So this is an idea I've been considering for awhile and have finally decided to write. For those of you who have read my other CxE stories this will be a little different to my usual Carlisle and Esme.


Prologue

It was unforgivable. One tiny second of weakness and he had washed away everything he had ever stood for. He should have let her go home with her father, but he had not and now she never would. He had known he was tempting fate when he give the order for her to stay over night at the hospital. Despite what he had told her flustered father, it was not standard hospital procedure. He should have stopped himself there and then. But it was too late to tell himself that now. What was done was done and could now never be reversed.

She whimpered on his bed slightly and he risked a glance in her direction. He wished he hadn't. For some reason, he had chosen to lay her under the blanket when he brought her back. How bizarre it looked. Not just to have a human in his house, but to have somebody actually using his bed. She was laid fairly still now, but the blanket was twisted around her from her earlier thrashing, and one of her legs was sticking out awkwardly. He would have to remove the plaster that surrounded it, she would certainly no longer need it.

But the worst thing of all was that she looked so young. Too young. Barely an adult. And now she would never be anything but young.

What had he done? What had he been thinking? Why her? He had seen so many patients come and go. Some who survived and some who did not. So why, out of all of them, had he chosen to give this tainted gift to her? She had not even been dying. It was just a broken leg – six weeks of discomfort and she would have been fine. Even in his darkest moments he had never considered changing a healthy human before. This made him no better than his former companions in Italy - taking away a life to gain what he wanted.

What on Earth had possessed him back in the hospital? When he had stood up from the seat beside her and leant over her bed? There could be no denying what he planned to do. She had moaned ever so gently in her sleep as his lips came tentatively close to her neck. No doubt she had felt his breath blowing against her skin. She had turned over in her sleep, so that she had been facing him. A caramel curl had flown across her face as she did so. Hesitantly, he had lifted it up and ever so gently laid it back over her shoulder with the rest of her hair.

Go, he had told himself forcefully. Leave. Now.

But instead all he had done was sigh deeply, agreeing with his thoughts and yet still not taking his eyes off of her as she slept. She had settled down again now, her facial expressions were peaceful. He remembered her smiling at him as he talked to her earlier. But it had been the things that she had said that truly captivated his attention. She spoke with such energy, such passion, about her home, her family, her brother and sister, and her pet dog. All things she evidently cared about. Oh how he wished someone could care about him like that. That he could return home to a smiling face and a simple 'hello, how was your day?' Her words battered and bruised his lonely heart, leaving him feeling like just an empty shell of a person. For he was just her doctor and she would never care about him. That fact was also true for the last thousand patients before her and would be true for the next thousand patients that followed.

She gave to everyone what he could never have: love.

The bed came into focus again as he forced the memories away. His bed this time, not the hospital one she had slept on in his memories. Suddenly her whole body jolted and she screamed in alarm.

"It hurts," she whimpered. "It hurts so much."

Fervently, he called her name but there was no reply. She screamed incoherently for awhile and then fell silent once more. He wanted to talk to her. To explain his actions. But no words fell forth from his lips. He couldn't find the right ones. How to tell her what he had done? And what would she think when she knew the truth?

He found the words she had muttered to him the night before tumbling from his lips.

It had taken all his willpower but he had managed to make it to her doorway. He would leave her be now. She would leave the hospital tomorrow and he would leave town, go somewhere far away from the temptation of her.

But he had stopped when he heard her breathing change. She was waking up. He had frozen in the doorway, torn between what he knew was right and what he wanted. He heard her inhale sharply.

"Don't go," she had called sleepily. "Stay with me."

People often marvelled at his supposed extraordinary self-control, but with five words she had swept it all away. How could he possibly leave now, when she was begging him to stay?

"Always," he had whispered in reply.