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Amor Vincit Omnia

Summary:
Latin for "Love Conquers All," Amor Vincit Omnia will follow the life of Esme and Carlisle throughout history put forward by Stephanie Meyer.
A continuation of "Bridging The Gap" it will consist of a series of snap-shots through the eyes of Carlisle or Esme.
Following canon of Pre-Twilight and the four novels of The Twilight Saga.
Canon, EsmexCarlisle.


Notes:


4. Roses For The Dead

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2676   Review this Chapter

"As she lay lifeless
He stole her innocence
And this is how she carried on."
-Creed - Wash away those Years
***
"If we had happy endings, we'd all be under gravestones now,"
- Rosalie Hale, Eclipse

*****

1933,
Rochester, NY
Carlisle POV

The chestnut leather bag swung, almost joyfully, from my slackened grip as I ventured out into the shadowy air of nighttime in Rochester. The paneled door behind me swung shut with a moderately loud bang, signally the end of my shift at Saint Mary's hospital.

It was approaching three years that I had held my position as a surgical physician within the hospital. The four story infirmary gave me suitable opportunity to further the knowledge I came to the New World for. Bigger than any hospital I had worked in it was richly decorated and contained particularly enhanced equipment due to the sheer wealth of Rochester. Ashland town was small in pure size, along with the mass of illness and ailments that passed through the door of the one-floored hospital. Rochester, being larger in comparison had a rich population, and a wealth of diseases and other injuries that I had yet to encounter.

The town into which we had moved had provided us with a fresh start. When Esme and I had first moved nearing three years prior there was little appeal to this place. Yet, now with Edward once again present, it seemed that the somewhat larger town suited our lives better. Where the town provided Edward with little actual silence, in regards to his ability, Rochester enabled my son to be all he could be. The nearest college suited Edward's quiet persona brilliantly, and the academic side of his life blossomed. While Rochester was rich with bankers it was also opulently flourishing with small town life and ornate architecture that my wife could not help but fall for. All in all, Rochester, New York seemed to be the perfect place for us.

The rubber soles of my leather shoes passed squeakily over the moist tarmac as I followed the road home. Prestigious men passed me on the streets, their expensive suits pin straight as they tipped their fedora hats in my direction.

Families conversed happily in the houses to my right - parents sending their infants to bed with a quiet ‘goodnight' or phonographs sang the striking voice of Duke Ellington into homely living rooms. Those fathers who were not present in their respective homes made up the chatter from office buildings and public houses, as sheer silence radiated from the trees that made up the forest to my left.

The silence, although slightly unnerving in contrast to the moderate ruckus on the other side, hinted at what my house would exude, hidden in the heart of the forest. Before I had departed for my shift at the hospital yesterday, my wife and son had set out for a hunt. The house - without Edward's derisive repartee or carefree piano skills and without my wife's shiny disposition - seemed a much gloomier and less enticing place, no matter how little time they were gone for.

The newly delivered medical journal that lay patiently in my leather bag reminded me that I had something to take my mind off the impending hush of the large house.

Striding faster down the lane, the azure skies above me darkened glimmering with a smattering of bright stars, my mind filled with the large house settled amidst the trees.

After politely smiling at a woman and her husband who sauntered past in the opposite direction - his arms laden by their young, sleeping son - I swiftly turned into the sparsely developed lane that hid behind the appealing metropolis I had just walked through. Shabby bars took their place aside dilapidated office buildings.

The only thing that stunned me, amidst the rancid stench of ale and putrid sewerage, was an out of place perfume. Heavy in the air, the sweet flavor highlighted to me that all was not as it seemed. Searching in the darkened lane for the sight of the alien, unbefitting object, I found a crumpled mass in the shadows of street lamp.

Laying in the unclean gutter was what could only be described as the bloody remains of a young woman. Flaxen hair covered the paled, clear skin of the lady and as I dropped my bag and rapidly rushed to her side, she let out of moan of pain.

Brass buttons lay loose glittering in the dimming light from the lamp; the pure whites of her eyes were visible through the fissure between her slim cheek and blonde eyelashes, as I pushed the matted hair away from her forehead.

Rosalie Lillian Hale. Even though the poor girl was nearly lifeless, she still held the beauty of which many of my colleagues and the society's finest men spoke. The only daughter of the Hale family, daughter of banker Robert Hale, fiancée to Royce King II ‘heir' to the King fortune.

The expensive clothes, which her fiancée possibly had purchased for her, were soiled with dirt and blood. The jacket, the owner of the brass buttons, hung pitifully off her slim shoulders; the matching skirt was stained with her own blood around the pelvic area.

She was clearly the victim of a vicious physical attack; a rape casualty possibly by the scents that covered her. Anger coursed through me, my tightly clenched fist shredding the remains of her jacket that I held in my hand, when I discovered that I could single out not one, but at least three men's scent upon her.

As I pressed my shaking fingers to her fragile wrist, I counted the delicate pulse under her weak bruised skin. Despite the appearance of the young woman, her pulse beat valiantly, driving to a fast rhythm. Yet, its weak pressure and shallowness highlighted a different story that could be clearly seen by her situation.

From the root of her fair hair ran a trickle of blood, smearing her cream skin where her tears could not. From the downturned corner of her plump lips dribbled yet another trail of redness, joining the blood that gushed from the exposed gash in her scalp which blended with the red oozing from her jeweled ear to pool on the floor, in a bloodied halo around her ethereally, youthful face.

Within the moment of noticing the absolute amount of sanguine liquid that lined the floor around us, and the pallor of her skin and lips, it was clear to me that without intervention she would not make it past the few hours that remained of the day.

Where I could take Miss Hale to the hospital, it meant that I risk myself by doing so. The lane to the hospital was both long and populated enough that I would have to feign some degree of struggle with the slight woman. Yet, even if I did indeed manage to get her there she would either wither in the waiting room on a gurney awaiting an available physician, or even if she received treatment there would be little to do for the degree of shock she was in and she would pass before midnight.

There was no longer anything that medicine could do for the broken body of a beautiful woman. Yet, I was compelled to believe that there was something that I could do. It is unjustified for anyone to die this way; no one deserved to die due to the hands, or genitalia, of another, being left bleeding in the streets, easily ready to be accepted into God's grasp.

Within seconds of this thought, it was my hold she was in, not deaths. Her slender body was cradled softly in my arms, her head hung weakly to cushion against my shoulder as she shivered with fear, chill or pain, I could not discern.

When my house came into view, the large wooden door did not stand in my way as it moved, almost willingly, out of my way. The glossy, black piano seemed to engorge in my vision as I ran up the stairs to place her on the bed I shared with my wife.

Sitting on the low ottoman that lived in the corner of our room, I pressed my weary head into my trembling hands, fingers pressed against my seemingly aching temples. The vision of Edward's piano brought my, once again selfish, decision right back to the forefront of my mind.

What was I doing?

My family was complete. I had everything that I had ever wanted, even more, yet here I was with the one thing that had the possibility to change the firm structure of the Cullen family.

Esme had expressed her desperation for a second "child". After she became the surrogate mother to Edward, she found that the maternal quality that lay buried within her never was truly sated. It crushed me to know that I could not give her what she wanted, just as much as it crushed her that we could not, to use her word, "cement" our marriage in such a way. I had always imagined a little girl with my golden curls and Esme's bright green eyes with me; it had become Esme's and my weakest desire.

Was it possible that Rosalie Hale, although a relative stranger to my family could become the missing link?

Over a decade ago, I had made possibly the rashest decision of my existence. Bringing Esme into this life had the possibility to blow everything that I had created away. Where none of my reservations had come to pass, it did not mean that those uncertainties would not appear this time. The hasty decision ten years ago had brought my cherished mate into my life, injecting my venom into her veins had planted me firmly in the real world and made me thoroughly complete. Yet, I could not but be reminded that while I was complete, Edward, my first companion, was not.

It was Esme's words that summed it all up. As we sat in each other's arms, blissfully relaxed after hours of delightful love making, her delicate fingers played agilely over my bare chest.

"Perhaps this is what Edward needs. Something that we - being his parents - cannot give him."

I would have had to be blind or blissfully ignorant, to miss the sheer desperation that sometimes played in my son's tawny eyes. His only real companion, except the pair of us, was his piano. His peers at the neighboring college, in his words did not hold anything for him. Could the unfortunate girl upon my bed sheets actually be a blessing in disguise, especially for Edward? Could she become the sole companion he had searched for? Was it terrible of me to hope, like Esme, that I had found the one that would make him complete?

Knowing that Esme would cherish her as her own child, won out the argument for me, and after voicing a silent plea for pardon, I stood and made my way over to the young woman. Bending swiftly to Rosalie's supple neck, I slashed through her butter-like skin, easily piercing her carotid artery.

As Rosalie's blood coated my tongue in a thick layer of euphoria, I clenched my fists, reminding myself of my treasured family that hid in the vast forest. Esme's tender smile remained implanted in my mind, when I withdrew my teeth from the fragile girl's neck. I smiled, despite myself, when I looked down at the fractured body. Yet to writhe in pain, Rosalie's face stayed free from lines or wrinkles - she looked somewhat serene.

That was until I truly sat down by the pyre I had transported her to. As I sat on the rickety wooden chair that rested by the cot, her forehead crumpled - her brow furrowed, the smooth, straight surface of her forehead became lined, and as I took her diminutive hand into my own, her mouth that had recently been coated with her blood, opened. From her plump, pale lips appeared an almighty scream - that rivaled the grunt of pain Edward had displayed, or indeed shadowed the heartbreaking shriek of my wife.

Dropping my head, once again, into my hand that was not clasped around Rosalie's, as her grunts, whimpers, and screams turned into quiet, defeated pleas for her death. I said the one thing that I could, the only thing that passed through my mind - no matter how insignificant it was.

"I'm sorry."

***

The sun, regularly hidden by a dense covering of clouds, announced its welcome through the gaps between the curtain and wall. The bright rays of light traveled over the white plastered ceiling and still I had yet to move, had yet to utter anything but a prayer for forgiveness.

Rosalie writhed under my hands, her spare hand pulling at the cotton bed sheets while I cradled her cheek in my hand or brushed the soiled, golden hair from her perspiration covered forehead.

It was after another groan of affliction, and the chime of the clock of the mantelpiece on the ground floor, that I heard two pairs of footsteps making their way home.

Surely Edward would have heard and seen everything; there was no way of denying it anymore. Where the rhythm of Esme's footsteps remained just as delicate and lithe as they always were, Edward's thundered as if he had somewhere important to be. Hearing two pairs hit the wooden, wrap-around veranda but one stopping I could only summarize that he had finally picked the truth from my head.

"Edward?" my wife's voice asked in bewilderment. So she did not know, yet.

"See for yourself," our young son spat back at his mother. Slamming the door in another petulant, yet this time reasonable, tantrum, I heard his steady, thumping footsteps pound back the way he had come.

I heard the air move as my wife shook her head in confusion, her footsteps this time coming closer to me up the stairs. Without looking up from Rosalie, I felt her appear at the door - her breath coming out in a short gasp.

Wincing in anticipation of what was to come, I turned my head towards Esme. Her golden eyes, molten from her fresh hunt, swam with pity as they remained on the twitching girl on our bed. Her dainty hand was pressed against her lips as she stood, teetering, in the doorway.

"I am sorry," I whispered, as I dropped my head to look at my shoes. I did not hear her coming closer until her fingers wrapped around the wrist of my hand that held onto Rosalie's. Lifting my head in confusion, she gave me a watery smile as she gracefully dropped onto the floor between my legs- leaning her head covered with her fragrant curls against my knee.

As if sensing someone else in the room with us, Rosalie opened her mouth again. For the first time in half a day she screamed, this time for Esme to kill her. Reeling back an inch, Esme's fingers unwound from my wrist and dropped to her heart as she hid her face in the beige cotton of my trousers that covered my thigh.

"I am so sorry," I whispered, pressing a small kiss to the crown of my wife's head. I did not know which I was actually talking to, but the words served the purpose for both.

"I love you," Esme whispered, placing her lips quickly against the palm of my hand that rested on her creamy, white, smooth shoulder.

There would come a time within the next few hours, or days, to explain to my wife what had really transpired. I would explain my reasons; I would tell her anything she wanted to know. However, right now, all I needed to know was the she was with me, she was fine with my decision, to some extent, and that gave me the courage I needed to tell Rosalie my story.

"Hello," I whispered, tightening my hold on Rosalie's hand. "My name is Carlisle Cullen..."