Carlisle Gains a Family
Earlier today, I picked up the familiar scent of my rebellious companion, and I was curious to know why Edward had returned. I could not have him hurt Esme, not like he did four years ago. I needed to know, but to have this meeting near our home would risk harming Esme. I prayed silently for the strength to continue with my plan. What would happen if he rejected me? The scars he caused still have not healed, but I had to find out why he came back to this city. Did he reconsider? Despite the potential pain I may feel, the risk of losing him forever was much worse. I had to find out. I followed his scent to a filthy area of the docks, where prostitutes and thugs roamed freely.
I stood beside a large cargo ship, as I watched him stalk and attack a human. I did not interfere, but the sadness within began to grow. Obviously, he still refused our way of life. He tossed the man far into the lake, and then Edward appeared to collapse. Curiously, I made my way toward him. I watched from a safe distance, as he held his face in his folded arms. Is he crying? The boy looked so miserable, as he lay on his stomach with his head cradled in his arms. How can he continue to do this to himself? I often wondered what I did to cause such anger in him.
Shortly after I mated with Esme, Edward went through a rebellious period, and left us in 1927. Unfortunately, for my dear wife, she had recently lost her infant son and her maternal instincts were very strong. Esme felt as if she lost her second son when Edward left. I spent months trying to calm my dear wife, and even still, our wounds have not quite healed.
Edward believed there was no place for him in our family, and I blame myself for that. Our relationship was clear, but I failed to realize it. I treated him like a companion, and loved him like a son. At the time, we were pretending that Edward and Esme were siblings, as they looked so much alike. We saw him as our son, and I know he looked up to me as if I were his father. We should have defined that relationship, and I blame myself for this. I believe part of his rebellion was this uncertainty.
He wanted to use his special gift to find people truly deserving of death. The people who brought suffering to others became his primary target, as he felt a greater calling. He thought he was serving justice. He wanted to kill the evil doer, and believed he would be acting justly. I understood his reasoning, but I could not tolerate the taking of human life in my city, and he refused to abide by the rules we set for our coven. We had a disagreement, and it lasted for many days. It hurt us deeply when he left, and now he laid less than fifty feet from me. It wrenched my heart to see him hurt like this, and I yearned to reach out to him.
"Edward," I called out mentally in a stern, but compassionate tone. The boy did not stir, and I began to fear that he had no wish to see me. My jaw clenched, and my masseter muscle flexed as I debated with myself. I wanted to run to him, but I feared the hurt another rejection would cause. The pain at his leaving was still fresh in my mind, and yet I yearned to have him home. I considered my options and realized there was no choice, as I had to approach. This was the only alternative I had which might result in his returning home. If he said no, then it would be little different from my not approaching him in the first place, as either way he would be gone from my life.
Ever so gently, I moved towards him, and yet he did not stir. I could hear his sniffling, and his level of distress was immense. I cannot know, but I believe he failed to notice me. I kneeled quietly beside him, and placed the palm of my hand gently upon his upper back. "Edward," I said with a calm and soothing voice. I sat in silence, and waited to see if he would respond. I did not expect his crying to worsen, as his level of distress seemed to grow. I kneeled beside him in silence, and he began to sob without acknowledging me further.
My pain was nothing, compared to what Edward suffered. He needed me, and this time I swore not to fail him. I reached for the boy, and picked him up as if he were little more than a child. My Edward was so fragile, so needy, and more than ever my son. I held him close, as he turned his face into my chest and continued to sob without a word. My arm wrapped around him in an affectionate embrace, and with the speed of a vampire, I brought my son home.
The boy was unkempt, and his clothing reeked of filth from the streets. Despite the inherited wealth of his family, he allowed himself to become little more than a street urchin. Esme saw our approach through the upstairs window, and realized something was wrong. I carried my wayward child into the home, and explained at a normal volume for my wife, "He is not yet ready. I need to speak with him." She understood, and left us be.
I carried him to our couch, and settled down with him now sitting in my lap with his feet hanging over my legs. Without a word, I continued to embrace him, as he cried deeply into my chest. His palms grabbed at the material of my shirt in anguish while I continued to hold him. We sat still for many hours while he cried himself out, and before he felt ready to speak.
A very soft, scared, and unsure voice whispered into my chest, "Carlisle?"
He knew it was me, so I assumed he meant to ask something else. "Son, I am here for you." I offered with a soothing voice. My embrace strengthened, as I held him more firmly. I had a lot to say, but I had to wait for him to speak. He had an internal battle raging, and I was patient and waited until he was able to talk.
"I missed you Carlisle, I miss you and Esme so bad," he began, and broke down again in uncontrolled sobbing.
I softly stroked his back, as he sobbed into my chest. "Son," I stated firmly, as I watched how he reacted. Lowering my voice I acknowledge, "I have never stopped loving you. Edward, you are the son I never had." I went silent again, as I cradled him in my arms. I could now feel his venom through my shirt, and knew how difficult this was for him. I allowed my thoughts to show him how much I loved him, and how his leaving hurt Esme and me. I am sure this was of little help to him, but those were my thoughts.
We sat in silence for a few more hours, as he continued to cry. Eventually he pulled himself out of the sobbing, and I handed him my handkerchief. He took it, but did not seem to understand as he just held it tightly in his palm. Esme came downstairs, and stood at the entryway watching us. She turned when she saw Edward's state, and went into the kitchen where I heard the sounds of her drawing a bath. I had to smirk, as I could imagine Edward's biological mother having done the same thing.
From the kitchen, I heard Esme's voice, "bring our son to me." Without hesitation, I rose from the couch and carried Edward into the kitchen. He suffered a tremendous amount of pain, and appeared emotionally broken. I could only imagine what he was going through. He remained fairly limp, and unresponsive. Whatever he was suffering, he chose to do it internally as if shutting himself off from the world. I stood him on his feet, and held him as Esme assisted me in removing his clothing. I picked him up, and set him in the washtub Esme had prepared.
Esme kneeled beside the tub, and gently pushed him forward so his head was above his lap. She filled the pitcher with water from the tub, and poured it over his head until it was to her liking. She then took a bottle of Watkins Emulsified Cocoanut Oil Shampoo, and applied it liberally to his hair. I watched as she then rinsed his head, filling the pitcher in the tub and repeating until satisfied.
He was much too old for his mother to bathe him, but he closed himself off emotionally. He escaped into his mind, and was little more than a toddler in this condition. It was heartwarming to see Esme accept this task as her motherly duty. She picked up a fresh bar of lye soap, and began working up a lather. Once satisfied she rubbed it into a cloth and moved to Edward's face. The boy seemed to respond somewhat, as he tried to pull away from the cloth. Esme moved with the experience of a mother, as she cupped the back of his head gently with one hand, and proceeded to wash his face with the other. Oh, it was hard to withhold my amusement, but I knew my wife would not be pleased.
He became a little more responsive as my wife tended him, and began following simple commands she gave him, such as raise this arm, lift this leg, stand, sit. Yes, she gave him a full bath. Eventually she told him to stand, and toweled him off completing the bathing ritual. I picked him up, and carried him to his old bedroom where I proceeded to dress him in pajamas. Despite not needing to sleep, I brought him to my room where Esme and I laid with him.
I took time off work, as Edward desperately needed me. The boy was emotionally broken, and at this point, I was not entirely sure he would come back. The three of us laid there for the rest of the night, and into the afternoon. We heard him rise, as he moved to a sitting position. Esme sat up with him. I rose to my feet and placed a hand upon his shoulder, "son, are you ready to talk?"
Edward nodded his head without saying a word or looking up to me. Gently I placed a finger under his chin, and attempted to have him look me in the eye. He refused, and kept his eyes closed tightly. I cleared my throat, and still he refused.
"Edward," I began in a lower than normal tone, but stern all the same, "I saw you feed off that man last night, and how you disposed of his corpse. I realize your eyes are bright red. Look me in the eye please."
Edward shook his head in shame, and refused to open his eyes. He is stubborn, but I waited patiently for him to become bored enough that he will either do as I have commanded or show further disobedience. I was not going to push him to make the decision, as he had to do so himself. Eventually he opened his eyes to me.
I nodded my silent approval to his show of respect, and motioned to the door. "We will continue this conversation downstairs where we can sit in comfort," I said, before ushering everyone down the stairs. Once we found a place to sit I spoke, "Edward, is it your wish to return home?"
He nodded his head quietly in agreement. Esme looked at me with delight in her eyes, as her son had returned. I however was not so easily convinced, though I had hoped as she that it was true.
I rose from the chair and approached my son. He glanced down, and tried to look away "Edward, grant us our privacy, please do not use your gift while we speak." I waited until I received his nod of approval and cleared my throat for him to look me in the eye once more. When he did I instructed, "There are rules that family members must obey. You know them well. We cannot bring attention to ourselves, and we do not consume humans. We must respect one another, and recklessness, and actions, which cause or inflict injury to ourselves or others of the family, are not tolerated. Do you agree to abide by these rules that I have established for our family, as the leader of this coven?"
Edward stared at me as I spoke, and once more began crying venom. This time however he took a handkerchief himself, and used it in trying to hide his tears. "Yes, Carlisle, yes I will. I want to return home, and live with you and Esme again. You were right, and it plagues me with horrible guilt when I think of the lives I took. I do not want to kill another human again. Carlisle, please forgive me." He turned to Esme and asked her forgiveness too.
Esme rushed to Edward's side, venom running down her face as she cried delightedly at his return. She hugged him, and did so again. She was happy, and he relished in her embraces returning his own. I cleared my throat, and Esme returned to her seat expectantly.
"You will be forgiven Edward," I mentioned in an unwaveringly calm voice that hinted at something more. "You caused us a great deal of grief when you left, and we have no assurances against that being repeated. If we continued as we were, then we are bound to repeat the same thing. This cannot happen." I softened my voice and gazed down to my son as I enquired, "Edward, what is your place in our home?"
He began speaking to the floor, but a light tap on his knee reminded him to look at me. "I ... I am Esme's younger brother, and you are her husband?"
I shook my head slowly as I explained, "no that was never the case. I was at fault for suggesting it, but we both know otherwise. We all know. Who are you in our family?"
Esme sat curiously in her seat, waiting to hear Edward's response. The boy on the other hand sat quietly, as if afraid to add voice to his thoughts. I knew my thoughts were obvious, and had little doubt that Esme's were as well. However, he was obeying my request and giving us our privacy. In a low and doubt-filled voice he enquired, "Son?"
My hands went to his upper arms, and picked him up from the chair while I embraced him tightly. "Yes, you are our son. You have always been my son, and this will never change." I held him out far enough so I could look him in the eye as I admitted, "I would be honoured if you called me Dad, or Father, but I will not force you to. That I leave up to you."
Suddenly I felt him jerked from my arms, and had to laugh as Esme hugged him tightly. The emotional turmoil she had fought came out in full venom torrents, as she cried into his chest. She was so happy, and Edward embraced her warmly. He lowered his voice and whispered, "I love you Mother." I honestly do not think there is anything else he could have said to make her happier.
I waited while they hugged, and when they were ready, we continued the meeting with everyone but me sitting. "Edward, in the past we would talk when you broke rules, but we both know how ineffective that was. Son, you rebelled against me and all that I taught you. Things would have been different between us, had I treated you as my son and not my companion. We are no longer imitating a family, but we are one. You are my son Edward, and I will always treat you as such. When you break a rule, I will punish you as any father would a boy your age." I enquired curiously of him, "how did your first father punish you?"
Esme watched curiously, and suddenly she realized what I was saying. "Carlisle, what are you talking about? You can't do that to Edward, how can you even think of doing such a thing?"
Edward lowered his eyes to avoid his mother's glance as he admitted, "he'd take me to the barn and use the strap."
I nodded my head in approval, "yes, except that strap would hardly be effective now with our skin. Instead, I will spank you with my hand. It will depend on the transgression, as you may instead find yourself on restriction." Turning to my wife, I mentioned in a firm, but non-threatening voice, "yes Esme that is exactly what I am speaking of."
"CARLISLE! How dare you think of doing such a thing! What right do you have to hit him? Do you plan on hitting me next?" Esme demanded as she glared darts into me, and I knew this would take some time for us to settle. In me, she was seeing her ex-husband.
I pinched the bridge of my nose, as I now realized we were truly a family. Esme and I were in our first child centered fight. I spoke with firmness as I commanded, "Esme, do not question my decision. You may punish him whatever way you see fit as his mother, but when I do so I will ask for your respect and trust that I will never bring him to any harm." I paused a moment, and then in an authoritarian tone mentioned, "Esme, this is not up for discussion. Please lower your voice."
Edward sat in silence, as he watched us argue. He actually seemed to worsen, as if our fight was somehow his fault. "Mom," he quietly pleaded, "it's all right. I have gotten it many times from my first dad. That is what dads do."
"WHAT?!" Esme was anything but pleased with my command to her. "Carlisle, how dare you threaten to bully our son, and then take that tone with me!"
I looked at Esme apologetically as I mentioned, "Esme, this is my duty as a Father. I will ask you to leave the house, for both yours and Edward's sake. It is mortifying to receive chastisement when someone else can hear you. I am sorry that I have offended you. When I am through, Edward will probably want your comfort. Give us two hours."
Edward's eyes snapped to my face as he heard the last words from me. It was more likely my thoughts that caused the panicked look, but he now knew what to expect. He wisely remained quiet.
Esme rose from her seat and said, "Fine, I'll go and get my hair done. So help me Carlisle, if you hurt him we will have words."
I offered my wife a small smile as I tried to reassure her, "I would be devastated to do any such thing. I will not harm the boy." With my hand, I motioned to the study and said, "We will deal with all such matters in my study." With that, I led the way, and held the door open for him.
Esme took off without another word. She hugged Edward on the way out, but said nothing to me.
Edward returned the affections with Esme, and quickly followed me into the study. Once we were there, he ventured to enquire, "Why am I getting spanked? Carlisle, it doesn't seem fair."
"Edward, you may read my mind," I mentioned and watched his expression as he saw in detail the amount of distress he caused his mother and me. "You knew back then what the rules were, and you openly defied every one I had. You now come back to us, and ask to rejoin our home. I welcome you enthusiastically. I expect that you will follow all the rules, despite if it is convenient to do so at the time. Your spanking today is well-earned. By accepting the punishment now, you and I will both know if you are willing to accept our rules and family way of life."
Edward slowly nodded his head in understanding, and walked to the desk where he proceeded to bend over. With a motion to his pants he enquired, "Do you want me to remove them?"
I smiled proudly to Edward, as he was taking this well. I walked over to my couch, and sat down in the middle. I glanced over to him, and motioned to a spot on the floor just to my right, "over here son."
His eyes grew wide as he began to realize exactly what I had in mind. With a quick shake of his head he pleaded, "Please. Do not do this, not like that. Please? That is something you do with small children."
I offered him a sympathetic smile as I admitted, "that is what you do to small children, because your hand is too soft on older ones and you need more room to swing things like straps and switches. On you, son, the hand is the best and only method. Our skin is harder than anything else we could use, and the best way to administer a hand spanking is with me sitting." In a firm voice I commanded, "Do as I have instructed."
Edward quickly moved to where I pointed on the floor. He seemed nervous, although I could not blame him. Despite not needing to breathe, he was doing so in short and shallow breaths.
I gave his pyjama pants a tug at the knees, and they fell easily. I then patted my leg, and Edward slowly lowered himself over my lap. I adjusted his position, and unfastened the buttons holding up the flap at the back of his long johns. "Edward, why have you earned this spanking?"
Edward's voice hitched as it seemed my son had already started crying. I knew this was something I had to do, but that made it all that much harder. I listened intently as he spoke, "because I disobeyed you, and I killed, and I hurt you and mom, and I ran away, and I don't know what else to do. I feel so bad."
I rubbed at his back affectionately as I mentioned, "you are not being punished for consuming people. That is our nature, and I will not punish you for it. You have already suffered isolation due to it, and I imagine you are now bearing a tremendous amount of guilt. I will help you. This spanking is for disobedience, and lack of respect to your mother and I."
I received a sniffle in response, and felt he had waited long enough. I raised my hand, and brought it down with a small amount of force. I repeated this ten times to warm him up. Edward grunted after the first, but seemed to contain himself for the other nine.
With the warmup completed, I used firmer force and peppered his backside with slow and methodic spanks. "I want you to think of why you are getting this Edward. When you have finished the spanking your misdeeds are forgiven, and will not be spoken of again."
Edward began to tense, as I continued another round of firm swats. Eventually I heard him gasp, and I could feel the grip of his hands as he grabbed the couch firmly. I began adding more force to the spanks, and in a strained voice he asked, "Please stop. I can't take anymore."
"You aren't meant to take them," I mentioned calmly as I began the next round of spanking. I felt his grip tighten, and suddenly his right hand flung to his backside. I hit it, and then realized what happened and moved it out-of-the-way. "Edward," I gently scolded. The spanking continued, and he began to wriggle desperately in trying to avoid it. This was the first spanking I had ever given, and it took me by surprise when Edward flew off my lap.
Edward scrambled to his feet and quickly began rubbing his backside. Venom tears streaked down his face as he pleaded with me, "no more, please. It hurts so badly, please. Carlisle stop, please" I stared at him in disbelief, and then motioned for him to come back. He shook his head while still rubbing his backside, and I began to count. He called my bluff, and did not look at me as he remained where he stood.
I rose from the couch and walked over to him, placing a hand upon his shoulder, "Son, you have not yet learned the lesson I needed to teach you. Your refusal to return is evidence of that. I motioned to the corner on the other side of the door and said, "Stand in the corner to gather your thoughts. When you are ready to go ahead with your spanking, then you will come back and place yourself over my lap. Keep in mind that your mother will be home in half an hour and I will not hesitate to spank you with her here."
Edward went to the corner and stood, as I assumed that was the preferable of the two choices. I sat at the couch and waited for his return. It took nearly ten minutes, but he did come back and lay on my lap to finish the punishment. This time I wrapped my left arm around his waist, so I could better hold him in place. "Edward, we will begin the spanking again."
The first swat was harder than the others, and it brought an instant gasp from him. My next ten swats were of average strength. By the end of the first round, he began crying and sniffling loud enough so that I could hear it. I continued with another round of swats, as he began crying out in earnest. He still struggled to restrain himself, but now he could not prevent screaming such things as, "OW! Ouch, I'm sorry... Arg... NO ! STOP! Ouch!"
The amount of screaming he did was surprising, as we had barely begun. I continued with another set of swats, and his screams turned more into wails. His legs began to scissor in the air as his pyjama bottoms turned inside out. Eventually he kicked them off his legs completely. His crying became all that much louder, and he desperately tried to wriggle off my lap again. He nearly slipped off head first, when I noticed an area of his backside that I ignored.
I began to punish the area where the thigh meets the buttock, and he screamed in agony. Suddenly I heard a loud crack, and looked over to see that Edward had torn the arm off my couch, and was now grasping desperately at the cushion. I continued to spank his sit spot, and his loud wailing suddenly stopped as he broke into sobbing. I applied three more swats, and began massaging his shoulders, and gently worked myself down his back. Edward pushed himself off my lap, and stood before me looking really needy and vulnerable.
I held out my arms, and brought him to sit upon my lap, but his sore backside rested between my legs. I embraced him affectionately and stated, "Welcome home, son. This spanking has dealt completely with your transgressions. You are forgiven, and I love you."
He curled into my chest and cried himself out while I held him protectively in my arms. Once he was ready, he rose from my lap and bent down to hug me. "I love you, Dad." That was the first time he ever called me Dad, and now it was my turn to cry. I tried not to, but one escaped as he snickered and wiped it away.
"I love you too, son," I offered, and rose myself to give him a hug. "I'm proud of you son, you accepted the consequences of your actions." With a smile I enquired affectionately of him, "what is your place in our family?"
Proudly he responded, "I am your son."
I smiled warmly to him, and turned my back as he quickly dressed once more. With a motion to the door I admitted, "I heard your mother come home, and I think she wishes to speak to you."
Edward nodded his head in understanding, and raced out of my study. Esme is going to spoil that boy rotten, as I could hear from here how she was already coddling him. For his part, Edward seemed to enjoy his mother's attention, especially now that he understood where he fit in the family. Such affection would have been awkward in the past, but moms can comfort their sons in ways that your best friend's mate just cannot. I do not know how this is going to work for our future together, but it is my hope that this new method of discipline will have good results.
I remained in my study while Esme comforted Edward, and I had no idea what to expect from my wife. Thankfully, vampires need no sleep, or I would have to find a way to make that couch feel more comfortable than it looks. Maybe I should get flowers for her.
A knock at the door interrupted my train of thought, and I knew it was my wife. Without hesitation, I rose from my desk, and opened the door for her. With a motion to the room, I enquired, "Would you like to talk, Esme?"
The cold response I received let me know where this conversation was going. I nodded my head and motioned her inside. Before the door even closed, I heard her ask, "How could you do that to him, Carlisle?"
With a deep and unneeded breath, I mentioned in a tired voice, "with the utmost difficulty." I gazed into her eyes, and she easily noticed the pain in my own. They were red, swollen, and filled with doubt.
Esme gazed into my eyes, and whatever thoughts she had before vanished when looking at me. Her arms reached out, and pulled me to her in an affectionate embrace. I quickly returned it, and hugged my wife passionately. We stood there silently, and I knew then she was no longer mad at me. I had her forgiveness and love.