Winter.

It was early dawn, half past 4 am.

The winds had finally stopped howling. The frozen flakes from the heavens were just beginning their descent. The ethereal twilight was still fervently in place.

He was in his office at the 3rd floor of the Hospital. He was sitting in his black consultation chair; half-open books and several files were scattered around his desk. The room was hushed and silent. The window was open ever so slightly.

He had just finished his rounds 5 hours earlier. And within those hours he attended to 4 surgeries; 10 patients, and a particular patient that was suffering from a violent stomach flu and was in need of round-the-clock observation.

All in all, it was a terribly long night.

He sighed and loosened the knot on his tie, he was reading a patient's file and signed a document.

If he were still human, he would have already succumbed to the fatigue and pressures of being a Doctor. But he didn't - and proverbially he was no longer human.

There were times when the day melted into night and night would become a day in itself. The long hours, the hundreds of people he would meet; both young and old, fearful, and a brave few who were hopeful.

There were those who complained, some who were even demanding and some who were quiet; then there were those people who fell just somewhere in the middle.

But they were all the same. Human. And somehow that was what made them beautiful in a way. That same beating heart that tied them all together in that pulsating rhythm called life.

If he were any other Doctor - which he obviously is not, would have easily been infuriated with the stresses that came with being a Physician. He would have been ill-tempered and easily frustrated.

But Carlisle was different. There was almost a mystic patience about him, a silent determination that burned greatly within himself.

He loved helping people. And he most certainly loved being a Doctor. But, like all things it came with a price.

There were even days when he would simply just work 48 hours straight without even coming home. And the person he had to sacrifice being away from - was his wife.

Esme.

But God bless her heart, she understood him and the sacrifices he had to make. For she too had to sacrifice in seeing him leave her bedside every morning.

But either of them couldn't deny how much one missed the other. Especially him. He longed for her, ached for her, and missed her during those long lonely hours of his absence from her company.

Twilight was nearing to an end. And as he sat there thinking of her, a soft smile formed on his lips. He then stretched out his hands to his pocket and pulled out his familiar silver phone and dialed a number.

He pressed the speaker to his ears and listened to the crisp ringing that commenced.

"Hello?" The sweet feminine voice echoed on the other line.

"Hello Darling, Good morning." He replied, pressing the speaker closer to his ears.

"Good morning Sweetheart," She noticed the slight tinge of melancholy in his voice, "Is there anything wrong?"

"No, Esme. I just. . .needed to hear your voice. ." She could hear a slight pause as he took in a breath, his voice sounded painfully intimate, "I miss you."

The wrenching pain in her chest was almost unbearable as she heard those words. She closed her eyes, trying to keep herself intact, "I miss you too Darling," She whispered, "Will you be home soon?"

Carlisle glanced at the clock on his desk, his rounds would begin again at 6 and would thankfully end at 10, "Yes, dear. I"ll be home soon."

His lips were parted once more, somehow a request was formed in his tongue but he couldn't speak it. He didn't want to sound so. . .desperate.

But she knew. She always knew what was in his heart, in his mind, in his spirit. They were like
two halves of the same soul.

"I love you." She breathed into the receiver.

"Je t'aime." He whispered in reply.

"Hurry home." She said.

"I will." He promised, before the connection went dead.

And that was all he needed. Those three words from her lips, it was frivolous of him to even ponder on the thought that she would not be there to wait for him; when in reality she always would. But just the assurance of her being there, her love, was all he would need to begin the day anew.

A smile was still pressed on his lips as he began stacking papers neatly to one side. Just as he began closing books and clearing his desk, he found his diary open.

It was quite strange. To find something of his so personal and private to be opened just like that. Then he remembered that the night before he had been writing in it. The diary was opened to a particular page; his eyes finding their way through the stream of words, his heart was filled with warmth and his mind began to travel back into the memories that the words carried.

Pennsylvania.

Mid-October 1949.

On a foggy morning in October. Approximately half-past 7. I had received an interesting letter of invitation from a medical colleague of mine to a medical conference in Paris, France. Naturally before responding, I thought it best to discuss the pending matter with my Darling Esme and see what her thoughts were.

I made my way out of my darkened study room and into the gloomy-lighted hallway. The house was mostly empty around this time for Edward was away at school. So it was Esme and I for most part of the day who were left in the house. Our lovely abode was rather silent for a change. Not even the garrulous chirping of birds could be heard, nor the sweet sound of my love's soft humming in our home. Even the thought of her voice made me long for her terribly, for her company, for her smile and most of all - for her lips.

I could not find her in our cavernous living room that had a toasty fire jovially burning in the hearth; so I decided to check the master's bedroom. I climbed the stairs eagerly like a an excited school boy as I caught a waft of her familiar scent; I turned a sharp corner and could hear the familiar echo of my heels against the wooden floor ring in my ears.

I could not mask my disappointment when I found the room empty as a shell.

Just then I hear the phonograph down below, starting to churn with life. It was playing a song that she would usually have the most pleasure listening to when she would step outside our back porch. It was an old song I first heard in the late 1930s, I believe it was called 'The Very Thought Of You' and my thoughts were indeed of her as I exited the room and made my way down the hall and began my descent down the stairs.

I was surprised to find the foyer still empty. Despite the music that was playing, I had hoped she would have lingered long enough to have heard me come down. I felt like a dismal lovebird who had lost its mate. Surely the fates were jesting with me. I shook my head fondly at the amusing circumstance beforehand. She was as evasive as a water nymph.

There was only one place I hadn't looked yet, and that was the outdoor garden.

Lo and behold as I step out into the porch, there she was, radiant as day and fresh as dew. She was kneeling in the soft ground with her gardening tools as her loving hands tended to her precious plants.

I felt a pang of frivolous sadness that she had not looked at me yet, but I was more than content to quietly watch her for a while as she tended to her flowers. I was captured, besotted by her beauty.

She was wearing a delicate turquoise dress that day. And it looked ravishing against her pale skin. She was a sight to behold, the way the fabric of her dress clung to her body as she moved; the way the hem rose ever so lightly as she moved further to pluck out the weeds whilst humming along to the music. A tantalizing smile on her lips that dangerously tempted me to kiss them.

I leaned on the wooden post, folded my arms against my chest and continued to watch her with a surreptitious smile. My heart threatening to overcome me with rapture as she finally turned to look at me with those little dimples in her cheek.

I returned her smile as she fondly made her way towards me; tossing her gloves to the side on her way to the porch. Despite the protection from the dirt her gloves offered, her hands still managed to be covered with all sorts of earth and dirt. How or why, I'll never manage to comprehend.

A delighted grin replaced my smile as she came towards me. She stood gracefully on the very tip of her toes to embrace me as she carefully kept her soil-ridden hands from touching the dark blue sweater I had been wearing; embracing me only by her slender arms and wrist.

I chuckled lightly at her actions as I wrapped my arms around her waist and whispered, "Darling, It's only dirt. You can easily rinse it off."

She shook her head adamantly, a rather saucy glint in her eyes, "No. Dirt on your clothes is unacceptable. You do have a reputation to keep Dr Cullen." She replied with a crooked smirk.

I shook my head as soft mirth escaped my lips. Then I proceeded to hold her closer as I brushed my lips lightly at the very tip of her nose in a chaste kiss; I could see her lashes close as I moved on to her soft mouth, feeling them grow warm against mine as she returned my kiss. I would have gladly forgotten that I needed to discuss with her that matter of invitation, for her lips were a most delicious distraction till she gently pulled away. I could hear her familiar soft giggles as I moved my lips to her cheeks and kissed them gently repeatedly; I pulled her even more closer by the waist till the tips of our noses lightly brushed against each other. I was determined for our intimate moment to continue.

"Carlisle, Darling I need to wash my hands inside dear." She said sweetly.

I purred sadly in her ear. She smiled lovingly at me as she pressed a soft kiss on my lips again, "Please,"

I looked into those kind golden eyes and I knew I could not refuse.

Finally with a little courage, I allowed her to walk past me as I held the door open for her and watched watched her step inside; with me not trailing too far behind.

I closed the door and stood there for a moment. I watched her meticulous little fingers gently scrub the dirt and soil away, her skin glistening lightly at the vague traces of sunlight from the kitchen window. Looking far more beautiful than Aphrodite herself.

I walked towards her and leaned myself against the wooden kitchen counter. I was looking at her intently and as always, she never missed a beat.

"Who was the letter from?" She asked, a knowing smile on her lips.

I raised my eyebrows in amusment at her precise sharpness. Esme may look as delicate and lovely as a rose, but her intellect can be as sharp as a thorn.

"Michael Johnson," I said as I watched her dry her hands with a small white cloth.

"Oh, that Doctor you met from 3 years ago?" Esme asked, turning to look at me shortly after she set the cloth aside.

"Yes. Apparently he's invited me to a medical conference in Paris, Darling."

"Oh." She replied quietly. Somehow her face had an unreadable expression that left me perplexed.

"Do you really have to go Carlisle?" She asks, her eyes looking mildly saddened.

I did just only returned from a medical conference in Chicago the month prior, and even though Chicago was not exactly as far as France, the convention lasted for a week.

"I have to be honest darling, those conferences almost sound like a mandatory obligation. You did just return from Chicago you know, do you really have to leave again?" She exclaims softly, her brows lightly furrowing as she turns to face the kitchen window. Her hands pressed on either side of the sink, her delicate frame outlightned by the grey light. Her shoulders were tensed.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that." She finally says after a fraction of a second.

I begin to ease away from the kitchen counter as I slowly approached her. I knew she understood very well the demands my work needed, but I also know even though she would never admit it; how sometimes my prolonged absence affects her deeply when I'm away.

"Would you like me to pack your favorite suit?" She says, changing the subject. Her voice sounding brave, but the emotion behind her voice was clear.

I was standing behind her as I clasped my arms around her waist and pulled her close till her body was against mine; she closed her eyes as she leaned her head against my chest. I pressed a kiss on her temple, "I'll miss you too much when you leave again," She whispered; her fingers intertwining with mine.

"And I too, my darling." I replied, my lips finding their way down to her neck as I whispered huskily, "Then come with me to Paris."

She veered her head to look at me to make sure she heard me correctly; her honey eyes catching the light from the sun, the weight of my words sinking in as her lips curled into an excited grin.

I took that as a yes.

Two hours later. . .

"Oh, Carlisle. Paris! I can't believe it. Are you really sure we're going?"

I can hear the fervor of girlish delight in her timbre as it echoed from inside the bathroom in our bedroom.

She was taking bath, the soil from her gardening activity rendered her dress and herself lightly dirty.

I stood outside the bathroom door clutching a book like a pompous owl and listened to her hum. Even after being married for almost 10 years, I was still too bashful to intrude on her private bathing rituals.

Though another part of me was ever so tempted to take a curious look.

"We might go to Paris, if the weather agrees with us." I say, somehow feeling ridiculous at how late my response was.

"But wait, Carlisle. We can't just leave Edward here, the poor dear might get lonely." Esme said, her voice echoing through the door.

"You're quite right. But I think he should be alright for a couple of days by himself. Were only staying for the conference after all Darling.

My mind had been wandering again. How her skin looks as it glistens wetly from the water. The slight tilt in her neck as her head leans back against the tub.

"Alright sweetheart. Just make sure we're not gone for too long," She said, "I want to know what Paris feels like in the rain." Her voice shakes me out of my thoughts.

"I don't think there will be any rain Darling, it is October after all." I reply.

"We might get lucky." She says.

The room was silent for a long moment, the only sound I could hear was the water coming in from the faucet.

"Carlisle, why don't you come inside and keep me company?"

I swallowed hard and grasped the door handle almost too eagerly. I took a pause and entered.

There she was. Soaking in a porcelain white tub, surrounded by fluffy bubbles. The scent of jasmines in the air. Her caramel hair was tied up into a large messy bun, the curls twirling about as they dangled around her face and neck. I could faintly see her nubile knees bobbing from beneath the white bubbles.

She smiled at me as I took a seat on the closed toilet.

"Darling, don't look so serious. You've seen me like this before." She teased.

I held back a smile but failed.

I glanced at her sideways and saw that she was looking at me. That look of fondness, the intimate gleam of affection that her eyes carried whenever she looked at me. Lord bless the man who could ever resist a woman like Esme.

"Oh dear, I think I've managed to put dirt on your clothes." She said as she stretched out a hand towards me.

There was an infinitesimal smudge of soil on my collar. I could still feel how her fingers tried to rub out the stain.

"Tsk. Tsk. This won't do, your just going to have to take it off."

My eyes met hers.

And I knew.

The afternoon would be deliciously long.

There was a knock on his office door.

The young new intern peeked from behind the door, looking extremely apologetic, "Sir, we need you in room 205."

"Alright, I'll be out in a moment."

He heard the door close as he continued his reading. He chuckled softly as the memory refreshed itself in his mind.

A few moments of silence passed by when a strong gust of wind fought its way into his office.
The frozen air disturbed the pages of his diary as he stood up and walked across the room to close the window shut.

He proceeded back to his desk and saw that a few of his diary pages were turned by the wind.

The travel to Paris was much longer than we expected. But neither of us cared. We were both extremely excited to be traveling again after a long while. The drive to the airport was rather at first, calm and uneventful, but later on as we entered the main city of New York; it started to become mildly chaotic, especially when we left the house during the rush hour. But finally after the seas of automobiles parted and the way was clear, we were finally on route to our destination.

I'll never forget the image of Esme in the passenger's seat - all dressed and bundled up in her travel clothing - the red scarf she wore, the memory in itself still resonates ever so clear in my mind. The rapture of excitement in her eyes as she held those plane tickets between her gloved-hands.

The flight was a whole different story. The actual traveling time of our flight took exactly: 7 hours and 56 minutes to complete.

The travel was undoubtedly long but I could have cared less. I realized then as Esme sat next to me on the plane by the window, how much I've missed her presence beside me. The passing month was just crammed with patients and emergency surgeries. I barely had time to sit down and think. But whether or not Esme and I spoke, just the sound of her breathing made me calm and at ease with myself; it was those moments of peace and pure understanding that always reminded me why I fell in love with her - with her soul. And thus those sweet little intimate moments of contented silence between my wife and I, made the eternity we spent together all the more precious.

I could hear the roar of engines begin to churn with life by the window as the plane reverberated their motions. She sat there as she held my hand tenderly; resting her head against my shoulder, a dreamy sigh escaped her lips as she sunk further into her seat with a book in her other hand. The sound of her soft fingers gently thumbing through its pages. I breathed in her scent as we took off from the ground, the faint but distinct scent of lavender.

A/N:Hey guys! Sorry for the late update. This week was kinda crazy haha! But anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading part 1 of this one-shot. Please keep reading and reviewing! They make me flyyy :D

Stay tuned for part 2!

God Bless! 3