Carlisle sat beside Edward on the plane.
It made sense, of course, as both Alice and Rose sat with their husbands.
He was politely cordial if a bit reserved. They could just as easily have been two strangers seated beside one another.
Edward watched out of the corner of his eye as the man crossed one ankle over a knee, unfolding a newspaper. His mind was awash with stock market quotes and financial speculation.
For a while they did not speak. When Edward stretched out his legs, wincing a bit at lingering soreness, Carlisle turned to look at him.
"Are you all right?"
"Yes," he said, trying not to grimace as he leaned back in his seat. "I'm sorry to have bothered you."
The man's brow furrowed slightly in confusion. "You do not bother me, Edward."
"Yeah, well…" he responded trying not to sound petulant, but he was tired and didn't feel like making small talk. The man didn't want him; he'd made that perfectly clear. Edward had no desire to act as though everything was okay.
The man folded his newspaper and slipped it back into his satchel. "I am sorry you were injured." His thoughts matched the sincerity of his tone.
"I was lucky," Edward mumbled. "You said so yourself."
"Yes. Lucky your injuries were not far more extreme," Carlisle said slowly. "Not lucky to have been in such a situation to begin with."
Edward shrugged. He really didn't want to talk about it.
"You did nothing wrong, Edward," the man said, as if reading his thoughts.
"None of us would have been in that situation had it not been for me," he muttered rather sullenly. "So I can hardly complain about my injuries, now, can I?"
"Listen to me, Edward," Carlisle said, voice low. "You were thrust into a situation beyond your control by a creature who had been planning it since before you were even conceived."
Edward took a deep breath and realized something. "He was once your friend."
"Hmm?" the man asked calmly, but his thoughts flashed back to that room, to his own hands as they helped to tear the ancient vampire limb from limb.
"Aro. You were once friends."
"Ah," Carlisle waved a hand dismissively. "Yes. But that was several lifetimes ago." His voice was flat, devoid of emotion, but sadness and resignation lapped against the edges of his mind.
"I'm sorry." Edward brushed a tentative finger along his wrist. "I am sorry you had to do that."
Carlisle nodded, a silent thank you, flickering across his consciousness. "After 3,000 years, I am afraid Aro was quite mad, drunk on power and knowledge and an unspeakable number of memories." He sighed, smoothing his palm down his thigh. "It was time. And though our world might have recognized that truth, I believe it had to be us. We were the only ones capable. And we were only capable at that particular moment…with you." He smiled, a soft sad smile. "It was necessary."
"I'm still sorry."
The man nodded again but said nothing.
"Why did he do it?" Edward asked, genuinely curious.
"Marcus. Why did he betray Aro?"
"I think he believed it was time for a change." Carlisle was quiet for a moment as he sorted through layers of thoughts, memories, contradictions. "Aro was too dangerous. And he was far too accustomed to taking whatever he wanted, regardless of consequence. A frightening trait for madman."
Edward nodded. "I heard something about a wife."
A strange emotion slipped across Carlisle's mind, but it was gone before Edward could decipher it.
"A very long time ago," he began slowly, "Aro had Marcus' wife killed."
Edward gasped (a quick rush of air out of his lungs). "Why?"
"Didyme was Aro's sister. When she fell in love with Marcus, Aro worried that he would lose Marcus and his abilities. There was talk of them leaving the Volturi." Carlisle frowned. "Aro could not let that happen, so he murdered her."
"And Marcus did nothing?" Edward couldn't hide his disbelief.
"What could he do?" Carlisle asked softly. "Aro would have killed him just as readily. He sighed, a tired sound. "Aro orchestrated events so that Didyme died in battle. But Marcus knew he was responsible."
Though Edward knew what the vampire was capable of, he was still horrified.
"But I suppose," Carlisle continued after a few moments, "he was finally able to take his revenge."
"When did she die?"
"Over 2,500 years ago. But once a vampire chooses his mate, it is permanent. Marcus will never stop loving her."
Carlisle liked watching Edward sleep. It fascinated him.
He was curled in on himself, back pressed against the armrest. Edward sighed, still half asleep, and listened to the man's thoughts.
His tee shirt had ridden up, exposing a pale slice of skin and the jut of a hipbone above his jeans. Carlisle found this sight far too appealing.
Edward could hear Alice too, though her voice was a bare murmur. "You care for him."
"Of course I do."
They were quiet for a while before she said softly, "He thinks it was just about Esme."
He turned to Alice then. In Carlisle's mind, Edward could see her lift her chin defiantly.
"A grief fuck, I believe, is what he called it." Her words dripped with disgust.
"That's all it was," he said flatly.
Liar. "You don't believe that."
Carlisle didn't respond.
"I know you don't."
"It doesn't matter." His tone clearly indicated that the discussion was over, but Alice persisted.
"I've seen it, Carlisle. And he wants you."
"He doesn't know what he wants."
Edward could practically see her frustration. "Regardless," she said, "he's chosen you."
It was past midnight when they finally landed. They drove in silence to the Cullens.' Though Carlisle offered to take Edward home, he really didn't feel like returning to his empty apartment alone.
Alice seemed to understand. "Let him stay, Carlisle. Just for the night. It's late, and his room is still made up. I can take him home in the morning."
The man acquiesced with a curt nod and led the way inside.
Edward had just finished getting ready for bed when he heard the knock at his door (a soft stutter of his heart).
"Yes?" His mouth had barely finished uttering the word when the man was beside his bed.
"I, I'm sorry to bother you," the man said, uncharacteristically unsure. He looked at Edward and then down at his shoes.
"You're not," Edward said, trying to listen, trying to understand why Carlisle was there. He found he could slip into the man's mind rather easily, avoiding the onslaught of raw emotion and metal confusion, to sink deeper and deeper still.
And Edward knew he was letting him read his thought; it was easier, of course, than speaking the words out loud.
I'm sorry I hurt you. I want you want you want you.
And, if you let me have you, I will always want you. It's wrong… so wrong.
"No," Edward said softly, and the man's eyes held his (clear and gold and beautiful).
"Once a vampire chooses his mate…" Carlisle began softly.
"I know. It's permanent."
The man took a step closer then hesitated, running a hand over his face.
Edward stood. He could feel Carlisle's rising panic. The man gasped when he touched him (a soft slide of fingers down his arms). Then he was pulled against Carlisle's cool chest. The comfort, the connection, the closeness was welcome, and Edward slipped his own arms around the man's waist.
"Yes…" he thought he heard the man murmur into his hair, but he was too distracted by the press of Carlisle's body against his.
The man's hand trailed lightly down his spine to rest at the curve of his hip, and Edward shivered at the intimate contact.
"So lovely…" the man whispered, breath cool and sweet against Edward's cheek. I am not certain how much longer I can resist you…
"Then don't," the boy said, turning to touch his mouth to Carlisle's throat. "Don't resist."
Carlisle hissed (from the words or the press of lips, Edward wasn't sure) and shifted his hips, so they pressed against Edward's.
Encouraged, he tilted his head, letting his mouth trail upward, lips grazing the man's chin before hovering dangerously close to Carlisle's mouth. He heard the man's sharp intake of breath, but he didn't move; he simply allowed Edward to ghost his mouth back and forth along his own lips.
But then, he lifted trembling hands to the boy's shoulders and pushed him back gently. "Stop." Do not tempt me.
"I want to."
But I never meant to feel this way about you. It's dangerous, and it's wrong.
"You understand," he said carefully, "that once we do this…" he trailed off, but Edward understood.
Carlisle pressed his mouth to Edward's forehead (a cool touch of lips). "We are such static creatures," the man whispered into his hair. "Our attitudes and feelings are remarkably fixed."
Edward leaned into his touch.
"Should our constitutions change, however, that change is not easily undone."
"Good," he breathed against the man's throat.
Carlisle pulled away and looked at Edward for a long moment, as if attempting to read into his thoughts.
Edward smiled. "You'll just have to take my word for it."
"I suppose so." Then he reached out (ever so slightly) and touched his hand to Edward's cheek.
His fingers were cold.
Edward closed his eyes.
And because the man had come to him and because to be rejected again couldn't possibly hurt more than not trying and not having and wanting, and because the ache in his chest only seemed to lessen when they were touching, Edward leaned up and brushed his lips over Carlisle's.
And suddenly they were kissing.
The man's hand slipped down to stroke soft circles on the small of his back. Fingers slid under the thin cotton of his tee shirt to smooth over soft skin. And Edward groaned into Carlisle's mouth and curled his own fingers into the fabric of his shirt.
The man pulled him closer (flush against the hard line of body), causing Edward to wince as pain flared across bruised ribs.
Carlisle recoiled instantly; he was across the room in the space of a breath.
"No," Edward said, in a voice that was too rough, too desperate.
"I, I can't. I won't hurt you."
But even as he said the words, images flashed across the surface of his mind (bright like moonstone, jagged, and mirror sharp).
Edward gasping beneath him, hands in his hair, legs wrapped tight around his thighs.
Carlisle's back against the wall (Edward was on his knees), as Carlisle thrust helplessly into his warm mouth.
Their bodies, limbs intertwined, as Carlisle mouthed along the tendon between Edward's shoulder and neck. His teeth scraped lightly against too soft skin.
Each new scene surged to the forefront of the man's thoughts, shining briefly there before being replaced by something equally surpassingly devastatingly more decadent. Edward could see each clearly, and the images left him hard and aching.
He stepped back until his thighs hit the edge of the bed then sat down, extending a hand.
Carlisle stared at that hand (trembling, palm-up) for a long time. But then he reached for it (pale fingers curling round his own), and held it up to his mouth. Edward gasped as icy lips kissed his palm.
And then a cold body was sliding over Edward's, pushing him back into the pillows.
Carlisle's thoughts were a blur after that, smudged like chalk, like charcoal, like pastels and out of focus, but it didn't matter because his hands were slipping under Edward's shirt, smoothing across the flat of his stomach to trace lines along his ribcage.
He cried out as the man's lips slid along the column of his throat, cold tongue lapping when too sharp teeth grazed soft skin. "Yes…oh, oh yes…"
Carlisle was sliding his clothing down, past his hips, over knees and calves, and Edward's hands clutched and tugged at Carlisle's clothes until his fingers were frozen. But as he worked to undo the man's buttons, to expose inch after inch of flawlessly pale flesh, heat seemed to bloom between them (on their lips and on their tongues and between their bodies where Edward's overheated skin met Carlisle's cool chest).
Carlisle was beautiful naked.
The man pulled back, staring down at Edward's body (all limbs and sharp angles); gold eyes moved over his chest and down (lower and lower still) until Edward blushed, cheeks warming pink.
And Edward leaned up to kiss him again. He could feel the man's erection pressed against his thigh and just the thought that he had done that to him, that Carlisle wanted him, was nearly enough to make him come.
"Is this…" what you want?
"Yes, God yes," Edward breathed, shifting so their cocks touched, slid against each other; the muscles in his stomach were already tense, his thighs already trembling. He dug his heels into the mattress, jerking his hips up, and he knew Carlisle was breathless, dizzy, desperate as he steadied himself above him, forearms framing Edward's face.
Edward shivered, and Carlisle smiled an easy, soft, beautiful smile before kissing a cool line down the center of his chest. The sheets were soft between his fingers, and he gripped them tightly when the man slid his tongue down the length of his cock.
And when Carlisle swallowed him into his mouth, Edward had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from crying out, to keep from begging the man to suck him, lick him, let him come in his mouth. Instead, he pushed his hips up with a gasp, and twined his fingers in blond hair.
Carlisle chuckled, lips still sliding, sliding, and moved a hand to his hip to hold him still. His other hand rested on Edward's thigh, fingers stroking gently, as he flicked his tongue at the base of his shaft. And Edward gasped again as he shook (stomach muscles tight, eyes wide at the sight of Carlisle's lips around his cock).
He was embarrassed at the sounds slipping from his mouth, but the man only increased the suction, and it was so tight and cold and perfect, perfect, perfect…
"S-stop," he choked out, and Carlisle pulled away quickly, his lips damp and red (so red).
"What's wrong?" Are you all right? Did I hurt you?
"No," Edward assured, fingers stroking down Carlisle's neck. "But I'll come, and I…" he trailed off, could feel himself blushing, and the man shifted to lie beside him again.
"And you what?" he asked softly, fingertip brushing against his cheek.
"I don't want to come," he managed, as Carlisle's tongue traced the shell of his ear. "Not yet…not like that."
"What do you want, Edward?" he whispered, breath a cool huff against his temple.
Edward shivered and pressed himself closer to the man's perfect body. "You. I want you." And in that moment, he realized he never wanted anything more than he wanted Carlisle.
He was nearly scared by how much he wanted the man. Wanted the man on top of him and inside him, filling his mouth and his hands and his body. And that want was only intensified by the thoughts and desires flashing (like star bursts, like lightening) across Carlisle's mind.
It was exhilarating and intoxicating and disorienting all at once.
Carlisle slid his mouth along Edward's jaw and kissed him again, slowly this time (tongue tracing lips and teeth and tongue), while he rocked against him, hooked his leg around the man's thigh, clutched at his shoulders desperately. The man's hands moved down his sides to grasp at his hips, and he knew he'd have bruises (the press of cold fingers, the scrape of sharp teeth). But that realization only turned him on, made him harder because he wanted to look in a mirror and see marks on his skin (a map of every kiss, every touch).
After several delirious delicious moments, Carlisle pulled back slightly, pressing his forehead against his, to give Edward a chance to catch his breath. Then he kissed him again, a quick kiss, hard and demanding.
A shard of desire, hot against the man's cold, cut through his body. The warmth that unfurled in his chest, tightened his throat threatened to choke him.
Edward caught his hand in his, lacing their fingers together. "Please."
The man shuddered.
He pressed his mouth to Carlisle's throat, to the curve of cool skin just above the man's collarbone. "Please," he whispered again.
"I…" the man's words, thoughts faltered (wavered between fearand indecision and want, want, want…)
Edward's hand slipped between them, fingers trailing over the swell of Carlisle's cock.
This is madness.
"Yes," he bit at Carlisle's jaw. "Please."
I want to fuck you.
"Yes," he said again into the man's mouth, and he gasped as Carlisle's cock rubbed against his hip. "Yes…please."
And the man actually growled (a low rumble in his chest that sent shivers across Edward's skin), and then he rolled them over, pulling Edward on top of him.
"You're beautiful," he said, twisting to reach for something in the bedside drawer. And just the sight of the small vial of lubricant against his palm was enough to make Edward moan, bite his lip (don't come, don't come).
His cock was flushed and damp and heavy against his stomach, and Carlisle shifted so that his own erection slid alongside Edward's. Then the man reached out to wrap his hand around both of them. The coolness of his palm against too warm skin made Edward's breath catch as he thrust through the loop of the man's fingers.
Carlisle's hand slid down his back to smooth over the curve of his buttock before fingers (warmed slightly from Edward's skin) dipped between the crease, stroked along his entrance.
Edward shivered, lips parted slightly.
"Please tell me you've done this before," Carlisle whispered desperately.
The non-question made Edward blush (a soft pink that splashed from his cheeks down his throat to spread over his chest).
"It's not my first time, or anything." His cheeks warmed further as he said this, and Edward knew that the man was once again thinking of just how young he was.
The man's hand stilled its teasingly slow progression.
"There was someone once," he added quickly. "A boy, in undergrad."
Carlisle's eyes darkened (jealousy saturated his thoughts like mist, an insistent blur before he swept it away, tucked it into a corner of his mind).
"Who was he?"
But before Edward could respond, could open his mouth, the man shook his head, "No." He placed a finger on his lips. "No. Don't tell me. I don't need to know."
Edward sucked the tip of his finger into his mouth, and Carlisle smiled. Then he slid cold hands up the backs of his thighs, urging Edward up onto his knees.
He complied, parting his legs wider, and looked down at Carlisle. Edward knew he thought he was beautiful. Hands skimmed over his waist, thumbs circled china white hipbones, as he rocked beneath Edward, fingers pressing into soft, warm skin.
"Everyone will know," Carlisle breathed against Edward's throat, thoughts flashing briefly to the faces of his family. "They can hear us even now."
"I could hurt you."
"I know that too." Edward slid his thumb along Carlisle's cheekbone. "But you won't."
The man looked unsure, but Edward stretched languidly, arching his back to press his hips into Carlisle's.
The man was mesmerized by his skin (soft, pale, beautifully delicate), and Edward knew he could hear (could taste) the wild thrum of his heart beating too fast.
He slid his hands down Carlisle's bare arms, as he continued to undulate slowly above him. "Please."
The man nodded and opened the vial, dripping the shiny slick liquid over his fingers. Edward held his breath.
He slipped one finger up against Edward tentatively, almost afraid to touch him.
"Carlisle," he said sharply (breathless at the teasing touch), and the man pressed his finger in smoothly. Edward gasped, bucked his hips against his hand.
"Are you—" Carlisle looked up quickly, concern, fear, and indecision skipping across his mind. He was perfectly still.
"I'm fine," Edward laughed, tightening around his finger. "I'm…oh, oh God...I'm more than fine."
The man moved his finger slowly at first, twisting and curving, and Edward rocked up and down against him.
It was too much and not enough all at once. "More," he groaned, leaning down to run his tongue along Carlisle's lip.
The man's other hand slipped around the narrow curve of his thigh (skin, velvet soft, warm to the touch, almost more that he can bear), and he slid another slick finger inside.
Edward spread his legs wide, as he was stretched and stretched.
Carlisle moaned, breath a cool huff on his neck, and Edward could literally feel the want throbbing between them (skin sparking like livewire).
"Are you sure?" I want you I need you I want want…
"Yes." Edward nodded, mouth open, lips red.
Then Carlisle was slicking his cock, positioning it between his legs (thoughts vibrating with fear and want and rigid self-control), and Edward groaned as he pushed into him exquisitely, excruciatingly slowly.
His entire body shook, thighs trembling, as he balanced above him. "More…" And he spread his legs wider still, sinking down and down.
Carlisle had to grit his teeth and hold his breath because instantly it was too much. Too warm, too tight, too young…
And he moved slowly inside him, cock slick and heavy, and Edward gasped, exhaling sharply with each upward thrust. It was devastating, beautiful, and slow. He wrapped one arm around the man's neck, leaning down for another kiss.
Carlisle closed his eyes.
"Look at me."
His eyes fluttered open again. Edward tried not to notice how gold they were.
Don't stop. Don't ever stop… The man groaned. He skated a palm down Edward's chest (slick with sweat and warmth) then clutched at his hips, holding them as Edward rose and fell.
Carlisle's thoughts shimmered all around him. Iridescent plumes of desire, need, fascination, disbelief. He thought Edward was beautiful above him, hair tumbling into his face, clinging to flushed damp skin. His eyes were bright and wide and green (so green).
He had to hold his breath against the rapturous expression on the man's face, and, at that moment, there was nothing else in the world except himself and Carlisle and that white hot shattering bliss.
And suddenly, Edward was there. He gasped at the spiraling rush of pleasure, coiling down his spine, curving around his hips. "Carlisle…"
The man reached out to curl his fingers around Edward's cock, but he batted his hand away. "No…no, just you." Because he was too close already, and he knew he'd come the moment Carlisle touched him.
He shifted and arched his back, knees pressing into the mattress, into Carlisle's sides. The man's hips jerked, and Edward pushed down into each thrust as the headboard thumped loudly against the wall. But none of it mattered because he (because Carlisle) was inside him. And nothing had ever felt that good (could ever feel that good again).
"More…God, yes, more…"
Edward came, crying out, shaking, as warm wetness splashed on his belly, the man's chest, and slid between them with each snap of Carlisle's hips.
"Oh…God," the man breathed. You're beautiful when you come.
"I want to see you," Edward's voice shook, as he leaned his head back, exposing the pale column of his throat to Carlisle's mouth.
It only took a moment. Cold fingers bruised Edward's hips (perfect crescent shaped marks), as he shuddered beneath him, held him still, came inside him.
Edward's heart thudded in his ears; his bones felt like water, as he collapsed beside Carlisle, disentangling their bodies, curling into his arms.
The man stroked his back, cold fingers leaving goose bumps where they traced lines on flushed skin.
They lay there for a while. Edward tried to catch his breath, tried to calm the pounding of his heart, tried to disentwine his thoughts from Carlisle's, but they were strikingly similar to his own.
It was clear, though, that a line had been drawn through both of their lives. A brilliantly pale mark that forever divided their lives between the before and after, before and after that singular, remarkable experience.
Carlisle liked watching Edward sleep.
Their clothes lay in a rumpled pile on the floor, the wool of the man's trousers a gray swatch against the blue of the rug.
He'd taken to going to bed with Edward every night, lying beside him after hours of talking, lovemaking, fucking (though, of course, he never needed the rest).
Edward curled into the man's chest, half awake, half listening to Carlisle's thoughts, slurred by his own sleepiness.
The man smoothed his hair back from his forehead, fingers cool and soft. "Shush," he murmured as Edward sifted against him again, and he could feel his breath against his cheek, as Carlisle brushed a thumb over his mouth, dragged his knuckles over Edward's jaw, his throat.
Carlisle had wrapped him in a blanket, a layer of warmth against the chill of his skin, and Edward shifted closer still, settling his head on the man's shoulder.
And there, hovering on the edges of Edward's awareness, the man's thoughts (multifaceted and many colored) washed over him.
He brushed cool lips over Edward's cheek.
Then (softly against his skin) one word slipped. "Mine."
Edward was not even sure he said it aloud.
But it doesn't matter. The intensity, the possessiveness of that one simple word startled him. And he turned (more awake then) and opened his eyes. "You're watching me."
"Yes." I'm sorry. I can't help it. You're mine, mine…
Edward smiled (a lazy curve of lips). "I know. I like it."
Carlisle kissed him, mouth moving languidly, sliding slowly over his.
"Always yours," Edward sighed, hooking his leg over the man's hip.
But the man frowned at the soft affirmation, images sliding (rain against a windowpane) across his mind.
Edward. Changed. Beautiful. Immortal.
Gasping beneath him, clutching Carlisle's biceps, his shoulders, his hips, as the man thrust helplessly, brutally, beautifully into him.
Edward's back against the wall, fingers in Carlisle's hair. Carlisle's hands on his thighs, his mouth on his cock.
'Oh, oh God… Can I fuck you like this?'
Yes… God, yes.
Edward was suddenly achingly, exquisitely hard. "When did Alice see that?" he asked, breathless.
Carlisle turned away, lips pressing into a thin line. No, no… "It's nothing," he said, voice clipped and tight.
But something prickled at the back of Edward's consciousness, a wash of blue and gray. It was cloudy and indistinct, but—
The man said nothing, would not even look at him.
"This was after, wasn't it? After Italy. After you chose not to change me."
No… But thoughts seeped through the creases of his mind, pooled around the edges (red, gold, and bone white).
"No," he whispered again, "I'd never."
"When?" he repeated his question, sliding a finger along the man's jaw, encouraging him to turn his head. But he sat perfectly still, barely breathing.
The man's eyes flashed (a shadow of something he could not place). "This morning…" Yesterday. The day before.
Edward's breath caught in his chest; his heart pounded against his ribs.
"The visions are clear," Carlisle said, voice tight (words like glass on his tongue). And they haven't stopped.
"I didn't know."
He shook his head and did not look at Edward. "She's been shielding you. At my request," he added quickly at Edward's frown. "But that doesn't stop what she sees."
Something warm curled through Edward's stomach (bright light, white heat). He stretched, skin sliding against blankets and cold skin. "And I was—"
Carlisle didn't let him say it (thoughts flickering disgust and desire). "Yes. You were like me." He sucked in a sharp breath. "Irrevocably."
Edward pressed his mouth to the curve of smooth skin just below his jaw.
"I want you, you know," he whispered, tongue tracing the shell of his ear. "Permanently."
The man tensed, but did not pull away. "I… I know."
"And we were happy." It wasn't a question.
Still, the man's thoughts ran (like water, like blood). They twined between Edward's fingers, coiled round his spine, slid slowly across his skin.
"Yes. We were."
May, 2011-October, 2011
a/n: Please take a moment to enjoy the lovely artwork enchantedpanda made for this story: enchantedpanda (.) livejournal (.) com/5257 (.) html