Author's note: Thank you for visiting my story! Not only do I want to share my writing with others, but I greatly appreciate any time you take to leave comments or reviews. This project of writing a series about Carlisle & Esme Cullen is not only because I love them as characters, but I am constantly striving to improve as a writer.
Part 2: The Kiss. 1921.
I hesitated for a moment. I felt my lips part, but no words escaped. "I still have emotions," I started, feeling foolish, but not wanting to say outright that I had been thinking of him.
I suppose he had expected me to say something about bloodlust. Perhaps he thought I was speaking of guilt or fear caused by my vampire nature, not the overwhelming feeling of being in his arms.
"So do I," he stated. "Not everything human in us is destroyed." He did not sound as if he was giving me a lesson in vampire existence, however.
"It feels different from when I was…" I paused again. I still struggled for the words to speak about it. I still had difficulty defining myself and felt uncomfortable talking about it where someone might overhear us. My senses told me though that the man was far enough away now that he wouldn't hear us with human ears and he was wisely creating more distance between us and himself rapidly. "It's different now. Some of what I feel is entirely new to me, like nothing I felt then. I loved my family and my son…" my voice hitched and I was afraid I could not go on.
"I know," Carlisle said softly. He slid both arms around my waist then, holding me to him. I was certain he only meant to steady me at first, but then I questioned if vampires ever get weak from emotion to begin with.
"Do you think that, well, those like us can feel love, for one another, I mean?" I asked finally.
He appeared to seriously consider my question before explaining that many find companions for company or protection or power alliances.
"That isn't what I mean," I interjected.
"I think that if you feel something it must not be against your nature. I have known our kind to find mates, but it seems more than feeling that drives it."
"Oh," I responded looking away again, over my shoulder and out toward the water. Still, he held me.
"If you are asking me personally, I have met countless numbers of people," he added. "I have felt a great sympathy toward them as a whole. I hold respect for life and wish only to help where I can. I have encountered many like us. I have met many who hold a striking devotion to their mate. But I cannot say I have ever been in love."
I pulled back from him instinctively then. When he loosened his grip on me I thought he had merely begun to realize that I mistook his protective embrace differently than he had intended. I felt ashamed of myself and foolish for ever thinking my feelings were something more and that he returned them in any way.
Then his fingers were in my hair again, his lips close to my ear and I closed my eyes, savouring the sensations. "Until now," he said, his voice barely above a whisper. "I didn't even know that all of this time, I have been waiting for you."
"Carlisle," I responded, almost gasping as I turned to meet his gaze.
"I think of you all the time," he continued. "I have never been happier to come home since I know you will be there. Far above my own happiness though, I want you to be happy, and I hope to be part of that." As he spoke he leaned closer to me, our eyes were locked until the moment I felt his lips brush against mine. My eyelids fell closed as my lips parted.
I had been too close to death to recall the feel of his lips on my skin in that second before he infected me with his venom. I had only vague memories of darkness, pain, and fear. His lips were softer than I had expected, smooth like silk, and he kissed me carefully, gently, invitingly. The feelings that flooded through me were not comparable to anything I had ever felt before. My mortal lover had been a man I had no feelings for in the beginning and only fear and disgust developed from our union.
But kissing Carlisle was very different. I was shocked to discover the influence I had over him—as our kiss deepened, he held me more possessively, yet something like a sigh of pleasure escaped him as I eagerly expressed my interest in tasting him fully. It had quickly escalated into something overwhelmingly passionate, desperate almost, but tender.
I had never wanted more of someone, at least not in this sense. I had known physical intimacy, but it had not fulfilled my expectations and likely do to that lack of love. I was not merely driven by curiosity, in spite of the questions of how and why and even if vampires could or should feel such things I did now. The rules, the sensibility or lack thereof did not seem to matter as I surrender farther and farther simply to how he made me feel.
I had never lost my belief in true love, but I also resolved to give myself to nothing less. This was how I had always longed to be kissed and I realized that I had wanted it to be him ever since I had met him at the hospital over ten years ago. I could think of nothing else now but making love with Carlisle and I wished for a moment that we were only human. We would not have met that way, I knew. And now we did not grow tired or breathless and I felt that we go on kissing like this for eternity.
Finally, I felt him reach the edge of his resistance for the first time. I felt a thrill at having pushed him to the brink of losing control to temptation. Our bodies were pressed close and I felt more deeply connected to him than ever; I did not feel reliant on him but also as if I was nothing more than my desire for him.
He no longer felt colder or stronger or more wilful than me. We felt like equals, matches, partners in our emotions, our battle against temptation, in our very existence. I opened my eyes to find his face just a hair's breadth from mine and I felt something like a tingle in my skin at every point we touched still. He was gazing into my eyes and we stood there motionless for some time. Words seemed inadequate and as if they may even be a hindrance to what we were communicating to one another rather than an aid, so we did not speak.
All of my questions about love and desire and emotions were answered in his embrace. He was right that it did not matter to me if I should feel such things or not; we seemed easily capable and mutual in doing so. What else mattered?
"I am happier than I have ever been with you, Carlisle," I confessed finally. He closed his eyes, smiling at me as I cupped one hand to his face. "You are what I have wanted since the moment we met."
He kissed me again in response, gently and more briefly than the first time, but I somehow found this kiss to be even more thrilling: it held the promise of many and much more somehow.
"Are you thirsty?" he asked as we turned to resume our stroll, my shoulder pressed against his arm as we leaned into one another.
He already knew the answer. I was always thirsty it seemed, so I only laughed softly in response.
"So am I," he replied. His eyes were still a brilliant golden color though and I knew they darkened with a true physical need for blood. The thrill of the hunt was incomparable and we still always went together since he knew I was wary of going alone. It wasn't so much a need to sustain himself that he wanted, but just to be with me—to share the rush and pleasure of something unique to our kind.
I smiled at up him as the fingers of his right hand intertwined with those of my left. I knew then that we'd never let one another go.
Author's note: This concludes "The Kiss." Esme & Carlisle's story will continue. Part three of the series will be a story told from Carlisle's perspective.