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Carlisle's Return

Summary:
Edward never came back during New Moon. Carlisle wants too look around Forks just to see how things are, and he's very unhappy with what he finds. Bella isn't herself anymore. Something bad has happened, and he needs to set right what was made wrong five years ago. It's my first fan fic. Please bear with me, and tell me what you think.


Notes:
It's all from Carlisle's point of view.


4. Esme

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 713   Review this Chapter

Why wouldn’t Jacob just leave Bella alone? Why would he still come if he had this other girl? Or, alternately, if he loved Bella so much how could he chose Lena above her? I realized that Bella might have faced a similar problem, had Edward come back before Jacob had left her. The love that she and Edward shared was so strong, so powerful. But if Jacob had been in the way…

Maybe this was doing us all a favor, I tried to think optimistically.

Then again, maybe not.

Was it worse for Bella to be hurt than for Bella to choose the wrong man… or the wrong creature? Whose interests really mattered here? Bella’s or Edwards? Or both…

My cell phone started ringing and I picked it up wearily. “What, Alice?”

“It’s not Alice,” the sweetest voice in the world responded. “It’s me, love.”

“Esme.” Her voice brought with it a sense of security. No matter how bad things got here, she was still there to keep me grounded. I wouldn’t be alone in dealing with this. Emotion swelled in my chest.

“Carlisle, what’s going on?” she implored. “All Alice would say is that Bella and Edward are in trouble. Where are you? Why didn’t you tell us you were going?”

I did feel bad about leaving her behind. If I could have taken her I would have. “It’s not that I wanted to leave you behind. I thought it would be better if I went on this little trip myself. I didn’t expect it to become so complicated.”

“Where are you? Why is Alice taking us to Italy?”

I paused. “I’m in Forks, dear. As for Italy…” What had Alice told them?

“Forks? Oh god. Is Bella okay?”

“Not exactly. That’s why you’re going. It’s… complicated. But things here aren’t turning out the way Edward planned them. There’s a bit of a conflict with the Quileutes. And Bella. She’s not well at all.”

“Tell me everything,” she ordered calmly, her tone soothing.

I took a deep breath. “I came back on whim,” I began. “I just wanted to visit…” The story took longer than I expected to tell, but she listened carefully and patiently, asking a few questions – What was wrong with Charlie? How far along was Bella in her pregnancy? When I was done, she was quiet for a moment.

“I’m not going to Italy,” Esme said finally, no doubt in her voice.

“Where are you going?” I asked wearily, reaching out to brush a strand of hair out of Bella’s face. It stuck slightly in a light sheen of sweat, and I frowned, feeling her forehead. She was too warm.

“I’m coming to Forks.”

My sweet Esme. My heart swelled with pleasure again. “It will be a relief not to be here alone,” I said, reaching under the sink to find the thermometer.

“Okay.” I could imagine her lovely face, her brow creased slightly with worry but her smile soft and genuine. “I’ll be there as soon as I can. Do you think Alice can manage in Italy without me?”

“With Emmett there? Definitely.” I was on a high, thinking of being reunited with her, as I stuck the thermometer under Bella’s tongue. “I will see you soon.”

“I love you, Carlisle.”

I slipped the phone back into my pocket and frowned down at the display. 102.6. I tried to remember. Had she been warm earlier?

She looked haunted, waxy and unhealthy… She was much thinner… Bruises… Her body was far too frail to support another… I sank into a chair at her bedside, stroking her mess of long, tangled hair automatically…

Heat.

There was warmth on her skin, seeping through my cold fingers. It felt good, but that was Edward’s field. I went back to stroking her hair.

So there hadn’t been an excess. Not until now. I frowned, putting the thermometer back and eyed the Nurse Call button. Instead, I whirled on my heel and walked as slowly as my speed allowed me to in the direction of the office of the hospital’s director. I knocked, filled with impatience and worry.