Being ladylike had never been Esme Platt's strong point (whatever she may choose to believe). But one day, an unladylike incident leads to an encounter that will change her life forever... My take on Carlisle & Esme's first meeting.
I know there's a bunch of Esme/Carlisle stories out there, but they're just so cute! I love their story. Also, if anyone reading this also happens to be a beta-reader... I would dearly love it if someone could beta the sequels to this fic. *hinthint*
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1214 Review this Chapter
I hurt all over.
The pain from my leg was making me confused… the world felt muted and fuzzy, and the dusky light didn’t help any.
“It’s all right, Esme,” my mama told me quietly, “it’s going to be all right.”
I wanted to ask why we weren’t just at the local doctor’s. I knew, vaguely, that there was a good reason, and I was pretty sure Mama had told me why already, so I didn’t say anything. Usually, I was good at being quiet and doing what I was told, so I just laid still in the bottom of the cart. Except this once… Maybe Father was right, and ladies shouldn’t climb trees, but I’d always done it. That was one of the only things that I did that Father didn’t like, so he mostly let me get away with it.
Not anymore, though. I groaned as the cart went over a bump in the road. Mama’s pale face appeared over mine.
“We’ll be there soon, sweet, just a little longer,” she reassured me. I nodded, then grimaced. I really hurt.
I closed my eyes and tried to think of other things. School had only just started, I hoped I wouldn’t miss any because of my stupid broken leg. I liked school – I was one of just three girls still in my grade – and I wanted to be a teacher someday. I wanted to go West. The West was thrilling! The wide, open space and the freedom of the idea… A young lady alone, jobless, might have a hard time out there, but if I was a teacher, then it would be allowable.
We were in Columbus proper, now, the smell of the city distracting me from my thoughts. “Uck,” I muttered softly.
“What?” Mama asked, worriedly, hovering over me.
“Nothing,” I answered her, upset that she was so anxious. Little old me shouldn’t merit that kind of pain. “I’m fine, Mama.”
She nodded, but she didn’t believe me. I wouldn’t have believed me, either, but I was sure I would get better, so I thought lying a little was forgivable. Besides, it bothered me to see her so distressed: her face was white as a sheet, even in the dim moonlight, and her mouth was pulled tight at the corners. I decided I should stop climbing trees, for her sake. She shouldn’t be put through this.
The cart stopped, and Father turned back to us. “I’ll get someone to carry her,” he said, his voice taut and sharp. He probably deserved better than to have his youngest daughter getting her fool self hurt, too.
“Does it still hurt as bad?” Mama asked, peering after my father before turning her focus back to me.
I shook my head. Really, I was starting to block out the pain. It only hurt when I was breathing by now. I considered telling Mama, but then realized she probably wouldn’t appreciate a joke. Instead, I tried smiled at her, wanting to reassure her. I don’t think it helped.
Mama murmured quietly to me for a little while before Father came back with some of men from the hospital. They lifted me onto a stretcher and I smiled weakly. Moving hurt, too.
They discussed something quietly, then carried me into the hospital. The nurse at the desk pointed them down a hallway, and informed us, “Dr. Cullen can see her.”
It was only a short trip to the room, where I was lifted onto a bed. Mama and Father sat next to me, their expressions half-relieved, half-nervous. I tried to smile at them. “I’ll be fine,” I told them, again.
Then the doctor came in.
It was all I could do not to gape, he was so handsome. Like an angel. I’d never really believed in guardian angels, like my parents, but I would change my mind in an instant if he could be mine.
“Hello,” he said mildly, in a voice just as beautiful as his face, and I chorused “Hello” back with my parents. He turned to my father. “I’m Dr. Carlisle Cullen,” he introduced himself, then asked, “What happened here?”
“Well,” my father began, his voice deeper than usual, “we’ve asked her not to do it a thousand times but–“
“I was climbing a tree, and I fell,” I interrupted. Father glared at me, and Mama sighed. I could see she was exasperated: once again, I was being unladylike.
But the doctor only laughed gently. He faced me, amused, and I saw that his eyes were bright gold. “Have you learned better now?”
“Yes,” I answered, trying to look contrite but certainly failing. It was hard to feel sorry when he was looking at me.
“Good,” he smiled. His expression grew more serious as he continued. “What hurts?”
“My leg.” I hoped for another smile, but instead he examined my broken leg. “We’ll need to put a cast on it,” he told my parents. “She should stay here overnight, until it dries. Is that alright?”
My father looked thoughtful for a moment, as he ran down the list of chores that needed to be done at the farm and weighed them against me. “How long will we have to stay?”
“A few hours at least. I’d recommend the whole night, but if there’s something you need to get back to, she could leave around midnight.”
“I think that would be the best choice,” my father declared. Mama looked at him beseechingly – shouldn’t we do what’s best for Esme? – but said nothing.
“I’ll be back with a cast,” the doctor said. I smiled at him as he left.
Mama argued quietly with Father as we waited for him to return. I didn’t want to cause any trouble, honestly, so I told them I would go home as soon as they wanted me to. Really, my leg would hurt just as much here as it would at home. Father smiled, but Mama just looked exasperated again. I wished I could make them both happy, but it didn’t look like that would happen.
Fortunately, the doctor came back in then. “I have some medicine for the pain, if you don’t mind me giving it to her,” he told my parents. He really was my guardian angel. I glanced at my parents hopefully. “Of course not,” Mama said, and I relaxed.
He poured out a spoonful of something thick with an unappetizing smell. “It doesn’t taste good,” he warned me, “but you’ll feel better.”
I eyed him warily. Part of me said that my guardian angel wouldn’t give me something that would me nauseous, and another part said that if he was my angel, he wouldn’t mind if I was a bit cheeky.
“If I makes me throw up, then I’m not better,” I warned him. Dr. Cullen laughed again – he must really be my guardian angel! I thought happily – and replied, “You won’t throw up, I promise – it’ll put you to sleep in a few minutes.” We smiled at each other for a moment as I reached for the medicine.
My fingers brushed his as he gave me the spoon. His hand was freezing! I swallowed the nasty concoction in one gulp, eager to get it over with. He began to make my cast as I drifted towards unconsciousness.
“Sleep well, Miss Platt,” he murmured to me. Then my eyes closed.
When I woke up, we were in the cart back to the farm, and he was gone.