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.
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2474 Review this Chapter
“Charlotte!” called Carlisle at once. He heard her light footsteps from the floor above. Panting, she was at his side almost immediately.
“Yes?” Her eyes looked to the woman standing in front of her. She retracted a few steps behind Carlisle. “W-who is that?”
“Natasia Kuzmenko,” she repeated. “I am not here to harm either of you. I am here to warn you. You’ve met Pyotr?”
Carlisle and Charlotte nodded.
“He came to the head of our coven and told us how wonderful your blood smelt. He offered you as a sign of peace between him and Nikolai-“
“Who’s Nikolai?’ asked Carlisle, eyebrows furrowed.
“Wait,” said Charlotte. “I feel awfully rude speaking to you without inviting you inside. Please, please come and sit with us.”
“Thank you,” replied Natasia, smiling as she accepted Charlotte’s request. She smoothly sat in the chaise closest to the door, her violin case next to her. Charlotte and Carlisle sat in the respective chairs across from Natasia. “Nikolai is the leader of my coven, Carlisle.”
“And what do he and Pyotr have against each other?”
Natasia sighed. “It is rather…complicated.”
Carlisle smiled. “We have all the time you will need. If we can help or keep Charlotte safe, details are necessary.”
She nodded. “When I was human many years ago, my father was the court musician for the czar. I was my father’s pride and joy; a prodigal daughter with pronounced talent for playing violin. I was in my home alone one evening when I was about seventeen, and Nikolai heard me. He asked if I was interested in playing music for the rest of eternity, and to be even more beautiful that he claimed I already was. I said I was interested, and without explaining what I would become, he bit me.
“Nikolai learned to love me, and as I was young, I thought I loved him, too. We became lovers. Twenty years later, I met Pyotr. There was a stronger bond I felt between the two of us than I ever had with Nikolai, and I chose to love Pyotr instead. Nikolai was heart-broken and angry, but he understood. In only a few year’s time, he met Alexandria and a very young vampire, Sergei, who she called her son. The two married. Our coven grew to accept more vampires, like Fyodor and Masha, Sascha and Katarina. But Pyotr never said he loved me as Nikolai always had. Pyotr grew to be an obsessive tracker. While we were hunting once, he annihilated an entire Russian village all on his own. A few more villages later, and the czarist government was onto our existence.
“Furious with Pyotr’s carelessness, Nikolai expelled him from the coven. Pyotr was so angry that he fought Nikolai and lost. He left immediately without even bothering to tell me.”
She paused, breaking eye contact and looking shyly to the floor.
“I…I immersed myself completely within my music. I knew he was obsessed with blood and pride, and he would never come back to me.
“The Volturi came and visited us then, a member named Caius. He spent several weeks with us, fascinated by all our gifts and aspirations. On his way out he decided to feed in St. Petersburg, where he saw Pyotr.
“Pyotr came back to our coven and told us of his meeting with you two. He said he had seen the error of his ways, and offered your life as peace between Nikolai and himself. Nikolai was, of course, very interested. He adores blood that tastes young and feminine, as he usually preys only upon maidens.
“After Pyotr finished speaking, Nikolai agreed to begin the hunt, but not before he forced Pyotr to speak with me. I…I found out that Pyotr never loved me at all. I asked permission to leave and I did. I had to come here and warn you.”
Carlisle nodded. “Thank you very much for coming. But, why is it that you decided to warn us?”
She sighed. “I want to apologize for whatever trouble my coven…or rather, my old coven, has caused either of you. And, I believe now that mutual love truly shared between two people is extremely special. I would hate to see it ruined because of something Pyotr or Nikolai did.”
“Thank you,” said Charlotte, smiling warmly. “Do you know when they were planning on coming?”
Natasia shook her head. “No. But it took me less than two full days to get here, so once they decide, the fight is close to inevitable.”
“Unless we leave,” suggested Carlisle.
Natasia shrugged. “These vampires are masters at tracking, especially Pyotr. But if Charlotte is flanked by two vampires, her scent may be skewed a little.”
“It is the best chance we have,” agreed Carlisle. “But where should be go?”
Natasia sighed. “No idea. I don’t know any other vampires outside of my coven. Do you?”
Carlisle closed his eyes for a few moments. “There are two nomads I know of. The last I saw them, they were in Portugal…they could be in Sweden…”
“What about Ireland? I heard Nikolai speak of a very small coven there…and you wouldn’t be in England exactly…”
He nodded. “All right. And they’ll come here first, you say?”
“Yes. Pyotr rarely deviates from his original plan.” She paused. “If you could lead, I would be much obliged.”
“Charlotte,” he looked to his love. “Is there anything you wish to bring with us?”
She looked around the small two floors for a few minutes, grabbing only her cloak “I suppose you have enough funds to replace all the furniture here?”
He nodded. “I left a good amount of money in a few banks in England, just in case.”
Charlotte’s eyes lit up. “You always think of everything, do you not?”
“Of course,” he replied. He stood from his chair and met their lips for a moment.
“Let us go,” said Natasia at last, standing up, throwing her violin case over her shoulder.
With one last look around the house, Carlisle took Charlotte in his arms and sped out, leaving nothing behind.
The trio had been running for several hours before they finally stopped to allow Natasia a few hours to hunt. Charlotte had been asleep since Carlisle had started running; as though his silent strides were a melody that sang her to sleep in smooth steps.
When he stopped in the forests of northwestern Switzerland, however, she woke up. Looking around herself, she grew bored and found his face, smiling.
“Where are we, what time is it?” she asked, stretching.
“Nearly in France, it’s about 2 a.m.”
“I think I love sleep,” yawned Charlotte.
“I agree,” he replied, smiling as he swiftly set her upon the ground.
“Forests are always a wonderful thing to wake up to. And your face, of course.”
Carlisle kissed her lips for a few moments. “I was thinking of something rather important as I ran.”
“Before Natasia knocked upon our door, we were…rather…involved.”
She blushed at the thought. “Yes?”
“But now that there are three of us, and we’ll be traveling, I do not think there will be another opportunity to…” he dropped his tone to a whisper and his lips found her ear, “make love.”
Charlotte shivered slightly and met his gaze. “I am sorry.”
He chuckled. “Vampires are after you, and you are sorry?”
“No, I am miserable.”
“I am miserable that we cannot make love. If we make it to Ireland-“
“When we make it to Ireland,” he corrected.
“Right, when we make it to Ireland, can we try?”
He sighed. “If you insist.”
Charlotte embraced him, arms around his neck. “I insist.”
She began to kiss him then, as though she wished to cement their lips forever. He kissed back with the same intensity, allowing his desires to surface once again. Charlotte always felt as though every inch of her body was on fire with passion for him even when he pulled her closer with the slightest of touches or tenderly met their lips.
Now, in the middle of a forest, her fire for him was completely refueled. It did not matter that she had been hungry for a few hours, or that she had just woken up, or that there were vampires after her, or that her mother thought she was married, or that they were in the middle of a forest – the moment seemed so perfect, so right…
“Charlotte,” he breathed her name beautifully in between kisses, “We cannot.”
“Yes we can,” she replied, her eyes a glowing pine green, “Carlisle,” her voice was so tiny that she knew no other soul but Carlisle could hear it, “I desire you. Please.”
“In a forest?” he asked. “This is not logical-“
“Love is not logical!” exclaimed Charlotte furiously. “I am begging you to take me now, and you will not?”
“I could kill you.”
“But I could.”
“But you won’t,” she replied, meeting his eyes again.
After a long silence between them, his eyes grew dark. “Damn it all,” he swore under his breath, meeting their lips for what he thought would finally go into something more.
A small clearing of a throat behind Charlotte made Carlisle pause in his motives. “It is your turn to hunt, Carlisle,” said Natasia sweetly, smiling a little.
Carlisle had no choice but to separate from Charlotte. He blew cool breath over her face, “I will return, and when I do, we will pick up exactly where we left off.”
She nodded, sighing, and saw him blur away. Charlotte collapsed upon the ground. Natasia gracefully joined her, smiling.
“Hi,” greeted Natasia.
“Hello,” replied Charlotte, rubbing her arms together to try and stay warm as a cold wind blew around her. She pulled her cloak closer around her shoulders.
“Look, I am sorry. I hate interrupting people…or any beings, really, when they are…romantic like that.”
It was the first time Charlotte heard absolutely no accent in Natasia’s voice. “It is all right. I…it is probably for the better.”
“Yes. He has to hunt, you know.”
“But I must say, your heart goes insane every time you are around him.”
“Do not be embarrassed!” laughed Natasia. “As I said before, I am jealous of the love you share. I have never had that, and I doubt I will.”
Charlotte gave her a sympathetic look. “I do not believe that you were completely unattached to Nikolai.”
She shrugged. “I was definitely attached and attracted to him – but only in the physical sense. He was…and still is, obsessive about love the way Pyotr is about the hunt.”
“Ah, I see.”
“Yes, well. He was a magnificent lover, I will give him that much.”
Charlotte giggled. “But not a wonderful friend?”
“No. At the best of times, he was impatient and difficult to talk to. At worst, he had no opinion or care of my music and only wanted my presence in a physical sense.” She sighed. “And Pyotr…I was simply infatuated with him. I have no idea why, but I was.”
Charlotte scoffed. “You are too much of a woman for him.”
Natasia laughed her perfect, musical chuckle. “Well, thank you. I have never asked a human’s opinion before.”
“Now you have one, and now you know that you are glorious, whereas Pyotr is simply a killer.”
“We are all only killers,” she whispered.
“No,” disagreed Charlotte. “If you were just a killer, you would be with them, plotting my death. If you were just a killer, you would have devoured me by now. You are not a killer.”
She smiled. “You know, I have never met a human like you before. Then again, I have not spoken with a human for about three hundred years, but all the same, there is something incredible about you.”
Natasia made eye contact with Charlotte and peered through her eye’s lenses with ferocity, as though viewing Charlotte’s soul. “There is a strength about you that I sensed even as you hid behind Carlisle on the evening of our meeting. You have weak moments the same as everyone, but that is what you have Carlisle for. You have been through much, I can see that, too.”
Charlotte was bewildered. “Are you sure that the analyzing of one’s soul is not your gift?”
She shrugged. “You have not heard me play violin.”
With love shining in Natasia’s eyes, she carefully took the deep cherry violin from its case, gracefully stood and set the instrument upon her delicate silver shoulder, brushing her perfect hair out off her clavicles to cascade down her back.
The music that filled the air was unlike any Charlotte had ever heard. The melody was strong, flowing, and so passionate that she felt tears forming in her eyes. Each note lingered in the deep autumn air with equal importance. When the theme had been properly established, the variations began. Fast trills and grace notes littered the air and quickly filled the quiet forest with unmistakable sound. She changed the rhythm with deliverance and continued, faster and faster until she reached the final note, releasing it all too soon.
The trees were overwhelmed with echoes as their bark played the vibrations and the essence of the melody back to the musician. Smiling, Natasia took her violin off her shoulder and peered at the only visible audience member.
Charlotte sat with wide eyes and a racing heart before Natasia. At last, she took a deep breath and shook her head.
“None,” replied Charlotte, speechless. “Except that you are, perhaps, the most amazing violinist I have ever heard.”
“Well,” she sighed. “I have about two hundred years more of practice time. That would be the danger in joining a symphony full of humans.”
Charlotte raised her eyebrows and nodded in agreement. “Yes! If the fact that you are perfectly beautiful and can see the souls of others does not give you away, that is…” she trailed, smiling.
Just as Natasia packed up her violin and sat down upon the forest floor next to Charlotte, Carlisle came rushing out of the woods.
“That was quick,” said Natasia with a smile. “I knew there were large game around here, but I did not believe you could actually annihilate such a beast so quickly-“
“Did you play your violin?” he demanded seriously.
She stood up and furrowed her eyebrows. “Yes. I wanted Charlotte to hear it.”
“You tipped them off!” he exclaimed, picking up Charlotte immediately.
“I did what?”
“Nikolai heard you playing your violin! They were only a few miles away when I heard Pyotr’s booming laughter. Come on! We do not have any time to waste!”