Disclaimer: SM owns Twilight. I'm only playing with her characters.

AN: This story is part of The Return of Saturn Seriesit can't be comprehended unless you've read the previous stories.

The last we saw Esme …

The Lies He Told HimselfChapter 22:

Her many years hadn't been lived in vain, for she had learned that wants and needs weren't always in consonance, and between the two one should always opt for the later. By standing up while the others sat, by supporting while the others judged, she knew that she would be damaging the work of a lifetime, but it was a necessary sacrifice. The boy's tale had done something to her petrified heart, had somehow awakened her dormant soul.

The scathing critiques filled her veins with the bitter venom of self-righteous vindication. Seeing her nemesis autobiography so relentlessly torn to shreds brought Esme to the brink of a delirious state of euphoria that was a stark contrast to the vague aloofness that had been instilled in her since birth. However, she decided to put good manners aside for the time being since there were no witnesses to her little lapse in judgment.

Swirling the wine glass, Esme inhaled the rich aroma of the Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne, vintage 1996, and allowed her mind to drift back to the unusual man she had so fiercely supported earlier that evening. Her eyes strayed to the book that tauntingly lay unopened on the escritoire in the left corner of the room. She had bought it on a whim, but never had found the courage to actually get to know the woman she had hated for the past twelve years.

Although she was loath to admit it, Esme feared she would fell a measure of compassion for the other woman … perhaps, even admiration, like she had felt for the young man today. And she didn't want it, for hate was everything she had left. Once again, she regretted the decision to enroll in the writing class. She had done it on a whim, because there were rumors that Bella would be a guest speaker.

Esme couldn't explain why her thirst for justice hadn't yet been appeased. All she knew was she still wasn't satisfied, she still wasn't in peace. She needed to confront Bella, to hurt her, to draw more blood … Maybe then, she would find the will to become the paragon of serenity that breeding demanded her to be.

Drinking the wine without really tasting it, Esme smiled bitterly. The crackling fire in the hearth did little to appease the violent cold that seemed to be her constant companion. The house's temperature was modulated to fit into what was pleasant and politethe fragility of her decaying body was a private shame. Appearances, that's all her life was about …

That's why she couldn't afford the luxury of turning up the heater in her own home.

AN: 1996 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne is a French Chardonnay that costs something around U$ 2.600,00 a bottle. I kid you not! Drinking it without tasting it seems like a terrible waste, doesn't it?

Thanks for reading!