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Willow Tempting

Summary:
It was just a normal day in the emergency room; he never thought that it would happen to him. He was the epitome of control. He was practically immune to the overwhelming scent of human blood. That was the day it all came crashing down. Willow doesn't like being different yet sickeningly normal at the same time. Another day in the ER with an asthma attack was not really a big deal. Little did she know that she was about to plunge into a wicked web of danger, fear, pain, and betrayal. She doesn't mean to be that way.


Notes:
This has been in my head for a while and just wanted to type it out. Don't worry, I'm still working on my other stories as well. Actually, When Twilight Ends is back in progress and Breathe for Mercy's next chapter is nearly finished.


1. Nevery Thought it would be Me

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3785   Review this Chapter

What, are you blind? All you have to do is open your eyes and see-this bone is definitely broken-see!" the dirty man glared at me with blood-shot eyes, shadowed by dark circles. I didn't blink as I stared straight back while he gestured wildly to his right leg.

"Actually, my eyesight is quite excellent and I can tell, without a single doubt, that your leg is not broken, sir." I patiently stood over the man scowling up at me. The low hum of the board light created an annoying tone in the background.

"You're lying." He accused. "It hurts like hell and you're telling me it's not broken? I'm about to die." His hyperbole was absolutely ridiculous but I didn't smile at the dumb humor.

I stared at him for a moment, watching with some satisfaction as he squirmed under my hard gaze. "All the tests came back normal-there is nothing wrong with you, I promise."

"Liar."

I drew in a deep breath, ignoring him, and flipped open the chart in my hand. "I can say though, that your alcohol levels are extremely high."

"No they're not...my leg is broken." His words slurred slightly and his eyes crossed for a brief moment before he blinked.

I smoothed out the chart and raised an eyebrow at him. "Sir, you're drunk. And, yes, I can see that."

With a swish, I pushed past the curtain, shaking my head to myself. I made my way to the front desk, maneuvering my way through the doctors and nurses until I reached my destination. I slapped the clipboard onto the ceramic counter making the nurse behind the desk jump.

"Julie, do something with this chart-the man is drunk. Sober him up and get security down here."

"Why?" the woman asked, confusion on her face.

"The man drove here under the influence of extreme intoxication. He endangered the lives of my staff and patients."

With that I walked away, smiling at the nurse who was organizing the store room and nodding to the teenager who was slowly but surely making his way down the hall on crutches. I walk to the chart room where Kyle, a med student was struggling to sort through the paperwork.

"Do you need any help or can I assume that you have it under control?" I chuckled as he struggled to balance a stack of charts and reached to take half of the mess.

He pushed his wire-rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose and grinned. "Hey, thanks!" he dropped the files on the desk and said: "Actually, we're a bit stopped up in the emergency room at the moment. Just grab one and make a day with it. I honestly don't know where to start. So was that guy's leg broken?"

I took the chart on top and studied it. "No," I answered without looking up. "But he was drunk."

Kyle laughed and shook his head, shuffling the files together alphabetically.

The chart in my hand was that of a seventeen-year-old girl. She was underweight and asthmatic. "I'll take this one, seems simple enough."

"Have fun," was the boy's departing statement as I made my way to curtain three which was on the other side of the ER. Dr. Shinseki nodded towards me as I passed, an aging, Chinese man with graying hair and a pair of spectacles. He was standing over a gurney containing a young man holding an ice-pack to his nose. Both of his eyes were black and blue.

Curtain three wasn't blocked, therefore displaying a young girl curled into a fetal position on the bed. A male nurse stood over her with an oxygen mask in his hand. He looked befuddled.

"What do we have here?" I asked with a smile, pulling up a chair to sit next to the immobile girl.

"She's seventeen, asthmatic, five-foot six and seventy-nine pounds." Answered Caleb, a young man with a British accent. He was shaking his head slowly. "Ambulance brought her in but her foster family went home already telling us to call them when their done."

I narrow my eyes and lean closer to the girl. She had a sweet scent, a mix of lavender, rose, violet, and musk. It was a soft fragrance and I drew back quickly in surprise as venom began to pool in my mouth.

"Are you alright, Sir?" Caleb asked, watching me speculatively.

I nod and hold out my hand for the chart. "What's her name?" I asked.

"Willow." He answered. "Some sort of hippie name, I guess."

The girl moves than and turns her head, opening her eyes. She glares at Caleb.

I, in turn, gave him a hard look, showing him my displeasure and his face turned red. He averted his eyes and suddenly became busy with the heart monitor. I notice the girl staring at me in wonder. Her eyes were large and the color of the pale green of ocean foam, flecked with bits of sapphire. Freckles dominated her nose and cheeks, speckling her forehead and chin sparsely.

I smile at her and lower the chart. "How's your breathing?"

"Fine." She answers in a curt but hoarse tone as she sits up. Long hair, nearly to her waist and the startling color of pale brown ash spilled over her shoulders and face. I could see her rib bones through her shirt and her arms seemed to be nothing but a stretch of skin. I watched the fast throb of her pulse within her pale wrist, suddenly finding myself fixated.

Her coughing snapped my head up, clearing my mind and bringing me back. Caleb bends over her, attempting to place the oxygen mask over her face. The sound of the heart monitor spiking erratically sent me in motion.

I stood. "Get her a shot of adrenaline." I tell him. I take the mask from him and lean over the gasping girl.

I didn't expect it. It was like a violent blow. She was breathing heavily, fast, and she tilts her chin back as her elbows begin to buckle beneath her weight. She was trying to open her chest cavity up as far as she could. When she exhaled, her breath hit my face, hot and moist.

Venom flooded my throat, burning like acid-fire. I shot myself back, away from the girl and into a wall of equipment, my mind dropping into a web of thoughtless senses, where nothing else remained except me and the girl.

NO! A silent voice inwardly screamed. My thoughts snap momentarily back to mild reason and I catch my breath, held it, then slowly sank to the floor, playing it off, letting my face melt into a picture of an ill man.

"I need help!" Caleb shouts, strapping the oxygen mask to the girl's face and reaching for me at the same time.

Don't breathe, don't breathe, don't breathe...It was a morbid chant echoing like the beating of drums in my head. Control...control...control...that's right Carlisle...you are the epitome of control...don't let them see you like this...not you...don't ruin it for your family...

The feeling of tile pressing against my cheek, the smell of disinfectant sharp in my nose, and the sound of pounding feet, pounding hearts, bring me slowly back down to earth. The girl's scent was now in the background-something not worth noticing.

"Dr. Cullen? Dr. Cullen, can you hear me?" Caleb kneels down as a nurse pushes a crash cart towards us. Dr. Shinseki works over the gasping girl.

I feel hot fingers press into my neck, searching for a pulse. Alarm bells screech in my head.

"I'm fine," I say acidly and Caleb jerks back at the sound of my voice.

"You have no pulse..." he answered weakly.

I sit up slowly, calculatingly, moving myself away from the hospital bed and towards the curtain. "I don't have a pulse?" my voice comes out condescending even though I didn't mean it to. Caleb's face prickles with heat.

"I guess I was wrong..."

I stand fluidly but still managed to look somewhat disoriented as though I had just pulled back from the threshold of unconsciousness.

Caleb makes no move towards me, obviously afraid, but the other nurse, a woman in her forties, reaches to steady me with concerned hands.

"Doctor?" she murmurs. "Maybe you should at least lie down..."

I glance at the red-headed girl.

She misinterpreted my look. "She'll be fine, doctor, but you won't be if you don't give yourself a break. Curtain six is empty. I'll pull the curtains around for you. You shouldn't drive like this..."

I nod slowly, willing to do anything at this point to escape suspicion. I let the nurse led me away from curtain three, her hand lightly touching my elbow. I strained slightly away from her, mind racing.

"Are you holding your breath?" the observant woman asks.

I gulp in a breath. "No." I lied.

She said nothing to contradict me.

What had I done?

***

The sounds of emergency room remained only a hum to my ears. I had removed my lab coat and shoes so I lay on the thin mattress of the hospital bed in only a pair of scrubs. I had unconsciously clenched my fist around the stethoscope, breathing deeply. The venom was no longer curdling in my mouth.

I had witnessed it in my sons and daughters and even my wife. Bella had excellent resiliency and Edward was not far behind her. Jasper was getting better and Emmett had not had a slip up in decades. Esme was top par and Alice was close. I had seen their struggles with the scent of fresh human blood, seen their sanity broken down by the close proximity, even witnessed them attacking an unaware soul.

But it was never me. I was the one who comforted them, forgave them, was the example for them. Though I was still aware of the overpowering smell human blood can create, it hadn't brought the flow of venom since I was a young vampire, fresh from being a newborn. I could perfectly remember the last time I had nearly last control and that was eight hundred and fifty four years ago. Even then, it hadn't been as bad.

I wasn't trying to egotistical-wasn't trying to say I was perfect. In fact, I know I was far from perfect but I never knew I would have such problems with this curse like the others.

A sense of failure washed over me, like an overpowering tide and there was a prickly sense behind my eyes. The feeling was intense and I turned onto my side to stare at the heart monitor against the wall. The feeling of failure was followed quickly by a painful longing.

What I wouldn't give to have the heart monitor spike and fall in unison with my pulse. It was impossible, really. I knew that without a doubt. But I wanted it so much at this moment and for a while I floated in the land-of-if-only. I could see myself as a normal doctor, with a normal family-a pregnant wife, a son and daughter asking me for help on their homework...a dog chasing its tail in the back yard...

Stop it, Carlisle, I chided myself. You can't say you regret your family. You love them and they adore you. Without you, they would be so lost right now...

That sounded so prideful to think that though...I loved my family so much, even with all their qualms and differences.

I was jerked suddenly from my thoughts when the familiar rose-y sent entwined with hibiscus wafted in the room. I sat up when I saw Esme swish aside the plastic curtain. She looked at me for a long minute, eyes wide, face blank. Then she closed the curtain again with a hard yank.

"What happened?" her voice was barely a whisper. No human ear could have picked up the faint sound.

"Esme..."

"The hospital called me ten minutes ago and told me you had collapsed in the ER." Esme looked from the right to the left as though checking to see if anyone else was in the closed off cubicle. "Imagine the thoughts that ran through my head! They sent Edward running for me in panic!"

I hunched my shoulders and buried my face in my hands, showing my distraught feelings.

Esme immediately softened her voice and sank to her knees in front of me so she could look into my face. Her chin tilts and her eyes tighten in concern.

"What happened, Carlisle?" she murmurs, one hand on my knee the other resting on top of my own hand.

"I'm a failure," I murmur to her, touching my forehead to hers.

Esme didn't answer, but only let me release my feelings and thoughts at my own pace.

"There was a girl..." I felt as though I was going to choke on my words. "Her blood...I...couldn't..."

Esme's hands drop to her lap.

"I couldn't handle the smell...I was overwhelmed...I...couldn't..."

"It happens to the best of us sometimes-you yourself said that you weren't completely immune...it was bound to happen, Carlisle..."

I straighten then and lay my hands on her shoulders. "Don't ever think, Esme, that you will stop being the one person of my existence. No matter what happens between now and then...I will always love you. No one could ever take your place."

"I know," her lips brush my hand before she brings it to her cheek. "I love you."

"Lets just hope that the children are more understanding."

Esme smiled then. "They're all in the waiting room."

"Really?" I sighed. "Well, I'm sure they'll let me go home early, considering my...condition..."

"Considering," Esme and I both stood. I reached for my shoes and Esme folded my lab coat over her arm. "You broke your stethoscope."

I looked over at the hospital bed and saw that the metal part of the medical equipment had snapped unnoticed.

I sighed again. "Great." I tossed it into the trashcan. "You want to go to the store with me tomorrow in Seattle?"

"If you want me to."

I gave her a look that said ‘like I wouldn't'.

We stepped out of the curtained area and I immediately noticed the curious eyes that studied us. They watched us as we made our way across the Emergency Room. I nodded at the nurse who had helped me. Her name tag read Sharona. But below that it said Port Angeles Hospital so she must had been a fill-in for I hadn't recognized her before.

"Thank you," I mouthed and she practically beamed at me.

"Drive safely." She called with a wave. Esme smiled.

"What a sweet lady," she said as we exited the ER and entered the waiting room. Bella, Edward, Jasper, Alice, Emmett, and Rosalie all stood at the same time. I noticed that they were the only ones on their side of the room. All the humans sat away from them, averted from their proximity probably without even knowing why.

"They all yours?" an elderly man asked me. I knew him at George. He was on dialysis and came in regularly for emergencies.

I nodded towards him and gestured for the others to follow me.

Out in the parking lot, the horizon was streaked with the pastel colors of a setting sun. It was beautiful-a natural witness to someone greater than all of us. I let the fading warmth of the sun setting rest on my face before turning to my waiting family.

"Everything is fine," I told their worried, expectant faces. "We are safe and we might as well just go on home. There is no way I'll ever see that girl again-'

"Girl?" Jasper interrupted. "What girl? Did something happen?"

I looked at Esme who kept her facial expression steady and unwavering.

"I think this should wait till we're home."

Edward nodded-he was the only one; he laid a hand on my shoulder briefly.

Oh, god, Edward. What am I going to do?

***

"I can walk home." My voice was broke mid-sentence. I cleared my throat but found that it hurt too much from coughing.

"We can't release you until your parents arrive," replied the male nurse. He didn't even look up from his paperwork.

"Oh." I played with a strand of hair, coiling it around my index finger. I waited, watching the British man work silently.

Then: "I'm going to give you a new prescription for your inhaler."

"Inhaler?" I asked distantly, staring the white sheets of the hospital bed.

"You do have an inhaler, don't you?" he asked, sounding nearly patronizing.

"Yes," I lied quickly, releasing my hair and watching it fall into a loose curl before straightening out again.

"I'll be right back then with your prescription and a complimentary pamphlet that can help you better understand your asthma."

I narrowed my eyes at his retreating figure. "I understand my asthma," I muttered, crossing my arms over my chest, thinking hard. I didn't want to go home-well that place that I live. I couldn't really call that home. Home is where you find shelter and affection which meant that definitely crossed out that hell hole.

I looked around frantically, feeling a twinge of panic. A flash of red caught my eye and a plan formulated in the depths of my brain.

***

I ran like there was Armageddon happening behind me, my long hair flying out behind me, my feet digging into the soft mud. I ran until the screeching of the fire alarm began to fade and the shouts and cries of people were silent. It was only then that I began to slow, gasping, struggling to breathe in.

Droplets of rain began to pour from the sky and I shivered from the chill, letting myself come to a standstill.

I loved the rain. The sound of it and the smell of it and the feel of it. Especially the feel of it-pounding on my skin and running in rivulets down my face. It was a feeling of sanctity when I under in a downpour. I would close my eyes and lift my face heavenward, letting it stream down my neck and soak my clothes. I've always loved the rain.

Not many people like the rain. Like me, at least.

It didn't hurt anymore. The cuts, I mean, and the bruises. I push my finger against one black and blue and purple splotch and nearly smile in satisfaction. Nothing. It didn't hurt, not even when I pressed my finger so hard that my skin caved into muscle and I felt the bone beneath.

Not that I really had anything to be proud of. Not that immunity was always a good thing to possess.

I pulled the sleeves of the loose top down, hiding my hideous past. But that was all behind me and I was out for a new start, a new beginning where no one knew me. Where I didn't have a reputation as a freak. Not that I thought I was a freak. But other people did. The people who thought they knew everything but in blatant reality knew nothing. They didn't know the truth, I mean.

They didn't know how hard it was for me. To eat, to swallow food.

I began to walk again, towards the lone drug store sitting just off the side of the road.

The bells tinkled as I entered and I walked calming towards the front counter, breathing deeply, willing my heart to slow to a normal pace.

"Excuse me, sir," I spoke to the elderly man behind the counter who was turned away from me. "I need to ask for directions."

He need and stopped, staring at me.

I flushed. "Directions?" I asked, trying to get him to stop his rude staring.

"Oh, yes." He smiled at me.

"Can you give me directions to Grant Street in Forks?"

He raised his bushy eyebrows, his eyes still studying my appearance. "You're heading in the wrong direction then," he said. "About fifteen minutes north." He pointed.

"Really?" I huffed. "Okay...thanks. Do you have a bathroom?"

He pointed a different direction, down the aisles toward the back of the store.

"Thanks." I said and I quickly evaded him, nearly jogging to the woman's restroom and seeking refuge in the closet-like room.

I ripped off a couple paper towels and attempted to wring out my soaking hair. Well, this aspect I didn't really didn't like about the rain unless if I had a shower nearby.

I hated the way he stared at me as I walked away. I usually got the reaction from people. I stare at myself in the mirror.

My skin was white, a spotless white-not even being exaggerative. It was white as snow, even a more shocking color against the indigo blouse I wore. And my hair resembled pale, pale ash brown and it shimmered in the florescent light which seemed to make it darker. I liked that.

I began to remove my contacts-not that I needed them, but it was easier...

It was my eyes that startled people the most.

I tossed the fragile contacts into the trashcan and turned back towards the mirror.

I had no pigment in my eyes. They weren't a pretty brown or a bright blue or the wonderful, exotic green that I had in just seconds ago. Because I had no pigment, the blood running through my veins showed through. The pupil was a bloody red, stark against my skin and my iris was a pale crimson, almost hinting towards pink while rimmed in a darker red than the pupil.

Sometime I even scared people which hurt me the most. I hated that. Being born albino, the little pigment I had was all in my hair and freckles. The rest was history and people acted as though I was contagious or a monster or something to that affect.

I exited the bathroom in a lot more calmer fashion and made towards the door but the elderly man stopped me with a sack.

"Take this," he said, "You might have a while till home."

I blushed and thanked him shyly than ran to back outside, bracing against the cold weather. Even though I loved the rain but hated the cold. Kinda an oxymoron. But oh well.

I loved to draw. I always found comfort in drawing and it became my refuge from a mean world. My brother used to always tell me I was beautiful and unique and I was set apart from all the other girls.

I was certainly unique-that was for sure.

There were other reasons that people were scared of me-reasons that I couldn't even explain. Strange things happened to me when I'm around-things beyond my comprehension.

My brother called it the divine. That I was meant to change the world or something.

Well, he's gone now and he left me all alone in an uncertain world, where people are prejudice and cruel. And now I had no place to go, no one to turn to.

I didn't see any of that changing any time soon.