Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

Changing Tides

Summary:
Changing Tides Banner Living a life of perpetual misery, Esme escapes from her abusive husband to find a life worth living. She has no idea that she'll find life in mortal death and love in the arms of an incredibly handsome doctor named Carlisle Cullen.


Notes:
This story was completed with the help of the biographies provided at http;//www.twilightlexicon.com to ensure that canon is followed Disclaimer: All characters, base plot, twilight series are the property of Stephenie Myers. I've been in love with the books for a while now, and out of sheer interest in the other couples, I decided to write this one on Esme and Carlisle. I do not own the canon characters nor do I take credit for any affiliation with the "TWILIGHT" series. Changing Tides banner created by JokesOnJane.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1635   Review this Chapter

Chapter 1

November 24, 1919

To my Dearest Emilia,

I apologize for the length of time that it has taken me to reply to your last letter but much has happened in the past few months. However I was cheered to hear that you and your husband are happily settling into married life and was delighted to hear that little Jonathan was born healthy and happy.

With the war, my parents have kept a close watch over me and for a while I had moved back in with them. Father didn't approve of me living alone in Charles's home and so I obliged with nothing to object to. It gets quite lonely out here, and I so desperately wish I was closer to you. Remember our younger days when we'd spend all our time in Father's courtyard?

Charles returned two days before. I shall not disclose the details for fear of this falling into the wrong hands. He had my things packed up in a few hours and placed back in our bedroom, insisting that we resume our 'marriage.'

I very much hope that we can meet soon, dear Emilia. I want very much to meet the newest member of your family. Your happiness brings me much joy. I miss our schoolgirl days and tea at your father's estate. Such simpler times. I shall write you soon. Charles is calling me as I write.

All my love,

Esme

Esme set her pen down with a soft sigh, folded up her letter and set it inside the first drawer of the desk, deciding to send it tomorrow after Charles had left on one of his many errands. He tended to be overly curious as to whom she communicated with. Lifting her skirt slightly, she headed toward the sitting room where her husband Charles sat reading the paper. He sat in his favourite arm chair by the fireplace, facing away from her.

As she entered the room, he raised his hand and absent-mindedly beckoned her forward, which always irritated Esme. He treated her like a mere servant most days... mind you, this was always an improvement on how he treated her the rest of the time.

"Where have you been?" Charles Evenson asked her irritably, taking a long drag of a fat and foul-smelling cigar. She wrinkled her nose as he blew out a puff of smoke in her direction but she said nothing or dared to raise a hand to fan the smoke from her face.

"Returning a letter to an old friend," Esme told him calmly and Charles made a noise of disinterest as he folded up his paper.

Charles Evenson was a thin man who was only a few inches taller than Esme. He had dark hair, cold blue eyes, a pointed nose and thin lips. He wasn't unattractive, but the air to which he carried himself was arrogant. When she had married him, Esme hadn't realized who he really was behind his mannered and aristocratic disdain.

"I have been thinking," Charles told her, finally turning to look her in the eyes. "I think it would be very beneficial for us if we invest in the Dawsons' property."

Esme said nothing, as she always did when he spoke to her about business dealings. Esme believed he told her for two reasons: one, so if it should come up in public, Esme did not seem ignorant to her husband's doings, and two, to hear himself speak. Charles took another drag of his cigar and blew the smoke out in a long, thin stream.

He motioned around the room suddenly, glaring at her. "In my absence, the house seems less... well-kept than I had expected, Esme." The abrupt change in topic was not uncommon with him. He enjoyed getting a reaction from her.

Esme bowed her head slightly and reasoned, "Well Father insisted I move in with him. You know this."

He smiled coldly at her but Esme knew her explanation would go unheard. Charles got to his feet and stepped closer to her. "I also spoke with Geoffrey from across the way this morning. He said something of interest." He took another long drag of his cigar.

"What was that?" Esme finally asked in a brave voice, cringing away slightly. She knew where this was leading. She spotted the empty bottle of brandy on the table beside his chair, the dirty glass, and she could smell it on his breath.

"He claims that in my absence, you have spent a remarkable amount of time at the Cotler's estate." His eyes were accusing and Esme took a cautious step back. Charles grabbed her arm and tugged her closer, his eyes wild and face white.

"You-" Esme voice caught in fear, attempting to swallow her panic. "You know that I enjoy spending time with their daughter Julia. She is only two years younger and-"

"And what of their son? Rumour has it he has taken a fancy to you. To you; a married woman; my wife!" His grip tightened and a sob escaped Esme. She could not bear it when he drunk, and there were so many of these days since the war.

"I did nothing!" She pleaded. "Nothing!"

Charles released his grip, looking furious. "Lies!" He began pacing in front of her. "I have been away for a year on German soil to protect my country, and I find out that my wife is the center of some god-forsaken rumours of infidelity."

Esme hugged herself, tears welling in her eyes. "Gossip, Charles, gossip! I have been with my parents for most of that year. I could not disgrace my family like this. Charles, please..."

His hand collided with her cheek and Esme slowly raised a hand to clutch her burning cheek, her eyes on the floor. Charles heaved a heavy sigh and dropped himself back down to his arm chair. He returned to his cigar and then blew the smoke in her direction again.

"Little liar of wife. Go and powder your face, you silly girl. I'm having a guest and he is always pleased by your hospitality so you must go tidy up and return here instantly." He waved his hand at her to dismiss her and turned back to the fireplace.

Esme did not wait for him to say anything else. She wiped shakily at her eyes and rushed to their bedroom. With distance between then, she softly closed the door and allowed her tears to fall freely. It wasn't fair that she should be married to such a monster. Charles had beat her various times before this, usually in areas that could be concealed by the extravagant dresses he bought her. It was the perfect crime.

The worst was that no one believed her except for her best friend Emilia, who had known Charles since childhood. Charles had been the son of a family friend to both Emilia's and Esme's parents. While the girls saw him for a short-tempered drunk, Charles was able to keep up his mannered facade in public.

At picnics, he was always gracious and took her arm gently, introducing Esme to people of interest. He would kiss her hand and cheek and smile, but it was all an act. She had been married to him for two years now, and every passing day, things seem to worsen. Her family thought him an upstanding citizen with good money and a good name- the perfect husband. And so, in spite of her protesting, her parents had encouraged her to try and be a good wife Charles. Esme supposed her parents thought she was exaggerating the stories she told them.

Lowering herself to her vanity table, Esme touched her shaking fingers to the angry red mark on her right cheek and then began to straighten up her make-up. She could hear Charles moving downstairs, probably hiding his brandy and pulling out clean glasses and a new bottle for his guest. He would expect her downstairs any moment now to play her part in his sickly game.

Only a few minutes later, she had straightened herself up and the red mark had faded to a light pink. She had pulled her long caramel-coloured curls into an elegant clip that her mother had bought for her on her last birthday. Beauty was the only mask that she was able to truly act out. Her patience was waning.

She stood from her vanity and offered her reflection her best attempt at a sweet smile, but it seemed tainted with sadness. She felt drained and miserable on the inside, and the more she was expected to maintain her smile, the more miserable she became.

"Ah, Mr. Sandley!" Charles was saying cheerfully downstairs. Esme hurried to the door and began to descend down the stairs. She pulled her lips into a gentle smile, lifted her skirts and placed a hand on the banister and she rejoined her husband as the perfect wife.

"And you have met my darling wife," Charles said as Esme reached the foot of the stairs. He wore a charming smile as he watched Mr. Sandley respectfully kiss his wife's hand. His cold eyes appraised Esme and his lips tugged into a pleased smile.

"Of course," Mr. Sandley said with a smile, clueless to the falsity of this household. "Pleasure to see you again, Mrs. Evenson."

"And you, good sir," Esme replied sweetly. She motioned toward the sitting room. "Please," she said. The men nodded and walked together into the sitting room, leaving Esme to tow sadly behind. She glanced out the window, wishing she were running down the walkway and free of all of this.

She took up a seat in a small arm-chair a little ways from Charles and folded her hands gracefully, sitting up straight- ever the perfect actress.