General thought for everyone: Yes, Carlisle speaks with his original accent around Bella. He was born and raised there, with the impression he loves his native country and visited often. So I figure if he will fall back on any language, it would be that one. One of my readers, Kathryn, pointed out that he would have spoken Queen’s English. Which is very sexy, but when you write it, the accent is gone. So we are using the words from the time and hopefully this one time shot of informing you guys.
Pre-Edit Count – 9,508 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: In The End by Linkin Park
Bella looks at the Cullen’s and she begins her story. She feels Carlisle’s arms around her and he rests his head on hers, letting her feel his love and support. “I moved to Forks, Washington to live with my father when I was 17. I remember sitting in my Mom’s house thinking one day about how much my life had changed. You see, my mom married Phil and while the two of them were so happy, I was miserable. Renee and Phil were completely in love, but because of me, they were separated. Neither of them have ever made me feel bad for their separations, in fact they went out of their way to make me feel loved and wanted. They both loved me so very, very much and I was so very aware of it. But at the same time I was fully aware of their misery. So I decided to do what I could and I called my Dad, Charlie, to see if I could come here to live with him.”
The Cullen’s are all watching Bella eagerly. Even Edward and Alice who had seen some of this, but hearing it from her in her point of view makes it more real for them. Carlisle is paying avid attention, he has this driving need to know everything about his mate.
In the safety of Carlisle’s arms, Bella smiles, remembering her father’s surprise and the pure joy he had in his voice when she asked him. He never hesitated nor even paused in his acceptance. She decided that she was going to tell them everything. Even her shame.
But before she can say anything Carlisle and Jasper jerk their heads to her and Carlisle tells her, “My sweetheart, my lovely, there is nothing you can say that will bother any of us or make us think less of you.”
Carlisle turns her enough so he can look into her eyes, “Especially me. There is nothing you can ever do, or have done, that will lessen my love or devotion to you. I have waited so long for you, my Bella, I have done and seen so many things that you can only imagine, and so much more. I know what is between us is too sudden, but there is a reason why you feel the way you do. Please, my dearest, tell me your story and we will try to help you understand.” Carlisle nuzzles her neck and lays a kiss on it. He is using her to keep his rage in check, having heard Jasper tell him that she is upset had been unnecessary. The mating bond is already letting their feelings flow into each other. He just hopes he will be able to contain his feelings so that she will not be frightened. Jasper is already keeping him calm, but any surprises will be hard to contain unless he controls himself. And for Bella, he will do what he can.
Bella nods, the feelings she is receiving from him are still surprising her. She pushes all her questions away so she can tell them what they need to know. She will get her answers. Hopefully. “My dad was thrilled, to say the least, for me to come to live with him. You see, I had stopped coming to Forks a long time ago, hating the town. My dad had come to meet me every summer instead. So for me to come and live with him was a huge thing and he was very aware of it. Charlie had, in fact, asked a lady in town to design my room for me. She ended up being one of my closest friends and to think about it…” Then Bella starts to put certain things together. And she just stares at the Cullen’s with a look of shock on her face, her mouth dropping open.
Edward smiles, guessing what happened with a question he had been asked a long time ago. He glances at Alice and comments with happiness in his voice, “You just couldn’t leave anything to chance could you, Pixie?” He stares down at his sister, realizing she has been trying to follow through on her promise from six years ago.
Carlisle is as confused as Bella is. Staring at his son, the man he trusts more than any, other than Bella, he asks, “What are you talking about, Edward?” He has rarely used the Alpha commands on Edward, but he can feel Bella’s shock, he needs to find out why and if it is a threat to her. So if an Alpha command will give him the information to help his mate, he will.
Bella just stares at Edward, then realizing her mouth is open, she closes it and states, “Esme is one of you.” She is smiling, now the pieces that she had wondered about back then make sense, and why she is comfortable with the Cullens. Esme would have never hurt her and Bella often thought of her as another mother to her.
Carlisle sits straight up and pulls Bella close as he demands, “Esme? Why the bloody hell was Esme there?” His growl vibrates the windows and he cages his mate in his arms, trying to protect her from the past.
Alice answers as she shows submission to the enraged Alpha, “I saw that while it was a bad idea that we be there when Bella was so young, I saw that having Esme there would allow her to get used to vampires without her knowing what we are. Plus you know Esme would protect her, not only for herself but for us.” Esme had been easy to convince, to be given a chance to be a Cullen? But later she had told Alice that it was more than worth it to know Bella, and that she would be amazing for Carlisle.
Carlisle’s growl still echoes around the room. It is one thing for his coven to protect and be around Bella. But an outsider?
Edward grits his teeth at Carlisle’s thoughts, but he finally asks him, “Do you want to hear the rest of Bella’s story or continue to be angry?” He really needs to find out what happened to Bella, not only for Carlisle, but for himself… and his mate.
Carlisle snaps his head in his Beta’s direction, but the question also appeals to his need to know everything about his mate. He finally relaxes and tells Bella, “My lovely, I am so sorry. It was extremely rude to interrupt you. After your story we will all talk about it. Please continue, my darling.” His face ducks down, as he realizes he is not making a good impression on his mate on their first day.
Bella can’t help it, the remorse that she is feeling makes her turn and put her hand on Carlisle’s face, lifting it up. She knows he is allowing this, but when she watches him calm, she smiles. Never has she ever had this power, but then she never could touch anyone since she was 17.
Carlisle rubs his face in her hand, happy that his mate is touching him voluntarily. He softly asks, “What is it my lovely?” He keeps his golden eyes on her soft brown ones, drowning in his mate.
Bella is honest and tells him, “It is amazing just to be able to touch someone without my skin crawling, or feeling nauseous.” She can’t take her eyes from his, she can feel her fear melting away in his golden gaze.
Flinching, even though he knows it is not his fault, Carlisle moves his hand up and cups her head with it, and softly tells her, “It will get better with us together, my dearest. But, I need to be honest and tell you. There are times that it will be there. When someone desires you, you will be able to know by that feeling alone. Bella, I am sorry for what you have gone through, but this is why we need to know what happened; to help me and the rest of our coven know why we are already bonding.” Carlisle smiles at her, and advises her in the same tone, “Not that I am complaining. I love you and just want to know what happened and why we have someone stalking you outside the house,” he kisses her softly.
The rest of the Cullens are quiet, watching the two interact, all of them happy. Carlisle has been so lonely for so long, and even though they have not spent a lot of physical time with Bella, they all love her and have known about her for awhile now. They know once the present crisis is over, there will be time to watch the amazing process of two mates bonding together, which is always a pleasant sight to watch.
Vampire men are very loving and caring to their mates. To others, they can be ruthless, insensitive beasts, but Carlisle, while harsh at times, is very caring of his coven. To watch how Carlisle will interact with his mate, especially since she’s human and broken, will be something to see. The men know that they will be put to shame often with their own mates with what he will probably be doing to earn her trust and to make her happy, especially since he is the one that normally helps them out when they make the mistakes.
Bella is still amazed that this man in front of her is hers. There is something wrong, a mistake made somewhere, which should be corrected soon. But then she remembers that she did choose him and she needs to trust him. The calmness she feels and the responding emotion from Carlisle resounds in her soul. It is almost as though he is telling her that he knows and that he accepts her.
Smiling at him, Bella continues her story. “Esme decorated my bedroom, and it was amazing, a girl’s dream bedroom come to life.” Bella chuckles and clarifies, “Well, a dream bedroom for a girl like me. Not many people would be happy with a room decorated in purple and teal. I was floored that after a long silent drive home after Charlie picked me up that he had actually hired someone to clean the house and decorate my room. While he is like me and doesn’t articulate his feelings, he does show them.” Bella continues to chuckle as she remembers the room, you never would think the colors would go together, but she loved the desert sky at twilight when it would have both colors mixing. Esme somehow had known this and used it as her palette. Her ceiling was a mimic of twilight in Phoenix.
Carlisle is transfixed by the happy look on Bella’s face as she tells them about the past. He is willing to do anything to keep that look on her face for the rest of her life. He cannot stop gazing into her chocolate eyes as she continues to tell him her story.
Bella is staring into Carlisle’s eyes as she relates her past to him, knowing that the rest of the family will hear her. “At first, life was great. I actually could be the child in the relationship, but at the same time, Charlie let me have a lot of freedom.” At Carlisle’s frown, Bella clarifies, “I took care of my mother. Without me around, bills didn’t get paid, dinner was hit or miss.” Here she chuckles again. “I actually took over dinner so that I could eat. My mother had decided that since she couldn’t cook a normal meal, somehow a fancy meal or experimenting with flavors would correct the matter. After that it was a miserable dinner experience for both of us, she would often forget to make dinner.”
Carlisle frowns, his mate went hungry? But before he can say anything Bella laughs and tells him, “She once made peanut butter cookies, but we were out of vanilla extract. She thought she grabbed the almond, but instead grabbed the peppermint extract. The next door neighbor’s dog wouldn’t even eat them.” Bella looks into Carlisle’s eyes and tells him, “She loved me so very much, but she was not suited to be a mom. She tried so hard, but when I stepped up and helped take care of things, you could see her relief. Carlisle, she was not a bad person, just not a good mom. But she was the best friend I have ever had and I could tell her anything.” She searches his eyes and relaxes when she sees him relax.
Taking a deep breath, Bella dives back into the past, “Charlie had bought my old Chevy truck from Billy Black, his best friend. His son, Jake had restored it for me.” She nods as she sees the realization that this was the first time she had met Jake.
Then Bella chuckles, she had been so upset at the time for the first day, but now it is a fond memory. “The first day of school was one of my worst experiences at the time, mostly because I was the center of attention, the shiny new toy for the guys to fight over.” At Carlisle’s light growl Bella grins at him as she continues, “After that, I mostly went to school, I had made friends with Esme, and she came over to clean the house and cook for me often.” There Bella’s grin grew wider in remembrance of Esme, “No matter how many times I told her I could do it, she mothered me to death. Our discussions on the matter were often the highlight of my day. She was someone who treated me like an adult, but would still correct me when I needed it. I missed her so much after Jacob chased her out of my life. Of course I miss a lot of stuff from then.” The last was said softly, sadly.
She takes a deep breath, but Carlisle pulls her to him and tells her softly, “Would you like to see her again, my love?” Bella looks quickly into his face, and while he does not seem to be thrilled, there is complete sincerity in his face. He will do this for her. She is not sure why Esme seems to bother Carlisle, but he is doing as he said he would, whatever it takes to make her happy. But, before she answers, he tells her, “I can feel your questions, luv. We will discuss this afterwards. But yes, I am willing to do whatever it takes to make you happy.” His hand moves from her face, trails up her jaw to her hair and he runs his hands through her hair, soothing her.
Bella relaxes some more, and she continues, still staring into Carlisle’s eyes, missing Edward’s look of hope on his face. “Everything was wonderful. But then odd things started to happen. At the time, it didn’t seem like much, but looking back on it, I wonder if there was been a connection. There had been a string of animal killings happening around Forks that kept Charlie out of the house. Then there were reports of large bears also in the forest. I remember that Esme had been preoccupied during that time and that she had been around the house a lot. She made me promise not to go anywhere by myself or into the woods ever. Seeing how much it meant to her, I agreed and it seemed to make her happy. Or at least, it did until the Black’s came to visit. Billy and his son hated how close I was to Esme. Jacob, at first, laughed it off and even one day at La Push, he told me the tale that was what he believed was the basis of his father’s hatred of Esme.” The same one that had told her what the Cullens were.
Carlisle’s eyes widen and he smiles. He then glances over at Edward and Jasper, “Jacob Black told her the tales? Is that how she knows?” Oh, to think that the man stalking the house right now is the one that had let her know about them? How fitting is that?
Edward and Jasper’s eyes widen and they look at the rest of the coven. Alice and Rose are grinning with glee while Emmett is sitting there looking lost. He finally asks, “Ok, everyone is happy, but for mine and Belly’s sakes, can someone let us know?” He is aware of what is going on, but Bella’s face is showing her confusion and unwillingness to ask. He will play the buffoon as long as his baby sister is given the information she needs.
Jasper is grinning as he tells them, “Jacob broke the treaty. He told Bella about vampires and let her know enough to figure out what we are when we asked.” His joy is projected to them all.
Emmett’s mouth drops open and he laughs in pure delight. “Belly!! This is awesome news!” Oh! Man is this great news. She is Carlisle’s mate, so the treaty covers them, but in case Jacob tried to ignore that, he is the one who broke the treaty.
Bella is still confused and then hears a howl that causes shivers to run up her spine. It reminds her of that night, the last time she had seen Esme.
Feeling her fear through their bond and her physical reaction to it, Carlisle murmurs in her ear as he pulls her close, “I will keep you safe, Bella. Never doubt that for a second.” His one hand is still running through her hair, as the other rubs her back, and then she starts to hear a purring sound. She raises her head and asks, “Are you purring?” She looks at him in amazement.
Carlisle’s crooked grin appears and he tells her, “My precious Bella, yes, I am purring.” He couldn’t resist rolling the r’s and his mischief travels through the bond to her, making her grin. He continues as he watches her grin, “We do that to calm our mates. You were frightened and while what I was doing was calming for you, your heart rate is still racing. My body decided that you needed more to be calm and henceforth, started to purr.” Then the grin gets bigger, along with his mischief level. Carlisle leans forward and tells her oh so softly in her ear, oh so suggestively, “We also purr one other time.” And he softly kisses her below her ear.
Bella shudders, but not from fright or disgust this time. She looks back to his face as Jasper moans, “Carlisle! Let her finish before you say anything else!” Bella shyly smiles at Carlisle. This man is mine? What could I have done that brought him to me?
Carlisle just can’t help it. He desires his mate in every way. And while he understands that they need to wait until Bella is ready, he is going to let her know that he does desire and need her. His instincts are not letting him do otherwise. Plus she will never wonder if he wants her. If he has his way, she will know he wants and desires everything of her.
Jasper, for all his words to the contrary, is shocked in a good way. Bella’s confidence had been low until Carlisle’s comment. Yes, her lust shot up, but so did her confidence. He smiles to himself. Their mating and bonding is already working to heal Bella. Carlisle will need to work a little harder than most, but he has no doubt that their mating will be much stronger for it. He is looking forward to the two of them and their mating.
Bella tightens her arms around Carlisle; she can see and feel his happiness because of it. She continues, needing to get through this. This is the start of the end for her. Or maybe where it started to bring her to this wonderful man? Shock resounds through her, but before Carlisle can say anything, Bella proceeds with her story. “The animal sightings and killings were getting worse. One of my Dad’s friends was one of the ones killed and it hurt Charlie. Jake all of a sudden bulked out like overnight. He had always been around the house, flirting with me constantly, but in a fun manner. He was nowhere as bad as Michael and Tyler were.” Then she remembers a day that may help ease Esme’s way to be around her again. She tells Carlisle, “Speaking of Tyler, one day Esme visited me at school. I was extremely surprised to see her, and very happy. We spoke on the stairs at the school’s entrance about some problem she had been having.” Bella laughs lightly, “You know with what happened later, whatever we spoke about has clear passed out of my mind.” She shakes her head and continues, aware she had been delaying the next part while wanting to tell it to him. But in the hopes of this easing the thought of Esme being close to her, she resumes her story, “She managed to delay me when Tyler’s van slid across the parking lot and hit my truck.” Bella looks up at Carlisle as she tells him flatly, “Where I would have been standing if she hadn’t shown up.”
Carlisle had growled low at the mention of others flirting with his mate. But when he hears about the accident he roars as he tightens his hold on her. “Alice!” His urge to protect his mate is pressuring him to take her to his room and make her safe. His rational side is stating that she is fine, she is in front of him; it is winning… barely.
Alice answers him quickly, “Yes, Carlisle, I saw it and called Esme.” She then looks at him, her golden eyes pleading with him, “Carlisle, trust me. I watched Bella very closely but for some reason, during that time, she kept fading in and out. I thought it was due to her being a teenager and going through some changes or making her decisions on the fly. How was I to know otherwise? Now, now I can see that I never saw this Jacob Black.” She tries to defend herself from Carlisle’s wrath.
Edward moves quickly in front of Carlisle, and once gaining his attention, growls while curtly telling him, “Carlisle, control yourself. Bella is here in your arms and you have her, she chose you. Alice has done so much to protect her, and I watched the visions without realizing she was missing anything.” He needs to calm Carlisle down, he does not need to be scaring Bella! His sister needs him, not a mate going crazy.
This does little to help Carlisle, instead it is his mate who calms him again. But she does it in a manner different from the last time, “Carlisle!” She is glaring at him, not thinking of the consequences of what she is doing to a Cold One.
His eyes drop down to hers, and widen. His mate is upset with him, and it is not something he wishes to see on her, not at the beginning of their mating or any other time.
Bella stares into his golden orbs and asks, “Do you want to hear the rest of this? Because if this makes you mad, then I am not telling the rest. It is too hard and quite frankly, too painful.” She is resolute, she is telling him this mostly at his request. She is aware of the rest of them listening in and that they want to know, but Carlisle is the real reason she is telling her story.
Her words literally rock him and his growls fade back into his purring as he tries to comfort her. He tells her contritely, “I am sorry, my lovely. However, I cannot promise you I will not react to your story. I love you, Bella. Hearing of others coveting you is hard, but as Edward has so rightly pointed out, you chose me. However, since you have said that it is Jacob who is the reason we have met early and who has frightened you, I think I am justified in my reactions. But to hear you were that close to death? My dearest, how would you feel hearing about it if it had me?” He pleads with her to understand. He knows that he will react, he cannot do otherwise.
Bella thinks about what he has asked and she realizes that she would be upset. But she does have a point, “I understand Carlisle. I really do. But this is so hard for me to tell you, and it gets worse. I need you to help me through it.” She is begging him to support her, to help her get through this.
Understanding dawns on his face and Carlisle nods as he tells her, “How about both of us work through it. I can’t help but react to your life being in danger. On the other hand, I will love and support you all the way through and try to keep my interruptions to a minimum. However, my love, you will just have to overlook the growling. It will happen,” he removes one hand from her back and caresses her face, his eyes relaying his honesty.
Searching his eyes, Bella reads the truth in them and nods. “Well you would be happy with Charlie’s wrath. From what I hear, he laid into him big time at the hospital. When I showed up with Esme, he was still at it at the end of the day. Charlie didn’t calm down until I casually mentioned that at least my truck is fine.” Bella grins at that memory, “He stopped dead in his rant and started to laugh.”
Everyone smiles at her look on her face. They, in addition to Carlisle, will do much to try to keep that smile on her face, it is rare from what they have seen. More than one of them promises to make it rare that she doesn’t smile from now on.
Unaware of the resolution taking place, Bella proceeds with the story of her fubarred life, “Tyler never let up after that, asking me to prom and such. It took Jake coming to school on his bike and picking me up a couple of times to settle it. Well that and him taking me to Prom. I didn’t want to go, but Esme pushed. I really wished she hadn’t. Maybe so much would have turned out differently.” Bella had put her hand on Carlisle’s arm when she started to talk about Prom.
Jasper feels the guilt pouring off his mate and he asks, “Alice?” Why is Alice feeling so guilty?
Alice looks up and she softly answers, “I pushed Esme to have Bella go to Prom. I thought it would be too important a human experience to miss, you always hear how so many wish they would have gone.” She feels so bad now knowing that even more blame is on her slim shoulders.
Bella sighs and rests her head on Carlisle’s shoulder, tired from everything that has happened today. He chuckles but holds her with his head leaning against hers, happy to have her being more and more comfortable with him. He finally asks her, “Was it Prom itself or your date that made it so bad?”
Thinking back to it, she honestly tells him, “Prom was great, but I think it encouraged him. That was about the time everything started to go bad in my life. I could barely stand to have him or any guy touch me. Especially after the incident.” Her eyes are closed as she says this.
Carlisle lifts his head and cocks it to the side and gently asks, “What incident?” He has a feeling that this is important and from the reactions of his family, they believe it too.
Thinking, Bella, with her head still on his shoulder, reveling in the feeling of his arms around her, answers him, “It seems like a dream, a very painful dream, or maybe a nightmare would be better. I dreamed I woke up and there was someone in my room. I never saw them, smelled them nothing, just like you would in a dream, the shadowy people. They were hissing, and I think Esme was there. It felt like someone bit me and there was a loud sound, as though there was thunder in my room. My arm burned and I don’t remember much but Esme calming me down. Later I woke in the hospital, I guess there was a storm and lightening had hit my room.” She frowned thinking of that time in the hospital.
Edward immediately grabs his phone and he and Alice run into another room as Carlisle and the rest of the Cullens growl. Carlisle manages to pull in his anger and asks Bella, who jerks her head off his shoulder at the sounds, “Which arm, sweetheart?” Please, please. Oh Lord who art in heaven…
Bella frowns at the feelings coursing through her that are Carlisle’s and pulls up the sleeve of her sweatshirt. She shows him the scar on it saying, “I was told that I was lying on it and the lightening made me bite down on it. But…” She looks up at Carlisle’s face and he nods for her to continue, “It doesn’t match my teeth.” This is the problem she has always had with that explanation, but no one could explain the scar. But at the same time, from what she has learned, not even that much electricity would make it shimmer or be colder than the rest of her body.
Feeling Carlisle’s rage along with his own and the rest of the family, Jasper is there in an instant and using his powers, calms Carlisle long enough for him to look at the arm. He staggers back, pulling his own sleeve up while rubbing at one of his scars as he confirms what everyone is thinking, “Vampire.”
Edward and Alice make it back into the room with Edward relaying, “She was attacked and Esme had been guarding her every night. She went hunting and came back to find a nomad in the room. He bit Bella, but Esme attacked him. Once he was outside, he got away. She came back and sucked the venom out of Bella. She made it seem like a lightning strike to fit with what Bella was saying before she passed out. She apologizes, she didn’t think there had been any lingering effects.” He wishes to grovel, but his pride doesn’t allow it. Esme had done what any of them would have done if they had been the only ones there. But feeling Carlisle’s anger is making him want to submit. Something that Carlisle normally doesn’t force him to do.
Realizing what is happening to all but his mate, Carlisle uses Jasper’s forced calmness to think on it. Esme deserves his thanks. She had kept his mate alive and did much to help make this ending possible. And since what she did stopped the change, and she managed not to drink her dry, he owes her. But this makes him think, “Edward?”
Edward quickly follows his thought process and tells him, “It may be the reason for Bella’s issues from there on. The timing of everything happening at that time makes it likely. But yours? I have no idea why.”
Jasper drawls out, “Like to enlighten the rest of us?” He and the rest of them are used to this, each of them has used it at times. This is why Edward works so well as Beta. His ability alone is useful, but his thoughtfulness and ability to plan ahead while listening to everyone’s input makes him someone even the Volturi have tried to recruit. But Carlisle alone is enough to make it a request, a very playful, wistful request. Not even the Volturi will cross Carlisle.
Carlisle laughs, holding Bella to him, soothing her after the prior reactions. He looks down and asks her, “You said after that happened, you had felt the revulsion for others touching you?” Bella nods. He asks her, “Anything else? Anything at all darling. Changes in your diet, preferences, feelings?” He waits for an answer, but he feels as though he knows the answer already.
Bella hesitates and then answers, “It seems stupid.” Her eyes lower, then remembering his request, immediately looks up into his face. He smiles and sends his appreciation to her.Jasper quickly tells her, “Nothing is stupid, Bella. Please tell us, it may make sense to us.” He does what he can to soothe his sister.
Jasper hates to interrupt but quickly tells her, “Nothing is stupid, Bella. Please tell us, it may make sense to us.” He does what he can to soothe his sister.
Realizing they won’t leave her alone about it, Bella sighs and tells them, “I felt a strange pull or tugging to the north of me. I also started to prefer meat and my steaks rare, when before I mostly ate vegetables and fruits. But nothing more. Or at least that I noticed.” She looks up and is stunned by Carlisle’s stillness and the reactions of the family around her.
Jasper stands there completely shocked at her admission and Rose is the one who articulates what they are all thinking, “There was enough venom left that she gained some of the change. Not enough to really do anything, obviously nothing to alert anyone. But I bet that the fear and such started the mating bond, trying to pull the two of you together.”
Bella just stares at them in shock. Are they saying she was bitten by a vampire? Was she turning into…
Feeling her shock and then worry, Carlisle tells her, “Bella, you are not a vampire or even close to it. But extreme fear or life-threatening events will start the mating. It normally does that to pull the other mate to them to help. You were hurt and probably needed me very badly. So the mating instincts started and the slight venom in you helped. Well, at least that explains what happened.” He holds his mate to him, the purring calms her as he tries to think of all the ramifications.
Edward then says in a growl, “But the nomad escaped. Esme could not be around Bella afterward because Jake ran her out of town and attacked her whenever she tried to get close to Bella. She tried for a very long time, Carlisle, but after almost losing her life, she had to back off in order to heal.” He is going to make him understand what she did for Bella.
Carlisle listens to what Edward has said and finally relents on an old matter between the two of them. “We will speak more about this Edward and I will listen this time.” Then his eyes meet his Beta’s and he tells him, “I am sorry, Edward. I never understood. Thank you.” He holds his mate in his arms, rubbing his head against hers, his eyes locked on Edward’s.
Edward nods, recognizing that Carlisle apologized out loud when there had been no need to let the rest of the coven know of the apology. He relaxes, hoping that all will be fixed soon. He tells Carlisle low enough that Bella can’t hear, “I do it now because I love Bella. Carlisle, treat her well, I love my friend and sister to the point I will kill for her.” Carlisle nods to let him know he understands.
Carlisle turns and kisses Bella lightly and tells her, “My lovely Bella, nothing is wrong and it answers quite a few questions. Please continue and we will discuss this more when you are done.”
Bella stares at him, she was bitten by a vampire and Esme saved her! “Why?”
Gazing back at his mate, he answers the real question, “Esme did it because you are more than worth it. My coven would have put up with you, protected you because you are my mate. But instead they love you. I love you. Bonding is instantaneous, but love is there only when it is meant to be.” At her questioning look he laughs and tells her, “Yes it is called love at first sight, and it really happens. However there are mates that don’t love each other, and if the love is not to be, it is never there. So I am not being forced to love you, I would have loved you no matter what, and vice versa. Bella, we will explain mating more later. Just know I and my coven love you, for who you are.” He gazes into her eyes, hoping that she understands.
“Bella, we will explain mating more later. Just know my coven and I love you for who you are.” He gazes into her eyes, hoping that she understands.
Bella closes her eyes to assimilate it all, then nods. Knowing that she is getting tired, she resumes her story, the worst parts are coming. “Prom was fun, but it was after that Jake turned… possessive. But, I was told over and over again how lucky I was to have someone like him around and interested. Charlie and Billy were over the moon that their children were together, at least at the beginning. No one cared that I couldn’t bear to have his hand in mine, have him touch me, and kissing was impossible. Looking back on it, I can see he turned sly as time went on. He blew up at Esme and she left. Then he convinced me that Charlie was trying to control me. I fought most of it, but on my 18th birthday, Renee and Phil came to visit me. They were at the house, and Jake had pouted all night. My mother and Phil didn’t like him, and Charlie was beginning to be suspicious of him. They left early, and about an hour later the phone rang. Luckily Jake was still there, I fell apart. They were dead. They hit a tree and an animal must have been driven crazy with the blood and killed them.” Bella has to pause as her tears stream down her face.
Carlisle holds her and murmurs his apologies for making her face it again as he comforts her. The rest of them look on with pain on their features, Bella’s tears and Carlisle’s look showing them the pain she is going through.
Bella eventually calms down and feels Carlisle kiss her eyes and then her cheeks. He tells her he loves her and to take her time. Eventually she is calm enough to carry on, but first she asks, “Can I just get through this quickly? I will answer any questions if you have them.” At their nods, she takes a deep breath and finishes her story, “Jake was there to pick up the pieces, Charlie was as devastated as I was; he was still in love with her. During that time I was a zombie, and Jake took the opportunity to chase everyone away. I lost my friends and now I realize I lost my freedom. He steadily grew worse and I finally pushed him away. But I would grow so very lonely and would take him back. There was something missing in my life, but having him was worth the pain he put me through. Eventually Charlie fell in love and married Sue Clearwater and I gained a brother and sister. That was this past summer, and they both became my confidants. I broke up with Jacob and kept away with their help. Then I received notice that I had inherited a house and such here in Seattle. After Charlie and Sue checked it all out, I moved here with the hope he couldn’t or wouldn’t follow. He hated me attending college here, but it was one of those things I stood up for.” Bella felt shame after voicing it all out loud.
But before anything could be said, Jasper is there and with a nod from Carlisle, he asks, “Bella, how long has Jacob been treating you like this?” His eyes are intent on hers; he will start to fix this now. Carlisle will do a lot of the work, but Jasper is just as qualified, if not moreso, to help his sister. Plus he knows the rest of the family will help. With all the time they have had, they all have degrees in psychology. Carlisle insisted on it.
Bella thinks and she answers, “Since before Prom, junior year.” Her voice is still the slightly dead tone it has been since she ended her story.
Jasper nods as Emmett picks up the next question, “Did he always treat you like that?” He wants to help his Belly be better, she needs to realize there was nothing to blame herself for.
Bella shakes her head, “No, at first the he reated me well.” Her voice is sounding slightly puzzled.
Rose jumps in, realizing what they are doing, “Was it a slow build up, like something creeping up or did he dump it all on you at once?” Her Chica will be healed. She will see to it.
Thinking hard, Bella answers, “Slow.” Her voice is becoming the one they have heard all night.
Edward clarifies for her, “So he treated you right, and his control of you built up slowly. On top of this, you were dealing with losing your Mom and Phil, whom you loved very much, with him being the only one supporting you, or at least this is what he had you believe.” Then Edward’s eyes pin her and he asks seriously, “Bella, once you noticed it, what did you do?” He wants the Bella from earlier, not this shell.
Bella stares at Edward and she replies, “I left.” Her voice was full of questions.
Knowing what needs to be asked next, Alice queries her, “And when you would go back, was he nice?” She and Edward want their sister, their best friend whom they saw earlier.
Nodding, Bella answers her, “Yes.” She was thinking hard on their questions and her answers.
Noting this, Carlisle finally asks her, “Was this something you felt you tried so hard to make work, or was it effortless?” His mate will be healed, if nothing else. But he also wants forever with her, and knows that this will make it possible for them to be happy in that forever.
Bella breaths out her reply, “Hard, so very hard. No matter what I tried, it all fell apart.” Then she tries to tell Carlisle, “But I trusted him after he showed me what he would do! I went back to him. I made this happen!” She needs him to understand that she has some blame in this!
Carlisle stares at her in shock and he asks her, “Is what you feel for me hard?”
Bella freezes and then answers him in wonder, “No.” This was so easy it scared her. Aren’t you supposed to work for love? Jacob always told her you had to work for something for it to be worthwhile.
Carlisle cups her face in his hands and he tells her, “Bella, love is easy. You shouldn’t have to work for it, be the one that makes all the sacrifices. From what you have told us tonight, he treated you right and even though your body couldn’t stand him touching you, he kept pushing you. He tried to make you into his property. Bella, my lovely, my darling, that was not love. That was a boy not understanding his feelings and when you pushed him away, he became controlling. He has a lot to answer for, and I will make him answer for it. None of it is your fault. He made you dependent on him, yet you still found the strength to walk away.” Then his face turns serious and he asks her one of the hardest question he could ever ask his mate, “Bella, did he ever hit or force you?” Lord, forgive me and mine, because if he has, there will be no holding me or any of my family back.
Bella ducks her head down. Carlisle’s heart would have stopped if it still beat, but he gently reaches out and lifts it back up to meet his gaze. He sees so much shame in her eyes that he fights to control his anger. Jasper sends them both calm and they all wait for Bella to answer. After a few minutes, during which all the Cullen’s grow angrier, Bella nods.
Carlisle grips his anger and he asks, once he is calm enough, “What. Did. He. Do?” Oh, he will avenge her, whatever Jacob did to his mate will be revisited upon him in spades.
Bella is unable to hide, Carlisle is not allowing her to. She finally tells him softly, “He hit me. Afterwards I told Seth, he took me away and made sure I was never alone with him after that. Jacob became Jake again until today.” She hopes that will be enough, she so dearly wants to hide from Carlisle’s pure black eyes.
Carlisle couldn’t speak, but Edward hears what he wants to ask, Carlisle is still feeling Bella’s shame. While he is seeing red that his sister had been hit, he also needs to know what else the mongrel has done. “What else, Bella?” His voice is only gentle because of great effort, reminding himself that Bella is not at fault for any of it, but a harsh voice will give her that impression.
Bella’s shame grows and Jasper steps in, trying to help her. He tells her softly, “Tell us, Bella. We need to know everything so we can help fix you.” So we can tear him apart for every offense you have had to deal with. Edward’s answering growl and the feelings from the family tell him it wouldn’t take very long. And there will be plenty of help to dispose of any remains.
Bella’s eyes fill with tears and she finally blurts, “He tried to make me… to have sex with him. Luckily I never gave in, and made sure we were never alone afterwards. But he called me a whore and such for not giving it to him. Told me as his girlfriend, I should give it up. Who had ever heard of a virgin at my age?” The last is cried out, it is obvious that if it wasn’t for them being here, Jacob would have worn her down with his psychological attacks on her.
Carlisle holds her as close as he can, comforting her, relief pouring through him that Jacob has never touched her in that way. What he has done is bad enough, but Carlisle is happy that he will be the first to introduce his mate to the joys of her body and of a man loving a woman. But he is also aware that Jacob Black has tried to take what is his. And I will never forget. He will pay for the pain my mate has gone through at his hands. He growls and is comforted by his coven’s answering growls. They will all deal with Jacob.
There is a loud bang at the window closest to them that sounds like someone trying to get through. Bella jumps in Carlisle’s arms and he turns them so his body is completely shielding hers from every possible route of attack.
Edward and the rest growl at the sound and Bella’s reaction. But Edward tells them from Jacob’s thoughts, “He is mad that Bella told us. Jacob is also infuriated that she disobeyed him and is now with us leeches. He has heard that Bella is Carlisle’s mate, but he doesn’t accept it. Carlisle is lying just to get Bella.” The last is translated with much growling and hatred.
Carlisle sees red and is growling. He wants no more than to go take care of Jacob. But the fear pouring off his mate is the only thing holding him back. Finally, after debating it for a long time, he glances at Edward. Since he can obviously hear us, take Jasper and Emmett and chase him off the property. Remind him, he has no say-so here, the treaty says that he can only attack us if we have bitten a human that is NOT a mate of ours. In addition, he broke the treaty by telling Bella about us. Make him leave, I need to take care of my mate and assure her. Otherwise I will tear him apart. He is only getting this one chance in memory of Bella’s friendship. After this he will be mine.
Edward’s eyes widen, but he understands. He wants to tear the wolf apart, but he will wait. He nods to Jasper and Emmett and they follow him.
Carlisle picks up Bella who is still sobbing and he asks Alice, “Where is our room?” He needs to be with her privately.
Alice nods and moves ahead to lead Carlisle to their floor. With the mating starting, everything that is Carlisle’s is Bella’s. And all that is Bella’s is Carlisle’s. Knowing this, Alice has taken care to put both of their preferences in the rooms here and in the house next door. And she made sure there are beds in both places for Bella.
Carlisle follows Alice, comforting his mate. He needs to get her alone so that he can isolate them, his instincts are not allowing anything else. Later he will see about her house, the two of them need to spend a lot of time alone. The mating instincts will demand it of them.
When they reach the third floor, Alice tells him, “This floor is all yours, as normal. Your work study is below, but there is one on this level for both of you. There is also duplicates of everything in Bella’s house. No one has been here since we set it up. Only Edward, Emmett and I have been in Bella’s house. There is a set of PJ’s on the foot of the bed for her.” Alice quickly moves off the landing to their floor. She will not be shocked when Carlisle marks it all, making it harder for any who have sworn him allegiance to cross it. He will do that and more, it will protect his mate and that will be driving him for awhile.
Carlisle nods and rushes past her as Alice descends into their bedroom. He closes the door and walks them over to the bed. He crawls on the bed with her still in his arms and then sits at the head of the bed with Bella on his lap and caged in his arms.
Bella is unaware of anything at first, but when she starts to feel safe, she slowly surfaces. Bella feels Carlisle purring as he holds her, kissing her hair. She can hear him telling her, “I love you, my darling, my sweetling. None of this is your fault ever, my love. I am so sorry I didn’t come for you; I should have come for you so much earlier, can you forgive me?” He keeps saying these and other things as she calms down.
She finally calms enough to tell him, “Carlisle, it’s not your fault, you had no idea.” She can’t take the pain he is feeling for what he perceives as failing his mate.
Carlisle relaxes since Bella is calmer. He tells her, “You are my mate. I am supposed to protect you, love you and make sure you are happy. I failed for so long.” He rubs his head against hers, giving and receiving comfort.
Bella closes her eyes as she tries to think of a way to convince him and asks, “Alice didn’t know, how was anyone supposed to know? Have you asked her what would have happened if you had been here?” She was grasping at straws.
Carlisle sighs and tells her what Alice had relayed to him on the phone, when he was rushing to her side earlier today. “If we would have been there, it would have been difficult. I normally portray a 30+ year old. I work in the medical field. If I would have seen you, it would have been like today, or if you had been a vampire, we would have mated right away. Completely. Then we would have had to deal with the fallout of a 17 year old with an older man. A much older man.” Here he had to tease her.
Bella laughs, “Carlisle, you would have seen me. If you can, pull my medical records. I am in the ER so much that I know the nurses by name. In fact they have been more of friends these last years.” She fondly remembers when the nurses had a birthday party for her one year. They had joked with her saying they knew they would see her sometime this month.
He is chuckling but then a stray thought crosses his mind. Carlisle holds his breath and then he has to ask, “Bella, Jacob was not responsible…” He will be as honest as possible with Bella, giving answers and asking his own questions. She will feel them later, so it is best to get in the habit now.
Shaking her head no, Bella clarifies with humor evident in her voice, “My file will be a couple of inches thick. I am clumsy, very clumsy. Which I just realized will be bad around vampires. I am normally in the ER about once to twice a month.” Her worry grows stronger.
Carlisle couldn’t help it, the corners of his mouth lift in a smile as he tells her, “My lovely, we would have seen each other soon anyways. My specialty is the ER. My speed and surety often makes the difference in people’s lives. And don’t worry about being clumsy, I will protect you. Also I will let everyone know; don’t be surprised that you visit the ER less. But I will tell you more in the morning, my darling. Right now, this is for us.” He nuzzles her, nipping lightly on her neck. They need this, this bonding time for the two of them.
Bella closes her eyes, feeling the difference from before and now. Before was for support, to calm her. Now, now he is feeling love and lust. For me! Her breath hitches on his pure feelings of love that are more that the lust, but the feeling is there. She asks shakily, “Carlisle?”
He hums and then answers her as his nose rubs on her neck, smelling her divine scent, “Yes, my Bella?” He is memorizing everything he can, though it is not like he couldn’t recall her scent at all times. Now he is scenting the subtle differences her emotions help release into her blood. And hopefully when she is like him, he will do this all over again. Not even Edward, her singer, will know her blood this intimately.
Bella shudders again in his arms and he looks down at her, feeling her slight fear. He then tells her softly, “Nothing that you don’t want, my darling. We will take this at your pace. But, my lovely, I can’t hide my feelings from you. In fact as the mating process continues, we will bond so very tightly. I know now what you feel, but later I will know why and also where you are at, at all times. But the same thing goes for you, you will know why and where I am. We will still have our privacy, but you will find as time goes by, we will share more and more with each other. Bella, I love you, and will always be here for you. I will try so hard not to keep anything from you.” He caresses her face, needing the physical touches. Craving them.
Bella gazes back into his eyes and she asks softly, “Are you sure? I am so plain and ask way too many questions, more than is healthy for me. I know this since I have been told so many times, either flat out or by being mocked. Carlisle, you are so perfect and I don’t deserve you.” She needs to be sure, though it is too late, her heart is already given into his possession to do with as he wishes.
Carlisle can’t help the growl that rips from him. He then cradles her face in his hands as he tells her, “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and that includes vampires. Then there is the sheer beauty of your inner self. You made Edward want to kill for you. He doesn’t take to too many people and even then it takes him a long while. In a day, he is willing to kill for you. When I asked downstairs, he told me you were so kind and loving inside that to overshadow it is a crime. So never call yourself plain, those who did so in the past were either jealous or idiots. And curiosity is not a failure. If it is, then I am a failure as well. We are perfectly matched since I am extremely curious. Bella, you are my perfect mate and you deserve so much more than me, but I will strive our entire lives to be what you need.” He pushes his love and devotion to his mate.
Bella just stares intently into his eyes and she can see and feel his sincerity. She shakes her head and asks, “How am I this lucky to have you here right now with me?”
Carlisle decides that they need to lighten up and tells her, “Alice, pesky psychic vampire.”
Bella laughs in pure delight. And she feels Carlisle’s joy in her happiness, she looks at him in shock at the feeling. He answers her softly, “That feeling? That is why we males work to make our mates so happy. It feels very good to us. And while some males are selfish to keep it, I will always pass it to you. I will endeavor to share with you all the good and even the ugly, since you never can enjoy the good without the evil. Everything I am, have, or can share of myself is yours. Bella, I have waited almost 400 years for you. I will do everything I can to make you happy since the second I saw you, I was no longer lonely. I found the other half of my soul.” He kisses her nose gently.
Bella smiles at the gesture and tells him, “I understand. Well kinda, but we can discuss that tomorrow. I know what you mean; I saw you and all of sudden it seemed like my life started. Carlisle, I am so sorry, this is so new, and I feel like you have to hold back—”
Carlisle lays a finger on her lips as he murmurs, “Shhh, my lovely Bella. I am only holding back my carnal desires. Everything else I can share. And, like I said, when you are ready, we will embark on that journey together. I will admit, I will entice you, show you what pleasures I can until you are ready for the final journey.” He smirks at her, “And once we are joined, we will need to be alone for a few days. So before we get there, I wwould like to prepare you so that when the time comes, we will be able to do everything. I am willing to wait, Bella. I love you, and sharing our feelings, it makes it impossible for me not to know when you are not ready. Take your time and I will tease you.”
Bella laughs as she arches an eyebrow at him, “You tell me to take my time and you are going to tease me? Carlisle, how is that even fair?” She can’t believe how relaxed she is with him, but then, he feels familiar to her.
Feeling her mood, Carlisle is delighted and tells her, his purring loud, “All is fair in love, my lovely.”
Bella laughs as he bestows kisses on her. She then thinks and asks hesitantly, “Carlisle, is this… too fast?”
Carlisle pauses in his quest to kiss every reasonable part of her and looks into her eyes, asking her, “Do you think it is?”
Bella shakes her head, “No, it feels… right. But—”
Knowing that she will make excuses, Carlisle interrupts her, “Then it doesn’t matter, my Bella. We need only to go at the pace that suits us. I will woo you, court you, give you the romance you so rightly desire. But I cannot be physically apart from you, it will cause us both pain. Luckily, we still have a month until your school starts. By then, it should be easier, hopefully. If not we will work around it. But if you need us to be apart, I can do that. I should tell you, vampires don’t sleep. At all. So I will be here with you, watching over you.” He leers at her, the mischievous look in his eyes clear. He has bottled this part of himself up, but now with her, he feels free. His mate is changing him for the better and he is enjoying it.
Grinning, Bella teases, “Creep. Watching your young mate sleep.” Bella is amazed, earlier, her old habits had come to the fore with her siblings. But with Carlisle, she does not feel as though she has to hide any part of herself from him, he will never belittle her for how she feels. But then the man who feels what she does has no problem letting her feel as she wants, knowing he will feel it, but the one who couldn’t restricted her.
Pleased at her teasing, Carlisle laughs, then plays along. “I am 23 years old, Bella. How old are you?”
Laughing even harder, she answers, “Twenty-three. But, how old are you really? I think you said almost 400? So, like I said, creep.”
Carlisle is laughing as they both feel the laughter and joy flowing. He nuzzles her. “Life is going to be aces with you here, my love. Now Alice left some pajamas for you, there is a bathroom for you to change into. Come back, and you can sleep while I keep you safe.” Then his voice teases her, “Watching you sleep.” But then he tells her with a smile, but his tone is more serious, “Bella, we literally have eternity to talk. But you need your rest tonight.” He kisses her again on her nose.
Bella smiles as she moves out of his arms and grabs the pajamas. She feels cold, without Carlisle’s arms around her, which is surprising as she remembers the cold from the others. He is cool, but not cold. With this turning in her mind, she moves to the bathroom to get ready.
As Bella enters the room, she stops. While she loves her bathroom, this one takes the cake. There is a large walk-in shower that has jets all over the place, with even a full seat built into it, lighted shelves in a built-in area to the side. The entire shower is done in dark brown tile with a glass front that mimics water pouring on it while dry. The sink is a shallow bowl on a dark brown counter with a chrome spigot reminding her of the old hand pumps with a modern take.
While all this is a delight to her, the large bathtub in the middle of the room takes her breath away. It is large enough that two people can be in it comfortably. She notices more things like the side room with windows that were dark from the metal shades. Bella just stands there, floored until she feels Carlisle’s arms surround her, the love in them evident by how gently he holds her and his chin is resting on her head.
He softly tells her, “Anything you don’t like, we will change. Bella, all that is mine is yours. If you are unhappy about anything, please let me know.” All he wants is to please his mate. He will change whatever she wants for a simple smile.
Bella stands there for a second or so and she tells him, “Don’t change a single thing. I thought my bathroom is amazing, but this one, this one blows me away.” The awe she is feeling is clear in her voice.
Carlisle laughs and reminds her gently, “When you have a psychic as your decorator, not much is what you hate. Bella, we have so much to talk about. I think you are going to be shocked, but remember sweetheart, you are my mate. I will take care of you and love you no matter what. This may seem fast as you said before, but this is permanent. When you agreed downstairs it started the mating. And my Bella,” he turns her so she can see his face as he looks down at her, “I do truly love you. You own me: Mind, body and soul. There are things about me that will upset you and you are more than welcome to tell me. But do it in private. I am the Alpha of more than just this coven. Much more than this coven, and because of Edward and Jasper, we keep the peace in more areas than you can imagine. There will be much expected of you as my mate, but, I. Will. Always. Be. At. Your. Side. Nothing is more important to me than you.” He pulls her close and kisses her head.
Bella closes her eyes, surprised and she loves being able to have someone not only touch her, but for her to want it, to find solace in it. She closes her eyes in enjoyment but then she hears another slam into the house. While it frightens her, she is calmer than she was downstairs and doesn’t jump.
Carlisle growls, pulling his mate closer to him. His voice is pure ice as he growls out, “That pup better shape up. If he keeps it up, I will have no choice in going out there to settle this. It would be much better for him to let me calm down and be with my mate.”
Bella looks up at him, shock written across her face at his words.
Carlisle notices it and his growls lessen as he tells her, “I am your mate, my lovely Bella. He hurt you, and I will defend what is mine. But he also made a mistake when he touched Esme; Edward, Jasper and Emmett will not forgive him for that. It is only my command that is keeping him alive right now, Bella. And that is in remembrance for the boy that you remember. Don’t think I can’t feel your feelings for the boy you call Jake. Jacob deserves to be imprisoned for what he has done to you.”
He tips her face up to his with a gentle finger. “There is nothing I will not do for you, my dearest.” His mouth descends upon hers and his lips gently caress hers, enticing her to react. Bella does, and when his tongue runs along her lower lip, she opens her mouth. Carlisle growls, but it feels more like possession than a threat. His tongue takes possession of her mouth, plundering it and claiming it as his. Bella moans in pure pleasure from his kiss and he pulls her flush with his body when she does this. His cool body is perfect for her raging hot body.
Carlisle manages to stop, remembering his mate needs to breath. But he cannot take his mouth from her body, so he kisses her chin and then lower to her neck. He growls again as she moves her head to give him easier access. Her scent! Cor, such a fine banquet! Then one thought overrides the rest and simply states, Mine.
Bella is gasping for air but she holds Carlisle’s head to her neck as he leaves open kisses on it. Feeling his tongue trace her jugular, she moans. She cannot get enough of this blond god who for some reason desires her!
Carlisle reigns himself in, resting his forehead on her shoulder. He kisses it, then stops. Even though he has no need to breathe, his breathing is ragged from the intense pleasure he is having in just kissing his mate. He tells her, “Cor, my Bella, my love. This is just from kissing you! I love you, my dearest. So bloody much.” He lifts his head and takes in the sight and smell of her arousal and smirks. “I told you, my lovely, I will pleasure you, and this is just the beginning. Now unless you want to undress in front of me, please close the doors and change. I will be waiting on you.”
He kisses her forehead and walks out of the room, heading to his closet. His smirk gets bigger as he can hear her heart racing with her ragged breathing. Her heart has been racing most of evening from her retelling, but he much prefers to hear it racing from his actions.
Bella gathers herself and manages to close the door. She walks in to inspect the bathroom and to change. Even though she is now aware that Alice planned for her to be here, she is still surprised when she sees her products in the room. She takes advantage of it, brushing her teeth and washing her face.
When she is ready, she notices a hamper on the side with a note on it.
Bella, use this for your clothes. It will make Carlisle happy. Plus it is yours too, he is not kidding when he says all that is his is yours. ~Alice.
She quickly dumps her clothes into the basket, because, when it comes down to it, she is already missing Carlisle and he is only in the next room. He is right, separation is just impossible right now.
Bella opens the door and freezes again. Carlisle is dressed in a pair of black lounge pants with a dove grey t-shirt that hugs his upper body. His feet are bare and he has turned the bed down and is stretched out on it, with his head on his hand, watching her.
Carlisle smiles, enjoying the view of his mate in a black tank top and dark grey bottoms. He can feel her shyness and tells her, “Nothing to be shy about, my love. I am yours, and waiting for you.” Then to lighten the mood he tells her, “Now don’t tell me that you have decided to camp out in the bathroom. I know you said you love it. but..”
Bella can’t help it, her snarkiness floats up and she replies, “But it was made with me in mind. I could probably sleep in the bathtub, it is certainly big enough. Not using that room to its fullest potential would be a crime.” She keeps a straight face as she tries not to ogle this god waiting for her.
Carlisle stares at her and then he laughs. Then faster than she can track, he is behind her, his arms wrapped around her, his mouth at her ear, “Ahh, my lovely. I will enjoy the rest of eternity with you by my side. But, since I told you I will be watching you tonight, if you decide to sleep in the tub, I will be in here watching with intense interest. I may, in fact, join you.” Then he lightly nips the skin behind her ear, not even thinking about what he is doing.
Bella leans back in his arms, her body burning for him. She manages to comment, “Join me?” She shrugs, “It may be crowded in the tub, but I have no problem with that.” His lips on her are making it hard for her to concentrate, but her snarkiness is shining right on through.
Carlisle purrs into her ear, “No problem, my lovely Bella.” Then he licks her ear, his purring gets louder as he hears her heart beat faster.
Bella gasps as she feels and hears him purr. “Since I will be fully clothed, it won’t make a lick of difference to me.”
That did it, Carlisle starts to laugh. He pulls his mate into his arms, bridal style and moves them to the bed, depositing her gently then he covers her with his body, his eyes still laughing as he stares down at her.
Bella is laughing, feeling as he promised, the pure joy from their bond coming to her. She looks up into his eyes, then she is still amazed that this man loves her. At that moment she realizes that Jacob had never loved her; he is just infatuated with her. Something this pure would never allow anything to hurt its source.
Carlisle feels her epiphany and asks, “My love, what are thinking about?” He is curious about what she has thought.
Bella just gazes into his eyes as she answers with awe in her voice and showing on face, “You love me. Love me. Jacob never did. If he did, he could have never done what he has to me.” Then her face falls and she chokes out, “But why did he do it to me? What did I ever do to him to deserve any of it?”
Carlisle rolls to the side, pulling her on top of him as he soothes and tries to calm his mate. While he is happy she gets it, he can feel her pain and he wishes he had Jacob in front of him. Instead he feels himself responding to her distress and he is purring, trying to calm her instead of what had been the reason earlier.
“Shh, my love, my dearest. I do not know why, but we will find out. I love you and will never do anything to hurt you. Everything I do for the rest of our lives is to please you and only you.” He pulls her face into his neck and holds her. He holds back his rage, but soon he feels her grow lethargic and fall asleep. Since it happened so quickly, he comments, “Thank you, Jasper.”
Jasper’s voice echoes up, “You’re welcome, Carlisle. She needs to sleep, to help regroup in the morning. This is not going to be easy, he may not have harmed her physically, but what he has done to her mind, her emotions, is not good. But the mating is helping, she is feeling more relaxed with you by her side. Just take your time, Carlisle. I feel that she showed a lot of her normal side tonight, which is good, but I also noticed that it felt like she was at first waiting for you to rebuke her, and as you didn’t, she opened up.”
Carlisle smiles and he tells his coven, “I am glad to hear that, Jasper. Because that Bella is the one I want by my side. There will never be a boring day for the rest of our lives.”
Jasper answers, “And there should never be. I am here for you both, my friend.”
As the rest of the family affirms the same thing, Carlisle feels pride. There is a reason that this group is the one that lives with him. He is not the Volturi, forcing everyone to surround him. Instead he has his immediate coven and they help him with the rest of the duties. Now it is almost complete. And nothing can be better in his mind. He looks down at the beauty lying on top of him and he kisses her head softly. Without releasing her he pulls the blankets around them and settles in to watch over his love for the rest of the night.
Tomorrow will come with its own challenges, but it will also come with his mate by his side.
Final count: 13,295 Words