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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.


3. Chapter 3

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1997   Review this Chapter

Chapter 3

The rain poured heavily outside as Carlisle turned from the window and let the blinds fall. His current patient Dorothy Windler demanded to see the weather outside once every four hours, and while most doctors now refused her orders, Carlisle always indulged her.

Poor forty-one year-old Dorothy was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and had recently fallen down her porch steps and broken her leg. Usually Carlisle only saw her in the psychology wing of the hospital when her irritable brother brought her in for routine shock therapy, but every so often, her condition got the better of her and she wound up hurt.

"How is your leg today, Dorothy?" Carlisle asked, turning back to her with a warm smile.

Dorothy patted her cast sadly. "It pains me, good doctor, sir," she said in a simpering tone, patting her cast in what would be a seductive way. Carlisle kept a straight face as he always did when Dorothy became a little flirtacious with him. It was nothing considering what she could be thinking of him. God forbid she took on the "delusion" of Carlisle as a monster.

"Any more or less than it did yesterday? You have been keeping off it and not sneaking out to peak out the waiting room window?" He smiled at her again, teasing as if he'd tease a friend.

Dorothy nodded hurriedly. "Cross my heart, I have, sir. And no, still the same pain."

Carlisle made a note on her chart, smiled at her again and walked around to pat her shoulder before he left. "Well, you've got a good attitude about it, so hopefully the healing goes quickly. Is there anything I can have the nurse bring you before I go?"

She shook her head, suddenly looking irritated. "I don't like that Brenda-woman, Doctor." That Brenda-woman was the nurse who every day forced Dorothy to take her medicine. Complaining about Brenda was something she did on an hourly basis. "Please do not send her to me."

"I believe she's off for the night," he replied gently. "No need to fear her."

Dorothy nodded and let out a sigh of relief. "Goodnight then, Doctor Cullen." She smiled at him again in that over-the-top way.

Carlisle raised a hand in farewell and left Miss Windler. He handed the attending nurse her chart and started toward the doctors' lounge. His shift was finally over, and Carlisle was starting to get itchy to leave. His throat had burned more insistently for a few days now, and he knew that he couldn't possibly put off his hunting trip any longer.

He passed several doctors and nurses, greeting them each politely as he passed. Most of the younger nurses would smile and wave, always taken by his appearance. Carlisle hardly noticed the attention women tended to give him anymore. After over two hundred and fifty years, he had grown blind to their advances. The women became almost invisible to him since he had found Edward, who found it amusing to voice their inappropriate thoughts toward either of them.

Of course, Edward was newer to this way of life. He hadn't had to endure it as long. Edward still had a good attitude about it; he still enjoyed their attention and the way they looked at him or whispered to others.

He collected his things, signed off on his shift and left through the front doors of the hospital with his black umbrella. His Ford was parked in the staff parking lot to the right of the emergency entrance and he quickly climbed in and started it up. He loved this car, it was one of the newer models, which unfortunately, drew more attention to him than he wanted to receive.

As he drove through the rain, having to go a lot slower owing to the traffic and the weather, Carlisle pondered his day off tomorrow. Perhaps Edward would be interested in hunting with him? Not that he minded hunting alone, but still... it was nice to have Edward around. He'd spent way too many years alone now. The boy was like a son to him.

The drive home took nearly an hour, and the rain was coming down harder as he parked, re-opened his umbrella and headed briskly up the short pathway to the house that he and Edward lived in. It was a fair-sized cottage in the countryside, barricaded by trees and shrubbery. The house itself was two floors plus a basement, and made of red-brick.

He opened the door and set his umbrella on the shoe mat and removed his jacket. He could hear Edward upstairs in one of the rooms, probably working on some project or other. If Edward didn't keep himself busy he tended to hover as if he didn't know how to occupy himself. Since he had decided he wanted to take a year off from school, he was hovering more than usual.

Moving toward the washroom, Carlisle methodically began to wash his hands; a practice he did before and after work each day. It wasn't that human illnesses or diseases could affect him, but working in a hospital called for good hygiene, whether you were immortal or not.

As he dried his hands, he watched his reflection in the mirror. He was tall, with short blonde hair and a strong jaw. His eyes were currently a cold black, which reminded him of his need to hunt. He supposed he could go out into the rain, but he didn't fancy the idea of dragging animals from their dens. It was an extra effort and seemed cruel.

Since Carlisle Cullen had become a vampire in 1663, he had fed off the blood of animals. He had despised what he was for a very long time, forced into social isolation out of fear of what he might do to another human. It had taken him well over a hundred years to be comfortable around others. He no longer felt the desire to bite anyone, which was good, considering his daily exposure to human blood. Being a doctor made him feel like he had beaten his crippling vampirism.

He had been alone for a very long time until he found Edward dying in a hospital with his mother. Both were in the final vicious stages of Spanish influenza, and this was the first time he had ever truly considering biting another. Somehow, Edward's mother had figured out what he was, and in her final moments, begged him to save her son. Carlisle hadn't been convinced, but the desperation of his loneliness won over and he saved Edward.

Edward, too, had struggled with his new-found life and often Carlisle worried that Edward despised him for it. Technically, the boy was frozen at seventeen; caught at an age of adolescent broodiness and angst, so Carlisle tended to dismiss Edward's sometimes less than subtle behaviour toward him.

Edward still spent a lot of time away from humans, but would attend school from time to time, keeping to himself. He was fascinated by different subjects and would read for hours on end.

Carlisle left the washroom and headed for his study which he intended to tidy. He had been doing a lot of research in the practice of surgery lately, which was purely out of interest. He had just begun to return books to his shelves when Edward appeared in the doorway.

He was a tall boy with dark eyes and bronze hair; Edward folded his arms and watched Carlisle with a bored expression. He was hovering already.

"How was your day?" Edward asked conversationally.

Carlisle carefully slid the books back into their alphabetical listing. "Nothing too traumatic, thankfully," Carlisle replied with a small smile. "What have you been up to?"

"I purchased a piano today," Edward told him with nonchalance. "A really nice one."

"Bored of the violin?" Carlisle asked him teasingly, to which Edward smiled slightly with a shrug.

"Bach frustrates me."

"Have you hunted lately?" Carlisle asked suddenly, ceasing his cleaning.

Edward shook his head no. "Do you wish to go soon?"

"Yes, tomorrow, if you'd like to join me. I'd forgotten how long it has been since I went."

"Lucky for the hospital you have extraordinary control," Edward mocked lightly, but Carlisle never found it funny. Edward had been turned in 1918- only two years ago ago. He had adjusted eventually to the practice of only drinking the blood of animals, but his self-control was no where near to that of Carlisle's. Since being turned, he'd killed three people, his control snapping in the moment.

"Have you thought anymore of which University you think you will try next year?" Carlisle asked, eager to change the subject again.

Unfortunately, Edward heard his thoughts before the subject could be changed. Edward's eyes narrowed but he smiled funnily. "I won't break any of your rules, Carlisle. You know I never meant to."

Carlisle sighed and resumed cleaning his study. "I apologize for my thoughts," he said calmly. Edward's mind-reading gifts were both an amazing talent and a hassle.

"You think about it, worry over it," Edward said dully, his hands in his pockets. "I'm trying, you know that. I need time, Carlisle."

"And time you have," Carlisle replied gently. "I trust you, Edward. There's a reason I don't voice everything I say."

Edward smiled again, amused. "My abnormality makes me forget that humans censor."

Carlisle chuckled, and leaned against his large writing desk, arms folded. "It is interesting that you are becoming more attuned to others' thoughts. It is getting clearer?"

"We are alone a lot," Edward reasoned thoughtfully. "I feel attuned to your thoughts the most. The more I go into town, the easier it becomes to hear humans.”

“Your human ties are coming back to you now that you’ve become more publically involved once again.”

“Not quickly enough,” Edward sighed, the boredom clear on his face. “Sometimes I hate the way the trees hide us away back here. Necessary, but still, it makes me feel all too alone.” He ran a hand through his tousled hair and excused himself to go back to his piano, saying a professional piano tuner was coming up the walk now.

Alone, Carlisle thought sadly.

Through all the good work at the hospital and how hard he tried to keep them both busy, being alone was the one thing that had troubled him in all of his immortal years. It pained him sometimes, to find other vampires in passing and see them happily attached to a life mate or partner. While he didn’t approve of their eating habits, or unsettled ways of living in abandoned buildings or in caves, he did envy the partnership, love, and satisfaction between mates.

He had come to think of Edward as his son, and it pained him to see Edward’s reluctance and sometimes his aversion to what they were. Edward’s loneliness doubled his own; his son’s dissatisfaction was his own. He hoped that Edward would find someone one day; he was young, handsome and new to this way of life. Perhaps his young mind would find a way around it. Perhaps he’d meet another young immortal?

As lonely as he was, he had to put his son first. If he didn't have Edward, he didn't know where he would be. Alone, the word rang in his head again and he forced it away, realizing that Edward could hear him, and he knew that his own doubts and anxieties would quickly worsen his own. He didn’t have to be able to read minds to know that Edward looked up to him. He was the one to turn him after all...

Carlisle returned to tidying up his study with a resigned sigh. He had to hope that there was a chance that somehow, he’d find more friendship in this life; that he’d find another, perhaps a mate to share in this long, long life. He had to hope for that. He had to.