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Finding, Seeing, Loving Me

Summary:
It started with falling out of a tree and than jumping off a cliff. Both incidents changed Esme's life forever. Carlisle/Esme


Notes:
So this stoy consists of Esme's life when she first met Carlisle and until Edward meets Bella. Some chapters will be shorter then others because I am going by dates. I hope you enjoy it.


3. 1921-You're Still You

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3057   Review this Chapter

Everything was gone. Everything. My baby was dead, the one thing that gave me hope, and helped me get over the pain of his abuse, lay in the morgue. How did it go all wrong? I didn't know the answer. I didn't want to know the answer. I was thoroughly done with life; done with its lies, pain and nothingness. There was nothing in this world that I wanted anymore.

I climbed up the cliff, drawing on knowledge of previous happy days when I used to climb the trees back home. Falling out of those trees had given me my best memory. Hopefully falling off this cliff would too. I just prayed I would end up with the one I loved.

I closed my eyes against the ground far below. My hair whipping around my face in the wind, I leaned forward and started falling. There was a thud, a flash of pain and I knew no more.

---

I could hear voices, but there was too much darkness to see them. They were talking softly.

"I don't think she's going to make it, Dr. Cullen," a female voice said.

Cullen? It couldn't be. Not him.

There was a sigh just before the voice I had never forgotten spoke. "You're right," he said sadly.

I did not want to make him sad. It felt wrong.

"You should go home now, nurse."

"Of course, sir."

There was some shuffling and the door closed.

"What happened to you, Esme?"

Esme.

I was right; no one was able to say my name like he did.

"I can't let you die," he said with a certain finality.

He had to though. I could feel myself slowly slipping away. I couldn't feel any pain anymore, which was a good thing. I could go peacefully. Cold arms suddenly picked me up and I felt wind rushing in my face, nearly pulling me into wakefulness. A door closed and another voice spoke.

" Carlisle ? What are you doing?" the boy's voice sounded terrified.

His name was Carlisle ? Pretty name. It suited him.

His arms left me as he set me down on something soft. "I can't let her die, Edward."

"Yes, you can. You let people die all the time."

"Not her," he growled. His voice didn't have the same soft, soothing tone I was used to. He sounded desperate and the growl sounded like that of an animal. Did he want to save me that much?

Silence.

"She can hear us, you know," Edward said.

Carlisle didn't answer. "I have to save her," he said again.

More silence, then I heard the door close.

A cold hand touched my forehead, brushing away my hair. "Don't hate me when you wake."

I felt cool lips on my neck suddenly and I could not form a coherent thought. What was he doing? His breath was cool against my skin as he seemed to hesitate. Finally, I felt his fingers undo the first two buttons above my breast and my muscles stiffened.

"It's alright," I heard him say, as his cold fingers brushed against my neck. Cold air hit my breast and I felt something sharp pierce my skin. A minute passed and then pain, way worse than when I hit the ground erupted throughout my entire body.

I don't know how long I screamed and thrashed, but he was always there. My angel. I regained my sight and was able to see his face. His soft voice, streaming from beside me, where he lay comforting me. I did not understand what was going on, or what this pain was from; then as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

I opened my eyes to find a face I had never seen before. A young face; younger than Carlisle 's, but no less handsome. He gave me a crooked grin. "Wait until you look in the mirror," he said with a roll of his eyes.

"What do you mean?" I snapped my mouth shut. My voice sounded strange to my ears.

Carlisle was suddenly at my bedside. I had no clue where he had come from.

"How are you?"

I blinked and thought about it. I felt fine. There was no pain, only thirst.

"Thirsty," I answered.

Carlisle nodded. "We'll take care of that soon, I promise."

Silence fell...or what should have been silence. I could hear things I'd never heard before. It was strangely frightening. I shuddered a little. I could smell things too.

"What's wrong with me?" I asked suddenly. Something had to be wrong, I didn't feel right.

Carlisle sighed and got up, holding out his hand. "Come with me," he said. I took it and noticed that my hand was almost as pale as his. My eyes widened considerably. He led me to the wash room. He didn't turn on the light, but I could see perfectly, nonetheless. Standing behind me, he pointed to the mirror.

I nearly screamed. No, I did scream. The person in the mirror wasn't me, well it was me, but it was perfect. I was beautiful; my pale skin framed my dark black eyes with overwhelming depth. [Add something like this ... that was just an example] It frightened me to no end. His arms were strong around my shoulders.

"It's alright, Esme," he whispered. "It's alright."

"What am I? What did you do?" I turned to him in panic, a difficult thing to do in the cramped washroom. My nose almost brushed his chin.

Keeping a firm hold on me, he dragged us back into to the bedroom where the boy, Edward, was waiting. He seemed tense.

"I did what was neccessary to save you."

"Save me?" I questioned. "I jumped off of a cliff. People who want to live don't do that."

He didn't know what to say at that. "I'm a doctor, I'm supposed to help save lives."

"Do you do this to everyone on the brink of dying? Because if you do, then there must be hordes of unnaturally beautiful people running around."

"Not everyone," he answered. "Only people I care about."

I didn't know how to respond to that. "I'm not human..." I trailed off.

"No. Not anymore."

"What am I then?"

He sighed and ran his hand through his hair, messing it. "How do I say this..."

"You're a vampire."

Silence, and I stared at Edward. "What?"

Carlisle put his hands on my shoulders. "It was the only way."

"Vampire?" I blinked. "You?"

He nodded.

"But, you're a doctor. Does that mean you-"

"I don't feed on humans," he said quickly.

"Vampire?"

He nodded.

"I always knew your hands were unnaturally cold, even for a doctor."

My weak attempt at humor made him smile a little, before he turned serious. He pushed me gently down on the bed and sat beside me. "Listen...you have a decision to make. You don't have to stay with me and Edward and adopt our lifestyle. I have friends that will gladly take you in and train you in control. Or, you can stay and feed off of animals. It's a harder life, but you can feel more...human. We can interact with them better."

"I want to stay with you," I said quickly. Almost too quickly.

He nodded. "I'm glad," he said softly.

Edward coughed and I jumped, forgetting he was there.

"What do you say I teach you how to hunt?" Carlisle asked.

I nodded.

"Good. Just let me go change."

I turned to look at Edward. "You don't mind do you? If I stay."

"You make him happy," Edward said with a shrug.

Carlisle came back then, changed out of his suit. The white shirt almost blended in with his skin and I could see the muscles outlined through the thin cotton.

He rolled his sleeves up as he spoke. "Edward, will you go Esme's house and get her things."

"Just the clothes," I said quickly. I didn't want anything from that house to remind me of my other life.

Edward nodded. "Have fun," he said rolling his eyes.

Carlisle took Esme's hand. "Try not to breathe until we are out of town," he told her, pulling her as close to his side as she could get.

Esme nodded and Carlisle took off at a very fast pace. She did not have time to marvel at the speed as the scent of human blood reached her nose. Her mouth became moist with something that was not saliva.

"Don't breath, Esme," Carlisle said.

I held my breath and squeezed my eyes shut. Knowing what would happen if I did not.

Finally we were out of town and in the woods where he stopped and let go of me.

"You alright?"

I nodded and took deep breaths of the forest air.

He nodded and looked around before turning to look at me. "Alright...I'll hunt and let you feed. You watch. We'll have to come out here every night until you can control yourself. You'll get a lot of practice."

I frowned and nodded.

"Follow me then."

The silence of our footsteps astounded me. I could not believe that I, the girl who fell out of trees, tripped on steps, and her own two feet, could walk so silently. He stopped suddenly and held his hand up. I looked to where he was looking and saw a herd of deer.

"Good for beginners," he said softly.

I nodded.

The grace, speed, and animalistic nature of which he moved, caused my heart -or whatever was there now- to leap into my throat. One minute he was by my side and the next he was across the clearing, bringing the deer to the ground and snapping its neck. Not a drop of blood had been spilt. The other deer had fled from him, from this predator that could bring down even the strongest of their natural enemies. He looked up at me; his eyes shining almost black. The doctor was gone for a moment, replaced by a vampire, an animal, a hunter.

I blinked and the image was gone, Carlisle was motioning me over. I stepped forward, the smell of hot blood ringing in my ears. The deer was still alive, I realized.

"Drink," Carlisle said.

He didn't have to tell me twice. I knew I should have been disgusted with myself when I ripped open that throat and began to guzzle at the rich, crimson, fluid that flowed from the wound. I couldn't bring myself to be. It felt natural. He watched me without saying a word, his face unreadable.

I was still thirsty when I finished, so he took me to another heard. This time he let me try hunting. I missed and fell, not yet used to by speed and strength, but he was there to catch the escaped animal. He didn't comment or laugh at my clumsiness.

"Try not to kill them," he told me. "The fresher the blood, the better. If you must, bite them and the venom will take effect."

I nodded. "Aren't you going to eat?" I wasn't famlier with everything yet, but his eyes were almost black, not the golden color I remembered. Mine were black when I was thirsty so maybe it was the same for him.

He smiled. "I will, I just need to get you settled."

"What do you eat?"

He shrugged. "Um...well...I prefer things that fight back. When you get better you can...play with your food. Gets the adrenaline pumping through their veins, it tastes better."

"Things that fight back?" I asked slowly.

The smile changed into something I could only call a smirk. Thing is... Carlisle didn't seem like the type of man who did smirk. Still, there he was, smirking. "You know...bears, wolves, mountain lions. Edward really loves mountain lion."

"But they have sharp teeth," I spluttered, not sure how to react.

"But I have sharper teeth. And skin harder than a diamond."

I frowned and looked down at my hand, covered in a bloody sleeve. It looked like marble; was it really stronger?

"A cliff can't do anything anymore," he said quietly.

I looked up at him and he gave me a soft smile. I returned it and allowed him to pull me to my feet.

"Can I watch you hunt?" I asked curiously.

He nodded and pulled me deeper into the woods.

He hunted much slower, enjoying the game of it, before killing quickly. There was no pain for the animal. Carlisle 's lithe movements reminded me of the lion had seen in one of the moving pictures. Stalking and graceful. I shivered a little and longed for the day when I could move like him. He was neat, too. There was no blood on him or his clothing.

When he finished he walked over to me, meeting my eyes with another smile. "Lets get you home and cleaned up."

I nodded and allowed him to pull me quickly through town. Carlisle led me to a clean room with my clothes in it. Edward must have done it while we were gone.

" Wash and change," he told me. "We'll discuss where to go when you are done. We have all night. We...we can't sleep."

I nodded. It figured. We didn't need to rest our muscles or organs. There was nothing to rest. We were dead.

I bathed quickly, pulling on one of the dresses I had gotten from the poor box at the church. It looked even shabbier on me next to my new appearance. Not to be vain or anything, but I was strangely beautiful.

"We need to get her some clothes," Edward was saying when I entered the living room.

Carlisle nodded and turned to me. "Sit down, please."

I sat down a little too fast and gasped in surprise.

Edward chuckled, but there was no malice. "Strange, isn't it?" he questioned. "How does it feel to be damned?"

Carlisle growled low in his throat and Edward looked away. So, this father and son team was not perfect. They had their disagreements, and Edward was bitter about something.

"Not bitter," he muttered. "Just..." he trailed off and I frowned in confusion.

"Edward can read minds, Esme," Carlisle said.

My mouth formed into a small O of surprise and I blinked rapidly. Damn, I thought, before cringing.

"She's not very ladylike in her head," Edward commented.

"I first met her when she fell out of a tree and broke her leg. I never thought she was ladylike."

I glared at them both and Edward chuckled. "Give us a break. We haven't had a girl around before."

"Ever," Carlisle added.

"That explains a lot," I said.

Edward quirked his eyebrow, but I kept my mind focused on the hem of my dress and he finally just ignored me. "So where to now?" he asked.

Carlisle shrugged. "I got an offer to help start a new hospital in Maine . What do you think?"

Edward shrugged. "That's fine."

"Esme?"

She started in surprise. Of course they would have to move. She was a well known school teacher in the area, she couldn't just pop up living with Dr. Carlisle Cullen. "I-I don't care."

He nodded. "Alright...be my sister. Edward's step-mother. Your husband's first wife died and he married you. He died of...a hunting injury. Your last name is Masen."

I nodded. "Esme Masen...got it." Anything to leave Platt-Everson away. I did not want to have anything else to do with her husband.

"Husband?" Edward questioned suddenly.

Two pairs of golden eyes focused on me and I got up slowly, backing up. A habit I had gotten into. When Charles was displeased or I kept something from in, I usually had a price to pay. Unbidden, my memories assaulted me and I pushed them away for my sake and for Edward's sake.

Edward growled and jumped to his feet, followed by a confused Carlisle who was looking between his two companions. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," I whispered, putting my hands over my ears. "It's nothing. Nothing."

Edward growled. "Like hell it's nothing!"

"Edward," Carlisle said, frowning at his language.

"He hit her...and worse. That baby-"

"Don't talk about my baby," I whispered.

"-wasn't created in love. She left him!"

"Shut up!" I yelled, moving towards Edward. My new speed made me clumsy and I tripped. I stayed where I was on the floor, used to this position, trying to ignore the pain that had been numbed in the newness of my experience with the vampire change. My body shuddered and I knew I was crying, though there were no tears.

"Sorry," Edward whispered.

I felt strong arms wrap around me and I was pulled to someone's chest. Gentle hands stroked my back and hair and I could hear soothing noises coming from him, nothing like a human could make.

"You're safe now," Carlisle said. "We won't hurt you and we-I-won't let anything happen to you, ever again."

I didn't answer, trying to focus on anything but the thought of my baby and the man that took my life away. Not Carlisle , Charles. Carlisle gave me a new life it seemed, one where I am cared for. It would take a lot of getting used to, but I could do it. As long as I got to be with him forever, I didn't care what he did, or who he was with. As long as I could stay.

"You'll have to stay hidden while we make the preparations to leave," he said. "But when we get to our new home, we'll get you some new clothes and...you can even choose the house."

I pulled away from his chest to look him in the face. I could tell from his eyes that he thought these were trivial things, nothing that could really heal my pain. I smiled however and nodded my thanks. Charles hadn't cared what I thought or looked like, as long as it did not reflect badly of him. My parents cared about my looks and possessions too much. I never got to choose before.

Edward cocked his head at me, before smiling. "You're our equal," he said firmly. "No hitting or...making you do anything you don't want to."

Carlisle nodded and I leaned my head against his chest again. Finally home.