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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.


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1660   Review this Chapter

Chapter 4

October came quickly and the temperature outside was quickly declining as the trees became vibrant orange and red and a cool breeze set in. Esme was living with Olivia, her second cousin on her mother's side, and her husband George. She was presently five months pregnant and working as a school teacher at a small private school in town, just like she'd always wanted to do. George had gotten her the job as his good friend was the head master. Esme was more than grateful to George and insisted on cooking him his favourite foods whenever the opportunity arose.

She had been given a small guest room and tried her best to help out around the house as best she could. With her baby growing and a job to occupy her, Esme finally felt happy for the first time in many months. It was easier to smile, laugh and relax without Charles hanging over her.

One afternoon at lunch, her luck quickly changed when Olivia frantically ran into the kitchen clutching a piece of paper while George and Esme had just sat down to eat. Olivia clutched at her chest, having run all the way from down the lane, looking quite frightened, her red curls spilling from the clip at the back of her head.

"Esme," she cried out breathlessly, holding out the letter to her cousin. “It’s just awful!”

Esme stared at her in shock until Olivia cleared her throat and explained quickly. "Your father... he's found you."Her eyes found the familiar handwriting on the front and Esme gasped.

Esme felt the blood drain from her face as she stared at Olivia, wishing this was just some cruel joke. George gently took the letter from his wife and read it over. He then passed it to Esme, murmuring his sympathies. The lunch sat forgotten on the table.

Esme read the short letter with shaking fingers, her breath coming in ragged gasps.

Esme,

It's taken me months of searching for you, but I know you're staying with Olivia and George. Charles has been facing public humiliation for too long because of your absence. He misses you and asked me to send this letter with the assumption you might listen to myself rather than your husband. This is tragic, Esme, but fixable. We can fix it if you come home.

By the time you receive this letter, I should in town shortly to collect you. Please have your things packed.

-Your Father

Esme began to cry as she stared at the scrawl of her father, knowing his hurried cursive meant he was angry and in a rush. Olivia rushed over to her, bent down and threw her arms around her. Esme put her hands on her rounded belly and closed her eyes, unable to believe that her short time of happiness had come to a sudden halt.

"Oh, Esme, please don't cry!" Olivia whispered sadly.

George drained his tea and reached over to touch Esme's hand reassuringly. "Come, Esme. Go and pack your things."

Esme and Olivia gaped at George, who then quickly added, "No, not for your father. We'll help you to leave."

"You will?" Esme asked in a soft voice.

George nodded and Olivia squeezed her cousin's shoulders.

Esme offered him a warm smile, got slowly to her feet. "Thank you... to you both, for everything."

"Go, go." George said, waving her off. He began to quickly shovel food in his mouth for the journey.

Esme hurried from the room feeling sick and drained, yet still determined to escape from her father and the life he wanted to drag her back to. Olivia followed her soon after to help her pack all of her things. She would escape; there was no way she would be going back to Charles.

It took twenty minutes to collect her bags at the front door. George readied the coach outside and helped Esme and Olivia inside. Esme's eyes filled with tears as she hung her head and watched the house disappear behind them. Olivia put her arm around her cousin and offered her a reassuring smile.

Her hands rubbed her arms and she kissed her head. "It's all right. He won't find you. Just think of your baby, now. You need to relax... it’s not good for the baby, Esme."

Esme took a deep breath and looked at Olivia. "Where are we going?" Esme asked, putting on her bravest face. Olivia looked just as curious as to their location and repeated it louder for George to hear.

"Wisconsin!" George replied loudly. The carriage bumped along down the road, heading for the town's border.

"Why Wisconsin?" Olivia asked confusedly, rubbing Esme's arm absent-mindedly. "It's hours and hours from here, George. Isn’t there some off-road village she’d be safe in until her father leaves?"

"I've got a client up there. He owes me a favour. We'll stop as necessary. Wisconsin is far enough from here and from Esme's family, Olivia. We can’t risk her safety by keeping her close."

Esme watched the scenery as passed them by. It would have been a beautiful scenic trip if Esme didn't feel as if she was being ripped to pieces on the inside. After a little while, she watched with sad eyes as Olivia and George began to talk; their conversation so easy.

George would laugh at something Olivia would say, his eyes sparkling as he looked at her. It was like he truly and honestly loved Olivia.

Why can't I have that? Esme thought bitterly. Why can't I have my happy ending?

She glanced down at her stomach, realizing that she would have it. Just not yet. Her baby would be born, and they would have each other. A happy family... and nothing else would ever matter.

It took George approximately two days to get to Ashland, Wisconsin after various stops for food and sleep, but they arrived at the end of the second day weary and exhausted from their spontaneous trip. George booked a room at a local hotel under his name and the three travellers went to rest for the night.

They ate a quiet dinner at the small restaurant in the lobby of the hotel and returned to the room to discuss their next steps.

"I won't run anymore," Esme told them after a long pause in the idle chatter they'd held up for several minutes once the door to their room was closed. She slowly lowered herself onto her own bed and Olivia paused as she removed her hair pins, looking a little surprised.

Olivia opened her mouth to say something but Esme shook her head firmly. "I'll stay here. No one knows where I am now. When my father arrives, you two can pretend you've come back from a trip and that was why you left me stay." Her lie was beginning to even register as believable in her own exhausted mind and it gave her strength. "Tell my father you wouldn't have support my staying so long. Lie to him and say that I had promised you to only make use of your house for a few days."

George and Olivia looked at each other, both hesitant to agree to the story but Esme looked at them beseechingly. "Please," she said anxiously. "I know it's a lot to ask, after all you've done. But you can't give my father reason to think you know where I am. He'll go to my husband and trust me in that if Charles gets involved himself, you'll never hear the end of it."

"We'll do whatever you ask," Olivia said sadly at last. "We'll tell your story. I just wonder if we should take a train up one more city? Or at least leave you with George’s client? He’s only a bit farther, right, darling?”

George shrugged as he removed his neck tie. "Olivia, if Esme thinks she's comfortable here, it's best she stays. It’s her decision to make."

Esme smiled at them. "Thank you. So very much... I don't know what I would have done without the two of you."

"What will you do now?" George asked curiously, settling onto his and Olivia's bed.

Esme hesitated, considering the question. "There are plenty of widows from the war," she said slowly. "It wouldn't be hard to fit in; no one would question me. I’ll keep my head down, maybe use another name..."

"That is true." George seemed a little more convinced at her plan and unbuttoned his suit jacket, sliding it off and placing it neatly at the foot of the bed. "You'll need to find a place to live and a job," he reminded her gently.

Esme thought back to the job she'd left behind, realizing the school year had already started in Ashland as well. "Hopefully a school will take me on as a substitute of sorts. I still have money from Charles."

"And a place to live?" Olivia pressed, still looking slightly worried. “I won’t leave until I know you’ve got a place to live, Esme.”

Esme shrugged. "I shall have to look. Room and board shouldn't be too complicated to find. I'm sure that not many people would turn down a pregnant war widow."

George and Olivia nodded their agreement. George moved beside his wife and patted her back reassuringly.

"It's settled then, Olivia, you needn't fret." He smiled at Esme and nodded confidently. "She'll be just fine on her own."

Olivia looked as if she didn't believe Esme or George, but she nodded her agreement, her mouth in a tight line. Esme excused herself to take a bath, desperately feeling the need for time alone to her thoughts and to clean herself up after the journey. Not long after she'd shut the door, she overheard Olivia worrying to George again, but she didn't want to hear it.

Esme closed her eyes, willing herself to forget the fears she shared with Olivia and turned the water on, droning her cousin out