Carlisle never stumbled or needed to sit, the vampire tendency is to be still. So shocking him had rendered him statue-like. No blinking, no breathing, just being matter taking up space. He recovered quickly. Sasha had not even completed two cycles of inhaling and exhaling, before he resumed the masquerade of involuntary reflexes.
Had she noticed? Carlisle needed to complete his recommendation for another doctor. Carlisle needed to assure this girl that what she had seen could not possibly be his father. Surely, it wasn't. She was suffering from delusions. He needed to call ahead to the doctor and recommend full neurological testing. Despite her healthy appearance, she could have a tumor pressing on her frontal lobe, creating this personality disorder.
Carlisle needed to do all these things.
Instead, he asked Sasha, "What is he wearing?"
She placed her gaze on the spot to his left again. She tilted her head, then nodded to the air and made a turn around motion with her finger.
Did the air move? Just a tiny infinitesimal bit? A chill ran down Carlisle's spine. Could it be?
"I am bad with dating clothes, I apologize, but I want to say maybe in the time of Elizabeth the first?" she bit her lip again. "The man is adamant he is your father, which makes no sense at all."
Being a vampire that was co-habiting in the world of humans required Carlisle to do certain things, follow certain rules. Keeping his true nature secret was the first rule. So, Sasha needed to disappear. Carlisle might need to get his son, Edward to read her mind and make sure this incident did not cause her to become suspicious.
But Carlisle had broken the rules before,
"Please, Miss Duncan, would you mind coming into my office, tell my father to join us." Carlisle smiled to put her at ease.
Sasha grabbed her purse from the floor and walked out the door Carlisle gestured towards. He managed to get to his office door before her, and open it in a gentlemanly way.
She had to pass close to him to enter his office.
She stopped just a few steps in, and Carlisle filled the space right behind her. He closed the door gently, but he could not disguise the click of the lock as he pressed it in.
All Carlisle had to do was lean down and his cold lips would be on her throat. He let his gaze rest on the thin, blue vein that looked like the inviting ribbon on a beautifully wrapped gift.
"What are you?" Sasha asked calmly.
Carlisle looked up and saw that the whole tableau was reflected in his dark, tinted office windows. The tint he required to keep the sun from betraying his skin, that glittered like a wet diamond in its light, was defeating him from the inside out. It became an unintentional mirror.
"Pardon?" Carlisle stepped a respectable distance from the girl.
She faced him with a pleasant face, not one who had witnessed her impending death.
"What is your specialty, Doctor?" Stating the obvious.
"I am a general practitioner, but I have a background in psychology." That was a huge understatement. Carlisle had a background in every specialty. Endless time equals endless degrees.
"I assume you were expecting a session today, and as it turns out, I have a block of time available. I can also recommend another doctor in the area." Carlisle took this time to sit in one of the chairs in front of his desk, refusing to take the position of power behind it.
"Your father would like me to stay." She took the seat next to his and set her purse down.
Carlisle was having difficulty believing that particular nugget of information. The last human memory Carlisle had of his father was following him in a mob that was out to attack a perceived vampire. In a bit of irony, the mob had found an actual vampire, instead of a poor, misunderstood mortal. Carlisle had taken his last necessary breath in the arms of that vampire. The vampire changed Carlisle. He became the thing his father crusaded against. A lot had changed since the 1500's, but if Carlisle's father was in this room, Carlisle was quite sure that it would not be a friendly family reunion.
Both Sasha and Carlisle waited for the other to start the conversation.
She buckled first, "The man that claims you as a son is still to your left. He says he has been there since you changed." It was almost as if the dynamic of the room had shifted, Carlisle became the patient, seeking information.
"What did he do for a living?" Carlisle was reluctant to ask any questions. What if the girl really could speak with spirits? What if his father said too much?
"He says he was a pastor. He sought to persecute others like you." Sasha was right. And his father had edited appropriately, which was confusing. The father in Carlisle's human life would have wanted his vampire ways revealed. "An abomination against God and everything holy," was an exact excerpt from one of his father's sermons.
"He refuses to move on until you have heard him out."
"He is lucky I ran into you then," Carlisle raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
She ignored his gentle joke, and concentrated on the space to his left.
"Dr. Cullen, your father regrets how life turned out for you."
Now, the girl was getting closer to the mark.
"He wishes your attacker had found him first. Your eternity of burdens makes him reluctant to leave." Carlisle stopped worrying about the girl's safety and the unwritten code of vampires not to reveal themselves to humans. He put his elbows on his knees and nodded for her to continue.
"Your father's message is simple, basically, he is proud. What you have done with this curse afflicted on you has saved so many. He wants me to tell you he loves you." She let the information sink in.
Carlisle soul was aflame. His father loved him? In his horrid, cursed vampire form? Carlisle had spent centuries overcompensating for his nature. He used his powers for all the good he could pack in a minute, in a day, in over four lifetimes. And all this time he was sure his own father would damn him. Damn him straight to hell.
If this girl was to be believed. This mental patient he had basically kidnapped from the office next door. For all he knew, Sasha would leave this office clucking like a chicken.
"I can tell this information is something you need to process, so I will leave you to it. Thank you Dr. Cullen." She stood to leave.
"You are welcome, Sasha." Carlisle wanted to stop her, but he stood up and walked her to the door. She had come to receive treatment, and instead gave two doctors spiritual counseling.
"Please take my card." Carlisle took out an elegant business card with his name, office number and cell number. He had the printers remove his picture when he found that the nurse population had been collecting them like baseball cards.
Sasha took the card, flipped it over and used her palm as leverage. She slipped a pen out of the chest pocket of Carlisle's white coat and jotted her cell number and name on the back. She handed the pen and card back to Carlisle.
He was surprised. Sasha did not seem like the forward type and his wedding ring was easily visible.
"Dr. Cullen, if you have any questions I can answer for you, please give me a call. I think this reading was shock for you, and unusual for me, at the very least. I hate to leave so soon after giving someone that kind of news, but I am exhausted and I have to go walk my dog. Thank you again." And she walked out.
As Carlisle closed the door behind her, all of his vampireness settled like a cloak over him. He was pacing at a blurry speed. Then, in the next instant, he was as still as a stone behind his desk. He was staring at the family picture again. Specifically at his son Edward. A beautiful soul whose gift for reading minds had separated him from others. There had been no lasting love for Edward.
Carlisle was afraid of his next thought. Right after his father had told Carlisle he was proud of him, Carlisle had a horrible idea.
Sasha would make an amazing vampire.