The Lure of Esme
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*
I don't own twilight - Stephenie Meyer does.
4. Chapter 4
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I had just finished the longest shift I could remember. Three trauma's back to back. I felt bad staying later at the hospital, but I was needed. As I sat in the surgeon's lounge to collect my thoughts, I checked my voicemail, of which I had three.
"Hi honey, it's me," Esme's voice said, "when you're on your way home, could you stop by and get my favorite ice cream sundae, please? I'm having such a craving, it's not even funny...Oh! and Emmett wants one too, since he stayed home with me tonight. Thanks! I love you!"
Ice cream sundaes - Esme's favorite new thing. And it couldn't just be any sundae. She wanted strawberry sorbet from the new Italian shop with pistachios and chocolate sauce. I have no idea how she could eat that, but I loved her and would do anything for her, so when she asked, I went.
"Carlisle, it's Aro..." Damn, not again. "My company is keeping me in town a little longer than I had expected. I understand you're busy at the hospital, but I would like to get together and meet your family before I leave. Please return my call."
I had been avoiding Aro for over a week now; he left message after message - each time I quickly hit the delete button. I didn't like being rude, but I couldn't let him get close to my family - especially Esme. He was just too unbalanced, too much of a risk.
On to the next message. "Dad, it's Alice. I found the PERFECT nursery set for Esme! It's the classic Winnie the Pooh that she wanted. Call me!" Alice exclaimed in her pixie voice. I could hear Jasper in the background apologizing to the sales lady; I could only imagine the ruckus Alice was causing. Some days I didn't know how Jasper handled her, but yet, he seemed to be the only one who could when she got this crazy.
I quickly showered, changed and took off to pick up the sundaes. When I walked into the shop, I was greeted by Angela, a local high school student.
"Hey Doctor Cullen," She said.
"Good evening, Angela. How are you tonight?"
"Tired. Is Mrs. Cullen having another craving tonight?"
"Yes," I said with a chuckle.
I stood and waited as Angela made up Esme and Emmett's sundaes and listened as she talked about getting accepted early to Washington State on a nursing scholarship, and how her boyfriend, Ben, had applied as well, but was still waiting. Angela's co-worker, Sarah, joined us.
"Oh, I meant to tell you. There was this guy who came in earlier asking about you," Angela said.
"What?" I asked.
"This guy came in and was asking people if they knew you and Mrs. Cullen and if they had any idea where you lived," she said again, handing me the bag with the sundaes in them.
"What did you say?" I questioned.
"I told him that you guys lived in town, but no one would give out your address. He was a bit creepy, and was really irritated when no one gave him your address. Stormed out of here in a huff," she explained.
"Plus, Mr. Johnson at the hardware store said the same thing! He said the guy had this odd look in his eyes - she said he was very intense," Sarah said.
"I'm sorry about that, Angela. If he shows up again, please let me know. Have a good night," I added as I hurried from the shop.
"You too. Say hi to Mrs. Cullen for me!" Angela waved after me.
As I sped back home, my mind started racing. Why couldn't he just let us be? Why was he running around town asking about us? How would he know where to look? I needed to get home, to make sure he wasn't there. I knew Esme was safe with Emmett, but now that Aro was asking about me, I knew it would only be a matter of time before he found us - the town wasn't that big.
When I pulled into the garage, I saw Esme waiting for me, like she always did, and she looked even more beautiful now then when I left her this morning. Her belly was getting bigger by the day. Before I could finish closing the car door, Esme was ripping the bag from my hand.
"Well hello to you too," I said.
I watched as she pulled her sundae out and dove in.
"Oh yeah... that's what I needed," she said with a sigh.
"Famished. How was your day?" she asked, smiling up at me.
"The usual. I'm sorry I stayed late tonight."
"Don't be. They needed you and I was fine with Emmett."
"Hey, did I hear Carlisle?" Emmett said poking his head through the door.
"Your sundae's here," I said.
"About time!" Emmett exclaimed.
"As if you're starving," Esme teased.
A few days later, we found out that Emmett had been awarded a football scholarship to State. Alice went from throwing a small get together to a full on party. I had taken the weekend off to help around the house. Alice had transformed the back yard into a mini football field. Deliveries had been coming for the past two days, so it didn't surprise me when the door rang late Saturday afternoon.
"I'll get it," I said.
I walked to the door expecting to see another UPS or FedEx delivery truck in the driveway. When I opened the door, the person staring back at me sent made my protective nature kick into overdrive.
"Carlisle," Aro said, grinning brilliantly at me.
"Aro, what are you doing here?" I asked cautiously.
"You never returned my calls, Carlisle... I was worried about you, of course," he explained, still grinning.
"I know, I'm truly sorry. I have no excuse other than the fact that I've been very busy at the hospital and with my family," I said, trying to sound casual and sincere.
"I understand...these things happen, don't they? Perhaps next time you'll have a minute to just call and make me aware - that way I'll know nothing has happened to you, dear friend. You know how I do worry," Aro replied casually.
Obviously he was upset, but he hid it well. To anyone who did not know him so well, he might very well have appeared as nothing more than a concerned friend. Right.
"Aro, my sincerest apologies - I'll keep that in mind," I said quietly.
"Well, I am here now. Perhaps I could come in and meet your family? It would be a waste to come all this way and not be able to meet those you love so," he said, smiling again.
"Well...I'm afraid it's not a good time, Aro. I apologize, but my son is having a party in a few short hours and I need to help get things ready."
"Carlisle," I heard Esme say behind me, "Who's at the door?"
I sighed heavily. Damn it. Maybe a quick introduction and he'd leave. Emmett's friends would be arriving soon, anyway...and I was running out of excuses.
"Esme, this is Aro Volterra, an old friend from college. Aro, this is my wife, Esme," I said quickly.
"Pleasure to meet you," Esme said extending her hand.
"The pleasure is all mine. Carlisle, the picture on your desk does not do this woman justice," Aro said charmingly. As he took Esme's hand, instead of shaking it as was intended by her, he pulled it up to his lips and placed a quick kiss on the back of her hand.
"Well, he certainly is the charmer, Carlisle - why don't you come in, Aro? If you two went to college together, you must have tons to catch up on!" she said kindly.
Before I could utter a single word, Aro replied. "I would love too, thank you. Are you sure I won't get in the way of the party plans?"
"Of course not, the more the merrier," Esme replied.
I watched as Aro never took his eyes off of her, even when she led him into the living room where the rest of the family was. His gaze was piercing - like he was burning her face into his memory.
"Guys, we have company," Esme called.
"A house full of teenagers, how do you manage?" Aro asked.
"It takes a lot of discipline," Esme said, laughing.
"Aro, these are our children, Edward, Emmett, Jasper, Rosalie and Alice. Everyone, this is Aro Volterra, an old college friend of mine," I said, my mind reeling, trying to come up with a polite, inconspicuous way to get Aro out of my house.
"Five teenagers...and I thought a board room full of suits was difficult," Aro said - his eyes turning back to Esme.
"It's not just us anymore," Alice said. "As you can see, Esme is going to have a baby soon!"
"Not just one, but twins!" Rosalie said.
"You really have been busy, Carlisle." Aro said quietly, chuckling.
I sat back and watched as Aro interacted with my family. He was playing his cards well...he made a point to talk to each one of them, and even Bella when she arrived. What made me sure that he was still the same, unbalanced Aro was he kept looking at Esme, even when he would talk to someone else. His eyes always made their way back to her, and when she was out of the room, he would adjust his position to see her. I needed to get him out of here and out of this town. I had enough to worry about with Esme and the babies - I didn't need the extra stress of him now knowing where we lived. What if he shows up one day when I'm not home? What if he tried hurting her? She's in no condition to defend herself or run away.
"Carlisle, are you alright?" Esme asked. I had followed her into the kitchen, while Aro sat with the rest of my family.
"Yes, just thinking, is all."
"About?" she questioned.
"Different things. Have Emmett's friends started arriving?" I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from my current thought process.
“Yes, and I think Aro's looking for you. Be a dear and bring this bowl of chips out to the boys," she said.
I took the bowl and walked outside. Aro was speaking with Alice and Bella, and when he saw me, he walked over.
"Carlisle, I can see I have overstayed my welcome, as your son is expecting friends. Perhaps you and your beautiful wife would join me for dinner before I left."
"I'm sure I could arrange that," I lied. "When exactly do you leave?"
"Soon. I'll be in touch." Aro said pointedly; meeting my eyes, he held my gaze for a fraction too long.