Pre Edit Count – 2,861 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars
Nodding, Brad looks around the house. “Are you sure you don’t want to tear it down and restart over?” He is calculating what all will need to remain and what all he can sacrifice to their idea. And mentally he is hearing the award for most money brought in for the quarter being given to him.
Carlisle is firm, “No. There are reason’s behind it, but we just want it redone. It may not need as much interior as you think, but the country chic needs to go.” He glances at Bella as he repeats her comment when they had started looking at the designs. He sees her grin get larger, and pulls her to his side and wraps his arm around her with a quick kiss on her head.
Blinking as he realigns his thoughts, Brad asks, “May I look around to see what we have to work with?”
Carlisle is uneasy, his instincts are going nuts and he searches for a compromise. Thankfully, his mate comes through with one.
“Why don’t we first talk about what we like, and then we will walk through the house together and hash out the details that way? You will find that we have done our homework, and looked online to see what we do like, and are open to suggestions.” Bella is quiet, but she is firm. She is learning from Carlisle how to get her message through to others.
Smiling, as the idea turns over in his head, Brad nods. “Ok.” He clasps his hands, “Where do we start?” And all he can hear is the dollar signs in his head as he grabs his iPad and gets down to work with the couple.
Sitting at the dinner table, Carlisle is grinning at his mate as she finishes the dinner that they had made once Brad left with all his notes and plans. Since Brad had left, Bella had been in a mood. He reminds her, “You said we can do this…”
Sighing as she already knows she is losing the argument, “I know. I didn’t think it would mean so much money!” She just couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact that Carlisle not only okayed the expenses for the remodel which was more money than she had ever seen; he had offered more to get them to finish earlier!
Carlisle snickers as he leans forward, “And what did you really expect, Bella?” He is having some fun, since up to now, he has mostly felt her shock. He admits to feeling so much younger around her.
She glares at him as she finishes her dinner. “That you wouldn’t have it rushed!! Did you see’s Brad’s eyes when you asked him if it could be done in a week? I thought the man would have a stroke! And why so fast?” She is genuinely confused and not understanding what the rush is.
Getting up and taking her plate into the kitchen; Carlisle just informs her, “That is the length of time Alice gives our decorators. My love, you need to realize that there really is a rush. We will be home with the others, and you will find that my possessive tendencies will increase exponentially. I am sorry sweetheart, but the sooner we are back here, the better it will be for all.” Especially with Esme and Edward in the house. That dynamic is new, and his beast will be posturing normally, but with Bella it will be…worse.
Thinking about what he is saying, Bella leans on the doorway to the kitchen, watching him. “So should we not do this at all?” She doesn’t need the house remodeled that badly.
In seconds, Carlisle has Bella in his arms and looking down at her. “That is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that I have the money to do this more quickly and it would be easier on all of us this way. I told you that we could spend money like this every day for the rest of our lives, and even if the economy bombs and I make no money, we would hardly dent the finances.” He shakes his head as he tries to remind himself that she grew up counting nickels and is just not used to money being spent.
He kisses her on the head, then pulls her to the chair and sits in it, tugging her onto his lap. “My love, is this something I should become used to? A fight every time money is brought into the picture?” He looks at her, worried.
This could potentially be a huge problem. If his mate will not let him provide for her, the beast inside will try harder, and be worse. Bella has so far allowed him to move forward, slowly yes, but forward. He is worried that his beast will take this the wrong way.
Normally Carlisle is in full control of himself and the beast that lives in every vampire. Since he allowed his Alpha side to come out, he has been more aware of the beast at all times. In fact, that is part of what makes him the Alpha male he is, that the two of them are melded in a way that very few of their kind have achieved. It had taken a certain measure of giving up some of his humanity to allow the beast in.
That Carlisle achieved this was a huge deal and why he is one of the Kings. Jasper, as part of his coven, would be the closest to an Alpha male. But he fights his constantly, trying to gain that harmony. In fact, among the Alpha’s, Jasper is one of them, they are waiting for him to come to terms to be accepted into their elite few.
Carlisle imagines that the way Maria starved and kept Jasper in control damaged him in some way. Jasper had been forced to allow his beast to be in control. He was named the God of War from that time and the atrocities that had happened then. Nightmares are formed from the things Jasper had to do to stay alive.
However, Jasper’s mating with Alice has helped, and his own will to succeed in what he watched his own Coven head do under his tutelage encouraged his new will in bringing himself and his beast under control.
Yes, Jasper was the one who brought everything to a head. Supposedly there can’t be two Alpha’s in a coven. In fact, the Volturi were really three coven’s in one place. But not many knew that. With their own coven, Carlisle being an Alpha, and Jasper being another, something had to give. And with Jasper teaching Carlisle in a way that had failed the Volturi in bringing Carlisle is balance, his beast had come forward in an explosive match. Alice’s mate had barely survived, and only because he allowed his beast to fight instead of him, had given him the edge to stay alive. And only because Jasper’s beast had submitted to Carlisle.
That was something that was thought to not be able to happen, but somehow, Carlisle in his compassion, merged with the beast in order to not kill Jasper in that moment. And from that time on, there was no going back, nor did Carlisle care to. He loved the freedom that it accorded him, the control he had. His barely there blood-lust had gone completely away, which made working in his chosen profession easier.
However, with his new mate, and both sides being equal, it means he has to give in sometimes to the beast. Luckily, the merging had made his beast quite intelligent. It understands that their mate is in pain. Emotionally, but it still understands. It had crowed when they had beaten one of her tormentors. And he is fully intent on finding out who bit his mate. They will be torn apart for their sacrilege. Only he is allowed her blood, only he is allowed to bite her.
But right now, they might have an issue if Bella is going to fight the two of them every time they spend money.
Bella looks at him, then sighs. “I’m sorry, Carlisle. I know you’ve told me that it isn’t a big deal, but I counted every nickel when I was young to determine if I was to pay the electric or eat. When you have had to do that, money isn’t easy to spend. I’m trying, harder than you can imagine. But there will be just be times that I’ll balk.” She is trying so hard. But how to make him understand this is not normal to toss away money on something they could deal with themselves?
Kissing her forehead, Carlisle says. “I understand, my love. But what you don’t understand is that I have this need to take care of you. I cannot mate you fully yet, nor can I change you. You asked me to wait, and the way you asked, allowed both the Alpha side and the human side of me to agree. We may not be happy with the circumstances, but we understand. But to deny me, to fight with me over this, something is going to happen. And I am worried it may hurt you. I will never do so on purpose, and neither would the beast inside of me, but it may cause friction and for me to act worse with the family.”
He sighs. Then he tells her, “All vampires have a beast in them. The sign of an Alpha is one that merges the two seamlessly. This causes the vampire to lose some humanity, but gains an intelligent beast that often seems to make up for the loss. Jasper is an Alpha, but cannot seem to achieve that state that names him to one.”
Holding her to him, he tells her softly, “Right now, I am even with mine. But he does not understand you fighting him. It frustrates him, and because you are our mate, he cannot do anything. Bella, help us understand why this money thing is such a big deal that you will make us fight about it?”
Shock vibrates through her system. “Fight? About money?” This is something she never wants.
Carlisle nods. “Sweetheart, this is what will happen if you keep fighting and getting upset. What is it that bothers you? Please talk to us.” He is looking at her intently, not wanting to let it get that far.
Shaking her head as she tries to understand how this is going to be a fight, Bella asks again, “I don’t understand. Why is this such a big deal to you? Why would we fight? I am trying to understand that you have money… I don’t understand why this is…Carlisle.” She looks at him, truly upset that he said this is leading to a fight.
His beast soon sets to purring, trying to calm her down. He holds her for a second, trying to find a way to tell her why this is a big deal to him. And it was not the money, it is, “Bella. What will drive us to fighting, as you keep repeating, is that you are not allowing me to take care of you.”
“But you do that already! You make sure I eat, you make me meals, you take care of me very well-“
Carlisle put a finger to her lips. “Darling. Shhh. Yes, I do all of that, and it is taking care of you. But my beast wants to take care of you completely. It wants to provide your food. Preparing it is one thing, and needed. But I cannot bring your food to you, fresh from the hunt. I cannot make your clothing, nor can I make your home with my hands. And that is what is required by him. We are talking animal instincts. I can, however, do all the above with the money I have earned and still earn. That is why I do all I can to provide for you. It is not a chauvinistic need as the man of our relationship, it is because you are my mate, and in our world, the dominant side provides for its mate. Even if it is a lesbian or gay relationship, the more dominant one is the one who does this. And you denying us this is making my beast want to dominate you, but it cannot. It cannot hurt you, and as a human, you will be hurt if it dominated you like it wants to.”
Bella stares at him, trying to understand. But the concept is too alien to how she thinks.
Carlisle sighs. He stares at her, trying to find the words… His frustration is evident in the Bond they have and he can’t figure out a better way to put it. He lets her go as he turns and paces in front of her. Frustrated, his beast upset, he does not know what to do.
Watching him, Bella realizes this is a serious thing. She sits down and sighs. “So let’s talk. I’ll tell you what I don’t understand. Obviously this is a big thing to you, and we need to work it out before it comes between us.” He is right, if this is such a big deal to him, she needs to come to an understanding about it.
He stops and watches her, waiting for her to continue.
Seeing this, she closes her eyes. “I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Are you going to deny me working?” She hands out her first thing she is worried about.
Carlisle stops the sharp retort, and takes a deep breathe. “No.”
Looking at him, she asks, “Then why does it matter if you take care of me that way?” One feeds the other in her mind. You work, you provide for yourself. If he allows her to work, then why can she not provide for herself?
Looking at her, he sighs. “Because I recognize and admire your independence. But for your basic needs, I have to provide for them. I need to know that I can take care of everything you need.” He needs it. It is an intrinsic part of him.
She shakes her head. “Carlisle. That makes no sense. What are you going to do with any money I earn?” She is really trying to understand why it matters if he provides for her if he is alright with her working.
Frustrated. That is what they are both feeling. Carlisle turns and looks out the window. He quietly tells her, keeping a tight rein on his temper, “It has nothing to do with the money, Sweetheart. I need to build you this home. If I do it with my hands, or with people working under me owing it to me, or with the money I have earned over these years, means nothing to me. I have to provide a home for you. What you do with that home is up to you. The same with the food. It does not matter if I go out and hunt it for you, gather the vegetables and make your dinner from what I foraged or go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients and make it that way. Bella, it does not matter if I take you to a restaurant and feed you that way, as long as I pay. If we were the animals that are hidden inside, I would be hunting down your food and dragging it to you to eat. I would dig your den with my paws. I would keep you warm with my body. What part of this can you not understand? I told you that I am both that beast and the man in front of you. I know I cannot hunt for you, build for you, keep you warm so I compensate, and because my beast is more intelligent than most, it accepts this. Whatever you want to do with your time, work, or sit around doing nothing, does not matter. You are my mate, my other half. I will provide for you.” And it slowly dawns on him the real reason. But before he can put all the pieces together, she interrupts his thoughts.
Staring at him, Bella struggles to understand. She finally asks, “Basically you are telling me that your beast, makes you want to provide for me?”
With a sharp shake of his head, he turns to her, and the way his eyes catch the light is like a wolf. He tells her, “No. I love you. You are my mate. My beast is trying to provide for his female so that she will never leave. We are trying to show you we are worthy. He loves and adores you. So do I. This is his way of being worthy of the one thing he never thought he would have, a mate, an equal. So in his manner, he is showing you that he is worthy, that he deserves you. And he will continue to do this for the rest of our lives. It is also the way you show him you trust him completely. That he will provide for you, the most basic level of trust. Your very survival.”
The information suddenly makes sense. With the shine to his eyes, and what he is saying makes it visible to her for once. Carlisle is a vampire. An Alpha vampire. Which is a 50/50 combination of the human side that remained after the change, and the beast that the vampire side added. Because of this meld, he is higher than the rest of them, but there are compromises he has to give to his other side. And this is one of them. They are working together to solve this, but the solution is being hampered by her. He doesn’t understand why she can’t allow him to do what his beast is driving him to do. Her own past is hampering her, not allowing him that trust so fast.
And he is not doing it because it is a beast thing. They want to do it because they want to show her they want her for her. And he will prove it by taking care of her…
With this, Bella realizes that she is the reason he is frustrated, his two halves are at war. His human side understands exactly and wants to give her time, but the beast inside of him is driving for it. And she suspects it is driving it because while it agrees with the reason they are not mating yet, its instincts are telling him that he needs to show how worthy he is. How much she trusts him by doing this.
She closes her eyes as she sags in the chair. “Oh god, Carlisle. I am sorry. I had no idea…”
She feels a breeze and then his hand on her chin, raising it up. She opens her eyes to him as he tells her, “Darling, there is no wrong in this. There is only what we can agree to. I hate this, that I feel as though I am forcing you to do something that you do not want, but I cannot give in too much. Especially if we spend time around other males. Luckily, they are all mated, and there will be no visitors for that period of time, hopefully. But if you can accept this, accept my needing this, it will be greatly appreciated. Can you give this poor vampire this one request?” And he stares at her, hoping that she really understands that he needs that level of trust with her since they are denying the mating, denying so many things right now, that his beast wants this assurance that she trusts him with her very survival.
She smiles at him, searching his eyes and the bond. When she can only feel his honesty, she nods.
Final count, 3,367 words.