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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.


7. Chapter 7

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2350   Review this Chapter

Chapter 7

Carlisle tossed his latex gloves in the trash bin and handed the nurse behind the reception desk a completed chart and full-work up of his last patient of the day. She smiled sweetly up at him and murmured thanks. Carlisle tried not to be bothered by the fact that the nurses only thanked him and any other attractive physician for giving them paperwork to file. Filing was not a pleasant task.

"Could you sign me out Elizabeth?" Carlisle asked as he washed his hands in the small sink by the wall. "I've got some extra release papers to complete before I go home for the night, but that's it."

The nurse flushed pink, phone in hand, looking apologetic. "Actually, Dr. Cullen. A call just came through and you're requested in emergency. Sorry."

Carlisle raised his eyebrows. Carlisle didn't spend a lot of time working emergency anymore. "Where is Doctor Francels?"

The nurse tucked her hair behind her ears nervously. "Still in surgery, I'm afraid. You're the only available doctor right now."

Carlisle nodded, turning off the sink and dried his hands. He grabbed a fresh pair of gloves and and turned to head toward the emergency wing. The waiting room was full of patients as usual, but he couldn't see where he as being called to. He hadn't taken another three steps before a nurse was rushing toward him, her face grim.

"Over here, doctor."

The nurse led him back to the emergency reception room to a closed curtain. She pulled back the curtain enough to let them both pass through and then let it fall.

"What do we have here?" Carlisle asked, noting the unconscious and extremely battered woman on the stretcher. He frowned at her, noticing she was soaking wet and droplets were falling off her hair and onto the stretcher and floor.

"Suicide patient," one of the nurses told him sadly. "We just need you to sign her off. It's crazy in here."

Carlisle could hear the woman's soft heart beat, but he placed his fingers against her neck anyway, feeling her weak and shallow pulse beneath his finger tips. He checked her other vitals quickly and then gently ran his hands across her skull and back of her neck.

"Fractured skull, C-spine injury, probable hemorraging," Carlisle muttered more to himself than the nurses, making a mental list that he'd later recall perfectly. He continued with his search, gently lifting or tearing of the clothes she wore.

"You know they won't take her," the second nurse reminded him impatiently. "Her injuries won't heal and we're over-crowded and under-staffed, doctor."

Carlisle knew what they were saying was true, and it was incredibly sad that this was how society had been for centuries. Hospital beds had to be reserved for people who truly needed them and who had a good chance at life.

Carlisle's eyes moved up to her bruised face and found himself shocked that he recognized it. His perfect memory snapped back several years earlier to a memory of this young woman in her backyard, two hands bracing her leg and yet looking quite calm for someone with such a painful injury. His memory skipped and she was laughing at something he said, her eyes full of light and youth. Esme Platt. She'd had a beautiful smile.

"Dr. Cullen we need to move her," the first nurse prompted, interrupting his thoughts. "We just needed you to pronounce her."

Another item of protocol he didn't approve of. She wasn't dead yet, and yet, in her condition, he had to pronounce her as deceased. Even if she had mere hours left, it had to be done now so another patient could be treated.

Carlisle nodded mutely, but his mind was back on the beautiful young girl he'd known so many years ago. Would such a happy young girl really try to kill herself? And if so, why had she tried to do this? Sadness? Illness? Heart break? Maybe even loneliness? Or had this been a tragic accident? A sleeping walking tragedy or a homicide? There were a million possibilities.

The nurse who had found him handed him a chart and a pen, clearly very impatient. Carlisle hesitated before finally tearing his eyes off of the dying woman he once knew. He scrawled his name and time of death and the chart was just as quickly taken away from him before he could change his mind. And then Esme Platt was rolled away from him. Her soft pulse drifting farther away from his exceptional hearing abilities and he knew with the head trauma, she wouldn't survive the night, much less the next few hours. Unless...

It would be drastic, he knew. And he realized that if she'd tried to kill herself, she may resent him as Edward did. His mind pulled him back to when he'd met her, to when he'd treated her broken leg. He'd been enchanted by Esme Platt and was sad to leave town the following week after meeting her. He would have loved her companionship; it wasn't very often he felt comfortable developing friendships with humans, knowing he'd have to leave them before they knew too much about him.

He lost himself in the memory again as she smiled her beautiful smile, and her caramel curls tumbled over her shoulders as she leaned forward sub-consciously, clutching at her broken leg. He remembered feeling startled by his attraction for this sweet sixteen-year-old.

He'd remembered how her father had approached him after with the possibility of courting his daughter. Carlisle had denied out of habit, and left, but what if Esme had been who he'd been waiting for? What if the reason he was startled by her smile, and her voice was because she was the answer?

It was strangely exciting as he considered having her around. When he thought about seeing her beautiful face and hearing her laugh again, it eased the constant ache of loneliness in his chest.

It was insane. It was risky, and he honestly wasn't sure she could survive the process of becoming a vampire, he realized that he didn't have time to worry about it. It was immortality or death.

And before Carlisle could stop himself, he was off to the morgue, still unsure, but his legs taking him there anyway. He couldn't let her give up. Whatever it was, he'd help her through it. She would always have him. And if she hated him for it, at least he wouldn't spend eternity wondering what it was about Esme that made him pay attention.

He ducked easily into a connecting hall as the nurses who wheeled her into the morgue, then emerged chattering away. They didn't notice him as they passed and Carlisle entered the morgue. She was easy to locate by the only heartbeat in the room. His shoes echoed in the chilled room as he stepped up to her and gently touched her cold cheek with his finger.

Her skin was still warm to his touch, in spite of being so cold. He stared down at her beautiful face for a moment and then faster than the human eye could catch, Carlisle had easily pulled Esme off the stretcher and set her gently on the floor. He then found a JANE DOE tagged in the far end of the room and switched them, attaching Esme's tag to her toe. Now no one would miss a body. He left the morgue and headed for the emergency desk and smiled handsomely at the receptionist who immediately flushed pink and smiled back.

"Could you do me a favour? My son Edward has parked in the back and he's to drive me home today. I don't want to keep him waiting so could you call up to the front and tell them to sign me out now? I'm finished for the day."

The young receptionist nodded, eager to do the handsome doctor Cullen a favour. "Oh, of course, sir. Dr. Carlisle Cullen?" She picked up the phone and immediately began to punch in numbers. Carlisle thanked her, and turned back in the direction of the morgue. Making sure, no one was looking, in the blink of an eye, he'd slipped back into the morgue, collected Esme in his arms and was at the back door of the hospital.

He drove home quickly, his eyes flicking to Esme's still form in the back seat every few seconds. His hands gripped the steering wheel in the tension of literally depending on every faint beat of her heart.

Edward had read his thoughts before Carlisle had parked the car. He stood stock-still at the front door, staring at Carlisle with an unreadable expression on his handsome face.

Carlisle carefully lifted Esme from the backseat of his car and shut the door with his foot. Carlisle was ignoring Edward's expression for the moment as he worried about her injuries complicating what he was about to do. She may not survive at all...

"Why Carlisle?"

Carlisle regarded Edward's confused expression and then explained. "I know her, Edward. I have to- I have to save her."

Edward followed him upstairs. "She jumped from a cliff, Carlisle." His voice was disapproving and shocked.

"You can read her?" Carlisle asked breathlessly, kicking up his own bedroom door.

"Yes, her thoughts are faint though," Edward replied darkly.

"She doesn't have much time with all her mortal injuries. Her lungs are filled with water, most of her bones are fractured, but our venom could save her."

"How do you know she wants this?" Edward asked gravely as he watched Carlisle set Esme down his bed with extreme care.

Carlisle didn't take his eyes off her. "I don't know, Edward. I just feel that this is right- to help her." Edward turned away, not wanting to watch what had happened to him. He flinched slightly as he heard the sound of Carlisle's teeth tearing the skin on Esme's neck.

It was like wildfire when the venom ripped through her veins. As it flowed through her system and purged into her heart, it gripped her in a torturous flame. Her body tensed as the heat grew more intense and the pain began.

As she became more conscious, she felt the ever-worsening pain. Her wrists and legs struggled at invisible bindings that seemed to pin her body down against the soft surface she was lying on. The small part of her mind that was still conscious pleaded with God, begging for release and for mercy, but her prayers went unheard.

She was in hell and burning for eternity.

The screaming he could drone out, but her thoughts he could not.

Edward let out a low moan, holding his head. Carlisle was suddenly beside him, calling his name. "Son," he kept saying. "Son, what it is?"

"I can't bear it," Edward said, clutching his temples. "She's suffering." He hurried outside the room, pausing, and then went downstairs to get farther from Esme's thoughts.

Carlisle swallowed hard and returned to Esme's side to gently dry her soaking hair and cover her with blankets as she moaned with pain. As he sat with her, he replayed their meeting over and over in his head, sure that saving Esme was right. It had to be.

Edward returned an hour later with a pained expression on his face. Carlisle glanced toward him, cringing as Esme let out another wretched cry of pain. "I know, Edward, but it won't last long. You were only out for a few days."

Edward shook his head. "I've been listening, Carlisle. It's her human life she's suffering for. She's screaming inside too. I hear both and it's like living it with her. It's terrible."

Carlisle couldn't find the will to speak as Edward shuddered. "She's lost everyone, she's afraid... She's alone."

Carlisle wasn't sure he understood, but then again, he was sure only Edward could ever know. Edward could read minds, and he could not. However hearing that Esme was miserable because she was alone lit a small candle of hope in him; he understood this part of her suffering. If he understood, it meant he could try to help. And loneliness was something that was solved by others. If she had lost everyone, she would not lose him. He would not break her faith.

"I've got to get out of here," Edward bit out suddenly, getting roughly to his feet. "I need to feed anyway."

Carlisle agreed, telling him to take as long as he needed to clear his head. He was sure Edward was trying to forget his own blurred memories of his transformation, and felt sorry that perhaps some of his questions were answered by watching Esme. On top of having to hear Esme's thoughts, Carlisle couldn't imagine how frustrated he must feel.

He looked back down at Esme. Her face was contorted in agony and a solitary tear drop had run down her cheek. He could hear her heart slamming in her chest and noticed the way her veins in her arms seemed to strain and bulge. He sat next to her, tuning out her screams. He gently placed a cool hand on her cheek and caressed her lightly.

For a moment, her screaming ceased and she turned her face into his hand. Carlisle almost smiled, but he knew that her body was only naturally seeking a way to cool itself during the heat of the turning.

Still, the gesture was... nice. He noted her bruises were healing, disappearing from her face and this pleased him. It was easier to re-learn her face when it wasn't covered in bruises.

Edward had said she felt alone, and Carlisle knew just how traumatizing this could be. He'd been alone far too long. He hoped that with him and Edward, she wouldn't feel alone anymore.

"Not too worry," he murmured to her, moving his hand to cool her other cheek, if only momentarily. She leaned into him again, pausing in her screams. "You don't have to be alone anymore, Esme." He stared at her hard as the screaming and sobs began again at full force.

"You have me."