Disclaimer:Written under the derivative fan works act. All rights reserved to the original creator, Stephanie Meyer.

Title:The Darkest Part of the Night

Rating: M for graphic violence, blood play, vampire feeding, sexual situations, lemons, hot steamy angsty vampire lovin', underage drinking, smoking, drug use and overall bad behavior.

Premise:Edward left Carlisle to live the vampire lifestyle but he didn't leave his family behind. They left with him, feeding off the dregs of human society. What will happen when they finally meet a certain human girl? No Vegetarians Allowed AU OOC ExB Lemons

AlternateUniverse: This story uses more traditional vampire canon as opposed to Twilight sparklepires. Canon pairings eventually although Edward and company get a lot of play in this story until things settle down in later chapters (Obviously Bella won't be in the story until after she's born), pretty much OOC, ExB of course.

POV:EPOV (Edward) Edward tells this story. Any commentary from Rosalie, Alice or Bella will be posted as outtakes in a separate story.

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Author Notes:

Please note that this story is rated M for a reason, if you'd prefer not to deal with mature themes, please do not read this story.

Warning: This is a somewhat dark vampire story from the vampire's point of view. There will be graphic violence and disturbing scenes involving vampire feeding in later chapters. There are very few vegetarian vampires in this story besides Carlisle Cullen. Actually, there are no true vegetarian vampires in this story besides Carlisle, and he doesn't play a huge role in the majority of the story, although he is an important character and is central to the story.

Obviously, if the vampires in the story don't hunt animals, they hunt humans. They aren't going to suddenly change their minds and decide hunting humans is bad, but you'll have to read the story to find out what happens. You have been warned. If you would prefer not to deal with these themes, then please don't read this story.

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Chapter 1 Rose

Edward. Please contact me ASAP. C. Cullen

Classified Advertisement, Chicago Daily Illustrated Times, April 1933:

-~*TDPotN*~-

Carlisle. What do you want? Edward.

Western Union Telegram, Rochester, NY, April 1933

-~*TDPotN*~-

Edward. Please return home ASAP. I require your assistance. Carlisle.

Western Union Telegram, Chicago, IL, April 1933

-~*TDPotN*~-

I knew where Carlisle and Esme were living in Rochester, although I had never visited their house here. I hadn't lived with them since 1923, although I allowed Carlisle to maintain contact with me through one means or another. I didn't maintain a permanent residence although I kept a post office box in whatever major city I was currently residing in the vicinity of, besides they could have always contacted me through my attorneys.

Simply because I lived a predominantly nomadic lifestyle did not mean I was a barbarian. I was a most civil and urbane monster, despite my penchant for living on the road and taking my meals where I found them. Placing a classified advertisement was probably the most expedient means of contacting me. Carlisle new I was fond of keeping abreast of the news in my home town.

I also continued to follow the stock market, despite the recent disasters on Wall Street. Thankfully I was sufficiently diversified and had significant reserves of precious metals and rare coins to safeguard the majority of my fortune. I had been conservative in my investments, preferring not to over extend myself instead of playing the market on margin. It had paid off and prevented my ruin in the market collapse. I was actually ahead of the game and planned to come out on top of this circumstance thanks to knowing where to invest my remaining funds in areas the government was targeting for recovery efforts. I had plans to travel to Tennessee next after I discovered what Carlisle needed so urgently.

I saw the gate into the property Carlisle had described ahead of me as clearly as a human would have seen it at noon on a sunny day. It was the darkest part of night now in the hours before the dawn, and any human in their right mind was tucked soundly in their bed hopefully sleeping peaceful dreams if they were righteous god fearing folk. Otherwise, perhaps they were having nightmares about me or others demons like me visiting retribution upon them for their sins.

I suppose if I had to be a monster, I could be a monster that served some higher purpose in life beyond the wanton fulfillment of my own base desires.

I downshifted through the gears of the motorcycle to slow for the turn onto the gravel drive up to the main house, and then smoothly accelerated once I straightened out of my turn. I cruised up to the main house as I looked around at the modest estate.

The main house was brick with stone sills and accents around the windows. The broad porch was columned to support the overhang with a balcony above it on the third floor. There was a turret on the front corner of the house where there would be a sitting room inside and possibly a sewing room upstairs. The windows were heavily draped as I would expect, although they were open now to take in the view.

There was a carriage house at the end of the graveled lane that led off of the semicircular drive in front of the house. There were servants quarters, more sheds and out buildings behind the main house. The landscaping was still in fairly good shape, although it was obvious that it hadn't been maintained recently. Carlisle must have been keeping gardeners on staff until a week or so ago, but it appeared that they had been recently dismissed.

I pulled up on the drive in front of the main house, and shut off the motorcycle engine. I stepped off the bike and pulled it up onto the stand. The front door opened as I was shutting of the gasoline supply, and Carlisle and Esme walked out onto the porch to greet me. I already knew they weren't alone, and then the girl followed them out. She stood slightly behind Carlisle, as though seeking his protection as she looked at me a little apprehensively. I knew her immediately for what she was.

She was astoundingly gorgeous, even for a vampire. She was tall and statuesque, with an elegant figure similar the ladies that attended high society functions in the highest social circles. She carried herself like she was used to getting her way and have people pay attention to her. She had long, blonde, wavy hair that hung down to the middle of her back that perfectly suited her. The hairstyle was a little dated and didn't quite match current women's fashion, but she was obviously very new from her bright red glowing eyes. I suppose the hair style wasn't so out of date or place amongst some of the older, more conservative families in upstate New York. Especially for their younger daughters, even if short hair for girls was all the rage now in the big city.

She was dressed stylishly enough for 1933, wearing a skirt that hung to mid-calf, pleated to the knees at the corners, white pumps, a long sleeved turtleneck, and a small white pill box hat pinned to the back of her head at a stylish angle. Esme was dressed similarly without the hat and her dress had short pleated sleeves with shoulder pads to give that wide shouldered look that was so popular in women's fashion right now.

I pulled off my driving goggles and leather aviator cap to run my fingers through my hair. I loosened my gloves and pulled them off and tried to slap some to the road dust off my jodhpurs with the gloves before I approached the porch. My jackboots had a fair accumulation of road dust as well, and could use a shine, but that could wait until tomorrow evening. I'd see what I could turn up in town as it appeared that Carlisle and Esme were no longer keeping servants. I couldn't hear any human heartbeats around the estate or in the house, but then that made sense if they were training a newborn.

"Edward, thank you for coming on such short notice," Carlisle said as he stepped off the porch and extended his hand to grip mine.

Carlisle looked the same, but then I'd hardly expected him to have changed. He still looked almost too young to be a doctor with his boyish blond good looks, standing there in his velvet smoking jacket, tweed trousers and wing-tipped shoes. His words were welcoming, but he was blocking his thoughts hard as he only considered what was directly in front of his eyes and recited biblical verse in his head the rest of the time. It didn't worry me. I knew he'd tell me in time.

I gripped his hand affectionately and shook it. "It's good to see you Carlisle. I was about due for a visit anyhow, and I was curious to see what required my presence so urgently."

"Edward. Let me introduce you to Miss Rosalie Hale."

His eyes are red… but not red like mine. Carlisle said my eyes would turn gold… Why are his eyes red…?

"Pleased to meet you, Miss Hale, I'm Edward Masen. Apparently we share something in common, you, me and Esme. Carlisle was responsible for my introduction to this second life as well." She nodded but made no move to take my hand. I let it drop.

Then I turned back to Carlisle. "You've created yet another companion? You managed to go the better part of three centuries maintaining a solitary existence, and now you've created a third in less than fifteen years? Does it become easier to damn us to perdition with repetition?"

Carlisle looked down and wouldn't meet my gaze, but I couldn't stop, "and another girl at that? Perhaps you should move to Arabia and take on the persona of a sheik. You're already well on the way to starting your harem."

Rosalie turned without speaking and flew into the house, but I was privy to her internal monologue, regardless. I heard her footsteps on the stairs and then a door slamming shut.

Arrogant self-righteous beast! How dare him! Comparing me to common strumpet! But then perhaps that's what my life has been reduced to… Consorting with beasts and monsters… Perhaps I am truly damned…

"Edward!" Esme admonished, "That was uncalled for. She's only days old and very sensitive about the circumstances of her transformation!"

"I'm sorry, Esme. It's been fifteen years, and I'm still sensitive about the circumstances of my transformation! It is good to see you, though. Have you been well?"

There had been a time there in the very beginning when I thought there might have been something more between Esme and I. She was very attractive with her long caramel colored hair and heart shaped face. I had been somewhat embarrassed when I discovered she held no romantic feelings for me at all, but identified me more with the child she had lost than as a suitable romantic partner. It was a forgone conclusion that Carlisle would win her affections. He had a history with her when she was a teenager and had bonded with her shortly after her introduction to this second life. It seemed ironic that somebody younger to this life than myself would find herself thrust into the role of my mother.

"Very well, thank you, Edward. It's so good to have you home. I have a room prepared for you."

"Thank you, Esme, but I had my luggage shipped to a hotel in town. I have secured rooms there for the duration of my visit."

"Nonsense! I won't have you staying in a hotel when we have all this room here! You can have your things sent over tomorrow evening and stay here with us!"

I sighed. It would be futile to resist. I'd have some of my bags sent over, but I'd keep the rooms in town. It made it easier to eat in the city, given my lifestyle.

Carlisle still wasn't looking at me yet, but his thoughts touched me. Please come inside, Edward. We have a lot to discuss.

"Alright, let's talk. I'm curious about what was so urgent that you placed a classified add and then sent a telegram instead of just posting a letter or contacting my attorneys."

Carlisle finally looked at me again, and placed his arm around my shoulders as he led me inside the house when he saw me smiling. "Thank you, Edward. I really am excited to have you here. I want you to take a look at my latest samples with my experiments in developing a synthetic blood substitute."

We might have our differences of opinion, but I was willing to let bygones be bygones as long as he didn't try to preach to me about my diet. He led me into his study and indicated I should sit. He went to the side board and poured a drink and then glanced at me to inquire if I would partake as well. I nodded and he poured me a bourbon.

"You're still working on that?" I asked about his research. "What is this, going on two hundred years now with your research and experiments?"

Carlisle handed me my drink and then sat down behind his desk before continuing.

"Easily, but I do believe I've successfully developed a suitably stable version of a synthetic human blood plasma. The difficulty is still with the additives and the solids. We've known for a long time that the oxygen transfer is a function of the bed blood cells. That's really what we use as a source of energy from the blood we ingest as well. The plasma simply acts as a medium to support the blood cells in a liquid form. I still can't replicate the platelets and leucocytes. I have yet to discover a functional methodology for creating human cellular tissue in the laboratory."

I took a sip of the alcohol and felt it warm me as it cut the dust in my throat. The bite of the strong drink helped to ease the perpetual discomfort of the blood thirst. I had fed less than a week ago, but satiating my thirst only relieved the bloodlust for a day or two at most. I could go two weeks without feeding but the blood thirst would become progressively more intense in the interim. The drink helped alleviate that.

"I doubt you'll ever create a suitable human blood substitute, Carlisle. Only god can create a human being. You're blessed enough with the ability to heal those few ailments we've solved the mystery of. Our duty is to send the evil doers we meet to their just desserts in the underworld before we join them, thereby reducing the creator's burden in the sorting process."

"That's an interesting position, Edward, but you haven't seen everything I have seen. Science and the study of Medicine have made such truly amazing progress over the last three centuries. We've gone from being little more than witchdoctors and Sooth Sayers trying to drive out demons to developing a true understanding of how the human body works and development of therapies and techniques that can truly cure disease."

"You couldn't cure my disease."

"No, I couldn't. I gave you this life instead for my own selfish reasons. Regardless, medical science has come to a better understanding of that particular disease as well. I was reading a research paper that was published just two years ago. Researchers have isolated the disease agent and mechanism for influenza, and should have a viable vaccine by the end of the decade."

"I'm sure the thirty million people that died around the world will be heartened by that fact."

"Perhaps a few. The 500 million ill that survived will likely rejoice in the fact that we can prevent it from happening again."

"If you take away natures ability to regulate human population growth through disease, aren't you really risking all of us? You've done the yeast experiment. You know what happens when a population has no predators and is allowed to expand unchecked. It continues to grow until it consumes all of its resources and then drowns in its own waste products. If you and your colleagues truly advance medicine to the point where you can cure all disease and artificially extend human life, you're really exacerbating the growth problem. How long do you truly think humanity can continue like this before they become the agents of their own extinction and ours along with them?"

"At least another hundred years or so. I have faith that science will advance along with medicine sufficiently to solve those problems. I am an optimist, Edward, while you are the eternal pessimist. I will put my faith in science and hope for the best."

"And I will place my faith in the nature that you have imposed upon me and play my part as the predator to the human population growth issue. Perhaps god does work in mysterious ways and science will be the vehicle of our salvation, but until that day comes I must embrace the nature evolution has damned me to."

"I'm sure you do as you see fit. I will not condemn you for your choice of lifestyle. I know you have been most circumspect in your feeding habits."

"I can't say the same for your friends from Italy."

"You saw them? I hadn't heard that Aro was sending any teams to The United States. Usually they stop in and visit if I know any of them."

"They're aware of your compassionate nature and obviously didn't want to involve you. There was another rally outside of Chicago."

"Hunters again? What happened?"

"They were trying to exhibit evidence of our existence and recruit volunteers to their cause to exterminate us. The majority of humans think they're crackpots and lunatics, but there is a dedicated core of true believers. They didn't think they'd be attacked if they operated during daylight hours."

"Normally they wouldn't be. It takes a very old mature vampire that feeds upon human blood to operate without restriction during the day. I'm nearly three hundred years old, but I'm restricted to only a few hours in the sun as a result of my diet, and it weakens me horribly. Was it bad?"

"Yes. I have no use for hunters and will gladly send them to perdition when our paths cross, but the Volturi… They weed them out root and branch. The perpetrators were carried off and disappeared immediately, but it didn't end there. Entire families were decimated. Anyone with a connection to the hunter community that could be identified became a victim. Most of them died quickly. Some of them they turned… The loved ones and families of the most rabid opponents of our kind were forcibly recruited."

"Oh my god…" Carlisle looked stricken, and didn't ask, but I could tell from the tenor of his thoughts that he was curious still.

"The majority walked out into the sun and burned."

Newborns had no resistance at all to the rays of the sun and quickly succumbed to the effects of the sunlight. First it sapped them of their strength, causing them to fall unconscious within minutes, and then they would burn to ash. Even fifteen years into my second life I could spend no more than a handful of minutes in the direct sunlight without succumbing to its deleterious effects. My resistance would increase with age.

"And the rest?"

"They chose to embrace their second life and switched sides. It's not a hard decision to make for most, the choice between life and death."

"It was an extremely difficult decision for me to make, Edward. I had to believe that I could rise above what had been inflicted upon me. I thought that it was a miracle that I was left with my free will and I could still choose good over evil. I had been taught all my life that suicide, the taking of ones own life, was the surest path to eternal damnation. It would have been easy to let the sleep incapacitate me someplace where the sun could end my existence, but I chose life over eternal damnation. I have to believe that my actions will count for something when I stand before my maker and have to account for my life's works."

"And therein lies the dichotomy between your views and mine. For I believe that we are already damned and are beyond the succor of salvation. I am a monster, but I choose to be a civilized monster for purely selfish reasons."

"Whatever your reasons, Edward, I find it suitably admirable that you refuse to partake of innocent blood if you must choose the lifestyle you have. The majority of our peers are not so discriminatory in their feeding habits."

"It salves my conscience in some small portion to try and remove the human predators from the equation. I am evolved for the purpose of preying upon humans. The human predators do it out of their own perverse sociopathic tendencies or simply to ease their own existence by preying upon their weaker brethren."

"I cannot argue with surgically removing a cancerous growth upon the body of human society, but I wish we had the therapies to treat and rehabilitate these individuals. I see their sociopathic tendencies as a form of illness or disease. Perhaps someday we will."

"But enough of this, these are all old arguments. We have had all these discussions in the past and you didn't request my presence so urgently to show off your synthetic blood plasma. Why did you require my presence?"

"I thought perhaps you could be of assistance with Rosalie…"

"There's more to it than that, Carlisle. She's your third newborn. You hardly require my assistance to handle her, and you have Esme with you now. She can more readily attend to her feminine requirements than I ever could. You're still guarding your thoughts. What aren't you telling me?"

"I thought perhaps you'd have a unique perspective on her situation. She was set upon by a group of men and violated in the most vile manner imaginable. They left her for dead in a back alley where I found her bleeding out and near death. I know you have experience with this sort of situation…"

"Do you want me to hunt them down and make them pay for their crimes? I can accommodate that end…"

"No. I thought that your unique insights into the nature of this situation might help Rosalie come to terms with her circumstances and allow her to embrace her new life."

"I know nothing of caring for the victims of crime, Carlisle! I visit retribution upon the perpetrators, but I leave it to the institutions within society to see to the victims needs."

"Perhaps if you talked to the girl you might find the compassion within your heart to offer her some succor in her hour of need…"

For the briefest of instants, Carlisle's calm façade broke and his efforts to block me out of his thoughts failed as he considered the possibilities of our future together. He envisioned Rosalie as my mate of all things!

I laughed out loud. I couldn't help myself as I considered how ludicrous his line of reasoning was. He really was naive when it came to matters of the heart.

"I fail to see how offering the poor child some compassion in her hour of need is a source of jocularity. Honestly, Edward, this is a serious situation!"

"Carlisle, let me begin by saying that I appreciate your efforts on my behalf, but how is it possible upon this gods green earth that you have managed to live nearly three centuries and yet you know almost nothing of the dynamics of vampire mating? Simply because she is new to this life has nothing to do with whether or not I will develop a bond to her. What happened between you and Esme had nothing to do with her being a newborn. She was your soul mate and you got lucky."

"Am I that transparent to you, Edward? She is very beautiful… Would it hurt you so much to try and find happiness in another of our kind?"

"I see you as my father Carlisle, and I understand that you maintained your chastity until you married Esme. I value your advice although I don't follow it as often as you'd like. Let me be honest and frank with you… I'm not a virgin Carlisle. I have had relationships with females like us although none of them lasted.

"Oh… I wasn't aware… I know times have changed but it hadn't occurred to me…"

"Finding ones mate is something that just happens when it's destined to happen. It isn't something you can seek out or force to happen. You had to wait so long to find Esme because she hadn't been born yet. I don't know why you didn't bond to her the first time you met her when she was sixteen…"

"I did bond to her then, but the relationship was wholly inappropriate then. I let her slip away for her own good, although it pained me greatly to do so… Perhaps it exacerbated my loneliness to the point where I needed a companion so much that I acted out of desperation when I found you…"

"So you do understand what it's like to find ones mate. I can't say when it'll happen for me, but if Rosalie was my soul mate, I'd likely already know it. I'd be upstairs talking to her instead of down here discussing her with you."

"She is a very lovely girl, Edward… Have you had many relationships then?

I could understand that Carlisle liked the illusion that I should have ultra-moral Victorian attitudes like him, considering that he had been raised during a period of intensely conservative religious upheaval, but while I may have been born at the very extreme tail end of the Victorian period, that was not the period that had shaped my moral character.

Most people retain the morality and values of the time in which they 'come of age'. For me, this would have been when shortly after was turned, not when I was born. Considering that I had almost no memories of my own of biological parents or human life and was a newborn in 1918. It had taken at least several years for me to adjust to his new life and come to terms with what I had become before the outside world mattered again and popular culture had an affect on me. It was no coincidence then that I would be more apt to adopt the attitudes of the 1920's rather than the mores and values of the period before I was born and had no memory of. I in fact grew up in the 20's, not the Victorian period that ended at the turn of the century.

The 1920's were an era of youth rebellion and relatively loose moral standards. The corset was discarded, and women's legs were seen for the first time in centuries. The 1920's set the standard for the modern concept of beauty with its worship of youth, and for the first time in history; older women started copying younger women. The modern concept of dating was invented in the 1920's, and youth of that era regularly attended petting parties, wore more revealing looser clothing, danced, smoked, and had a an all around good time while listening to Jazz music and drinking bootleg liquor during prohibition.

Touching and petting were more than acceptable, as long as you didn't go all the way. Petting could mean kisses or fondling, but stopped just short of intercourse. Intimacy and eroticism were explored and youthful hands exploring the nether regions of the opposite sex was standard college entertainment. Sex was still taboo although it happened all too frequently too, particularly in the male partner was able to secure 'protection' in the form of 'French letters' or condoms, as they were commonly referred to. There were moral and legal complications to purchasing condoms for use as contraceptives, but worldwide, condom sales doubled in the 1920's.

This was the period where I had my 'coming of age', and those were the times that had shaped my character, attitudes and morality.

"I've had my fair share of relationships. Times haven't changed all that much as far as relations between men and women are concerned. Just what society perceives as acceptable changes. The dynamic between the sexes is as old as the species, Carlisle."

"That's true… Cultures change, but people don't…"

"Things have always been far more relaxed for our species than they are for humans, although human attitudes about sex and courting have relaxed by a remarkable degree in the last couple of decades. I suppose it's a reaction to the feminine liberation movement. Women have had the vote since 1920."

"I suppose that's true as well. I'm old enough to know better…"

"I would not be opposed to spending time with your Rosalie, Carlisle, but I don't think that's what she needs right now. She needs a friend and somebody to talk to. Esme is better suited to that role than I am. She's more likely to identify me with her attackers than somebody to confide in."

"That's likely true as well."

"Come on. Let me settle my motorcycle in your carriage house and collect what I'll need for tomorrow. I have a travel bag with a change of clothes and a shaving kit. It'll be dawn soon, and if Rosalie is as new as she looks, she'll soon be asleep for the daylight hours anyhow."

"Of course, Edward," he said as we got up to walk back outside.

"What kind of motorcycle is that?" Carlisle asked when we were back out front looking at it. "I can't say I'm at all familiar with the contraptions, but it looks fairly sturdy and fast."

"It's an Indian Four. It's manufactured by the Indian Motorcycle Co. in Massachusetts." I said as I pushed it off the stand and started wheeling the motorcycle toward the carriage house. "I'm assuming that refers to the inline four cylinder motor. It has a most efficient chain drive, and will easily cruise at eighty to ninety miles an hour."

"Really? That's a lot faster than we can run. It would extend our range considerably. Did you ride it all the way from Chicago?"

"Yes, but I still had to make stops along the way to get out of the sun. I could have gotten here as fast on the train with a sleeper car, but the motorcycle offers a greater degree of freedom to explore the countryside. It's almost like running because you aren't tied down to the rail lines. It also affords you a means of personal transportation in cities after the taxis and trolley cars are shut down for the night without having to purchase an automobile everywhere you go."

"I may have to look into purchasing one. Is it capable of carrying a passenger? There's only one seat. Esme might enjoy something like this, but I doubt she'd want to ride one herself."

"There's a passenger pad that fits on the rear fender and foot pegs in the saddle bags, but I hadn't mounted them yet because I haven't had the requirement to carry a passenger as of yet."

I collected my small travel bag from the saddle bags slung across on the back of the bike on either side of the rear wheel and Carlisle led me back inside the house. He showed me upstairs to a nicely appointed room with a private lavatory and then left me to my devices for the remainder of the night.

There was a wash basin on the counter and pitcher of fresh water for washing in front of a large mirror fastened to the wall. The facilities were fairly luxurious for a country house with indoor plumbing for the tub and a flush toilet. The bed was large and the mattress was firm the way I preferred it. I made sure the window was securely shuttered and closely draped with the heavy velvet curtains to block out the sun and then I retired to the lavatory to have a bath and wash away the road dust from my journey.

I could feel the lethargy spread through my body as I finished my bath and dried off, and I knew the sun had to be rising for its passage across the daylight sky. I could fight the sleep for a number of hours if necessary, but eventually I knew I would be forced to submit to the death like slumber. I had no reason to fight it this morning. I settled into the spacious bed as the oblivion took me and I fell into the comatose dreamless sleep that was common to my species to pass the daylight hours.

Carlisle was mature enough as a vampire that he did not succumb to the sleep any longer unless he was required to hibernate to recover from a serious injury. The rest of us were all sufficiently new enough that we would sleep until the sunset.

-~*TDPotN*~-

I awoke from my sleep and I was instantly aware and awake. I inhaled deeply to draw in the scents in the room as all of my senses were alert to any minute change in the environment. It was an automatic reaction of the survival instinct that had become a part of me when I first woke to my new life. I was able to relax once I knew nothing had changed and the room and its contents were as I'd left them when the sleep took me.

I dressed and left the room to go meet my hosts for the evening. I'd most likely need to leave to go into town shortly if I was going to deal with arranging to have some of my luggage moved here before the local businesses closed for the night. I wanted to see if I could use one of Carlisle's vehicles, rather than taking my motorcycle.

The soft rhythmic thumping against the wall and sounds of springs working to the rhythm of the thumps alerted me to the fact that it might be hours yet before I saw Carlisle and Esme leave the confines of their apartment. It would likely be too late when they emerged to make my way into town for business purposes tonight. I could still check into the hotel and inspect my rooms, but it would be too late to have them send any of my luggage over.

The way our world existed in polar opposition to the human world as far as the progression of night and day activity was concerned sometimes made it difficult to coexist with humans, but the human world was making progress. The majority of the major cities had businesses that were open late at night for humans. While Rochester was hardly a sprawling metropolis, it had a significant amount of industry and businesses with late hours.

I went downstairs to return to Carlisle's study. I thought perhaps I could find a book to read until he was no longer indisposed and I could ask to borrow a car. I was pleasantly surprised to find a telephone on a stand in the lower hallway near the base of the stairs. Telephones were not common in private homes, but it made sense. Carlisle was a doctor, and it was to be expected that he'd most likely been employed at a local hospital prior to Rosalie joining his family.

Carlisle had promptly resigned his position when first I and then Esme entered his life. He knew he'd require the additional free time to deal with the needs of a newborn. The life of a doctor with responsibilities at the hospital and patients to attend to would be much too time restrictive to care for the needs of a newborn vampire as well. It stood to reason that Carlisle had likely resigned his position this time as well.

I took advantage of the telephone to call the hotel. The operator came on the line when I picked up the hand set and I gave her the number for a connection to the front desk of the hotel I had booked rooms at. She was able to connect me after a short wait and I spoke to the concierge service at the hotel to request a porter to deliver some of my bags to Carlisle's home. I assured the concierge that I was intent upon keeping my suite, and I was able to describe the specific pieces of luggage to have them send to me.

I heard the footsteps on the stairway as I was speaking on the telephone. Rosalie descended the staircase with a light graceful step. She glanced in my direction and then looked away as she quickly made her way into the sitting room.

I was right…! I knew it! His eyes are red! Why are his eyes red? Carlisle said my eyes are red because of my human blood lingering in my tissues. It will fade in time, though, and my eyes will turn golden like his and Esme's. He's been like this for fifteen years… Why are his eyes red? They aren't like mine… More of a deeper ruby burgundy shade…

I finished making my arrangements with the hotel. The concierge said that no, it wasn't too late, and he could have a porter deliver my bags to Dr. Cullen's residence this evening. I hung up the receiver and walked to the sitting room, but stopped in the doorway. Rosalie was perched on the edge of a small sofa with a book in her hands, but I knew she wasn't reading it. All of her attention was on me, despite the fact that she kept her eyes focused on the page in front of her.

"May I join you?" I asked from the doorway. "I know you're curious and have questions. Perhaps I can answer them and allay your fears."

He is an arrogant bastard, isn't he! I'm not afraid of him! Everything is just so new and overwhelming… Remain calm… Breath… Esme said I can control myself if I want to…

"Carlisle has invited you into his home. Please feel free to go where you wish."

I walked into the room and sat down on the facing sofa so that the coffee table lay between us.

"I wanted to apologize for my outburst yesterday. My comments were directed to Carlisle alone, and I meant no disrespect to you personally. What exactly have Carlisle and Esme told you about me?"

Her thought process was relatively straight forward and she spoke her mind for the most part. "You meant what you said, but I'll accept your apology, regardless. I don't know you yet, and I prefer to form my own opinions about people. If we even are people anymore… Carlisle simply told me that you were highly intuitive and I wouldn't be able to keep any secrets from you, but that you'd be able to help me adjust to this new life."

"We're still people, Rosalie. We might be different… More predatory and primal, but we can still maintain our civility and retain a degree of our humanity in this new life. Carlisle was correct about the intuitiveness of my nature, but he was too modest in his description of my ability…"

"Too modest? How so?"

"You are aware that some of our kind awake to this new life with gifts or special abilities?"

"Yes… Carlisle told me that, but apparently I am not so gifted. Carlisle and Esme don't appear to have any special abilities beyond the normal gifts granted to our kind…"

"Not all gifts manifest with a tangible difference or immediately apparent function. Sometimes they might take years to become apparent. Carlisle's gift is his deep abiding compassion. It allows him to care deeply about those around him. It gives him such a profound degree of control over his more base urges that he is able to do his work as a doctor and surgeon and minister to the sick, despite the call of their blood.

"Esme is able to love with her whole heart. She is truly concerned for those around her and her nature is to nurture and care for her loved ones. Do not doubt that she truly loves you as she would her own daughter, and she will do everything within her power to see that you are happy and adjust to this new life."

"But your gift is different, isn't it. It has a tangible difference…"

"Yes. Please don't be alarmed…, but I hear the thoughts of those around me."

Rosalie immediately tensed up and became rigid in her posture as her eyes locked with mine.

You can hear my thoughts!

"Yes, I can, but only the surface thoughts. Your internal voice, so to speak. Rest assured I cannot delve into the deeper recesses of the mind or psyche. Your deepest darkest secrets are still secrets. I only hear what you're thinking about at the moment."

"That doesn't offer much comfort when you suddenly tell me you can hear every thought in my head! Few people truly speak their mind. Most treasure the privacy of keeping their opinions separate from the words they speak."

"You don't know how very true that is. I thought you should know from the beginning. I didn't want you to think I was trying to trick you or pry into your secrets. I have no control over this ability anymore than you can choose not to allow your ears to hear. I simply hear thoughts as well as sounds."

"Thank you for making me aware of your ability…"

"You have questions. Should I simply answer them? Or would you prefer to give voice to your concerns?"

"I believe I would prefer a normal conversation. I'm more comfortable with what I'm familiar with… Why did Carlisle ask you to come here? I know he was your creator as well… You were the first he brought into this new life. He explained how very lonely he was and made the decision to change you, but then he found Esme a few years later, and you left…"

"Would you prefer the truth, Rosalie, or would you like me to lie to you? You'll likely find the truth very uncomfortable, and the lie more palatable. I'll leave that decision to you."

Always so formal… My friends and family used to call me Rose…

"I can call you Rose, if that's what you prefer. I didn't want to overstep propriety…"

"Rose is ok. I think we're past formality now, Edward."

"As you wish..."

Rose nodded her acceptance of the familiarity, and then continued. "I think I'd prefer to deal with the truth. I've been forced to deal with many uncomfortable truths of late… Don't start lying to me now, simply to safeguard my feelings."

I nodded "You know that Carlisle and Esme are mated. When a vampire finds their mate it transcends the simple human institution of marriage. It is a more profound connection than human commitments or the physical and emotional union that a man and a woman share. It changes them permanently. You understand that vampires mate for life? There is no divorce among are kind, it is physically and emotionally impossible. The pair becomes two halves of a whole."

"Is that why they're always…" You knowat each otherMy god, its amazing they find the time to leave their bed chambersex,sex,sexall the timeI thought being a vampire was about blood

"Carlisle and Esme are newly mated. They've only been together for eleven years. They'll slow down and cool off to something approaching propriety in a couple of decades."

"Decades! This is going to go on for that long!"

"From what I've gathered, this if fairly typical behavior for a newly mated pair…"

Rose eyed me suspiciously. Noway! They can't possibly thinkWith him? No!

"You still haven't explained why Carlisle asked you to come here on such short notice. What is this uncomfortable truth I'm going to have to deal with?"

"Carlisle spent the better part of three centuries living a chaste, monastic, solitary existence. He changed me to create a companion for himself, but I was less than ecstatic about what had been done to me…"

I can understand that sentiment… Why didn't he just let me die…? Is this any better than death…?

"Then he found and saved Esme and they bonded almost immediately. I suddenly became the third wheel as their relationship blossomed. At the same time, I was having reservations about the lifestyle that Carlisle espoused. I was not a strong advocate of his tenacious opinion that drinking animal blood was the proper way for us to live."

Why doesn't he just come to the point and tell me! Wait… there's another way to survive than drinking animal blood? It's so gross… No! He can't mean… Humans…? They're people! But we're vampires after all… That's real too…? When will this nightmare end!

"I'll come to the point, Rose, but I wanted you to understand the background first. Please don't hate Carlisle for what he's done. It's a manifestation of his compassionate nature. He felt he was saving you from death the only way he could, but he did it for selfish reasons too."

No… This cannot be happening to me… He saved me for you? So we could be together? Like him and Esme?

"Yes. Carlisle felt that I left them because I was the odd man out after Esme came into his life. He thought that if I found my mate too, my other half so to speak, then I would be willing to return so we could be a family again. Unfortunately Carlisle is hopelessly naive when it comes to the matters of the heart. I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but I can't say that I'm sorry he decided to save your life."

"You don't want me?" Does he like men? I've heard of thatIt always seemed odd that Carlisle chose a boy to turnBut he's such a pretty boy

"Trust me, I am attracted to women, and you are very beautiful, but is that what you honestly want in your life right now…?"

No… He knows…

"Please forgive me for saying so, but I would have found out anyhow due to my gift… Carlisle related the circumstances under which he came upon you in the street, prior to his saving you…"

Of course he would know… I'm damaged goods now. Why would he want me…?

"No, Rose, That has nothing to do with it. I'm only thinking of what's best for you now. If you need somebody to talk to, I'll be here for you. If you want something more then I'm willing, but you aren't my mate. You'll know when that happens."

"I will?"

I nodded upstairs where the rhythmic squeaking of springs and the soft thumping against the wall had resumed after a brief hiatus. "Trust me; you'll know when you find your mate. It's almost like a magnetic attraction drawing the two of you together, and then that starts…"

"Are you kidding? What… like some kind of magical love at first sight? That's crazy!"

I shrugged. "That's how it works for us. Trust me when I say that finding your mate transcends what you might remember of love as a human. Finding your mate is like suddenly finding a missing piece of your spiritual essence that you didn't know was missing. It is a transcendent emotional event in the life of a vampire. The physical aspect is simply a pleasurable bonus that helps the pair strengthen their bond."

"I don't like that idea at all. I'd prefer to choose who I want to be with and love whomever I choose. Not have the nature of what I am simply react when I come across the right person! What if I don't even like them?"

"Trust me, when it happens, you'll change our mind. You won't care about loosing your choices." I nodded upstairs again.

God, they've been at it like this for eleven years…? Why aren't we up to our ears in baby vampires…? Poor Esme… I know how much she misses her little boy… she must not be able to have children… I guess finding my mate wouldn't be so bad if I could have a baby…

"Rose… Esme hasn't told you?"

"That she can't have children? No, it hasn't come up yet. That has to be horrible for her, but Carlisle is a doctor… Maybe he can help her…"

"Rose…, vampires don't reproduce by having babies… Our numbers grow by recruitment…"

What… No! No! No! No! …He doesn't mean…! …He can't possibly mean…? …Never… Has everything I ever wanted been ripped away all at once…?

"I'm so sorry, Rose. I understand it must be a terrible thing to consider. Neither of us will have the opportunity to be parents beyond mentoring another into this new life, much as Carlisle brought you into our family. We can't have children…"

This is not happening! …All I ever waned was to be a mother… to raise my babies… to watch my grandchildren play at my feet… I can't even grow old… I can't think about this now…! I don't want to think about this… All I ever wanted… Never..? It's never going to happen…? Why didn't he just let me die! He didn't save me! This isn't living! It's a cruel parody of life!

"I can give you some time to adjust, Rose…"

"No… I'm ok. I don't want to think about it now. I have another question…"

"Ok, whenever you're ready…"

Change the subject NOW! Something… anything… What did I want to know…? Red Eyes… Right…

"I think I know the answer already, but I have to ask… Why are your eyes red? Carlisle said my eyes would turn gold like his…"

"Your eyes will turn gold if you continue to live with Carlisle and follow his guidance in your lifestyle choices."

"There are choices?"

"You were correct in your supposition. We are vampires and drinking animal blood is not what we were evolved to live on as our primary sustenance. It provides for our subsistence, but it is hardly satisfying, and only marginally palatable for that matter. The legends and folklore are correct in regards to our preferred diet."

"Your eyes are red because you eat people…? My god! You're a monster! We're all monsters! Why do we even exist?"

"Yes. I am a monster, but I am a selective monster."

You're a murderer… You kill people and drink the blood of your victims… I'M A MONSTER! …Why did he do this to me! Why didn't he just let me die! I can't exist… Not like this…

"As to why do we exist? That is a question for a higher power than me. Why do people exist? Some say creation, some say evolution. I reserve my judgment until we know all the facts. Regardless, you're asking why do vampires exist. You might as well ask why do hawks exist. I'm sure the field mouse considers them to be monsters. The same god that made kittens made snakes in the grass. Every creature has its predator. Mankind is no different than the field mouse or the sparrow in that regard. We are humanities predator. Unfortunately we have the somewhat dubious honor of being former members of the population we are destined to prey upon."

I don't want to be a predator… That's just a fancy name for murderer. Carlisle was compassionate enough to want me to be a murderer too…? But you said you're selective…? Selective how…?

"I do not feast upon innocent blood, and I am careful in the selection of my prey… I prey upon the human murderers, rapists and other evil doers. I am careful to select those criminals that the human society would have already condemned to be executed if there was enough evidence to convict them. Perhaps I usurp the role of judge, jury and executioner, but their guilt or innocence is readily apparent to me because of my ability. I exact retribution upon the guilty for their sins against humanity."

"Oh… I suppose if you had to make a choice, that's not such an appalling way to live… What about other vampires? Do they live like you or like Carlisle?"

"Carlisle was unique among vampires in his lifestyle decision until he began creating companions. Currently there are three vampires in the world that choose to survive on animal blood that I am aware of. I am fairly unique myself in my decision to abstain from innocent blood and limit myself to criminals and human predators. Our brethren and peers are not nearly so circumspect or selective in their feeding habits."

"Meaning they truly are the monsters of nightmares and legends…"

"I'm sorry to be the one that has to inform you of the harsh realities of the world you've been dragged into. Carlisle's way isn't so bad, once you adapt to it…"

"You abandoned it after four years. What makes you think I'll fare any better? I'll probably walk away from this one day to make my own way in the world. Then will I end up as a murderer too, eating people to survive? What am I suppose to do, pick up some strange man off the street or in a club or something on the promise of sex? Maybe even do that… and then satisfy my thirst…"

Oh god… Saying it out loud makes it so much more real… I'm going to live like that… I'd rather be dead… Why couldn't he just let me die…?

"It doesn't have to be like that, Rose. You don't have to be a mind reader to figure out who the bad guys are…"

"No, all I have to do is look in the mirror…"

"You're not a bad person, Rose. You're compassionate and you care. You don't have to sacrifice your humanity to this new life. You can choose how you wish to live."

I can choose not to live at all… Just run away and wait for the sun to come up… how hard would that be… Easier than burning for three days to wake up to this… It would be over quicker…

"That is always an option. Perhaps that is why our survival instinct is so strong. Only those that choose to survive do. I'm hoping you'll choose life."

"I'm already dead. What does it matter if I just decide to embrace that fact?"

"You're not dead. We're simply another form of life. Still flesh and bone, but different than before, some say undead. Dead things don't move around so much or carry on conversations."

Just then I heard the sound an engine and the crunch of tires turning off the road onto the gravel driveway. It was likely the porters from the hotel. This could be bad if I didn't take precautions.

"Rose, have you been exposed to humans since your transformation?"

(To be continued)

Author's note:

I know this is another story, and I have several in progress. I don't like to think any of them are abandoned, and I have chapters in progress for all of them. That being said, I follow my muse and write as the ideas come to me. I know I've neglected posting for some time, and part of that has been due to guilt over the fact that I haven't been diligent in working on chapters for the existing stories. I have excuses, and two beautiful new grand daughters, but they're still excuses.

Regardless, I have about twenty-five or so chapters of this story written, so I thought I'd start posting it while I work on my this and my other writing projects. I should be posting this story weekly while my supply of chapters holds out. Maybe I'll finish it before I run out of chapters

I'm trying something new with this story. Anyone who reviews will receive a teaser for the next chapter. so please, click below, let me know what you think.