Carlisle's/ Clara's/Bella's POV: An inspiring 13 yr old girl becomes Carlisle's newest patient and quickly wins his affections. When her mother suddenly dies, Carlisle instantly steps in to care for her and makes her one of his own.
6. Chapter 6: The Truth and the Bear
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It was the sound of a growl that woke me. I sat bolt upright in confusion, trying to decide if the sound had come from outside or was just a remnant from my nightmare. I had dreamed of my mom. She was standing in an open field of flowers, calling to me, her arms extended out for me to run into. Every step I took seemed to take me further way from her, not closer. Her face fell and her arms dropped to her sides. She gazed at me with infinite sadness, asking why I didn’t want her. I wanted to tell her that I loved her, that I wanted nothing more than for her to hold me one more time in the safety of her embrace. No sound would come from my lips. She turned away from me, her eyes locked on a spot beyond the trees behind her. Terror filled her face. That was when the growl came. The moment I heard the sound I was awake. When I found the courage to look out the window and into the darkness, there was nothing but a fresh cover of fluffy snow, no tracks.
I slid off the bed as fast as I could manage and hurried down the hall. Emmett was there when I rounded the corner. I rushed at him, wrapping my arms around his bulky frame. I hugged him with everything I had. I knew he could feel my trembling when he frowned at me in concern. “Hey, what’s going on?”
I tried to calm myself but I wasn’t having much luck. I felt like I could barely catch my breath. “Did you hear it, too?” My voice was shaking.
I was surprised as a look of annoyance crossed his face. He glared behind himself for a moment before looking at me again. “Yeah. It was probably just a wolf or a bear. They sometimes can come close to the house. We’re pretty isolated out here.” He smiled reassuringly. “They never get across the river, though. I’ve never seen one beyond the woods.” Emmett seemed so positive that I started to actually feel better. Somehow, being in this house with this family made me feel safer than I have ever felt in my life.
Emmett scooped me up and carried me down the stairs to join the others. Except for Carlisle, the entire Cullen family was in the living room, even Bella. It’s funny how I think of her that way. She’s not technically family but she somehow just fits. I couldn’t help but hope that I would, too, someday.
Emmett seated me on the leather couch next to Edward and Bella then went and sat in the recliner across from us. I took deep, shallow breaths, trying to slow the beating of my heart. Edward’s eyes flickered from Emmett to me. His stare was filled with concern. “What happened?”
I shrugged, trying to make my voice sound indifferent. I didn’t quite pull it off. “I’m fine. I just heard a noise outside.”
He sat forward a bit, wrapping one of his strong arms around me, protectively. He glanced over at Emmett again with a questioning gaze then turned back to me. “Are you alright?” There was an edge to his voice that I didn’t understand.
I nodded. My heart was finally starting to slow. “Yeah, I’m good. Emmett thinks I heard a bear or something.” I tried to focus my attention on the TV in front of me to distract myself. Edward had been watching something on the Food Network. I had to smile. I was having a very hard time picturing Edward as the domestic type. When I looked back at him, he was eyeing me with intense concentration. It seemed as if he was trying to see into my head and read my thoughts. I turned away. Edward’s intensity was freaking me out.
My attention was drawn to the long sliding glass door across the room. I found myself staring out at the river and the woods beyond the pane of glass. I still couldn’t see anything. There were no tracks, no noises, nothing. What had I heard? It had been so clear, so vivid, and so close. There had to be evidence of what it was somewhere out there.
As this thought entered my mind, Edward’s arm tightened around me. I looked up into his face. He was frowning. “You’re not going out there, whatever you heard could still be nearby.”
I glared. This was the second time he’s done this to me. I can’t be that expressive. I was getting tired of all the strangeness. I wanted answers. “How do you keep doingthat?” I demanded.
He seemed genuinely shocked for a moment before he composed his features. He returned my glare with a coldness I had never seen on his face before. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Clara.”
No way, it wasn’t going to be that easy. I was not just some stupid child. “Yes, you do! You’ve been doing this to me since I met you! You always seem to know what I’m thinking or what I’m about to say or do.” I was yelling now and I didn’t care. I was getting myself so frustrated, I could barely breathe. “You…you know what I’m talking about, Edward.” Tears of frustration filled my eyes. His expression didn’t change. “I’m not that stupid.” It was barely a whisper. I angrily pushed the tears off my face, struggling to catch my breath. I could feel everyone in the room staring but it didn’t matter. I loved these people. For better or worse, I wanted them in my life. Nothing would ever change that. What were they hiding from me and why?
Edward was watching me carefully. His frown was now speculative, as if he were fighting with himself, trying to make some difficult decision. “Esme?”
That was unexpected. Esme was at Edward’s side between one heartbeat and the next. Her hand fell to my shoulder. Her eyes were filled with immense concern and fear. “You must calm down, Clara. You’re getting yourself too worked up.”
Tears were now clogging my throat, making it even more difficult to breath. I was wheezing. I shook my head adamantly as I reached back to grip Esme’s hand with mine. “Why won’t you tell me?” I pleaded. I could barely get the words out.
Alice was at my other side, my inhaler in her hand. Carlisle had written the prescription before my mom died. This was the first time I had ever needed to use it.
Esme’s eyes locked with Edward’s. It was as if there was some silent exchange happening between them, Esme staring intently into Edward’s eyes, Edward nodding almost imperceptibly in response. I took three long puffs of the medication and immediately felt my lungs expand. Finally, after several minutes, Esme turned to me again with a gentle smile. She came around the back of the couch to sit on the ottoman at my feet. “You’re a very smart girl,” she commented, reflectively. I was surprised to find pride glowing in her eyes when I met her gaze. She took my hand in hers before she spoke again. I could tell that whatever she was about to say next was very difficult for her. “There are some people in this world that are born with certain, special gifts.” Her eyes briefly returned to Edward’s and that same gentle smile touched Esme’s lips. I was a bit shocked when she turned that same gaze to include Alice and Jasper as well. Well, now, that’s interesting, I thought. Edward smirked at me.
I turned my attention back to Esme. “When Edward first came into Carlisle’s life, Edward would answer questions or comment on things that Carlisle hadn’t even spoken about yet. At first, he was so confused.” She chuckled to herself, no doubt reflecting back on old memories. “Carlisle very quickly discovered that Edward was reading his mind.” I could feel my mouth drop open. So, I was right. Wow. I think my brain stopped for a moment. Nothing came to me beyond just, wow.
Edward laughed. “Wow, is right.” I had to laugh, too. I could only imagine the look on my face.
My shock didn’t last long. My mind reversed back to something else Esme had said. “What did you mean when you said, ‘when Edward first came into Carlisle’s life?’ I thought you and Carlisle adopted all your kids together.”
Esme smiled at me, shaking her head. “Carlisle had Edward in his life before we met.” I could tell she was choosing her words carefully. There was just too much new information for me to focus on now. I didn’t ask.
Her eyes focused on Alice and Jasper next. “Alice and Jasper were actually an unexpected edition to our family. They found us.” Esme smiled to herself again as her eyes flickered between them.
Jasper had been standing on the other side of the room from me since I came downstairs. He looked at me warily as he approached where I was sitting, the tiniest trace of a smile on his lips. It seemed like he was deliberately keeping his distance from me since the night he had come to visit me in the hospital, alone. I couldn’t help but wonder whether I had said something wrong and scared him away. He approached Alice’s side and wrapped one arm around her waist. “Alice found me as well, to be honest.” He smiled at her affectionately. “I guess you could say that I came to her in a vision.” He chuckled lightly.
“Vision?” Now I was becoming confused.
Esme explained. “Alice is psychic.”
I gasped. “So, Alice had a vision of finding your family.”
“Actually, first I had a vision of finding Jasper.” Alice was staring into Jasper’s eyes. “Then I told him about Carlisle and the family and we came to find them together.” I nodded.
“So then, what about Jasper?” I turned my attention to him now. “What’s your gift?”
Instead of answering my question, he placed a hand on my shoulder and I instantly felt a surge of joy fill my body. I grinned at him for a moment, He laughed and pulled his hand back. The euphoria started to fade immediately. “Ok, so you can change people’s moods.”
Jasper nodded. “Yes, well sort of. I can feel every mood around me as well.”
This realization made me a bit sad. “So that’s why I always feel so calm and peaceful around you.” I wanted to believe that it was actually he, as a person, that had affected me that way. The truth was a bit disappointing.
He nodded solemnly. “Yes, and I apologize. I don’t want you to think that I’ve intended to manipulate you.” He frowned. “You were so lost, so sad. I only wanted to help. You needed to rest so that you could recover.”
I smiled at him; maybe it wasn’t just his ability that had helped me after all. “Don’t apologize, Jasper. You didn’t do anything wrong.” I could feel some of the tension between Jasper and I slipping away and he wasn’t even touching me. That was encouraging.
“Ok, let me see if I have this all. Alice is psychic, Jasper is empathic, and Edward is a mind reader.” I ticked each point off with my fingers. “Is that all?” I glanced around the room, deliberately making eye contact with everyone. I still had questions.
“Alright, enough sharing, are you hungry yet?” Bella suddenly blurted out. I studied her for a moment before glancing at each individual face around me. Alice, Jasper, Rose, and Emmett frowned in unison at Bella’s not so subtle change of topic. So there’s more. Interesting. I could feel Edward staring at me as I eyed Bella. I managed to glance up at his expression but quickly turned away. Something in his eyes warned me not to push things any further tonight. As suspicious as her interruption was, the rest of the interrogation could wait.
Edward jumped from the couch to join Bella and I in the kitchen. “So what knowledge have you gained from your Food Network education, Edward?” I couldn’t help teasing him. The mood in the house had suddenly become light and a lot less tense. I turned to find Jasper standing in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen. Figures.
Edward frowned thoughtfully. “I guess you’re about to find out.” I laughed, giving my attention back to him. It was rather impressive to watch him as he flitted around the kitchen, gathering all the utensils and ingredients he would need. “What’s on the menu, chef?”
He smiled with out breaking stride. “Well, Bella insists that I’m great at omelets.” Sounds good to me, I thought.
Bella nodded emphatically. “That’s his specialty…so far.” I caught the smile they exchanged before Edward got to work.
He really did seem to know what he was doing. The result was fabulous. “Thanks, Edward.” It was the first plate I left clean in months.
He smiled briefly as he walked by on his way toward the front door. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.” He grabbed Bella’s coat, holding it for her as she put her arms in.
I frowned. Now that the truth was out, I found that I missed Edward when he was gone. I had barely gotten to know him. “You’re leaving.”
“I’ll be back soon. I just have to take Bella home.” His eyes lifted to stare briefly out the sliding glass door leading to the backyard. His lips formed a hard line as he glared beyond the glass. His expression was troubled and angry. “I’ll keep my eye out for that bear on my way home.” His eyes locked on Emmett’s meaningfully before he walked out the door.
Bella threw a dark look up at Edward as they left. I wonder what that’s all about, I thought to myself.
I flopped down on the couch, next to Alice. Jasper had disappeared after Edward left. I assumed that he wandered off upstairs. Alice didn’t seem concerned about his absence so I figured I shouldn’t be either.
In all of the excitement, I had forgotten to thank her for all of the hard work she had put into preparing for my arrival. When I turned to her, she was already looking at me. “You’re welcome.” She laughed.
“Psychic,” I accused. My laugher joined hers. “I’m really sorry I didn’t say anything sooner but…”
She cut me off. “I already saw your reaction anyway.” She tapped her forehead meaningfully with a smirk. I had to laugh. Having all my suspicions confirmed was going to take some getting used to. “I’m glad you liked it so much.” She was beaming now.
I reached over and hugged her. “I loved it, Alice! Are you kidding? One look at that room and I knew you had to be psychic. It’s perfect!” She laughed at my enthusiasm.
Alice and I ended up spending the next hour and a half up in the closet as she proudly showed off each selection that she and Esme had made for me. I felt a bit guilty about not having the energy to try everything on for her but she seemed to understand. She did help me select a set of sky blue cotton pajamas with three lime green and white snowflakes on the center of the shirt and white and yellow snowflakes on the pants. They were very warm and comfortable.
When I mentioned being hungry again, Alice raced downstairs to fix a bowl of popcorn. Jasper followed her back upstairs then wandered around the room distractedly for a while, taking in Alice’s handy work. Emmett and Rosalie followed suit a few minutes later. Rosalie didn’t stay long, feigning homework as an excuse to bow out early. Though I loved her, I was starting realize that Rosalie had moments that I just didn’t seem to understand. Her moods were a bit unpredictable.
Emmett stayed after Rose left, a mischievous glint in his eye as he stalked silently up to Jasper from across the room. I had to clamp my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing and giving Emmett away. He was completely silent and moved with such stealth that I shrieked when Jasper suddenly turned on him. In one smooth, sudden movement, he flicked Emmett’s ear so sharply that I could hear his finger click from across the room.
Emmett howled, grabbing at his right ear. Alice and I laughed hysterically. I had tears in my eyes. Emmett glared at us, pouting.
“You were just about to do the same thing to Jasper!” Alice could barely get the words out through her giggles.
I turned to Jasper. “How’d you do that so quick? I barely even saw what you did.”
Emmett rubbed his ear one more time then smirked with a scoff. “That’s nothing. You wanna see fast?” He picked my mistletoe candle off the side table across from my bed and tossed it. I gasped a fraction of a second before he picked it out of the air. “How’d you do that, Emmett? Do it again!” He tossed it again, this time I missed exactly what direction it had gone until Emmett reached behind himself and plucked it out of the air again. He brought it back around to the front of his body, tossing it one more time, slowly so I could see it now. He had a proud grin smeared across his face as he placed the candle back onto the table. “Pretty good, huh, kid.” We both laughed. It was then that I realized that Alice and Jasper were watching me. They were both wearing the same awed grins, as if I were the one who had just performed the amazing trick, instead of Emmett.
Before I could question their expressions, I noticed Carlisle watching us from the doorway. I smiled at him as he approached my bed. Jasper, Alice and Emmett filed out as Carlisle walked in. He seated himself on the bed, hugging me, returning my smile. “So, how are you settling in, so far?”
My grin widened as I took in my surroundings again. I was still having a hard time believing that this was all mine. “This is the best, most beautiful room I’ve ever seen!” I could feel myself blushing. “I must have thanked Alice and Esme a million times for all the clothes and Alice for decorating my room. It’s perfect!”
“Well, I’m thrilled that you like it so much. Alice worked for days in here, trying to make everything just right for your arrival. I’m sure she’s delighted that you’re so excited.” That was an understatement.
Before I could speak again, Carlisle produced a thermometer and placed it under my tongue. I tried to be patient as I waited for the mercury to rise. When Carlisle took it out of my mouth, he frowned, concern creasing his handsome face. “What’s the matter, Carlisle?” He was running his cold hand over my forehead and down my cheek, worrying me.
“Have you taken your evening medication yet?” He asked.
Oops. I racked brain for a good excuse. I knew I had forgotten something. There had just been so much excitement tonight with the bear and the yelling and the truth and the Emmett and Jasper show…
“I’ll take that as a no, then.” He didn’t sound happy. “Clara, I know that you’re not happy about having to go through this process but it’s the only way you’re going to get better. It’s vitally important that you stick to your schedule and take your medication when you’re supposed to. You know that, don’t you?” His tone was stern as he frowned at me.
“Yeah,” I muttered. “I just hate feeling sick all the time and it makes me so tired.” I yawned briefly before my mouth settled into a pout. I didn’t want Carlisle to be angry with me but I just was becoming so sick of being sick, feeling tired, having no energy.
He sighed, tucking me into bed. I snuggled down into the warm sheets, suddenly feeling exhausted as the weight of the day came down on me. “I need you to try, Clara, please. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” He suddenly admitted. I could see the concern and sadness in his eyes.
“I’ll try,” I promised. I couldn’t bear to see how I was hurting him.
He finally smiled again. “Thank you. I’ll see what I can do about getting you something for the nausea tomorrow.”
I thanked him as he flicked off the light and headed to the door. I could have sworn that I saw sadness fill his features one more time before he turned away. He closed the door behind him before I could ask.
- Shannon R
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- 23 Jan 09
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