Mrs. Meyer still owns the charterers, but I own the idea.
This story will contain: Daddyward, Dom Carlsile, lots of BDSM, oh and Constructorward. Pictures can be found in my Facebook group (Addicted-to-romione-bedward Fanfiction) at Photos in the folder named after the story. You can find there the banner made by Falling Stars
A special thank you to harrytwifan for helping me with betaing this one.
I can't thank you enough for the amazing way you received this story.
Just lying there in bed, being so close, helps me sort out my thoughts.
Carlisle asks a few questions about what I've done while we've been apart. I tell him everything – from the moment I left until we bumped into him at the store.
He's happy I managed to pull out from the bottom of the well. I'm happy, too.
Kenna deserves this – a good father.
Then I ask what he's been doing all this time.
With a heavy sigh, his head falls on my shoulder and I feel tears soaking my shirt.
"When I realized I lost you…I found the worst way to deal with it – I went to my cellar."
"You started drinking?" I ask, shocked.
"Now you truly must hate me."
I tilt his head so I can see his watery blue eyes. "I can't ever hate you, okay. Never."
"You're too kind, Edward." Carlisle sighs. "I called in sick, and after a week of emptying many expensive bottles of wine, Esme showed up at my door and gave me the wake-up call I needed. I pulled out of my misery, and with her help…I realized that worse shit happens to people."
"That's true, but having your heart broken hurts worse than anything else," I whisper.
"She told me about my patients, about people sick at the hospital that needed me. Then she told me that she'd have wanted to have her heart broken when she was sixteen." He stops and takes a shuddering breath. "It's her story, but it stuck me so hard…"
"What happened? Esme? She doesn't look like…" I'm curious. I've always seen her as a jovial and happy person.
"She realized that no matter what life throws at you, you have to get back on your feet and confront it – live your life." Carlisle looks into my eyes. "She lived on a farm and her parents were mostly gone with business. One day, the veterinarian came when she was alone…"
"Oh, God!" I gasp.
"Yes…she didn't tell her parents what happened. She got pregnant and when she knew she couldn't hide it anymore, she left home, ashamed. That's how she ended up in Chicago…but on the way here she gave birth to her child."
"Hold on…how far away could she have lived?"
"Somewhere in Ohio, but she knew she had relatives in Chicago. It turned out there weren't any relatives. Anyway, by the time she reached a hospital…she was dehydrated, the baby was already dead – she was in bad shape physically and mentally. After a long year of thinking of killing herself, she saw an advertisement for a nursing class on a building. They didn't accept her because she hadn't finished school. She was determined to help others, so she finished high school then enrolled in nursing school. All the while, she waitressed so she could pay for her rent and books."
"I would never have guessed she went through so much."
"And the other example I thought…" Carlisle whispers. "It was you, sugar. You decided to live even though your husband died. You didn't drown your sorrows in alcohol."
"Truth?" I murmur, not meeting his eyes. "If I didn't have Kenna…we wouldn't be talking now. Probably would have never met. I thought so many times of the short way out…even had a plan for Kenna. I'd have given her to Bella, with a letter explaining what a coward her dad was."
"I don't want to ever hear that from you!" Carlisle shouts, looking agitated. "No. I can't think…" He cups my cheeks. "Don't think of that. No."
Right then and there…through his breaking voice, I realize he does love me.
"You helped me a lot," I whisper. "The…uh, Playroom sessions…they helped me a lot emotionally. They made me stronger," I admit. "I can't even thank you enough."
"That's what they usually do. But we jumped in feet first. I should have explained to you more. I shouldn't have taken you to that party. There are so many things I should have done differently." He shakes his head.
"Can we leave all that in the past?" I wonder.
We settle back against the headboard, quiet. Until Carlisle moves to take his sweater off, telling me it's warm.
I shrug, because he's right. It is too warm in his house.
Then I see something on his arm, disappearing under his short sleeved shirt. This wasn't there before.
It's a new tattoo.
Without my consent, my fingers touch the orange and yellow flames…or whatever the image is.
Carlisle shivers and looks sheepishly at me.
"I did this after Esme's visit," he explains. He rolls the short sleeve up, but still all I can see are flames.
"Flames?" I ask, curiously.
Carlisle chuckles. "Can I take my shirt off? It's pretty big."
It's my turn to laugh. "Sure."
In one fluid movement, his shirt is off and I'm in front of a beautiful phoenix. The flames are its tail. One wing is on his back, while the other is on his chest. The bird's head looks like it's resting on his shoulder. There are a few tears dropping toward Carlisle's heart.
It's the most intriguing and gorgeous tattoo I've ever seen.
"Does is it mean anything in particular? Besides phoenix being the only bird to burn in its ashes and be reborn from it. I get that part."
"The phoenix's tears have healing powers," he explains.
I nod, tracing the bird's head.
Then our eyes meet and I know I've forgiven him. It will take time to regain his trust, but all I want is to kiss him, to be back in his arms, to be safe, happy, loved.
We move at the same time – our arms go around the other's neck, our lips meet and soft sounds escape us as we kiss desperately. Everything we've felt over the past couple months is pouring into this kiss.
"I love you, sugar. With all my heart," Carlisle murmurs against my lips.
I gulp the lump in my throat. "I love you, too, Carl."
There are tears on my cheeks, but I let them fall. He's right. Tears are healing.
I end up spending the night with him. Neither of us sleeps – we're under the blanket, hugging, cuddling, kissing, caressing, not wanting to let go.
In the morning, when I feel him getting out of the bed, I decide it's time to start the day.
We make coffee and drink it on the couch. Our feet are tangled under the coffee table.
It feels more intense than ever before – but that's probably because I know he loves me, too. Because we're going to give our relationship a real shot without starting off as Dom/Sub.
We're going to be just Edward and Carlisle.
"Do you have to work today?" I ask, reluctant to leave his side.
"Sadly, I have to be there. The last time I left the interns alone, they nearly ODed a small child."
"Oh no!" I gasp. "You must go. I have to be at the bank at nine," I add. "And I still need to change my clothes."
"If I let you leave now, will I see you again?" Carlisle asks quietly.
"Of course. I want to try again."
"So we're...dating?" He chuckles, elbowing me gently.
"If you want to label it..."
"Is it too soon to have dinner together?"
"I miss your cooking. If you make one of your special dishes, I'll definitely be here."
Jeez. I'm flirting.
"Then it's settled. I'm making an Indian recipe I found a few days ago." Carl winks.
He's flirting right back, and it feels like the first love all over again - butterflies, daydreaming and that general amazing feeling.
"Oh!" Carlisle moans. "Do you think Kenna would like Indian food?" Then he eyes me sadly. "Am I even allowed around her?"
"I think she'll forever hate me if I keep her away more than necessary."
"Good. Squishy misses her."
I frown, before groaning loudly. "NOOO! Please. Why did you keep the rat?"
"He kept me company, though falling asleep in bed with me...he nearly found his death a couple times."
"He slept with you?" I shout. "I need to shower." I suddenly feel itchy all over – my phobia's fault.
This is amusing Carlisle terribly because he's laughing so hard, the couch is shaking.
When he gets a grip of himself, I finally tell him I have to go, but promise to return in the evening with Kenna.
He walks me to the door where we kiss for a long time. I know this kiss leads only to one place - his bed - so I end it, then leave.
The only problem is it snowed overnight – heavily. My small car is buried under a mountain of snow.
"Need a lift?" Carlisle jokes.
I'm about to pull a tantrum that could rival Kenna's, because this amazing day starts looking down. Fast.
It's only seven thirty, but by the time we shovel all the snow out of the way, it's close to quarter past eight. I won't make it on time to work if I stop home – which I have to.
The only time we crashed at Riley's after a long evening of fun and games, I dropped Kenna off at school, then went to work...and Kate was prompt to ask who was the lucky guy.
I definitely don't want that conversation.
To top my worries, my stupid car doesn't start.
Carlisle suggests I shower at his place and borrow some of his clothes. He'll drop me off at work.
I really want to say no, but all I can do is kiss him quickly then rush inside.
After a speedy shower and grabbing some clothes that fit me, I'm in his car, directing him to the bank.
When he parks in front of the building, I can see he's looking amused at me.
Did I miss something?
"Is Tanya your boss?" he asks between chuckles.
I tense, then groan. "How do you know her? I swear that woman knows the whole city!"
"Unfortunately, we're related."
"You're what?" I spit out.
"Related," he repeats slowly as if I'm stupid. "She's my estranged cousin. After the fight I got in with my mother, I left and never looked back. She probably doesn't remember me since...well, I haven't seen her since I was about fourteen."
Then I make the connection with what she told me a long time ago – her cousin with golden hair.
"Carly!" I exclaim.
"What did you just say?" Carlisle hisses, narrowing his eyes at me.
I take it he hates the nickname as much as I hate being referred to as Eddie.
"Tanya. She used to talk about her golden-haired cousin – Carly."
"She always knew how to embarrass me. Wait! That means..."
"She remembers you," I continue. "We live in a small world," I say laughing.
"Indeed. Do you mind if..." He gestures to the bank.
I'm not ready, but they're relatives.
They'll know he's the Carlisle I've been bitching about.
Tanya told me she'd hurt him if she met him...maybe not really since he's her cousin – the one she missed.
"Maybe not today," I whisper, but he's already out of the car.
I knuckle my forehead as I see Tanya coming out of the bank, one hand gripping Kate's hand...one hand on her stomach.
Do I need more drama in my life?
I get out of the car and rush to them. Kate sees me and shouts at me to call Simon – the douche Tanya calls a husband.
While I search for his number in my phone, Tanya starts shouting. A glance tells me it's not the baby this time – she's seen Carlisle.
Keep calm, I encourage myself. Calm. Breathe in, breathe out.
That should be something for Tanya, but it's for me, apparently.
A lot of yelling and hugging and crying later, we're piled in Carlisle's car on our way to the hospital.
"I'll take her," he tells me, then they disappear inside and I'm left juggling my phone and the car keys.
I park the car legally, finish talking with Simon, then face Kate. My nemesis.
She's awfully quiet as we step into the hospital. I ask for Tanya Sparrow...because Simon couldn't have had a better name – short and fat, with small beady eyes.
As we walk to the delivery room, Kate bursts into a fit of giggles.
"I told Tanya you got lucky last night. You're always early. Today, when it hit ten past nine, I knew you were busy." She smirks at me.
"I didn't get lucky. We just...hashed out some things."
"In French? Or was that this morning? Your lips are swollen and your hair is in worse disarray than ever. And you have this glow about you."
"Kate," I moan. I want to bang my head against the wall.
The day is a blur of activity, and when Simon arrives, Tanya's rolled away to give birth. Carlisle distracted her from the pain as much as he could while they reconnected. Kate and I never made it back to the bank, but I wasn't complaining.
When the clock catches my eye, I gasp. Kenna!
Kate tells us to go get her, she'll keep us updated.
I can't wait to see Kenna's reaction to Carlisle.
Dum, dum, dum! :)
Next Kenna and Carlisle reunite.
I'll post my inspirational tat picture on FB in my group and on Photobucket. But I couldn't find exactly what I wanted.