I do not own Twilight. I make no profit from this work of fiction.
Re-written from version posted 2014-07-07. The previous author's note is viewable on the Facebook page. I may choose to put it at the very, very end of the story.
Author's Note: This is AU. Some elements will not conform to canon. You may disagree with my interpretation of some historical persons – feel free to offer debate.
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"Please." The man's whining was starting to get on Carlisle's last nerve. "I'm not what you think I am."
The crack of the whip sliced through the air, screams issuing from the man whose pleas fell on deaf ears. Though he cringed at the sound of the flesh tearing open, Carlisle held no pity for the creature whose eternal punishment would soon be upon him. A hand landed on his shoulder, alerting him to a witness to the proceedings.
"Very good, son. The vermin must be exterminated." Carlisle nodded, the whip in his hand snapping towards the bared flesh before him, another slice of vibrant red revealed as the man's skin parted. Though the screams were certain to have echoed into the neighboring alleyway, none came to aid the wailing man. Snaps of the whip increased in speed, the crack soon covering any sound from the prisoner. As the body fell limp in its bonds, Carlisle dropped the whip, sweat pouring from his brow as a result of his exertions.
"Is he dead?" The question was asked between pants.
"I am most certain if he is not, he soon will be." With his father's assurance, Carlisle cleaned the leather of the whip on the clothes that had been torn from the man's back, the crimson blood staining the white garments. The pair left their concealed chamber, neither bothering to loose their prey from his bonds.
Aware that his tormentor had left, the man allowed himself to weep, his sobs covering the sound of the footfalls that approached him. He felt the chains loosening and was barely able to extend his hands in time to keep his face from crashing into the stones below him. He rolled to his side, unsure of the intent of the person standing over him.
"If you've come to kill me, then get on with it." The words were wheezed out, his voice hoarse from the screams that had been torn from his throat by the sting of the lashes he had received.
A female laugh greeted his statement, his neck craning a bit to try to get a better view of her. "Oh, no, I'm not here to kill you, werewolf." The light illuminated her face as she leaned down to help him stand. Hoisting him up with strength well hidden by her petite stature, she encouraged him to lean on her. "I simply refuse to let another of our kind fall to the Cullens."
He sniffed lightly, his nose wrinkling as her acrid odor permeated his senses. "Our kind? You're a vampire – not one of my kind."
Her chuckle echoed lightly against the stone walls. Leaning her head out of the doorway as she propped him against her, she grinned. "We are all creatures of the night, and we all prey upon the humans." He shrugged, giving a brief nod to her statement. "Then it only makes sense that we decide together what's to happen to this menace which hunts us, capturing our kind only to torture us."
She pulled him alongside her as they walked out into the darkened street. Ambling along, he could not help his curiosity. "We? Surely you do not mean just you and I." Smiling, she shook her head, helping him to walk down the cobblestone path.
A man in dark robes stepped forward from the building that blended into the darkness. A hood covered his head, his cape billowing out as he approached them swiftly. Stepping to the other side of the injured wolf, he took over the support that the woman had been providing. She swept open the entrance to the building, ushering the pair inside before bolting the portal behind them.
Limping into the main room, the wolf's eyes widened as he took in the group gathered there. The scent of his own kind mingled with that of vampires and of the magic and conjurations of witches and warlocks. He shook his head viciously, trying to expel the foreign odor.
"The longer you're here, the more you become accustomed to that stench." The female wolf approaching him nodded to his warlock escort, the man stepping away from the pair.
"What if I do not wish to grow fond of it?" His words were barely more than a growl, the pain of his injuries coloring his tone.
She chuckled. "I never said you should. However, we are here for an important reason."
"And what could that possibly be?"
The female vampire who had unchained him stepped onto the raised dais, a small snarl drawing the attention of those assembled. "Well then. As they've continued despite our plain warnings, as evidenced by our newest arrival," her hand made a sweeping gesture towards him with the statement, "then it is time to decide. Which of us will have the honor of killing the impertinent child and avenging all of those who have fallen?"
They had come to the house, having overheard his father's words regarding purity. It did not matter to them that he had been discussing the elimination of the abominations that had made themselves at home throughout Europe. Too many did not believe in the creatures, thinking them merely tales to scare children. His father had known better – had even caught one of the vampires feeding and saved the poor woman's life. They had been hunting the dark creatures since that night.
It did not help that they had known of secret places in the streets of the city, that his father had told others of these places. The crown, recently reinstated, sought out all the dissenters, the commissioners who had signed the decree supporting the death of Charles I. With his father's words of purity, they had assumed that the pair were Puritans, hiding the men who sought to flee the justice that would have them tried and sentenced to death for their crime.
Carlisle had not realized that he had been followed to the hidden room in which he had tried to exorcise the demon from the werewolf he had captured. Because he had taken pains to hide the man from being identified by any passing them, their accusers had used that as proof that they were smuggling the enemies of the crown out of Britain. He had protested, as had his father, but the pair would not reveal the identity of the third man. His father was sentenced to death. Carlisle was to be exiled. He had glared at the men who had passed judgment on them, his ire giving rise to the foolish plan to escape.
He had broken free from them, heading through the streets towards the hidden areas he knew so well. A group was waiting to take him back into custody at the first place he had considered sequestering himself. Seeing them sealed his conviction that one of the men his father had trusted with their quest had betrayed them. Able to avoid them, he scampered through the alleys of London, certain he would find a place that would allow him to hide from his zealous pursuers. Leaning against a wall, he used the shadows to keep himself hidden from the king's men.
The hand that clamped down over his mouth caught him by surprise, the strength in the grip proving difficult for him to overpower. His breathing became labored as the side of one finger pushed against his nostrils, obstructing the air flow. A voice in his ear urged him to be silent and cease struggling. "I will help you." One of his hands reached for the bottle of sanctified water he kept tied to his belt only to find that the chase had managed to somehow dislodge it. Carlisle nodded briefly, stopping his struggles to free himself. The hand loosened its grip over his mouth, allowing him to breathe more easily.
Carlisle found himself guided into deeper shadows. Even though some part of him knew what would happen once he realized that his captor was far stronger than a human could be, he had still hoped that he might be able to free himself. Feeling the fangs sink into his skin, he knew that he had never had a prayer. The life slipped out of him, leaving him feeling weak and drained. As his consciousness slipped away, he felt burning pain arching throughout his body. Starting at his neck, it radiated through each of his limbs and down into his chest.
"Don't you pass out yet, Carlisle Cullen. I want you to be awake for this." The words sounding in his ear were followed by the arm banded about him pulling his body upright.
His eyes were trying to roll into the back of his head, and he fought the sensation as he felt more people surrounding him. Realizing he did not have the strength to keep himself from losing consciousness, he allowed his body to slump. He heard the tongue clucking in disapproval, but was not able to muster even a groan in rebuttal.
"What do we do with him now?"
Carlisle's body slipped to the stones of the street. Barely managing to hold on to any awareness of his surroundings, he heard several grumbles, though he was unable to discern exactly what they were saying. One voice rang out above the others, the words clear.
"Put him on the ship with the traitors. They're convinced he's one of them, so let him travel with them. If the humans are lucky, he'll do their work for them once he wakes." He felt himself being lifted, then his limbs being bent as if to fit him inside a crate. Carlisle slipped into oblivion shortly afterward, never hearing the crate being sealed.
Eyes as black as pitch reflected the stars shining in the heavens above the ship. He stared out onto the deck from his place in the shadows, the darkness concealing his presence from the two older men walking along the deck. For two weeks he had fought this urge, despising what he had become. Realizing he was not going to be able to kill himself, and he could no longer keep from feeding, Carlisle tried to find the ones most deserving of death. One of the two waved the other off, vowing to meet him later. Carlisle waited for the one mortal to leave before moving in to strike.
He wrestled the man to the deck, the maneuver requiring virtually no effort on his part. Sinking his fangs into the underside of the old man's arm, Carlisle felt the pain subsiding with each long draw he took of the man's essence. As he felt the man's life slipping from his body, he heard the whispers that would have been inaudible to human ears. The recitation of a prayer for the dead from the Book of Common Prayer caused a hysterical reaction within him. Draining the blood more quickly, the whispers ceased.
Backing away from the corpse, Carlisle bowed his head, his hands running through his hair, tugging on the strands to the point of causing pain. He stumbled below decks to the bunk he had secured for himself. The journey had only begun, really. It would be more than a month before they reached the colonies. Laying down on the worn mattress, he closed his eyes tightly before opening them, crimson glowing in the darkness of the room. There would be more deaths on this voyage before the ship came to port. His journey was only beginning.