The Twilight Twenty-Five

thetwilight25 dot com

Prompt: # 22

Pen Name: GemmaH

Pairing/Character(s): Carlisle, Esme

Rating: K

Word Count: 483

Photo prompts can be found here:

thetwilight25 dot com/round-eight/prompts

Christmas hasn't been the same since she's been gone. I see the concern in everyone's eyes as I push away from the dinner table, even before the Christmas pudding is served.

"I'm taking Finn for a walk," I mutter, feeling the harsh stab of memories as I recall the Christmas Eve I brought him home for her.

It's mild for December, and even though it's only mid-afternoon, the light is already changing. The golden sunlight shines through the bare boughs of the tunnel of trees that line the lane, casting long shadows across the surface of the road.

I try not to let my thoughts wander to the past, instead focusing on the surrounding countryside and the shiny black Labrador that pads amiably alongside me. A pheasant shrieks and flaps into the air from the hedge-bottom just up ahead. It's then I notice her. She's running gracelessly towards me, looking back frequently. Even if it wasn't for the fact she's wearing a skirt, her demeanour makes it obvious she isn't running purely for recreational purposes.

When she sees me she picks up her pace, running flat out and only stopping when she slams her small frame into me.

"Please!" She's breathless and turns to look behind her again. I hold her at arms' length and scan my eyes over her for clues. Her feet are bare and streaked with blood and dirt, but her clothes look presentable. Her face is less so with the fresh cuts and bruises that colour it.

"Hey, it's okay," I reassure her repeatedly. She sinks against my chest and begins to cry as I stroke her hair to try and comfort her.

"I have to get away from here, he'll find me," she says between sobs.

"Someone's after you?" It's obvious really, so I'm sure why I feel compelled to ask. She nods, a look of panic in her eyes. "Come on." I grab her hand and turn, breaking into a jog as I tow her back to the house.

We burst through the front door and I slam and lock it behind us, her anxiety rubbing off on me. The whole family crowds into the hall to investigate the commotion.

"What's going on, Dad?" Edward asks me, as Bella slides into the space beside him. I try to get my breath back as I feel the woman clinging to my jacket.

"Someone's looking for her…one of you phone the police."

"No! No, please, don't ring them. Don't ask me to explain, just…please don't." I look down at her, startled at the emotion behind her response.

"What's your name?" I ask gently.


"Esme, you're safe now."

"You don't understand," she says, the tears flowing once more. "I'll never be safe again." I hold her tightly as my family slowly drifts away, and wonder about this woman with a tale to tell, who just ran into my life.