Chapter 1

Carlisle POV 1860

If I could sleep, I would really like to just sleep and get away from all the suffering I have been surrounded by lately. Working nights here in this Philadelphia hospital has been quite an eye opener, but at least I am doing something worthwhile with my endless years.

I left the hospital just before sunrise to avoid being out in sunlight, as tired as a Vampire can mentally be. Of course, that is always when things go haywire.

I caught scent of another Vampire nearby and stepped into an alley to avoid human eyes for our confrontation. It was only when he got closer that I recognized the scent. What is Demetri doing here in Philadelphia?

He stepped out of the early morning fog and stood before me, quite deshevelled.

"Demetri whatever brings you to the New World?"

"Carlisle, the Brothers sent me to find you. They need you to return to Volterra in all haste. I was told to have you bring your Medical Bag and they will have any equipment you need available when you get there."

"Why? What could they possibly need a doctor of humans to do? I don't understand?"

"Carlisle we really don't have time. We have to leave now, we will be swimming as it is the fastest way. Anything that won't survive the swim should be left behind. Are you ready now?"

I realized that Demetri didn't have the answers, or was unwilling to give me them now. I took a moment to catalog what was in my Doctors Bag and realized it could all be replaced when I got to Volterra. Of course, the hospital here in Philadephia would be worried when I didn't show up for my shift tomorrow, but it shouldn't cause too big a scandal.

I nodded to Demetri and followed him through the streets until we reached the Atlantic Ocean. Demetri didn't hesitate but dived right in.

We exited the Surf in Italy and Demetri immediately began to run to Volterra. I followed behind.

"Demetri, I really need to hunt. Could we possibly stop for a moment?"

"Carlisle, can't you just sort of grab something along the way? We really are in a hurry."

"I will try. Keep an ear out for animal heartbeats or scents while we run."

We did run across a small herd of deer and I took down two quickly while Demetri waited impatiently for me to finish. I tried to bury the carcasses but Demetri told me to leave them, that we didn't have time.

Everything he has said and done, had built a deep curiosity in me. I knew I needed to get to Volterra to get my answers, so I continued to follow Demetri.

We arrived in Volterra on the third day since we left Philadelphia and I followed Demetri into the Castle without preamble. He took me straight to the Brothers' private wing. It was before a huge oak door that he stopped and knocked once.

Aro's voice called out "Come".

I took a moment to figure out what was before me. We appeared to be in a sitting room. Aro and his mate Sulpicia were seated on a small Settee, while Caius stood behind a chair containing Athenadora. They all looked worried.

Aro stood when he saw me and said "Ah Old Friend, I am so glad you came. We are in desperate need of your help."

"Of course, whatever I can do to help. You know that Aro."

"I do. I fear I must explain to you first. You see Marcus finally found his soul mate, in a human named Didyme. She loved him too and since Marcus's control is supreme; they decided to wait on her change until after she had reached an age closer to his human age. They married and lived as man and wife. A couple of weeks ago, Didyme began to get sick. She couldn't keep anything down and Marcus was worried. Didyme was the one to guess the cause, she told Marcus that if he weren't a vampire she would swear she was with child. We dismissed it as impossible. Then her stomach began to grow and the child made its presence known. Didyme has grown sicker and weaker as the child grows. It is obviously not solely human. The child's kicks and movements cause Didyme pain and her stomach is riddled with ugly bruises. It is clear that the child has vampire strength. Carlisle we need you to treat Didyme and do all that you can to save her and the child's lives."

I was shocked, to say the least, and I really didn't have any idea what I could do to help the situation. Yet, I was also fascinated by the possibilities. What could this child be? Of course I would do whatever I could to bring them both through this ordeal.

"Demetri said that you would have all the medical equipment I need? Is it possible to see the patient now?"

Aro smiled sadly "I knew you would agree. Marcus and Didyme are through the door behind me. He won't leave her, even to hunt. We have brought his meals here and had to force him to drink. Go on in Carlisle, he will be relieved to see you."

I walked through another heavy door and found myself in a bedroom that looked more like a hospital room. There was equipment against all the walls and crammed into cabinets all over. I decided to first speak to my patient, so I walked to the bed.

She lay there tiny against the white sheets and pillows. Didyme was a small woman and I could practically see her shrinking before my eyes, except for her rather large baby bump. She had beautiful brown eyes, that were sunken in with pain and sadness. Her hair was a rich auburn, coiled on her head with curls escaping to frame her face. She smiled at me in welcome and I returned her smile.

Marcus's state was even worse. He looked like himself but the expression on his face and burning in his eyes told of a man in hell.

"Hello, my name is Doctor Carlisle Cullen. Can I examine you and your child?"

Marcus growled. Didyme placed a hand in his hair and gave him a look that said 'calm down'.

"Of course you may. Marcus can you wait outside the door? The doctor is going to need to touch me and you need to let him!"

Marcus turned those woeful eyes on me again, but swiftly kissed her cheek and left the room.

I completed my examination as quickly as I could. I took some blood samples for study and measured her stomach to see how far along the baby was. She looked to be about 7 months pregnant but she stated that she could only be about 2 1/2 months along.

Over the next couple days, I observed Didyme and did my best to find out what was happening with the baby. It was clear that the baby was developing at an accelerated rate. I needed to find a way to make Didyme more comfortable and allow her to take food. Everything came back up.

I had my first clue when Felix and Alec brought Marcus's meal into the sitting room. I told him to go ahead and feed as Didyme was sleeping and I would stay to watch her. The smell of the fresh spilled blood wafted into the room despite the closed door and Didyme woke.

"What is that divine smell?"

"Didyme? Divine as in what?"

"As in delicious to eat Carlisle."

Could it be? Was it really that simple? The baby is half vampire so it must need blood like the rest of us? But how, should I just have her drink it? How the heck is she going to break the skin, she doesn't have the advantages we have. Maybe I can have someone drain the human and she can drink it from a cup? Human or animal? It should be human, the baby will need all the nutrients to keep growing properly and animal blood is not as satisfying.

We tried the human blood and Didyme seemed to pep up right away. Her appetite even returned and she was able to eat human food as well as drink her blood.

The bad part of that was that the stronger Didyme got, the stronger the baby got. It was now breaking bones with its' kicks and movements.

It was September 13th when Didyme suddenly screamed. We thought it was another breaking bone, but soon realized it was something else when her stomach began to pulse and rock on its own. Didyme was screaming in pain. I had Marcus hold her still to see if the baby was coming but her cervix was not thinned or dilated and there was no sign of traditional labor. Then there was a loud crack as Didyme's spine was broken from within. Her legs stopped their thrashing and a split in the skin over her overripe belly opened up. Blood began to pour from the wound and Marcus's eyes turned black but he didn't waiver. I could see a set of teeth puncture the skin of her stomach and with an overloud ripping sound, her stomach parted. A hand reached out of the opening and I quickly grabbed hold and pulled out the bloody baby.

"Marcus bite her now, you have to bite her now, it is her only chance!"

I ran to the door and handed the bloody baby off to Jane. Then I ran back to the bed to try to staunch the blood pouring from her open wounds. While I worked Marcus was biting her neck. When her heart stopped beating, I jumped up on the bed and tried to massage her chest to get it to beat. It soon became clear that Didyme had died. The venom had not been enough to save her.

Marcus was comatose with grief.

I left him to get someone to help me prepare her body, and to check on the baby. Aro, Sulpicia, Caius, Athenadora, Jane, Demetri, Felix and Alec were obviously grief stricken.

"Didyme needs to cleaned and prepared for burial. I need a female to help me with her? I would also like to check over the baby?"

Jane brought the baby to me and I noted that it had been cleaned and dressed in a gown. It was a girl. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen and she radiated intelligence. She had her father's deep brown hair with just a tint of red, and her mother's beautiful curls. Her eyes, instead of being a newborn blue, were the gorgeous brown of her mother. Her mouth a tiny rosebud, matched the pink of her cheeks. She seemed to glow with health.

"Well, is she healthy?" Jane asked. You could already see how attached she was getting to the babe.

"She looks to be perfect. Her heart is beating faster than a human childs, and she is warmer than humans also, but she appears to be healthy, for a hybrid."

"Sulpicia and I will help prepare Didyme." Athenadora offered.

"Thank you. We are going to need to feed the babe. We will need bottles and she is going to need both blood and milk. Human breastmilk would be best. Though I hesitate to ask a wetnurse to reside here, she would inevitably have to be turned and I don't know how long she would last."

"We have sent one of the Guard to retrieve a nursing female. He has specific instructions, to find one who has just given birth to a stillborn child. That way we won't be robbing someone of their mother." Caius stated.

I wasn't comfortable with their decision, but I couldn't do anything about it, so I nodded. I picked up the child and walked back into the room with Marcus and Didyme. I walked up to where Marcus lay beside his dead mate and placed the babe upon his chest.

"Marcus, Didyme is gone. She gave you a daughter. The child needs you. You are her only parent. I know that you want to follow Didyme but what would Didyme want you to do? She gave her life so that the baby would live, and she expected you to love and care for the child you made together with your love. Don't disappoint her. Your daughter needs you. Heck, she needs a name? Sulpicia and Athenadora are here to clean up and prepare Didyme for burial. Let her Sisters care for her now. Your daughter is hungry."

The baby began to cry and the sound of her cries made me want to join her sobs. Marcus's eyes finally left his beloved's face and he looked down at his daughter laying across his chest.

"Didyme wanted to name a girl Principessa Isabella Maria Volturi" Marcus said softly.

Then he leaned over and kissed Didyme's cold lips, chastely and cradling his daughter left the room to begin his new life.