

"Shh now, sweetie. You're safe now," Esme murmured as the girl sat up and wrapped her arms around Esme — surprising us both.

"Promise?" Cole asked. I could tell just from how she acted that she wasn't faking trust; she actually trusted us.

"Of course, we won't let anyone hurt you again," Esme said combing down Cole's hair.

A few hours had passed. Cole's vitals were improving and she had fallen asleep in Esme's arms. It was quite a sight — watching how motherly Esme is. She deserved so much more than she'd received. She should have been able to have children, to have a human life as a mother, not just a surrogate. I know she loves the children, but to be honest, they aren't children and they haven't needed a mother in a very long time. But Cole… she needed a mother… and a father. Could we be that for her? Would the love and support we provide make up for the fact that it wouldn't be a normal life?

"Carlisle?" Esme called. I raised my head to meet her eyes. "Is something wrong?"

"No, il mio amore. I was just thinking… about what would happen to her. She needs a family, a mother and a father. What would you think about… being that for her?" I asked.

Her face lit up brighter than any Christmas lights ever could, and her smile was bigger than I've ever seen. "Yes! That would be amazing! I already love her and she trusts us; it would be perfect!"

"She would have to know… about us. That could be dangerous, but maybe if we explained how we are different before telling her exactly what we are, she might be able to except it. But, Esme, if she doesn't except it that could be bad. She could expose us by telling people. I'm not concerned that people would believe her, but it would ruin her life if she tried — people would think her crazy…" I paused. "Is it worth that risk?"

Esme looked down at the precious child in her arms. "Alice," she whispered. "We decide, and call Alice to see how Cole might respond. If she says it's bad, then we won't risk it, but if there's a chance it could work out, we need to try."

"Sounds good, I'll call Alice and Jasper. If it works out, we need documentation for Cole: birth certificate, ID, passport, adoption papers, and those types of things. Jasper can take care of that."

A/N: Thank you for reading.


Il mio amore: My love

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