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Caramel: The Musings and Adventures of a Miss Charlotte Marigold And of a Dr. Carlisle Cullen

Summary:
"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... Caramel Author's Note: Caramel is now finished! Thank you for your support, everyone!


Notes:
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.


17. Epilogue

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Epilogue

One million, seven hundred-seventy-seven-thousand, eight-hundred and twenty-four thoughts raced through my head at once.

How could he do this to us? To me? To her? What had Charlotte ever done to Nikolai that had demanded him to take her life from her? To take her life from me? After all that we had been through – the society ladies, facing her mother, escaping the Volturi, and the chase from those awful Russian vampires – it was just unfair, just awful, just impossible that someone was so intent upon killing her.

Intent upon killing Charlotte. My love. My life. My true passion since the Volturi had told me that I had to abandon medicine. Charlotte was worth it, however. She was worth every life I had saved or attempted to save ever since I controlled my thirst and began to live out my dreams.

I could not move. I was frozen to that dreaded spot upon the soft, perfect ground as Charlotte’s blood spilled out from her throat, staining that beautiful hair I loved. Nikolai was a messy drinker that was for sure. He was so overwhelmed with the scent of her blood that his senses were taking everything over, thirst needy and impossible to ignore as he ravaged her.

How I wished I could find an inner strength and crush him to pieces! He deserved the true fires of hell more than the Volturi – more than any vampire I knew. Even Pyotr knew that perhaps he might have not been able to truly ravish my woman, and grew distracted when Fyodor attempted to kill. But this? Nikolai? With all of his leadership and all that he preached of ignoring the specific scents and going in straight for the kill? How was killing Charlotte just another one of his exploits upon the humans?

The venom was gripping her now. Her head stayed motionless, but her waist shuddered violently beneath the corset I had watched her lace up only hours ago. How I wished we could have stayed in that room forever, until the sun set upon another day, and she would finally wrap herself within warm blankets and find sleep! She had been so beautiful in the time I had had her; I had wanted to badly to keep her as mine and only mine for the rest of her life.

That was why it was so incredibly wrong to watch Nikolai consume her, draining her of life, draining her of love and goodness and kindness and everything that Charlotte had ever been. She was already paralyzed. Her brain was in shock, I knew it. I had watched the Volturi drain humans many times before. I understood the process. The brain went into shock, the venom sealed the arteries and pushed the blood to where the murderer sucked.

She must have known she was nearing the end of her life, for in those minutes, one of her hands reached out, as if toward me, and her head tilted to the side ever-so-slightly, so that her killer would not notice the last of life left within her body.

“I love you, Carlisle,” I heard her whisper very plainly and simply.

Those words, the most powerful of all in every language, combined with my name to make the most beautiful melody I had heard in my existence.

Nikolai snarled at her and dug deeper into her neck. She gasped unexpectedly, and her back arched. She writhed, she shivered, she arced violently, every part of her moving as though she were on fire.

I had no idea why I was watching her. It would only be a matter of seconds before Charlotte was gone, before she had finally reached a resting place where monsters like Nikolai did not exist.

That beautiful, pure heart beat its last.

He stood up, looking at me with the most vicious of eyes, the most taunting of smiles, and the most powerful stature. “Your little lover is gone,” he said. Sergei leapt up from my chest and leered at me in the same way.

“I beg you, if you have any civility left, destroy me,” I could hear myself whisper.

“Lucky for you, I have never had the patience for civility. We will leave you to mourn. What you do after you realize she will never return to you is your business and your business alone.”

I could hear them cackling after they left me, only a few feet away from Charlotte’s corpse, and knew at once they had begun their trek back to the north.

I looked at her.

How could a woman be strikingly gorgeous even in death, with blood streaked upon the soft snow, with hair splayed out across the ground?

I had seen so many dead humans before, it was almost unnatural. And all of them were hideous. Why was Charlotte the only dead woman whose lips still looked pink, whose cheeks hid that blush I loved, and whose eyes I could swear, would blink at any moment?

That face, that indescribable face, held me to her as it never had before. Her eyes were still emeralds, soft and deep and gentle, and flecked with bits of brown.

As I knelt beside her, I watched the last drops of blood drain from her angel’s cheeks with the dimples I adored when she smiled. A smile would never light up her face again. I would never see her eyes sparkle as she giggled, I would never see her reveal her imperfect teeth and smile halfway to the side, or wiggle her ears, or wrinkle her nose, or narrow her eyes, or flutter her eyelashes or gasp my name…

I touched her hand. Snow white. Icy cold.

Oh God, no.

Icy cold to me, a vampire, meant dead. Completely, utterly, wholly, absolutely dead from the hair on her head to her delicate feet.

It was at that point I knew I had to bury her before anyone else touched her. I stole some supplies from a nearby cemetery: a shovel, a gravestone, a coffin that looked as though it would suit her.

But I knew that nothing in death would suit her. Not the best of coffins, nor the deepest of graves, nor the most exquisitely marked gravestone. Even with all of the supplies sitting before me, I could not bring myself to do it.

I stared at her for the longest time. Minutes, hours, days, weeks. She did not smell like a corpse to me, she did not rot in my presence. She was my Charlotte, even in death. My lover, my friend, my other half, my coquette. Mine.

How could I have allowed someone else to shatter her right before my very eyes? How had I stayed frozen to the spot when I knew that I would never see her again if he succeeded.

I laid down beside her. I spoke to her. I told her everything that I had ever kept from her. Why exactly had I refused to explain my aspirations for the future? Why had I decided to keep so many secrets? Had she known who exactly she had fallen in love with before that man vainly allowed her to die?

I could feel the winter upon me, but I refused to let the snow cover her. I wiped her off, I picked her up, I carried her limp in my arms. In a cave, in a shelter, in a little wooden house. I hunted with her laying there in the soft snow. At last, my darling, you may watch me hunt! How I know you longed to see it! How I wish I could have had the restraint to hunt before you!

At last, I laid her gently in the coffin as the beginnings of spring drew near. A velvet pillow, a satin sheet underneath her body. She would have loved to have been buried in the spring, I knew. She loved the spring; she had told me so many times before her death. She must have been blooming in the spring, just as a rose bloomed, just as the world bloomed.

Charlotte was the world, and now she was gone.

I carved her gravestone thus:

Here Lies Charlotte Catherine Marie Louise Marigold

The Love of my life,

The Friend of my inner humanity,

And the Saint of my tainted Soul

May she rest in perfect peace

I loved, adored, lusted, cared, befriended, and took care of you the best I could, my darling Charlotte.

Goodbye.