Warning: Contains non-consensual disciplinary spanking and possible instance of consensual sexual spanking. If you do not find this acceptable please move along. Thanks.

Disclaimer: All of the wonderful Twilight characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. I am very grateful that she is kind enough to loan them to us. I will not do any irreparable damage... if I did that, I wouldn't have anything to play with and what fun would that be?

AN: I don't know, y'all. Not sure where this came from at all. It could be from me trying to think of a circumstance where Carlisle would be wrong, but I really think it is more of a combination of working three double shifts in a row while suffering insomnia in between.

I was working on the next chapter of Dark Justice, which should be up soon, when Carlisle started rambling this idea in my head. It should have been a one shot. Now it's a two and while I think I know what I'm doing, I would like to know how y'all would like to see this play out. What direction do you think this should go? My roommate has made a bid for either "angry" or "make up" sex. Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Please share 'em if you got 'em.

Thanks to my wonderful beta, Splinter, who helps keep me semi-sane.

Carlisle reclined in bed with his arm wrapped around his beautiful mate who curled up against him as she rested peacefully. Of course she wasn't asleep, but she had drifted into a slightly altered state of consciousness something akin to meditation, and for that he was grateful. It meant that she was still fully capable of relaxing in his arms even after what he had done.

Curling a lock of caramel hair around his forefinger, he sighed softly as he shook his head. It had been an instinctual act. He had to admit that the only thought in his head at the time was based in fear, loss and prevention of any future incidents that could contribute to loss. His fear had caused him to overreact, but he had done nothing more than he would have done had any other member of his family pulled the same stunt.

Hugging her a little closer to his body he leaned over to kiss her brow and inhaled the acrid scent of smoke and singed hair which caused him to shiver. Even after showering, the telltale odor continued to linger as it bore witness to her recklessness. Just as his response had been instinctual, so too had her actions. He could not live with the thought of a repeat of her impetuousness, so he had reacted just as he would have if one of the children had done something equally as foolish. She had broken his first and foremost rule. She had put herself in danger; something the coven leader would never tolerate and something her mate's heart could barely endure.

The icy road was the culprit, but the woman in the blue sedan had been traveling far too fast for the weather conditions. When she hit a patch of black ice and skidded out of control, it was all that Carlisle could do to keep from hitting her. Maybe if he had hit her car he would have been able to control her spin, but he doubted it. Before any of them could act, the blue projectile sunk onto the shoulder and began to flip end over end towards the towering trees. It was only by the grace of God that the car's descent had come to a halt just before colliding with the tree line. Had it continued five feet further, the doctor would not have laid decent odds on the woman's survival let alone the survival of the infant strapped in the backseat.

A ruptured fuel line and a spark was all it took for the crippled car to burst into flames much to the occupant's and onlookers' terror.

While Carlisle was still bringing his car to a standstill, he felt the wind swirl within the cabin as Esme flung open the door and flew from the Mercedes. Before he had a chance to step out onto the road, his mate was extracting the driver from behind the pinning steering wheel. Within seconds of getting the mother free, Carlisle's wife challenged the swiftly spreading flames again to retrieve the helpless infant strapped into the car seat that was meant to keep him safe. As she placed the babe in his mother's arms an explosion shook the surrounding forest sending fireballs spewing from the wreckage and glass and metal debris showering down on the humans and their angel of mercy.

Rubbing her upper arm gently, Carlisle groaned softly. If she had been two seconds slower. If the buckle on the car seat hadn't broken free when it did. Had she been one foot closer to the destruction when fire shot out to lick her skin and singe her hair. Tears glazed Carlisle's eyes as his mind replayed the accident and the various possible outcomes which tortured his soul with a cold feeling of dreaded fear.

The vampire realized that within the boundaries of this life he had never known true fear until today. To lose his mate would be to render his soul. He did not know how he existed before her, but he knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt his life would end with hers. Without her sweet love to sustain him, he would shrivel and die.

Once the ambulance had driven off with the grateful mother, Carlisle was able to turn his attention to his mate. With a snarl of, "Never Again" he had taken her by the elbow and dragged her further from the road and into the dense thicket of the frost covered woodlands. He had the feeling that she knew what to expect and yet she bravely went with him without as much as a backwards glance towards safety and freedom.

Coming to a fallen tree, Carlisle stopped and sat down, drawing his mate to stand between his knees. "How is it that you find yourself in this predicament, young lady?"

His words echoed in his head, sparking a memory from ages long since passed. His mind replayed a vision of a young freckled faced caramel haired girl poised carefully on his exam table. She winced as his cool careful touch surveyed the damage done to her leg, but otherwise remained still and quiet.

"How is it that you find yourself in this predicament, young lady?" He looked up at her with a gentle smile that put the girl immediately at ease.

"I fell out of a tree."

"Really? And exactly why were you up in a tree to begin with? That is certainly not a place that one normally expects to find a proper young lady."

Esme ducked her head slightly in embarrassment. "I was spying on my friend Veronica. She and Bobby Franks... well, I believe that he is thinking to court her. They were taking a walk down by the creek and ... I just didn't want them to know I was there."

Carlisle chuckled. "I see."

"It wouldn't have been proper for them to know."

Carlisle touched the tip of her nose with his finger as he continued to grin. "Actually, Little Miss, it isn't proper for you to be climbing trees and spying on your friends." His exam completed, the doctor leaned back slightly on his stool and folded his arms across his broad chest as his expression darkened. "I must say that if I was your father, I would take you over my knee and teach you a good lesson, though I have my doubts that anything will curb the mischievousness that I can see in those pretty brown eyes."

A most attractive blush colored young Esme's cheeks as she glanced away from the visiting physician.

With a gentle pat to her uninjured leg, Carlisle caused her to look back up at him as he smiled. "Do your parents know why you were up in that tree?"

Esme shook her head. "They didn't ask so I didn't feel the need to tell."

"Then it will remain our little secret, but be more careful the next time you take on the mantel of spy."

Giving her a wink he called for his nurse to assist him in setting the break, while silently realizing that with this chance meeting, the spirited Esme Platt had just stolen his heart.

"What are you talking about, Carlisle? Exactly what sort of predicament am I in?" Esme cocked her head to the side as she studied her clearly agitated mate.

"You know very well what I am talking about, Missy."

With a slight snicker she made to turn away from him, but Carlisle caught her hands and held her firmly.

"Oh you can't be serious, Lover."

"I assure you that I am completely serious." There was a dangerous look in his eye that made Esme tremble slightly. "You broke the rules and you must face the consequences just like everyone else."

"Carlisle Cullen, I am not one of the children and you cannot treat me as such."

"At this moment you are acting just like one of the children when they get caught in some sort of mischief and seeing as it is my venom that flows through you…." He raised a brow.

"I am your mate; not your child."

"You are my mate, my equal, my strength and my very soul… and you are as much my child as Edward, Rose or Emmett. I would hedge the rules for you if I thought that you would correct your behavior on your own, but I know you Esme Anne. I know that put in the exact same situation, you wouldn't hesitate to act in the same manner and I won't have it. I will not have my wife endangering her life any more than I would allow the same behavior in my children."

"And if you endanger your life?" There was a bold challenge reflected in Esme's golden eyes.

"I abide by the same rules as the rest of the family." He gave a slight nod as he stared deeply into her eyes. "If I transgress then I shall bow to your authority. No questions asked; no excuses given."

As gently as possible, Carlisle drew his mate closer. Wrapping his arms around her, he felt her tense as he lifted her off her feet.

"Sh. It's okay. Everything is alright, grá mo chroí. There is no need for that," he softly commented as she began to struggle against him. Carefully, Carlisle sat Esme upon his right knee as he hugged her tightly until the grip of panic began to slip slightly. "Hush. No harm shall ever come to you, my dearest."

Venom tears suddenly welled up in her eyes as a stricken expression came over her face.

"Oh, Esme, darling, what's this all about?" He cradled her head against his chest as the tears escaped to soak his shirt. "Shh." Gently threading his fingers through her silky hair, he attempted to comfort his distressed mate as sobs shook her frame.

She muttered something inaudible even to his sensitive hearing causing him to ask her to repeat herself.

With a sniffle, Esme lifted her head from the cradle of his shoulder and repeated in the barest of whispers, "You said that you would never….You promised that I would never have to…. It's not supposed to ever be like it was with Charles. You promised me Carlisle. You gave me your word."

Carlisle wandered the halls of Trinity Hospital, his latest employer following his and Edward's move to Ashland, enjoying the relative peace and quiet. The people here were cordial enough and as usual he was welcomed with open arms as he was one of the few doctors who didn't complain when it came his turn to take the night shift. Most used their families as excuses for not being able to pull their rotation, but the handsome young doctor with the odd colored eyes had no family save his adopted nephew who had recently lost his parents in the recently ended Spanish Influenza pandemic.

For the most part, the doctor kept to himself as he went through his daily tasks of tending to the ill and injured, often appearing more like an apparition instead of a corporeal manifestation of compassionate care.

This afternoon he found himself down in the lower reaches of the hospital to escape the attention of a rather forward member of the nursing staff. Carlisle was always courteous as he turned away the familiar advances, but he was beginning to feel that he might have to become rude this time; a thought that vexed him like no other. He detested impoliteness in others and now he was the one toying with the idea of being uncivil to counter the nurse's own impertinence.

With a sigh, he slipped through a door and into a chilled dimly lit room. He had needed a quiet place to think and could fathom of no better spot that he might remain undisturbed than the morgue. The scents of antiseptic and the onset of human decay assaulted his senses, but the years of exposure to such things had turned them into nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

Sitting on a rolling stool near the counter, he leaned forward with his elbows propped on his knees as he cradled his head in his hands. It was at that moment that he heard it. Looking around in the near darkness, Carlisle saw no movement and felt certain that he was alone. No human would be able to see as he could without aid of the lights and few among the staff would spend any more time than necessary in the cold dank room, yet there it was again. It was quiet, muffled and weak, but the sound was distinct. Somewhere among the cadavers was a faintly beating heart.

Following the sound, Carlisle soon found its source in a young woman laid out on a gurney and covered by a crisp white sheet. The toe tag listed cause of death as severe blunt trauma from a fall from a cliff; age and name unknown.

He couldn't allow the woman to suffer a slow death in this cold and lonely place. The weak struggle of her heart and nearly imperceptible breath told him that death was near. There was no saving her, but he could offer her a final kindness in a swift end to her pain. A dislocation of the neck to sever the spinal cord, a reasonable injury given the listed cause of death, would be all that it would take and her suffering would cease.

Slowly he pulled back the sheet and placed his hands around her head when something in that pale face stirred his memory. Instead of the broken body that lay before him, Carlisle saw the warm chestnut colored eyes and bright smile of a freckled face farm girl who had an unfortunate disagreement with a tree.

Whisking the sheet away, he ran his hand along her lower leg until his experienced fingers located a calcified knot where the fracture had healed some ten years ago.

His impeccable memory easily recalled her name. Esme. Esme Anne Platt. The rambunctious sixteen year old spy from Ohio.

Glancing quickly around the room, Carlisle suddenly found himself horrified. How could anyone put a warm still living being among the cold stiff dead to pass her final moments?

Scooping her into his arms, the doctor raced up the stairs and found an empty room in which to place her.

The soft afternoon light streaming in through the window was much better suited to the beaming girl she had once been.

Gently he took her wrist as he searched for a pulse to verify the languishing heartbeat. It was there, but it was so very faint. He also noted that her skin felt nearly as cold as his, a sure indicator that her remaining time was drawing to a close. Death was already calling to the precious young woman and the only one standing in the way was the quiet fair haired doctor.

The battered and broken woman groaned slightly commanding the doctor's complete attention.

"Esme. Can you hear me, little one? Esme, sweetheart, can you open your eyes and look at me?"

Her eyes fluttered as she tried to comply before she closed them tight as a violent cough shook her fragile body. Bright red blood tinted her lips as she coughed again before laying back with a pained moan.

"I'll get you some morphine, grá mo chroí. It will help alleviate the worse of the pain."

He knew that it was a futile act, but he could not watch her suffer. While he searched the small medicine cabinet in the room his mind questioned him. Why had he used that term in regards to the young woman? He knew well what it meant, but even the language itself was nothing more than a memory for him and yet the term of endearment just felt right.

Filling the syringe he returned to her bedside.

"This will only sting for a moment."

As he took her arm she used what store of energy she still possessed to shake her head.

"But it will help make you more comfortable."

"Doctor Cullen?" Her voice was so weak that it tore out his heart to listen to her struggle.

"Shh. Yes, Esme, it's me. I'm surprised that you remember me." He smiled as he willed his tears away.

"Could…could nev… never forget." Another cough appeared to cause her rib to further perforate her lung as more blood bubbled on her lips.

"Shh.. don't try to talk, sweetheart. You need to save your strength to get well."

Swallowing the bloody spit, she smiled as she gazed into the warmth of his gentle eyes. "You can't …." She drew a rattling breath. "Can't fix this one, Doctor Cullen. Too late."

He cupped his hand against her cheek as she gasped for another breath while he prayed it wasn't her final one.

Her eyes began to glaze over as she rapidly slipped in and out of consciousness.

"Happy," came a faint breathless whisper. " To see." The wet cough that was stealing her breath and with it her life feebly rattled once more. "You one last time."

Carlisle watched as she started to slip away. He had seen so many deaths over the centuries that he was well aware of the signs. A change in the sound of the breathing just before the death rattle. A distinct scent that stirred the predator carefully caged within. The injustice of it all ripped at his soul. Someone so young and full of life with so much left to give should not go out like this. He felt the same helplessness that had tortured him during the influenza outbreak, but what could he do?

The predator that stayed crouched in his chest growled quietly. He couldn't. He couldn't condemn her like that. But it's better to let her die? You are the only one who can help her now. Do it now or lose your heart forever.

Esme smiled up at her hero, the doctor who had given her a new life. It would take time for her to settle into this rather unique existence, but the future suddenly looked bright. In the doctor, she had a teacher, companion and defender. She had nearly endless years ahead of her, a world of possibilities and best of all was the fact that no one would ever hurt her again. The pain of the transformation and altered diet seemed like a small price to pay for the promise of such a wondrous adventure.

When she had confided in Doctor Cullen about the situation that had led to her suicide attempt he had been sympathetic. The loss of a child was tragic to one as compassionate and family minded as Carlisle. He appeared remorseful as he explained that her new existence did come with another price; she would be barren for the rest of her lifetime.

The idea of never being able to have a child was crushing, but the sorrowful expression that darkened the doctor's face was enough for Esme to see that children and family meant as much to him as it did to her. She resolved to find a way for them to form a family of their own. He spoke of his 'nephew' with joyful exuberance that only a son could bring. Perhaps that was the key to solving their dilemma. After all, orphans had always existed and a doctor most certainly had the means to provide a loving home for those less fortunate. Yes, there were other ways to share your life with children. She and the doctor would find one that worked best for them. There was nothing to stand in the way of them discovering happiness with one small exception.

Carlisle listened intently as Esme shared her story with him, but when she spoke of Charles, about the abuse that she had suffered at the scoundrel's hands, a deep frightening growl had exploded from the doctor. It took all of the doctor's unshakable willpower to prevent himself from hunting the man down and completely destroying him. His eyes went jet black as each incident revealed proved more abhorrent than the last. When Esme had come to the end of her horrific tale, Carlisle stood and paced the small room as he ran his hand through his hair in frustration. The idea of Esme being harmed was infuriating and sickening at the same time. Were it up to him, Charles would have taken his last breath some time ago; preferably before he ever had a chance to harm any woman, let alone sweet Esme.

The doctor stalked back to Esme and dropped to his knees at her feet. It was at that moment that he gave her his word.

Taking her hands in his, he gazed into the crimson eyes of the woman he hardly knew, but already loved more than life itself as he spoke with quiet determination.

"I will always protect you. No one will ever harm you again, Esme and any man who would dare try will pray for death before I'm through with him. The person does not exist who may touch you without your permission. You and Edward are my family and my life; there is nothing that I won't do to see you safe and happy."

Heaving a deep breath, Carlisle gently brushed a lock of hair out of his frantic mate's ebony eyes, noting how quickly they had changed indicating her extreme stress. "I did give you my word, dear heart, and I have every intention of keeping it."

"But you said that you would protect me. You said that you would never allow me to be hurt."

"And I stand by that conviction, Esme. I will never let any sort of harm come to you, but when you threw yourself into that fire, heedless of the danger, you became a threat to your own safety. From my side, it would appear that punishment is required to protect you from yourself. Hopefully, it will give you something to think about before you endanger your life again."

She wiggled out of his arms, slipped off his lap and back onto her feet. "The danger was minimal. My speed gave me an advantage so I knew that I would be safe."

Carlisle stood and placed his hands on his hips as his anger flared. "You knew nothing of the sort. You simply managed to get lucky, Missy and that is all there is to it. There is no telling when that luck will run out. Out distancing fire is not something to gamble with. There will always come a point where you will lose."

"I knew that I would be safe," she repeated, hoping that the repetition would make the statement true.

"Es-me Anne Cullen," Carlisle growled. "Are you even listening to yourself? Would you still view that situation as safe if it was Rose or Edward dodging in and out of a flaming metal box?"

Esme crossed her arms as she glared hard into her mate's fiery eyes. She remained silent for a moment then hissed through clenched teeth, "Yes."

Carlisle threw his hands up in the air as he turned slightly away from his wife. "Oh dear God, you have taken leave of your senses." Turning back he pinned her with a stern look. "It's either that or you are lying to me, neither of which, I might add, bode well for you, young lady."

Carlisle's eyes narrowed dangerously.

"Come here, Esme." His voice was as soft as ever, but there was a steel edged strength behind his words. He was still her loving mate who would happily die in her place, but now he was also her coven leader.

Esme shuddered. He had never used that tone with her and she didn't like it one bit. "I am not a child, Carlisle. You cannot speak to me as if I am."

"Esme, come here," he repeated as he pointed to a spot before him that he wished her to take. When she remained stubbornly just out of his reach, Carlisle lowered his head as he sighed. "You're right. You are not a child. Not one of the children would ever challenge me as you are doing right now."

"Carlisle, I would follow your lead to the ends of the earth, but this…."

"Is defiance of a direct order."

"You are ordering me?"

"I would prefer that I didn't have to, but you are leaving me with no choice."

"You have plenty of choices, Carlisle, the easiest being to forget this nonsense and let's just go home."

"You know that I can't do that."

"Fine. If this is the only thing that will set your mind at ease, do it," Esme snarled angrily. "But know this, Carlisle Cullen, regardless of what you do to me; I will take that same chance every time if it stands to save someone's life."

"NO You Will NOT If It Stands To Take Yours."

Grabbing his mate by the upper arm, Carlisle spun her away from him and delivered several firm stinging swats to her backside while she protested loudly.

Releasing his grip, he freed Esme who stumbled a few steps back before slapping his face with the speed of a viper strike.

Carlisle closed his eyes for a moment and ground out, "Go back to the car."

"Like hell, I'm going to ride home with you. I'll walk."

Before she could take a step, he grasped her wrist firmly and pressed his keys against her palm.

"Take the car. I'll walk home."

"Fine!" Yanking free from his hold, she stormed off back towards the road without a backward glance.

A few minutes later, Carlisle heard the engine roar as the car sped away down the road.

With a defeated sigh, the coven leader shoved his hands deep into his pants pockets and slowly walked back towards the road. He reasoned that he needed the time to cool down, but if he was honest with himself, the reason for his slow pace was more due to the heavy weight of his conscience.

Carlisle was disgusted with himself. He had allowed his emotions to override his better judgment which led to him striking his wife and he didn't have any idea how he would be able to correct this grievous error. He knew that he owed Esme an apology though there was no guarantee that she would accept it since he was only sorry that he acted out of anger; the act itself he felt no remorse for. He had promised to protect her and this was an attempt at protecting her from herself. At the memory of her declaration to continue her foolhardy actions Carlisle felt his ire begin to rise again.

Growling softly, he shook his head to try to chase away his worry and frustration. That was something that wouldn't serve his purpose at all. He had to find a way to soothe things over with Esme and step one was to remain calm. If he couldn't control himself, he couldn't expect her to listen to reason. She was acting like a petulant child, but he was not exactly the picture of maturity at the moment either.

A man does not address his problems by lashing out violently; he reasons his way to a solution. Once again the low growled rolled in his chest, but this time the frustration was firmly aimed at himself.

It was quite some time before the house came into view and over that time, Carlisle's emotions had alternated between frustration and repentance. As he made his way up the winding walkway leading to the front door, he felt a calmness wash over him and his control return in its fullest.

"Papa, if I may, I would suggest that you stay clear of upstairs for a spell. Last time I checked on her she was still mighty hot."

Jasper and Alice were relaxing on the front porch swing as Carlisle stepped up to them. The pained expression in his son's eyes told the elder that his boy was seeking refuge from his mother's emotional tempest by distancing himself as best as he could without leaving the grounds. It was also apparent that Jasper was willingly suffering so he would be close enough to be of assistance to keep his parent's emotions set at a more even keel.

"Thank you, Son. I'll take that advice to heart." Carlisle leaned against the railing as he bowed his head and sighed. "I take it that your influence didn't help your mother."

Jasper ducked his head as a sheepish look crossed his face. "It took the edge off, but then once she realized what was going on she told me off but good. I'm afraid this one might have to blow over on its own and I have no idea how long that is going to take."

Carlisle groaned quietly.

"It won't take long." Both men turned their attention to the bright little pixie curled on the swing. "Daddy, you just need to talk to Momma. She will listen, but you have to listen to her, also. As long as you listen to her concerns you'll be able to alleviate them and make everything work out fine."

"I don't know, Alice. The way I handled myself is inexcusable."

Hopping off of the swing, Alice stood before her dejected father and placed her small hand lightly against his cheek. "You were worried, which is perfectly understandable. Both of you were a little bit right and a little bit wrong. Just go talk to her. You'll see."

While Carlisle could tell that Alice was speaking from the knowledge gleaned from one of her visions, the expression on Jasper's face made him question the validity of his little girl's words. Still, he had never known Alice to be wrong.

"Alright, I'll go up and talk to her. You two might want to clear out for a while. Depending on how things go, this is very unlikely to be a good environment for Jasper."

"But, I can…"

"Son, I appreciate your sacrifice more than you will ever know, but I believe you've done all you can for us now." Carlisle gave Jasper's shoulder a squeeze as he faintly smiled. "Besides, I'll need you in top form to put out the flames after your mother is through with me. Now go on. Alice said it will be fine and I believe her so there is nothing to worry about."

Jasper nodded once before allowing Alice to pull him up from the swing.

Standing on her tip toes, Alice gave Carlisle a kiss on the cheek. "The others are already out so you have the house to yourselves. Trust your instincts, Daddy. They never steer you wrong." With a wink, Alice dragged Jasper off the porch and across the yard leaving Carlisle to face his riled up wife alone.