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The Lure of Esme

Summary:
All Human....Carlisle and Esme get pregnant against all odds - what callenges will they face, especially when someone from the past pays them a visit? *CURRENTLY NOMINATED AT THE TWILIGHT AWARDS*


Notes:
I don't own twilight - Stephenie Meyer does.


11. Chapter 11

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3027   Review this Chapter

EsmePOV

I could hear the police department outside and I desperately wanted to scream. I just wanted to go home. I was scared, tired, and my back and feet hurt. I needed to feel Carlisle's arms around me and smell his scent that made me feel so safe, so loved.

"Mr. Volterra, please open the door!"

Aro walked over to a wall and pressed something. Suddenly a door appeared. He turned and walked back to me, grabbing my arm and leading me through the door and down the stairs. The basement was nothing more than a tiny room in the ground. It was dark, with the faintest amount of light coming from a tiny window.

"Now, you will stay down here until I come for you. I'm sorry it's small, love, but I promise I won't be long. I just need to dispose of our unwelcomed guests."

"Please Aro, don't hurt them."

"Now is that really what you think of me, dear? I love you, and I will not let anyone hurt you or your babies. They appear to be under the misapprehension that you are here unwillingly, and do not understand our love. They know Carlisle - surely they are likely to believe him over me, and well...I wouldn't want you to give in to your guilt and go along with their ridiculous beliefs. Just stay here and be quiet. I do not wish to harm anyone that could possibly get in our way."

Just before he turned back to the stairs, he met my gaze with certainty; he was indirectly warning me, trying to keep his delusions a reality to himself while letting me know what could happen if I did something...undesirable. Quickly, he darted back up the stairs and closed the door. Damn it. What was I going to do now?

CarlislePOV

I can't stay here anymore. I need to do something; I needed to know that she was alright, and Charlie won't tell me anything. Since the kids were distracted in the living room, I snuck out my study window and made my way to my car, which was still parked outside the garage. With perfect clarity, I recalled the address on the paper Jasper gave the police department - from the instant I'd seen it, I'd committed it to memory. I wasn't exactly sure where it was, but I knew I would find it if I just paid close attention.

I drove around a bit, looking for the road that would be blocked off. It didn't take me long. I figured with a house as secluded as his, there would be a side entrance. Another few minutes passed and I found a dirt road that led to the house. I turned off my headlights, keeping only the parking lights on - I didn't want to attract attention. Once I saw the house, I pulled the car off to the side and turned it off.

It was now or never - the beginning of what could quite possibly be the end.

I didn't care - I just needed to see with my own eyes that she was okay; hear her speak my name, feel her soft skin against mine. Without her, I had nothing.

It was a quick walk to the back of the house. Damn - no back door, no visible side door. I started pacing, searching for a way in. This old house seemed to be built like a fortress, keeping it's many secrets well-hidden within.

AroPOV

Once I had left my beloved Esme downstairs, I went to the front door, placing the proper expression across my features.

"Ah, hello. I do apologize for the delay, but I was indulging myself in an afternoon nap. Now, how can I help you?" I asked.

"Mr. Volterra, sorry to disturb you, but we're looking for Esme Cullen. It's believed she is with you," an officer said.

I replaced my expression with the correct amount of shock and concern. "Well, I'm sorry, but she's not here. There isn't anything wrong, is there? She's a dear friend of mine's wife...how unfortunate for her whereabouts to be unknown," I mused.

"Do you mind if we take a look around, just to be sure?"

"Of course not. I know Mrs. Cullen quite well. How long has she been missing?"

"A few hours... but given her situation, we felt it was best to start looking now, rather than wait the standard 48 hours."

"Of course - also one of the benefits of a small community - such care, such caution... Please, do come in," I added.

I held the door open and watched as the officers looked through closets and various rooms. I knew they wouldn't find the hidden door to the basement, so as long as Esme kept quiet, which of course she would, they would not foil my plan. Discreetly, I directed them towards the stairs to give them more places to search, which would surely satiate their curiosity.

"Mr. Volterra, do you have a basement?"

"Sadly no. It's an old house, you see, and I believe there have been a few attempts to modernize aspects of it - if there ever was one, it was closed off long before I purchased it," I added, covering my tracks; if they circled the perimeter, they'd be curious about the tiny window in the back of the house. Of course, with no interior entrance, (visible to them) my little explanation would more than suffice if needed.

After some time, a few officers came back downstairs.

"She's not here. There's no sign of her at all."

I smiled sympathetically at them, and briefly wondered how difficult it would be to dispose of them all. There were only five of them. It's not like we would still be in the country when their bodies would be found...but, the sight of their dead bodies would disturb Esme, so I decided it was better just to let them leave. Only a few minutes until they were gone anyway.

EsmePOV

The air was so stale it was starting to make me dizzy and nauseous - it smelled of chemicals of some sort. I could tell the sun was almost completely down now, as the light from the window was almost gone. With the light that was still there, I managed to find a crow bar and a sheet. I stood on a box under the window, wrapped the crow bar with the sheet a few times and smashed the window. Once the glass was gone, I pointed my face up and breathed in the fresh air, gasping. I could smell rain coming.

I also heard something, something that made me realize no one was coming for me. I heard the sounds of car doors slamming, engines starting and vehicles being driven away.

I sunk to the floor and started sobbing.

I wasn't going to see Carlisle again. I wouldn't get to see his beautiful blue eyes, hear his laugh, or see his smile. My children would never get to meet these precious little ones moving around in my belly. All I wanted was to see them one last time, to tell them that I was okay with going if it meant that they would be safe. It was a lie of course, but it was also the truth. All the hopes and dreams I had for them I would never see. I wouldn't be there to watch Carlisle give away the girls, to watch Emmett play in the NFL, to watch Jasper elected into office, or to listen to Edward play his piano. Things that I took for granted, I was now realizing I would give anything to have again.

I don't know how long I sat there shaking with grief before I heard it.

"Esme," a voice whispered urgently. Instantly, I froze.

It wasn't Aro's voice, but it was a man's voice.

"Esme, are you down there?" the voice said again; I knew then who it was.

"Carlisle?" I whispered. I turned my head and looked up at the window. I could make out the shape of someone's head, but couldn't see his features, as all the light was now gone.

"Are you alright?"

“Is that really you?"

"Yes, angel, it's me. Where's Aro?"

"He's upstairs. Carlisle, you have to get me out of here!"

"I will, I promise."

"Hurry, I don't know how much longer he'll stay away."

I heard what sounded like Carlisle crawling through the tiny window, and him cursing when a tiny piece of glass cut him. Once he was through the window, I threw my arms around him and started sobbing even harder. I knew I would be alright now - Carlisle wouldn't let Aro take me away now.

"It's alright, angel, I'm here," he soothed into my ear.

"I know, I'm just scared," I whimpered.

"There's nothing to be scared of now. I won't let anything happen to you, I promise."

"But he's delusional – he wants to take me to Italy," I said through my tears. "He wants,-"

"It doesn't matter. Nothing is going to happen."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that, my dear friend," Aro said from the top of the small staircase. A small scream escaped my lips - even though Carlisle was here, I was still frightened. He moved slowly down the stairs, closing the small distance between all of us.

"Aro...how could you do this? How could you do this to her?" Carlisle demanded, his voice full of rage.

"It's really quite simple," Aro said softly. He pulled a butcher's knife out from behind his back as he descended the stairs. "Esme and I have fallen in love. From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew she was meant for me. True, you and the children were a...complication - after all, she's been with you all for so long, of course she felt an obligation to you. It would have to be me to break her free of that; she'd feel too guilty to leave on her own accord. When the medical conference had an opening, I knew it was my opportunity to act on our feelings. While you were gone, I took things into my own hands - however, you did somewhat complicate things by leaving someone to keep her prisoner..."

"Prisoner!? I don't think so - more of a protector, don't you think? She's too close to her due date to leave her alone," Carlisle said, warily eying the knife. He moved in front of me, keeping me out of Aro's reach.

"You could have asked me to watch her... I would have made sure she was taken care of," he replied sarcastically.

"Just like you took care of Anna all those years ago?" Carlisle maliciously whispered. Who on earth was Anna? Clearly, there was something I was missing here.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, still trembling.

"That was years ago! I didn't love her like I love Esme; Anna was merely a fixation - a distraction. She never had even a tenth of the pure soul that Esme does. You do realize, Esme is only putting on a show for you now - she's still afraid of hurting you; she's such a good person, she feels guilt over something that she doesn't even want anymore. I would say it's not personal, but it is. I'm sure she loved you in the beginning, but come on, Carlisle, forcing her to care for five children then forcing her to have more? Don't you think that's a bit much?" Aro asked, his eyes burning with intensity. Slowly, he closed the distance between all of us; he held the knife threateningly in front of him, motioning for Carlisle to move away from me.

"You have no idea what emotions can do to someone, do you? What they can drive an individual to do...it's really quite irrational, but I suppose it's all part of being human, don't you think, friend? I would suggest you move out of the way now. Esme and those two babies are quite important, aren't they? Aren't they worth more than life itself? I think so..." Aro trailed off, looking completely mad.

"You have no idea what you're talking about, Aro! No idea!" Carlisle seethed. The volume of his voice scared me, as he had never yelled in front of me before. Usually when he raised his voice, he would do it in another room, but this was a different side of him.

The two stared at one another, silently, for a few minutes. Something passed between them that I didn't quite understand, but there was definitely a sort of silent communication - there had to be, because something made Carlisle whisper to me over his shoulder.

"Don't worry, it will be alright - I promise," Carlisle whispered to me as he slowly moved away from me. I trusted my husband, so I knew he was doing this for a reason, but I couldn't help but feel very vulnerable. His actions, and my sudden undefended state, made Aro's speech resume, as he stepped even closer to me.

"On the contrary, I do. I've had to wander this country alone. I thought I would surely be a lonely bachelor forever, but then I saw her. The unexplained desire to stop by the hospital to see you, after all this time, suddenly became perfectly clear the second I saw her picture in your office. This beautiful, loving woman," Aro said trailing the back of his hand against my cheek; my body cringed in response, and a small, terrified whimper escaped my lips. "I knew she belonged to me. I knew it would only be a matter of time before she realized just how much I could give her."

"I have no doubt that at one point in time you could have made someone very happy, but Esme is my wife. I love her. She loves me," Carlisle practically growled in response. He was shaking with anger at Aro's proximity to me. "Look into her eyes, Aro - if you truly love her, the way you say you do, then you'll let her go - you'll let her be with me."

"LIES! Esme, my love, do you see now? Do you hear his lies? I have no doubt he's been telling you them for years, deceiving you," Aro spat indignantly.

I remained silent, too terrified to say the wrong thing, the thing that might send him over the edge. I really had no idea what to do; what was Carlisle's plan?

"In time you'll realize leaving was the best choice for you...in time, you'll realize it was nothing more than guilt holding you in place," Aro murmured to me. Backing us toward the stairs he wrapped one arm securely around my waist, and started pulling me up the stairs. Instinctively, Carlisle countered, grasping my other hand and abruptly pulling me back down, reaching out to block Aro's hand that still held the knife. I stumbled, falling to the ground, but not before I felt a sharp slash against my arm. While trying to catch his balance, Aro had overcompensated, and the hand with the knife had whirled around, and caught the back of my forearm - it was cut deeply.

"Stay back," Carlisle said to me urgently.

I curled against the wall, watching as my husband rushed toward Aro. Fortunately, Aro was distracted; he was staring in horror at me - at the blood that was flowing freely down my arm from the wound inflicted by the very knife which he had held. Quickly, Carlisle had managed to yank him from the steps, securing him in a very tight headlock.

"Carlisle, you wouldn't hurt a friend, it's not within your nature - I know you too well. Just let her go - let her be happy," Aro spat confidently while fighting for air against my husband's grip.

"That's exactly what you don't understand, 'friend'. What is within my nature is to protect my loved ones, and there's no one that's dearer to me than my wife. I'll do anything to ensure her happiness - and I'll do everything to ensure her safety," Carlisle said with certainty.

A second later, there was a sickening sound. I looked away; Aro's body hung limply from Carlisle's arms - he'd snapped his neck.

Carlisle approached me slowly. "Come on, its over," Carlisle said quietly, reaching out for me.

I cowered even further into the wall; I couldn't move, I was too scared too. I was afraid that Aro was faking - that he would jump up somehow drag me off to Italy.

"Esme, it's alright. He won't hurt you," Carlisle whispered. "We have to get you to the hospital...you're bleeding quite badly."

I hesitated for a moment and realized he was right. Together we walked up the stairs and out of the house. As we reached the porch, shock started to set in, and I collapsed onto the steps, sobbing, gripping Carlisle tight to me.

Then I felt it. I felt the skin and muscles across my belly tighten and felt something wet between my legs.

"Carlisle," I whispered brokenly.

He looked at me, then down on the stairs, which now had a small stain of red.

"Stay here. I'll get the car," he said as he leapt from the stairs.

It seemed like Carlisle had been gone forever before I saw him again. He was yelling into his cell phone, running back to me.

"Sorry, I think I broke something in the car, but I called Charlie and he's coming with an ambulance. Are you alright?" he asked urgently.

"NO! This shouldn't be happening! This isn't how I pictured it! Why can't I have a normal pregnancy and delivery?!"

"Esme, calm down. Please - it will be alright, just please, calm down." Somehow, his expression wasn't nearly as reassuring as he meant his words to be; he was just as worried as I was.