Hello readers! I know it's been a long time since my last update, but I am still alive and well, just incredibly busy! This chpater focuses on Carlisle and Esme's budding romance (oh the fluff!) and the complications that will follow (oh the angst!). I also want to announce that i don't think I'm going to finish this story after three chapters. There's just too much story to be told. I have no idea how many chapters it will end up being, but it will most likely be more than five. Hope you enjoy this chapter and make sure to review and tell me what you think!


OoOoOoOoO

When I woke up light was streaming in through the window, and the bed was empty. I rubbed at my sleep covered eyes, still disastrously tired, even though it was already 9 o'clock, hours past my normal alarm clock setting. I found my phone lying next to me on the bed stand and picked it up, flipping through the new messages. There were a few from work, and one from Edward.

Hope you had fun last night. I'll let you sleep in. How does lunch at 12:30 sound?

I quickly sent a positive reply and hopped out of bed. Oddly enough I was completely naked.

That's when it all came back to me.

The club, the girl, the sex. Everything.

The calm, serene feeling I had when I had awoken evaporated in the air, leaving me stressed and tense. I threw on a pair of pants and a t-shirt, running a comb through my hair quickly. So many questions were running through my head, way too many to keep track of.

What am I supposed to do now?

I've never even had a 'one night stand' before. I'm just not that type of guy, or at least I thought I wasn't that type of guy. But I guess I am. I mean I did use a girl for sex. Or did I? Was there something more than lust last night? I remember she told me she loved me, but people will say anything to get what they want. Did I love her? Do I love her?

And where is she now?

Her jacket was still lying on the floor, along with her panties and bra, so obviously she didn't get very far. I checked around the room but found no one. In my search I noticed a small envelope tucked away beneath the sheets, spindly handwriting coating the front.

Dear Doctor,

I was hungry and you were asleep so I went downstairs to get some breakfast. Hope you don't mind!

-Esme.

It was short and sweet, just like Esme.

For some reason I placed the envelope in my suitcase before leaving. Something about Esme made her…irreplaceable. I couldn't throw a letter written by her away, even if it was something so simple. I couldn't waste something so lovely. For some reason I couldn't stop liking her, even though my confusion over the night before. It was impossible to not like Esme.

I hopped on the elevator, quickly punching the 'lobby' button. The older couple that spotted Esme and I the night before were standing next to me, their eyes steadily disapproving. They reminded me of my parents, overbearing and constantly disappointed. I breathed a sigh of relief when they got off on the next floor. I've never liked people disapproving of me, it made me feel…uncomfortable. So, instead I chose to fit in. Well, I chose that route until now.

My parents taught me how to fit into the mold. I learned quickly.

The dining hall was, as I predicated, packed. The hotel was moderately large, and quite luxurious, hence the impressive chandeliers and table clothes. High class members of society eating miniature crêpes and sucking down lattes by the dozen were in abundance, which caused a tingle to run up my spine. A nervous tingle. Esme would stick out like a sore thumb in here, and stick out she did. It would have taken me a while to weed through all the guests to find Esme, but luckily for me she was pretty obvious.

There, standing in the middle of the marble-floored hall was Esme, clad only in one of my button down shirts and a pair of bright red boxers. She spotted me and sent me a huge grin, waving me over as she fixed a heaping pile of egg Benedict on her plate. I heaved a sigh and rushed over, ducking my head slightly, mentally hoping no one would recognize me. God knows this story will be told around someone's dinner table tonight.

So I was just eating my breakfast and this voluptuous, caramel haired woman comes strolling in dressed in men's clothes, underwear to be exact. Absurd, isn't it?

Yep, I can see it now. This will forever go down in history as the worst morning ever.

"Esme! W-what are you doing?" I exclaimed, pulling her aside by her arm, nearly causing her to drop her plate. She cast me an annoyed look, rolling her eyes as she yanked her arm from my grasp.

"Did you not find the note? What does it look like I'm doing?" she asked sharply, her tone surprisingly rude. A look of regret flashed across her face, but before I could really pin it as such it was gone. Looking suddenly flustered she walked over toward a stray table near the back of the large banquet room and sat down, crossing her legs daintily as she began to eat.

I followed her lead and sat down next to her, my embarrassment and anger over the situation slowly fading away. There wasn't much I could do anyway. She obviously doesn't understand proper etiquette, and I know she doesn't have any proper clothing to wear. What else could she have done?

Wait for you to wake up so you could stop her from doing something so stupid.

Yeah, as if that would have happened. She's much too hard-headed for that.

Esme glanced up at me, her fork close to her mouth. She raised her eyebrows and dropped the utensil, leaning back in her chair casually. "So, what do we do now?" she asked quietly.

I coughed awkwardly, inwardly chastising myself for getting stuck in this situation in the first place. I used a woman I didn't even know for my own personal gain, and now I have to decide what happens afterwards. What am I supposed to say? Go home? Thanks for the nice lay?

No, I couldn't just push her away in such a casual way. Surely I can do something for this poor woman, even if it's just offering her a couple thousand dollars.

"I mean it's not like I can be like your girlfriend or anything. I bet you already have one anyway, don't you?" she asked sourly, tapping her finger against a glass of orange juice.

My mind faded to Irina. She was certainly not my girlfriend, but for some reason I still associated her with that title. I glanced at Esme, taking in her current appearance. She was beautiful, as I had already mentioned, but she looked like a prostitute. She looked poor. She didn't look like Irina with her fancy clothes and million dollar manicures, she looked like a struggling young woman who had found a job that was degrading, but at the end of the day would hopefully pay the bills.

She didn't fit into my life-like Irina did. She wasn't the daughter of a rich CEO, destined to become a trophy wife and a spoiled brat; she was just a city stripper. Why am I stringing her along, acting like she has business hanging around the likes of me?

Oh, how awful I sound, but how true it is. I cannot ignore how odd this whole thing is. So what am I supposed to do?

"So where do I pick up the check in here?" Esme asked, pushing her plate aside as she stared down one of the waiters.

"You don't have to pay, Esme. It's free since I'm a guest," I replied coolly.

Esme smiled that bright smile that seemed to weaken my knees almost instantly. She was so striking, a true testament to female beauty. "Well, thanks, Doc. Now that I'm fed, I'm going to go up and take a shower. Join me?" she asked seductively, planting a long nailed hand on my shoulder.

She abruptly stood, causing my shirt to ride up in an embarrassing manner. I hissed and grabbed the hem as I got up, pulling the shirt down to cover my boxers. I noticed a small blonde haired girl laughing as Esme walked through the dining area, grabbing an apple at the end of the bar before exiting. The little girl pointed mockingly and her mother hushed her sternly, but not before shaking her head at Esme. I gave her a dangerous look and grabbed Esme by the shoulders, guiding her to the elevator as she munched on the red ripened fruit.

We did shower, but separately, much to Esme's ire. She of course didn't seem to think much of this whole situation; I blamed it on her career and lifestyle. She doesn't understand consequences like I do. Then again, who am I to judge this woman who I hardly even know? How long have I known her? Half a day maybe, and most of that time we spent sleeping.

Never the less, I decided, while Esme was showering, to make a list of things my parents would approve of in regards to Esme. Just in case this whole 'I love you' thing turns into an actual relationship, which I doubt it will, but still…

I pulled out a notepad and pen, using my knee as a desk. I wrote 'Qualities Mum and Dad would like in Esme,' at the top and underlined it thickly. Next I numbered the side of the page up to ten, dotting each number to keep it organized. I thought about adding more numbers, but quickly remembered just how hard it would be just to reach ten, what with my parent's high expectations and Esme's…varied style of living.

I tapped the pen against my chin as I thought of the first quality. I of course could come up with many I admired in Esme, but very few came to my mind when thinking of what my parents would want to see.

Money? No.

Important family? Not that I know of, though if I had to guess I'd say no.

Impressive career? That's a definite no.

So what would they see in her? What would they like?

I placed the tip of the pen to the paper and began to write out the word 'confidence' beside number one. They would like that. 'A confident girl is a successful girl,' as my Dad always said. Yes, confidence would do.

Next I put down 'beauty,' and then 'drive'. I paused for a moment, deciding whether or not to cross that last one out. It did, to a certain extent, make sense, but would my parents readily see it in her? Or would they just see some dirty stripper their son brought home?

I moved down to line number four, leaving 'drive' at three. It really doesn't matter much anyway.

"What are you doing, Doc?" Esme asked as she glided out of the bathroom, a towel twirled around her curly, wet mane. The rest of her was, not surprisingly, uncovered, which made me feel, once again not surprisingly, incredibly uncomfortable. I crossed my legs awkwardly as she walked over, completely and utterly unaware of what she was doing to me.

"Nothing," I muttered quickly, pushing the notepad into my pants pocket. Her eyes narrowed for a moment, her expression slightly scary. Then, before I even knew what was going on, she had me lying on my back, arms and legs straight up in the air as she mercilessly tickled my abdomen while I laughed uncontrollably.

"Esme!" I screeched, trying to get away from her frightening finger tips. She giggled and with her left hand, as her right was still tickling my side, she smoothly removed the notepad, immediately flipping to the last page I was on.

She mocked clearing her throat, pounding her chest lightly with a closed fist as she eyed the paper and began reading. "'Qualities Mum and Dad would like in Esme'. Hmm…interesting. Mind if I read more, Doc?"

She waited less than a second before continuing her read aloud, causing me to sigh in exasperation. She reminded me so much of Edward when he was a child, but more in a positive way then a negative.

"Number one, 'Confidence,' with an uppercase 'C'," Esme said, smiling a bit. I shrugged and she continued, "Number two, 'Beauty'. Mhmm, doctor, you sure do know how to light a girl's panties on fire," she said sarcastically, giving me a little wink. "And last, but certainly not least, coming in at number three is 'Drive'. Well, I wouldn't say I have much drive, but whatever you say, sexy." She tapped my knee and handed the notepad back.

"So, that's it?' I asked her hesitantly, wondering where she would throw in the catch. No woman I've ever met would let a man get away with making a list for his parents about them. They really hate that, don't know why but they do. They're just sensitive that way I guess.

She raised her eyebrows and widened her eyes, flipping her palms out in front of her, mocking my questioning tone and posture. "You tell me, honey. I mean, if you want this to be it, it can be, but if you want more, I'm open 24-hours a day."

Esme's cute phrase caused me to smile. When she wanted to be, she could become so irrisistable.

"I don't know what I want right now. But surely you must understand that I didn't mean to get to this point with you. I didn't mean for any of this to happen. I'm not usually a complicated man," I explained. She tilted her head slightly and nodded.

"I understand. And, to be honest, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into last night either. I'm complicated but not that complicated." She paused for a second to laugh, though it sounded dry and fake. "Well, maybe it is. Sometimes. Either way, I'm sorry for doing this to you. A good Doctor like you shouldn't be with women like me. I think I was a little high last night anyway, so I guess we can just say it was no one's fault."

Esme went to grab her coat, but I caught her wrist, preventing her from moving. "Wait, Esme, please don't leave. Not now. Please."

She looked down at me, her eyes dancing with amusement. "The doctor begging the prostitute not to leave. What a story to tell all your friends," she joked, ripping her wrist free in the process.

"Esme…" I started, but she hushed me with a raised finger. The gesture reminded me of my mother, causing me to cringe. She noticed my distaste and chuckled softly.

"Don't worry; I'm not leaving you yet. I'm going to milk you for what you're worth first." She smirked and flicked her hair over her shoulder before leaning down to rifle through my suitcase.

I had almost forgotten she was still naked (almost being the key word) and raced over to help her find something suitable to wear.

"Are you sure you don't want me to just run over to your place and pick up some clothes for you? I'm sure that would be better than walking around New York in men's business attire," I reasoned, pulling out a pair of slim black slacks.

Esme shook her head, grabbing the pants out of my hands before I could put them back away. Before I knew it they were half way up her legs, the material bunching over her curvaceous thighs. "You go to my apartment? Not in a million years, Doc."

I gave her a puzzled look as I helped her pull on the pants. I was a fairly skinny man, and she was a very curvy woman, so they were actually quite snug on her and would hardly button around her wide hips. When they finally snapped I yanked them up a bit higher so they could sit on her waist, above her naval. She pulled at the material uncomfortably and gave me an equally puzzled look.

"What's your problem? Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked, somewhat defensively.

After loaning her my best pair of slacks you think she would treat me better.

Women.

"What's wrong with your apartment?" I spat back, my tone as rude as Esme's last remarks.

Esme growled softly, "Nothing's 'wrong' with it, Carlisle. It's just…not up to your standards is all."

My standards? Really? I went to a strip club last night; obviously my standards weren't very high to begin with.

"What do you mean, Esme?" I asked gently, running a thumb across her cheek.

She shrugged lifelessly and moved around to my suitcase, plucking a shirt out from its depths. She pulled it on and tucked it into the pants, pushing the sleeves up as she went. I helped her cuff the pant legs as she chewed on her lip, deciding on a proper answer.

"I-I…it's just that…I mean…look, you don't come from where I come from. I was born in the sewer of society, and I'm still in the sewer of society, whereas you were probably born in a nice big house to a nice happy family, which is probably, I'm only guessing here, what you have now. I don't and I never will. I live in a complete dump on the worst side of town with a bunch of drugged up hookers who never seem to pay their portion of the rent, and the place is trashed and…a-and…"

"And what, Esme?" I asked hesitantly. She looked away from me, a single crystal tear running down her face in a smooth pattern.

"And Charles is there. I know he'll be there," she said, nodding her head, as if to reassure herself of this man's presence at her own home.

"Charles?"

"My ex-boyfriend who knocked me up a couple of years back. I didn't know I was pregnant, so I never stopped drinking or doing drugs. Long story short I had an extremely painful miscarriage, which caused Charles to become my 'ex' boyfriend." She shrugged again, as if the whole situation didn't really matter to her, but I knew better than that. I knew her, and I knew it was seriously troubling her, as it should. The situation she was in sounded horrific, and would surely scar anyone with normal human emotions. She deserves my pity. She deserves society's pity.

"Why would he break up with you after a miscarriage? Did he just want a baby out of you?"

Esme pondered the question as she gazed into the mirror situated above the dresser, her hands firmly planted on the dark stained wood. Her fingertips were white from being pressed too hard, and her cheeks were slightly red, either from anger or embarrassment. "Yes. That's all he ever wanted. 'A heir to the throne' he would always say in that sickening voice of his. I hated it. I never wanted a kid, ever. I always thought, 'why would I bring another person into this hell?' And why would I? I'm never going to be glad that baby died, but I'm never going to be really upset, because a baby of Charles is dead anyway. Bless him for dying before he had to see his father."

Silence fell over both of us, her words finally sinking in through my skin. I finally heard them, finally understood them.

You can help her, Carlisle! You can save her!

But I can't. I really can't. She doesn't fit the mold. I mean, I could give her a couple hundred dollars, tell her to get on a plane and fly somewhere new, but I she could never be a real part of my life, not with a story like that. Mum would kick her out of the house before she could even say hello and Dad…oh Dad. He'd probably file a police report or something against her, get her arrested. They would definitely never allow marriage to ever come into the picture, so what's the point?

I guess I can always try. Give her a nice day on the town before going back home. It's the least I can do.

"You should go take a shower," Esme stated halfheartedly, her form still hunched over the dresser. She looked almost sick. "I want to get out of here soon. We should go out, get some air."

I nodded my agreement and walked over to the bathroom, shutting the door behind me.

OoOoOoOoO

"We could go to Bloomingdale's if you want. It's only a block away."

Esme stared at me as if I had just offered to go to hell.

We were walking down the sidewalk, Esme licking at an ice cream cone I had just bought her. We had taken a taxi to Serendipity 3, an old favorite of mine, and were now looking for somewhere to buy clothes for Esme. She had offered some pretty…low class places, all of which I shot down. If I'm going to do this for her, I need to do it right, which means giving her a nice new wardrobe. Not stuff from some seedy dive in Brooklyn, something expensive. Something I would approve of.

"Are you kidding me? Have you been there before?" she asked incredulously. Her eyebrows were raised and her eyes were wide. She licked her ice cream cone a couple of times before continuing. "The prices there are ridiculous. No way am I paying two-hundred bucks for a pair of shoes."

I shrugged, "I've bought a couple of suits there before. It's nothing out of my normal price range." I said the words without really thinking; only noticing how snotty they sounded a few seconds later. I looked away sheepishly as Esme sighed.

"Well, we can go if you're paying. The wad of cash you gave me yesterday is going to my rent, not to new clothes."

"Do you need new clothes?" I asked. I didn't want to treat her like a charity case, but I also wanted her to have everything she needed. Her situation was rather depressing, and caused sympathy to pool in my heart. I needed to help her, somehow. If buying her a new wardrobe is it, I shall buy her a new wardrobe.

She gave me a puzzled expression. "Why do you care so much about me? I mean, I've never met a guy who would willingly go out and buy me clothes. You're quite odd, Carlisle."

I gave her a cheeky grin, "I'm not like 'most guys', Esme. You should know that by now."

She laughed sweetly and grabbed my hip with one hand. "Mmm…you taught me that last night, didn't you?"

I winked at the little minx and planted a swift kiss on her forehead. "I try, malady. I try."

"Either I was high as a kite or you're some sort of professional at sex, because last night was fucking amazing. Seriously," she clarified. She pinched my hip sharply and patted my groin as she tossed her empty ice cream cone into the trash. She wiped her sticky hands on her pants (scratch that, my pants) and flitted back over to my side, her eyes dancing with mirth. She was quite dashing in my clothes, and even more dashing without a bra on underneath. Which reminds me, I need to buy one for her. No matter how sexy it is, it's really not appropriate in public, especially when concerning Esme, who is a rather busty individual.

"I hate to be invasive, but you've mentioned drug usage a few times, which has me worried. What sort of drugs are you talking about?" I asked her quietly.

She quickly looked away from me, ignoring my gaze. "It's nothing. The boss gives us stuff to calm our nerves," she swiftly clarified. I could tell by her tone and posture that she was obviously lying. I gave her a strong look, pestering her to continue.

"And what else do you do? I can tell you aren't saying everything."

She fidgeted under my scrutiny, pausing for a moment before replying.

"Charles and my friend Vera, who's his most recent girlfriend, like to do yayo in my apartment sometimes. I like to take some shots once in a while, just for fun."

"Yayo? Sorry, I'm a little behind on my drug lingo," I explained. As a surgeon living in rural New York I don't hear about drugs very often, and when I do they are always said in precise medical terms.

"Cocaine. You know, crack, base, zip, whatever you want to call It it's the same shit." She looked down for a moment, closing her eyes briefly as she considered her next words.

"Alice brings X to almost every party and James, Bella's boyfriend, usually has a couple of ounces of dope on him. Drugs are a part of life, you know? It's just the way things are."

Cocaine? Ecstasy? Heroin? Good Lord, what have I gotten myself into this time?

You got a crack head on your hands now, Carlisle.

"No, I don't know what you mean. I don't do drugs, I don't even smoke. Esme, if what you're saying is true you need to get help. Addictions can be serious, and you can be seriously in-"

"Oh, shut up!" she snapped, cutting me off sharply. Her voice was laced with venom, and although I was quite a bit taller and quite a bit stronger I immediately stopped talking. She was quite imposing when she wanted to be, and I certainly didn't want to test her boundaries.

"You think I'm going to die from snorting a few lines every couple of days? You think I'm going to die from shooting up a few times each week? You think a happy pill is going to kill me? No, Carlisle, they won't kill me. Smokes are probably more likely to kill me anyway, and I'm sure as hell not planning on giving those up any time soon. Drugs aren't that bad. They're actually a lot of fun, and if you saw my life you would want something that could make you happy, if only for an hour or two." I felt her hand wrap around mine, her palm warm and comforting around me. "So please don't worry about me. I'll be okay, and if I die then I die. We all have to sometime, right?"

"You need to live first, Esme," I reminded her. My thumb instinctively ran across her skin in a soft and soothing manner. She shrugged, her eyes darting from the concrete sidewalk to the storefronts beside us. She began to walk faster, almost dragging me as she raced ahead.

"Don't worry, I'll live one day. But first, can we go in here?" she asked brightly. I looked up to see what she was pointing at and smiled in pleasant surprise. It was Dylan's Candy Bar.

"You've never been here before?" I asked curiously. Esme said she had lived in the city her whole life; surely she's been to such a famous land mark. I don't even live here, but I've been to the Candy Bar more times than I can count.

She shook her head, causing her caramel curls to bounce around cutely. "Never. Who has money to blow on candy?"

I chuckled, "The same man who has money to blow on three scoops of minty chocolate chip ice cream."

She blushed, "You didn't have to buy that for me."

"But I wanted to," I explained. "Come on, let's go. Everyone should have the opportunity to go here at least once." She squeezed my hand and raced to the door, throwing it open quickly as I followed her in an ungraceful and clumsy manner.

OoOoOoOoO

"That was a lot of fun. Thanks," Esme said as she lapped at a multi-colored lollipop.

"It was my pleasure. So, where to next? We should probably get you some clothing, and then I'll need to call Edward. Maybe he can meet us for lunch somewhere?" I offered, waiting for her reply.

She nodded stoutly, "Sounds good, Doc. I suppose we can go to Bloomingdale's, but you can't spend that much money on me, alright?"

A smile slid across my face. "I won't. Promise."

I may have made that promise to Esme, but in the end I just couldn't keep it. Anything she wanted was hers, and she wanted quite a lot. She flew down the aisles, grabbing various shoes and dresses, and tossing them into my general area. I found out her favorite color was purple, which made sense considering the outfit I saw her in last night. She joked that the clothes she wore on stage were the only things she was allowed to pick. "Everything else is the bosses' property," she said with a slight shrug.

She tried on all of her findings and had me work as her official 'change this to a different size' guy. She'd toss something over the door and throw out a lower or higher number. Either she really didn't understand her own body's proportions, or she just wanted me to run around doing her will, which really didn't bother me at all. I enjoyed being with Esme, in any form. Her presence was not only comforting but also exciting. She was a new spark on the horizon. She was an exotic gem for a faraway land. She was the most fun I had ever had.

"Better go up one, Doc!" Esme sang, tossing me a dark-colored skirt. I caught it easily. "I got wide hips, you know?"

I chuckled, nodding to myself. "Whatever you say, Esme."

I quickly gathered the other garments she wanted and returned to her dressing room, tapping at the door delicately to warn her of my presence.

She ripped the door open, her pale skin as bare as the day she was born, and grabbed the clothes from my arms. I heard her bubbling laughter as she shut the door in front of my rather shocked face.

Once I had regained my composure I chastised her quietly. "Esme! Not in public, please!"

She snorted, "Whatever you say, Doc."

Once Esme was done with clothes shopping, I purposefully directed her to the lingerie department. She giggled playfully and slapped my chest lightly when I urged her to go pick something out.

"Want something special for tonight, hmm?" Esme asked in an alluring tone. She flipped a stand of caramel colored hair over her shoulder and gave me a seductive wink. I inwardly groaned. This would definitely end up taking an unnecessarily long amount of time.

"Actually," I hissed lowly as I grabbed Esme's shoulder and pulled her over to a rack of somewhat plain brassieres, "I just want you to look semi-decent while in public. I don't want you to embarrass yourself in public, or me." I only realized how rude I sounded after the words had left my mouth, but by that time it was already too late. Why was I degrading her so horribly? Has she not caused so much happiness in your life in the last twenty hours, Dr. Cullen? So why do you have to do this to her?

"I'm sorry," I mumbled hoarsely. Esme glanced at me, her eyes glassy and somber. She looked, for the first time, quite upset. "I'm sorry," I repeated dumbly.

"I don't care if I embarrass you, Cullen. I really don't," she told me dismissively as she flicked through a neighboring rack with wavering eyes. "It doesn't bother me."

"It was still rude of me. Here," I handed her a wad of cash from my wallet, placing it in her palm face down. She cast me a quizzical look. "I'll be waiting outside when you're done. I already have someone taking all your other stuff to my hotel, so don't worry about that. Just buy what you want and meet me outside."

"Carlisle…" she started, shaking her head slightly as I began to retreat from the department. I was already getting enough weird stares.

"It's okay, Esme. I just need to call Edward. I'll see you in a few."

She gave me a confused goodbye but allowed me to go. I needed some time to think, away from her. Away from everything.

I quickly exited the department store, finding a convenient bench only a few paces away from the store front. I pulled out my phone and punched in my brother's number, patiently waiting for him to pick up.

"Hey! Carlisle! Where the hell are you?" Edward asked jokingly.

I chuckled, "It's a really long story, one I don't want to bore you with, but if you come meet me for lunch I can give you the recap."

There was a break on the other side and I imagined Edward checking his mental calendar for any events. "Sounds good. Where at? Wait, where are you?"

"I'm actually at Bloomingdale's, well I'm waiting outside Bloomingdale's. Uh, Esme needed new clothes."

There was another pause then an eruption of laughter sounded through the tiny electronic device. I frowned, pulling it away from my ear to avoid the distorted sound. Once he was over his complete delirium, he began peppering me with rather embarrassing questions.

"You got laid, didn't you?"

"Was she any good?"

"You used a condom right?"

"Please tell me you know what that means, old man."

I sighed, rubbing my forehead absent-mindedly. I suddenly had a raging headache.

"Yes, I know what that means, Edward. And we did use uh, protection," I said awkwardly. My voice held a slight tremor and my words had a slight stammer. It was an embarrassing, and private thing to talk about with anyone. Even open-book-Edward.

"There we go man!" Edward hollered. I heard something slam and then a loud yell, presumably from Edward. It sounded like 'my brother finally got laid!'

Great. Now he's telling his roommates. That's really what I need right now.

"How much did it cost?" Edward asked eagerly. I heard laughing in the background, obviously coming from his buddies.

You shouldn't have even called him. You knew he would do this.

"I didn't pay her for sex, Edward!" I spouted angrily. "It was consensual and mutual. I wouldn't try anything if it weren't."

Edward scoffed, "Course you wouldn't, oh God-like Carlisle! Well, even if you didn't pay her for sex she's still a stripper, which means for once in my life I didn't make the bad choice. You did."

I knew Edward was probably smirking, which only aggravated me further. Why was he being such a prick? Oh, right, because he's Edward and Edward's an ass.

"It wasn't a bad choice," I hissed back, "I was just acting on my feelings for her. Yes, that's right, feelings, Mr. Cullen, which is something you've never had for a girl."

That was pretty low.

But, in my defense, it was true. Sure, Edward's had numerous girlfriends, but not a single one has been serious. He dates women to have something on his shoulder, not to have someone who will actually feel for him and expect returned emotions. At this stage in his life he just doesn't care. But I do, and hopefully he will understand that.

"Feelings? For a stripper? Come on Carlisle, don't do this. Please. I mean they're nice to play with and everything but you…you…" He paused for a moment, thinking of a better way to phrase the sentence. "You just don't do that. You just don't."

I rubbed at my forehead for a minute, my eyes shut, and my mind miles away. What if he's right? What if what I'm doing is wrong? Maybe it is. I suppose I can see where he's right.

"I know, Edward. I've already thought about this, and to be honest I'm done thinking about it, so just drop it for now, okay? I guess I'll talk to you later."

Edward coughed and shuffled around on the other side. "Wait, I'm sorry about what I said. If you like her, date her. It doesn't matter what she does, love is love, right? Fuck what everyone thinks, heck, fuck what I think. Just do what you want to do. You're grown, I'm sure you can make better decisions then some college kid can. But one quick question, have you thought about Mum and Dad and what they will think? I don't think either of them would be very happy," he warned clearly.

I chuckled a bit.

I don't think either of them would be very happy. Yea, that's the understatement of the century.

They would most likely be livid, maybe even beyond that, but I couldn't let my parents run my life like they are now. As Edward said, love is love and no one can change that.

"I know, they'll be mad, I've already thought of them, but I don't plan on doing anything about it. I mean what can I do? If I love Esme, and want to have a serious relationship with her, then I will, whether or not they approve."

Confidence is key, Dr. Cullen. Confidence is key!

"True. Well, it's your choice, not mine. Whatever you want to do, it's up to you," he reminded me calmly. "It's always up to you."

OoOoOoOoO

AN : Thanks so much to everyone who read and reviewed! Love you guys!

Auf Wiedersehen!