Caramel: The Musings and Adventures of a Miss Charlotte Marigold And of a Dr. Carlisle Cullen
"There was something very, very strange about this Carlisle Cullen, and she was determined to figure it out by the end of the evening. It was not often that such a mystery crossed her path, and Charlotte was not about to allow Dr. Cullen to cross hers without so much as an inquiry." Dr. Carlisle Cullen has been a vampire for nearly 150 years. He's established himself as a neutral of the Volturi, a 'vegetarian' vampire, and as an unsuitable husband for any young woman of the upper British crust by 1778. But Charlotte Marigold seems to find herself fiercely attracted to him when all the other young women flee... Author's Note: Caramel is now finished! Thank you for your support, everyone!
Disclaimer: All characters from the Twilight series are not mine - they belong to the genius of Stephenie Meyer. I am merely a humble writer who lets her imaginations run away with her.
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A knock upon the door of the Marigold household came one late afternoon, the sound echoing around the countryside.
For once, the maid of the Marigold home came to the door, and was purely shocked to see three strange looking men standing in front of her. All strangely cloaked in all black, all with searing crimson eyes.
“M-m-may I help you?” she asked, shivering, as it suddenly felt as though she were standing without a coat on in the middle of winter.
“Yes. Is this the Marigold residence?” asked Aro, even though he already knew the answer.
“Is Mrs. Marigold at home?”
“Yes sir, she is. Who may I say is calling?”
“Messengers Aro, Marcus and Caius, friends of Dr. Carlisle Cullen.”
Shaking, she led them to the parlor, where Mrs. Marigold sat at her secretary, writing a letter with a warm cup of tea by her side.
“Madame,” interrupted the terrified maid, curtseying for a moment. “May I introduce Messengers Aro, Marcus and Caius, friends of Dr. Carlisle Cullen?”
Mrs. Marigold’s hand froze. She slowly turned her head to the side and caught the Volturi’s gaze. She stood from her place and curtseyed slowly.
“What are you doing here?” she breathed, her heart pounding.
“That is no way to treat your guests, Mrs. Marigold. Let’s sit down,” instructed Caius, and all three of them plopped down upon the sofa.
“Are we alone, Caius?” asked Aro.
Caius breathed in the air. “There is a man upstairs, and the maid is listening at the door. Shall I take care of her?”
Mrs. Marigold gasped.
“No need, Caius, though I hate when we have to deny fresh blood. She will not tell. She is too frightened. And in any case, we will know if she does.”
A flutter of footsteps signaled that the maid was indeed too frightened to stay and listen into the conversation.
“Now then, Mrs. Marigold, I am sure you are wondering why we are here.”
She nodded meekly.
“We ran into Carlisle the other day, and he was with a young woman who we found out is your daughter. We had a chat, all five of us. And we found out that one of our kind is indeed in love with her.”
“W-w-where was this chat?” she asked, attempting to control herself.
“We are residing in Volterra, Italy, Mrs. Marigold.”
“And how…how did my daughter manage to get there-?”
“Never you mind,” murmured Caius softly.
“We came here to tell you that your daughter is safely in Vienna with Dr. Cullen, where they are to stay cloaked in secrecy for a while. And they are married, of course.”
“M-m-m-married?” choked Mrs. Marigold. How had her daughter married and not told her about it? Or run off to Austria? Or Italy?
“Well, if they aren’t married, they are to be soon,” said Marcus, boredom in his voice. “We gave them three choices: to marry, to die, or to change Charlotte into one of us.”
Mrs. Marigold gasped again. “She’s not – she’s still – she can’t be -
“No. As I have said before, Mrs. Marigold, they elected the first option. Although Charlotte preferred death because she did not want you or her father to suffer, and next preferred being one of us, Carlisle hated both ideas. He loves her more than he wants her blood.”
“And…and you are here merely to tell me all of this?”
Aro cleared his throat. “Mostly to say that, unless you traverse to Austria, you will probably never see your daughter again. She and Carlisle are not allowed back to England.”
She closed her eyes and put her hand to her head. “Oh my Lord.”
The three vampires did not speak. Aro knew that the bonds between conventional families were strong, as he had watched many human interactions over the centuries, but he thought Mrs. Marigold might have been glad to rid herself of Charlotte, as she shunned Carlisle a ridiculous amount.
“Are you going to be all right?” asked Marcus genially, hiding the fact that he didn’t honestly care.
“Yes,” sighed Mrs. Marigold after a few moments of silence. “I think it is best if all of you leave now,” she said, tears upon her cheeks. “Thank you for informing me of the present situation.”
Aro and the others stood up to bow to her. “Remember, Mrs. Marigold,” he began, edging closer and closer to her until he clasped her hand and read her thoughts. “Remember, Mrs. Marigold, that nobody must ever know about this. You understand well enough?”
“Your daughter is safe, Mrs. Marigold. But more importantly, she is strong. And if, for some reason, she were to become one of us, I, for one, would be very proud.”
She nodded silently. The three men exited without another word.
Mrs. Marigold was so shocked at all this news that she sat back down at her secretary to write a letter to the daughter she would never see again.
The city of Vienna was aglow with the beginnings of winter. The snow that topped the mountains had cascaded to the sides, bordering the trees directly below it. Soon, it would turn the brown blades of grass white, and the city would be showered in it long before Christmas.
Charlotte was, to say the least, infatuated with two things: Vienna and Carlisle.
Their relationship upon arrival was at a standstill. Although Charlotte adored the idea of a Bohemian relationship that included making love, she was also quite fond of the idea of being Mrs. Carlisle Cullen, as she had no ideas of becoming any other Mrs. at all.
To make matters worse, Carlisle was perfectly indecisive about the entire situation, which was rather annoying to Charlotte, as she preferred that he would take her in his arms and never stop kissing her, or drag her to the closest church.
But he would not. He had wanted her to make the decision without his influence. He knew that becoming either married or lovers would indeed be dangerous for Charlotte. Obviously, neither of them had ever gone so far in any sort of relationship, and who was going to initiate the beginnings of a romantic scene was still a mystery.
She watched him sit, one morning, in the bright blue armchair near the bookshelves in the parlor. She could not help but admire him from afar. Charlotte leaned against the wall and a blush found her cheeks.
He smiled as he read to himself, sometimes pausing to trace a word or two, or adjust the way he held the book.
With courage, she walked from her place at the archway and to him, but as she met his gaze, she realized it had been a while since he had been hunting.
“Are you all right?” she asked silently.
He closed his eyes to compose himself and stared back up at her. “It has been too long since I’ve hunted.”
Daringly, she stroked his hair and cool face. “That’s too bad,” she whispered, “For I believe I’ve made a decision about us.”
He smiled lovingly up at her. “And that decision would be?”
Charlotte fell from the seat of the armchair and into his lap. She locked her arms around his neck, moving her delicate lips to his ear and whispered, “Make love to me, Carlisle.”
As she pulled away, his hand found her neck and arched her face close to his. “Are you sure?”
“Positive,” she whispered. “I …I desire you, and only you.”
He met their lips for half a moment. “I love you,” murmured Carlisle. “You must know that. But you must also know that making love with you shall be dangerous, and if I am not quenched, I could kill you. Instinct is raw for humans alone in love, but for my kind, it can be deadly.”
“Then hunt,” she replied, smiling. “I do not wish for anything to ruin this between us.”
“But how? I refuse to leave you alone, and you simply cannot come with me.”
Charlotte rolled her eyes. “I am old enough to stay alone, you know. I’m 19.”
Carlisle smirked. “Oh yes, all of 19. The people who desire to kill you have been on this earth for only a little while longer.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I know you won’t be far. If I exhale incorrectly, I trust you’ll hear it.”
He considered it for a moment and shrugged. “You are right.”
He kissed her gently. “Then as long as you know I will only be moments away, I will go.”
She sighed for a moment and stood, straightening her gown a little. “Well, I shall miss you. It has been a few weeks since we have parted.”
“Yes,” he agreed, standing as well. “It has. And I am sorry that I have to go. I am beginning to feel sick about it.”
Charlotte smiled and shrugged for a moment. “It is who you are. How can I possibly hold a grudge against you for that?”
Without another word, he had left the apartment.
Charlotte sighed and sat in the chair he had been sitting in only moments before, crossing her legs and leaning back, opening the book he had been reading. The Chronology of the Research of the Human Body. Typical.
There were so many things about Carlisle that fascinated her. For starters, his self-control, his denying of blood-lust. How could he stay in contact with humans for such a long period of time when Aro and Marcus and Caius consumed human blood all the time without a second thought?
And Carlisle, so sweet, so caring, worked every day in his life to save human existence, and not only to save, but to enrich. If one thing was perfectly clear about their relationship, it was that he had definitely enriched her life, to perhaps the fullest extent.
He was still a mystery to her. There were some times in which the way he looked at her was so frightening it made her want to run from him and never look back. She would catch his gaze less than a moment later, and realize that he looked with adoration instead of frightening hunger.
It was certainly a relationship that could never be compared to anything else. It was deeper than love; in fact, mentioning the word between them seemed almost shallow and silly. It was understanding, at least on his part. That was the most important thing; that he understood her. Because nobody else seemed to understand Charlotte at all.
She could feel herself drifting off into sleep deeper than in a long time. It was always hard to sleep when Carlisle was around, being beautiful and perfect, no matter how much he sang her to sleep or stroked her hair gently. Before long, an innocent, beautiful sleep claimed her…
A ghostly echo of sound caught her ears and she immediately shook out of her sleep in the chair. Her entire body froze.
“Charlotte,” chuckled a ghostly laugh She spun around, searching, searching for the sound. It was not Carlisle, but it was definitely one of his kind…
“Miss Charlotte Marigold of 18 Park Place, London…” it trailed.
“Who is that? Who are you? How do you know me?”
The person…or thing…laughed again. Before long, she saw a whizzing figure of white.
“Greetings,” said the vampire man. He was tall, dark-haired, red-eyed, and ridiculously muscular.
“Hello,” she replied, her face contorted into fear.
“I am Pyotr Dmitri Tvietski, and I am here to kill you.”
“B-b-but…CARLISLE!” she screamed.
Pyotr stopped his advance. “’Oo is zis Carlisle?”
“Dr. Carlisle Cullen,” he announced, guarding Charlotte immediately, appearing out of nowhere. “Protector of Miss Charlotte Marigold. Your business here would be?”
He motioned to Charlotte, his irises burning.
“Ah. Well, you see if that is the case, then I suppose I shall have to fight you. You see, she must stay protected at all times.”
The Russian vampire cocked his head. “Vhy must you protect her?”
“The Volturi wish to make her a vampire, and until they are free, I am to keep her. They don’t have to worry about me betraying their trust.”
“If the Volturi command her safety, I cannot go against zat.”
“Good then. It was nice to make your acquaintance…”
“Vut I do not believe you. Vhy do your eyes look like honey instead of rubies?”
Carlisle chuckled quietly. “Long story, but I was commanded to change their color. I live amongst the humans, you see. Having red eyes would discourage them from company.”
“Yes, that sounds like you mean it, I suppose. Vut her blood is so exquisite…”
“That is why she must be saved for the Volturi,” replied Carlisle firmly. “The best of blood must always be saved for the best of vampires.”
Pyotr growled low in his throat and pounced for Charlotte, but Carlisle blocked him.
“I told you that she must be protected,” said Carlisle.
He continued to engage in the fight. Charlotte sat in the chair still, shocked at the entire situation, not to mention the blurring white shapes only inches from her feet.
Before long, growling noises echoed about the spacious flat. Charlotte could hear the snapping of jaws against hard flesh. And she was worried about him.
“I vill not beat you now, Dr. Cullen, not vhen I am so veak vith thirst. Vut I vill have her before long. Goodbye, Dr. Cullen.”
With one last hungry look at Charlotte, Pyotr vanished.