A/N: Hello my loves! I am so incredibly sorry that it's been so long since I've updated. RL issues have been a shitstorm of fuckery for me lately. If I had known a bunch of stuff was gonna go down, I never would have posted the first chapter and then kept you all waiting for the second. Many apologies to you and thank you for your patience. This chapter is shorter than the first, but I hope it's worth it anyway. I promise to try and get chapter three to you all in a shorter amount of time than this one came to you. And please, please, please review! I'm getting all kinds of hits, but not many reviews. I need to know what you all are thinking. Even if you think my writing is shit, I'd rather know than not. Just please be constructive with your criticism. Reviews get a luscious Carlisle sent your way. ;-)
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things and characters from the Twilight universe. I just make them fall off the bandwagon.
I pushed my truck to go as fast as it could. I had to get as far away from Carlisle and the white house as quickly as possible. My immense anger and minor disappointment were threatening to turn to utter hopelessness and I really didn't want to go back to that place. I hated it that any of them had an effect on me. Now that I'd pulled myself out of the black hole I'd been lost to for months, I really didn't want to go back. I needed to live my life, no matter how fruitless. I refused to let their absence dictate my actions anymore. In fact, I felt like maybe I needed to have a more complete transformation. I'd spent most of my life living for others. Although my selflessness was a good trait to have, it had also left me a doormat for others to walk all over. I rarely stood up for myself. I always put others before me without a thought of whether or not I would be harmed in any way by their actions or mine by letting them come first. This isn't about me becoming someone who doesn't care about others, this is about me living my life for me instead of for others.
As I sped through town, the tears poured down my cheeks and dripped off my chin. No matter how many epiphanies I had, no matter how much I wanted to change, no matter what...it all still hurt. The only bright spot at this moment was that I wasn't crying for Edward anymore. This was for the family I lost. Seeing Carlisle only reiterated the immense pain I still felt with regard to their abrupt departure. Add to that the emotional fuckery that took place while in his presence. The whole thing made me want to hit my head against a wall. And why the hell did my brain want me to focus so hard on Carlisle? It made no damn sense.
"Ugh! Stupid, feeble, human brain! I just want some fucking peace of mind for awhile," I yelled out loud in my truck while pounding my hands on the steering wheel. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly in an attempt to calm myself. When it didn't work, I just focused on getting home before Charlie. I may have left a note, but that was how many hours ago when it was still daylight. If I came home at this late hour and had to answer any questions I knew I'd be in trouble. Lying is one of my many foibles anyway, let alone trying to lie when I'm an emotional wreck...more so than usual that is.
As I pulled up in front of the house, I breathed a sigh of relief that the cruiser was still missing. I hurried inside to get lights on since I knew he'd be home any minute. I also decided to make him some burgers so he'd have something to eat when he got it. Being a typical man, Charlie would be easily distracted by food and therefore unable to start an inquisition with regard to the events of my day. I washed my hands at the kitchen sink and began pulling things from the fridge. I pattied out two thick hamburgers and got them cooking before slicing some onion and tomato. As I continued working, I realized how therapeutic losing myself in the minor details of this simple meal was and decided to bake some cookies tomorrow.
Just as I placed the sandwiches on the plate I had waiting, I heard the front door open and Charlie call out. I let him know I was in the kitchen and found myself welcoming the sight of him hanging up his gun belt in its usual place. I had really missed him while I was all checked out. I walked over as he turned around to face me and wrapped my arms around him for a hug. He huffed in surprise and patted my back, albeit a little awkwardly. I pulled back and looked up at him to see his cheeks tinged with pink. I had to stifle a chuckle at seeing where I clearly got my incessant blushing. I smiled softly up at him and then turned to walk to the table where his burgers sat waiting. Clearing my throat quietly, I picked up the plate and handed it to him. He took the plate while looking at me warily. I knew why. I couldn't really blame him either.
"Did you want some chips or something to go with those, dad?"
"Uhh...no. No, I think these will be enough. You not eating?"
"No, I fixed myself something earlier." I hadn't, but there was no way I could eat. My stomach was still tying itself in vicious knots over the afternoon's events.
"Well ok then. You, uh, you feeling ok? Everything alright?"
I could tell the impromptu hug was freaking him out. You'd think he was expecting me to start running with scissors or something. Poor guy.
"Yea, just feeling a little tired is all. In fact, if you don't mind, I think I'm just going to head up for bed." Lie. It would be several hours before I fell asleep, and even then it was bound to be restless due to the nightmares that would ensue after seeing Carlisle. I forced back the shudder that accompanied the mental image of his eyes when his name went through my head. Ugh. Here we go again with the eyes.
He just nodded and headed into the living room with his food. I knew he'd be up for awhile watching ESPN or something of the like. I headed up the stairs and into my room to get my toiletry bag and some pajamas. I was hoping a hot shower would do some good in the nerve calming department, but wasn't really expecting much. Relaxation period was difficult for me anymore, let alone after what had happened today. With a sigh, I turned on the water and stripped down while it was warming up. As I stepped in, I realized I was going to have to try and think through what all had happened with Carlisle today whether I wanted to or not. Shoving it all down wasn't going to help matters any, especially if he was going to be around. I sighed again at that thought. He never said anything about why he was there. Of course, he never really said much of anything at all.
I snorted while lathering my hair with shampoo at that last thought. He hadn't said crap. Not really. Sure he claimed he was glad to see me and asked some dumb questions, but that didn't explain his presence. Why was he back? How long is he staying? Is he just gathering what was left at the house because of their hasty departure? If that was the case, why hadn't the items been collected in the three months I was catatonic? Where was Esme? Where was the rest of the family?
Question after question slammed into my poor brain and left me so absorbed in my thoughts that I managed to shampoo my hair twice. Rolling my eyes at myself, I quickly finished my shower so I could at least lose myself in these obsessive thoughts in the comfort of my warm bed. I toweled off and put on my shorts and camisole that were serving as my pajamas. I would have worn something warmer to bed, but I hated my arms and legs getting caught in my blankets during the nightmares that had been wreaking havoc on my ability to sleep. Thrashing around and getting twisted up in the covers only made matters worse. I brushed my teeth and headed into my bedroom.
As I turned around to shut the door, I suddenly wondered if Carlisle would be there waiting for me. Maybe he decided to follow me after all. Maybe he would explain himself and I'd get my questions answered. I slowly turned around and looked around my room without turning the light on right away. I glanced over to my window and saw that it was shut tight, just as it had been when I left. I felt disappointment begin to seep in and flipped on the overhead light before it could get too far in an attempt to stave it off. My eyes adjusted to the light and I looked around again. Nothing was different. No one was there and no one had been. I brought my hands to my face and pushed them against my cheeks before threading my fingers through my hair and pulling tightly all while groaning out loud. I was so damn pathetic it was...well...pathetic.
I pushed myself away from the door and flopped down face first onto my bed. I contemplated leaving my face smooshed into the pillow in an attempt to smother myself, but figured I'd just end up with brain damage due to lack of oxygen instead of actually killing myself. That last bit pulled me up short and I rolled over quickly. Did I want to die? Was I freaking suicidal and just now realizing it? I didn't think so. I laid there thinking about it for a short time before deciding my sense of humor was just more macabre than usual. Going through what I had in the last three months...hell, make that since I moved here was enough to make even the most happy-go-lucky, optimistic person a bit of a Debbie Downer.
I rolled my eyes at myself again and decided to run downstairs for a bottle of water and a banana or something. I was starting to get a little hungry now that I'd managed to calm down a bit. I was actually quite surprised at myself, but decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth. I quietly descended the stairs and heard Charlie's snores echoing through the living room. I went over to wake him up, but he looked so peaceful I decided to just cover him up with the blanket off the back of the couch instead. Maybe if he sleeps down here tonight he won't here me screaming during my nightmares.
I tiptoed to the kitchen and grabbed my water and fruit and went as quickly and quietly as I could back up to my room. I was mentally marveling at how I'd accomplished all this without injuring myself while entering my room when several things happened at once. First, I stubbed my toe on my desk so badly I wondered if I'd broken it. Second, I realized part of the reason this happened was because the light in my bedroom wasn't on and I couldn't see where I was going. This wouldn't have been a big deal except I had left the light on when I went downstairs. Third, I knew I must have, at the very least, cut my toe open when I stubbed it because there was suddenly a growl that shattered the silence. I knew that type of growl anywhere and I knew I was in serious trouble. I scrambled to find the light switch so I could at least see who was planning on ending my time on this earth before it happened.
My trembling hand finally connected with the switch and shed light on the very real nightmare happening around me. The vampire standing not five feet from me was one I shouldn't have been all that surprised to see. She was a sight to behold. The feral ferocity was amazing and frightening at the same time. The red eyes alone would have been enough to get the adrenaline rushing through my veins, but seeing her crouched and ready to spring had my heart pumping at an unsafe speed. A million more questions raced through my head while I stood waiting for death to pounce. She continued to growl and snarl as the scent of my blood filled the room. I prayed that Charlie would sleep through this. Maybe I could convince her to take me out of the house while she drained me. If not, I would try my damnedest to not make a sound while she took my life force.
I finally swallowed and tried to re-wet my mouth that had gone dry since the moment everything began crashing down around me. I swallowed again and finally got the nerve to speak.
"It's good to see you, Esme."