February 19, 2012
Edward and I sat under that tree for hours, discussing our plans to repay Charles for all the heartache he had caused.
Edward wanted to cause him pain for the injustice and pain he had inflicted on me, but I refused. I didn’t want to lower myself to his level. There had to be a better way.
“Esme, he needs to pay for what he has done,” Edward scolded. I could tell by his demeanor that he couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to hurt him.
“Edward, my dear, I am not like that. I have never hurt anybody in my life, and I will not start now. Death and pain are far too simple and easy. I want Charles to suffer for all eternity after what he did to me.” Edward looked at me confused. I could tell that he didn’t quite understand what I was trying to say.
“Edward, it may seem strange to you but physical pain will only last momentarily, however,” I said with a smile on my lips, “mental pain will last a lifetime.”
Finally I could see Edward understanding my way of thinking. He slowly nodded his agreement, a crooked smile creeping onto his lips. He jumped to his feet, holding his hands out to me; taking them into his, he lifted me up to my feet.
“This is going to be perfect,” Edward smiled at me. “He will pay, I promise.”
I returned his smile, unable to hide my enthusiasm. “I know, but maybe we shouldn’t tell Carlisle?” I asked.
“No, this is our little secret.”
“Thank you.” I thought this hearing thoughts thing Edward had was definitely going to come in handy. Although I could imagine that the thoughts weren’t always pleasant.
“No they’re not,” Edward interrupted with a smile on his face. “It’s not just our people I hear, as you know, I can hear everybody’s thoughts. And no, they aren’t always… shall we say, pure.”
Nodding in understanding we walked the rest of the way in silence. I tried my hardest to refrain from thinking about anything, however the more you try not to think of something, the more you think of it.
Edward and I sat at the kitchen table discussing our lives, prior to our change. It really was quite amazing how we had bonded in just one day; it felt like we had known each other for years.
We had just started discussing what it was like being a vampire when Carlisle walked in, looking just as gorgeous as he had when he left this morning.
“Good evening you two, have you had a good day?” Carlisle asked, smiling warmly at us. I hoped that he wasn’t thinking there was something going on between Edward and I.
“Good Evening Carlisle.” I smiled at him. I so desperately wanted to spend some time with him, just us two. I wanted to get to know him. “Yes we have thank you. Edward and I have spent the day talking about our lives, the pros and cons of being what we are. He has helped me understand a lot.”
He smiled at me again, probably surprised at the amount I had just spoken. I had been a little… quiet since my transformation. I was transported back to that day at the hospital, the feelings I had felt towards Carlisle then, and I longed to be close to him again. His perfect lips were calling for me.
Oh my, I’m sorry Edward; my thoughts seem to run away me sometimes.
Edward simply smiled at my thoughts then, pushing back his chair, he stood up and started walking towards the back door.
“Thank you for our talk today Esme, however, I must go and hunt now. I shall see you both in a few days.”
“A few days?” I asked, slightly shocked that Edward was going away for a few days. Was it just going to be Carlisle and I? Alone?
“I’ll be back before you know it.”
“See you soon, Son.” Carlisle smiled at Edward.
Edward had only been gone an hour but it already felt like he had been gone a lot longer. I had moved into the living room. Carlisle had gone upstairs to shower after work and was just coming downstairs. I was so nervous. I wanted to get to know Carlisle, spend some time with him just like I had with Edward today, but my feelings towards Carlisle were a lot stronger than they had ever been before.
“So how has your day been with Edward, Esme? Are you settling in okay?” Carlisle asked as he walked down the stairs.
“It was very pleasant, thank you.” I smiled back at Carlisle as he came and sat on a chair opposite me. “We spent a lot of the day discussing our pasts, before our changes, and then we were just about to start talking about what we are when you came home. I’ve decided to stay with you and Edward, if you’ll allow me to?” I asked.
“Of course you can stay with us, Esme. Nothing would make me happier.”
Nothing would make him happier? What did he mean by that? My stomach gave a little hop, skip and a jump.
“Esme, maybe I should tell you my story. If you would like to hear it?”
“Yes, I would really like that.” It would be good to hear Carlisle’s story; I know I hadn’t told him my story yet, and that today would be the day that I did tell him.
“Okay,” he began, calmly, smiling. “I was born in 1640, and at the time of my change in 1663 my father was an Anglican Pastor. During these times there were a lot of religious persecution. My father used to lead hunts for witches, werewolves and vampires, in a bid to rid the world of evil.” He half laughed at this, knowing that his father’s attempt had been in vain. “When my father became of an age that he couldn’t lead these hunts, he expected me to run them for him. I was twenty-three at this point. I didn’t approve of the killings; I didn’t want to be a part of that. However, one way or another I actually managed to track a real coven of vampires who were living in the sewers. We set up a trap for them and eventually I managed to chase one of them. My theory is that he was so weak with hunger that he decided to turn and fight us. I was leading the group, and therefore I was the first person he came into contact with. I felt this unbelievably sharp stabbing pain, and then came the heat, the burning.” Carlisle paused and cringed as he remembered the pain.
“I remember him being pulled off of me. I crawled away from the fight that ensued, burying myself in a heap of old potatoes. I knew my father would be devastated with what had happened to me, and I couldn’t bear to think of what my father would have to go through, knowing his son had been changed into the one thing he had spent his life trying to rid the world of.” Carlisle looked sad at this point, I wanted to comfort him, put my arms around him and tell him that everything happened for a reason, but for some reason I was glued to my chair. I sat motionless as Carlisle continued.
“After three days I had changed. I was the one thing I had fought against. I moved away from the town, refusing to become a monster. I tried everything I could think of to end my life. I tried to drown myself, jump from a cliff, starve myself – but nothing worked. It seemed that Vampires were indestructible. In the end, I was so thirsty I ended up attacking a herd of deer that walked past the entrance to my cave. I attacked them, draining the blood from two of the animals. I then realised that I didn’t have to live off of the blood of humans, an animal’s blood would suffice. It never fully quenched my thirst, but it was enough. I didn’t feel as much of a monster if I was killing animals and not humans. I lived like this for a few centuries, traveling the world, living off of animals. I all but became immune to the scent of humans. One day I decided to use what I had been given to give back. I studied at night school in Italy, and became a doctor. I lived there for a while, using my enhanced abilities as a vampire to treat patients. I left Italy and moved to Columbus Ohio,” he smiled at the memory, “I still remember you. I’d never met anybody that affected me the same way you did that day, Esme.”
Oh my, I couldn’t believe he was saying this to me. If I could blush I know I would be.
“I probably shouldn’t be telling you this Esme, but I have never forgotten you. I wanted to stay, to find you, talk to you, but I also knew that I would never subject you to the life that I lead. Shortly after I treated you I left Ohio, moving on to Chicago. I became very lonely; I had spent many centuries alone, apart from my time in Italy where I lived with some other vampires. I’ll explain more about them at another time. Whilst I was in Chicago Influenza hit the city. I ended up treating Edward and his mother. His father had already succumbed to the disease. I did my best to treat them but they were getting weaker by the day. While treating them one day, Edward’s mother asked me to do everything in my power to save her son. I don’t know how, but I had this feeling that she knew what I was. Shortly after this she passed away. Edward’s breathing was getting weaker and he had already slipped into unconsciousness. I took him and his mother’s body to the morgue. I thought about how to change him, deciding to recreate what that vampire had done to me all those years ago. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My only saving grace, I think, was that I had already hunted that night, so I wasn’t thirsty. I took Edward to my house during the change. He hasn’t adapted to my way of living as well as I would have hoped, but I also know how difficult it is to restrict yourself. To stop doing the one thing that comes naturally, and I don’t judge him for the paths he has chosen. “
“When you were brought to the hospital they took you directly to the morgue, not thinking that anyone could survive a fall like that. My enhanced hearing allowed me to still hear your heartbeat, albeit a very faint one. I instantly remembered you from that time in Ohio; I was deeply saddened by what had become of your life to make you consider jumping from that cliff. I wanted to see you smile again; I wanted to see you happy, so I decided to change you. And, well, here we are now.” He smiled at me, that gorgeous smile I had dreamt about. I didn’t know what to say to Carlisle after his revelation about that time he’d treated my leg.
“Thank you for telling me your story. You have led quite a life Carlisle.”
“Yes, I have Esme. I have seen a lot, but I believe that it has made me who I am today.”
“Would you like to hear my story Carlisle?” He had shared his story with me, it was only fair that I shared mine. Although I probably wouldn’t tell him how I had fantasised about him since the first time I met him.
“If you feel you are ready Esme, then I would love to hear your story.”
I took a deep breath and began to recite my story, the same one I had told Edward earlier in the day. The more I spoke, the less it hurt. I was a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason.” There is a reason I am what I am now. I still didn’t believe that Jonathon and Robert deserved to die, but I was starting to understand that if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have ended up on top of that cliff, and then I wouldn’t have met Carlisle and Edward.
I chose to leave out the parts about my fantasising about Carlisle for ten years; even after his revelation earlier, I still didn’t feel confident enough to reveal that part, not just yet anyway.
As I came to the end of my story, Carlisle sat there in complete silence for what felt like an eternity.
“Esme, I’m so sorry for everything you have been through.” And with that he stood from his position on the opposite side of the room and walked to where I was and sat down beside me. He wrapped his strong arms around my shoulder and softly pulled me into his chest.
“I will always protect you Esme. I promise.” And then almost incoherently he whispered. “I never forgot you.”