Author's Website: Freewritter007's ff.net page
Author's Note: This story was inspired by the movie Twilight. It's a Pre-Bella story, set in the early years when Edward and Carlisle were trying to build their lives together as a family. This story was originally written in Spanish, and then translated to English. You can read the original Spanish version of this story here: APRENDIENDO EL VALOR DE UNA PROMESA
LEARNING THE VALUE OF A PROMISE
It seemed like the tic-tock of his watch had stopped completely. How long had he been sitting here? One hour... two hours... maybe five?
He opened his eyes and gave a sharp glance to the watch in his hand. The insignificant object reminded him of how fast he was. He only took a couple of minutes to escape home and reach the forest.
For a vampire, who had seen every day at sunset for several years, and was destined to continue "living" trapped in the body of a teenager for an eternity, thinking about the fading years was ironic. In that instant, the attractive Edward Cullen laughed at himself.
He took a few slow breaths before chilling out. He sharpened his wits to search for any unwanted company. Nothing, absolutely nothing. To his satisfaction, he was completely alone.
Pleased, he put his hands under his neck, and let his body lay back in the cool grass. He opened his eyes again to see the huge trees that stood proud as silent guardians of the lonely forest.
Inevitably, his mind wandered to the events that just happened. He closed and squeezed his eyes tightly, trying to calm the storm of memories that his mind unfolded. His brain was full of doubts, and he began to sigh more and more, trying to dislodge the images.
"Are you hungry?" A soft little voice saved him from drowning in his thoughts.
Immediately and instinctively, the vampire took a defensive position and prepared to attack the unknown strange visitor. The only problem was that his opponent was a girl. Human? Or so it seemed.
"Who are you? What are you doing here?" Edward asked, showing his teeth and keeping a strong and straight posture.
The little girl smiled. Smiled? Yes, she smiled with a smile so pure, sweet and clear that not even Edward Cullen could deny he was facing one of the most beautiful creatures that he had met in his, not so short, existence.
"I said, who are you? Answer me right now!" he said angrily, trying to look as menacing as possible.
The little girl just crossed her arms. "You haven't answered my question," she replied drawing her eyebrows together a little, and then casually added with a slight shrug of her shoulders, "So I am not going to answer yours!!"
"No, no, no, noooo." She shook her head, interrupting the vampire mid-sentence. "Stop wasting time, and come with me to hunt. I'm hungry!"
"Do you hunt?"
"Yes, H-U-N-T. Do you have a hearing problem?"
"What do you think?" she said, rolling her eyes with a very impatient attitude.
"OF COURSE! What do you think we're going to hunt Moron? HUMANS?"
"NOOOO! I... It's that..."
"Stooooooop babbling like a silly kid! You're driving me crazy!" said the girl, covering her ears and running away from Edward, which actually looked pretty awkward.
Completely surprised, the vampire hesitated for a moment. Who was this brat? Again his brain was full of questions but on a completely different topic. Apparently if he wanted some answers, there was only one choice.
"EDWARD CULLEN HURRY!" The voice commanded.
He obeyed now with a new question in his mind. "How the hell does she know my name?"
About an hour later, Edward watched in silence, analyzing every step, all his movements, while devouring their prey. The girl was an expert hunter, without doubt, and that aroused his curiosity even more.
"What is your name? Why did you meet me?" He asked impatiently. "Carlisle? Do you know him? Do you belong to the Volturi? Do you want to hurt us?" Edward growled again, something inside him exploded. It doesn't matter who this insolent girl was, how dare she threaten Carlisle.
"Stop! Stop. I don't want to hurt anyone. Least of all Dr. Cullen," the girl interrupted again, trying to calm the agitated vampire's thoughts. "And calm down. Let's make it clear, I'm not your enemy!"
"I still don't know that." The vampire thought it over. "As for me, I just have one thing to make clear, you are a silly, spoiled and cheeky brat!"
"Ohhhhhhh sure, and Carlisle can confirm that you are a model of virtue!"
As if he were carefully analyzing her previous comment, Edward brought his eyes to the floor for a second, and then stared at the girl again with special interest. "How the hell do you do it?" he asked with obvious discomfort.
"Keep me away from your thoughts. I can't fathom your mind
It's like a kind of shield."
"My mother taught me a few tricks." The girl replied haughtily with a smile full of pride.
I know you're a kind of vampire-human species or something. Are you a witch? What are you?" Edward had already detected the child's heartbeat, but it was hard to believe that she was a full human.
"A witch? You mean can I do magic?"
"Yes, well... I didn't explain myself correctly. I can't understand how you know so much about me... Are you coming from some magical place?"
"Yes, my dear Edward!! Look, I study at Hogwarts, and I'm here taking a walk in the Forbidden Forest while my divination class has already begun!!"
"Hogwarts? What do you mean?"
"You are really exasperating! Focus Fath... Edward! I'm not here to talk about me. I'm here to talk about YOU!" The girl finished by pointing her index finger at the chest of the bewildered boy.
"Me? What's wrong with me? I didn't do anything!!!"
"Are you sure?" The girl's cold and piercing gaze far exceeded the malicious tone of her voice.
"Stop staring at me like that! You don't know anything about my life! You have no idea what it's like being trapped in this body for... forever!"
"Is that your best shot Edward Cullen? I am a teenage vampire destined to suffer for all eternity? OHHHH POOR YOU!"
"I swear that if you don't shut up
"Oh what a fright! The truth hurts, doesn't it?"
"You have no right to judge me!"
"And you have no right to treat others so roughly just because you feel resentful of the world!"
"I don't know what you're talking about!"
"Right! And you say that I'm dumb! Don't play the innocent. Or... perhaps you've forgotten the reason you actually took a walk in the forest very early this morning?"
Edward was speechless this time. He remembered quite well the reason he took a break in that lonely place. But how could that girl know?
A deep sigh broke the silence. "You know, I understand you. I... I also feel alone and angry with everyone... and sometimes I hurt people who love me."
Edward kept quite. Now he was really surprised. The same girl who was swearing loudly seconds before, now was trying to comfort him?
"Maybe that's the reason we misbehave so badly with them. Don't you think?"
"What? I mean, what's the reason?"
"That they love us! It's easy to hurt them because deep inside, you know that they love you, and always will forgive you!"
Edward stopped the next comment from coming out of his mouth. The truth was, that the conversation was taking a course that he didn't like. He tried to focus his mind and analyze the strange quarrel he was having with the girl who'd fallen from the sky... no better yet, from hell
and who he knew absolutely nothing about.
"I should go, that would be better."
"Don't tell me that I have to add "coward" to your list of virtues!!!"
"I AM NOT A COWARD!!" Edward gritted his teeth with every word. "But I'm tired of this ridiculous chat so I'll take my leave."
"And what am I going to do now?"
"You should go in search of another vampire to torture," he said mockingly, getting ready to go.
"Ahhh, if we're talking about 'should', you should go apologize to Carlisle for all that you said! Don't you know how much you hurt your father?"
The comment stopped the teen in his tracks. "Carlisle is not my father," he replied in a whisper.
"Repeat it, or better yet, write it a hundred times. Maybe someday you'll be able to believe it. The truth is, that for a mind reader, you are very slow, boy!"
"You don't understand. I didn't... I didn't want
"It seems that it's not me who has to figure things out. It's you, my dear Edward Cullen."
"My life sucks! I have to go soon and..."
"The only thing that stinks here is your spoiled-brat attitude!"
Edward totally lost his temper. He turned back and tried to hit the girl, but apparently, apart from insolent, the little girl was very, very fast. The vampire was downright confused. Seconds later he lifted his eyes, and saw her watching him from a leafy branch of the closest tree.
How is it possible? How can you be so fast?"
"I inherited from my father," she replied smiling while swinging her feet up and down.
"Hmmm, how proud he must be to have a brat whose speed is as remarkable as her insolence!" Edward's mouth wore a discreet and malicious smile. Maybe if he could manage to incite her into a verbal fight, he could get some information about her life.
"Yes, my father is very proud... like Carlisle." The little girl had said it without showing any sign of anger, but it was clear that her reply had bothered the vampire a little.
"Well you should be worried. It's probable that your father will appear here soon and give you a supreme whipping for wandering alone in the forest!"
"Yes, probably... like Carlisle."
Edward sighed, apparently the conversation was going nowhere. "Look, it's best that you go and leave me alone. Your father must be worried, indeed"
"Yes, sure he is... like Carlisle."
"Arggggg ENOUGH!! What's wrong with you? I want to know what you're playing at with all that Carlisle crap!"
"The important thing now is asking yourself, what do you have against your father, my dear Edward?"
"I ALREADY TOLD YOU CARLISLE IS NOT MY FATHER!" Edward yelled so hard that the girl had to hold tightly to avoid falling out of the tree.
"Merry-go-round! Answer me silly boy, who was taking care of you during the harrowing early days of your conversion?"
"Carlisle, but that's
"Who fed you until you stop being so clumsy, and could hunt by yourself?"
"Carlisle, but I ..."
"Who taught you to respect human beings?"
"Carlisle, it was him but..."
"Who helped you settle into your new social life, gave you a home, a school, and protection of any kind?"
"Yes, yesssssssss it was Carlisle, and stop questioning me!"
"Only one more question, Edward Cullen. Who has earned the right to be your father?" The girl stared at the vampire, who suddenly seemed more interested in drawing circles in the dirt with the toe of his shoe. "Come on boy, don't tell me you don't know the answer to the million dollar question. It is extremely easy. It starts with 'C'... come on, repeat it with me, Caaaaaarrr..."
"Carlisle," Edward said, his voice defeated.
"Exactly! I knew it! Behind that stupid face, a smart kid was hiding!"
"Although I'm sure now that he won't want to be my father. I... he... he is too good for me."
"ENOUGH! Stop being such a drama queen! Clumsy vampire, we are not in a theater! Carlisle is your father today, tomorrow, and he always will be!"
"You don't understand!" Edward sunk to the ground full of helplessness, and finished whispering with his head between his knees. "I... I yelled. I said many things and
and I broke my... promise... of
"To not run away from home again." The girl stopped, and before Edward had the chance to act defensively again, the girl was already next to him holding him nicely. Without knowing why, the vampire hold her in return with gusto.
"Ummm... Edward?" Without moving an inch, she whispered softly in the vampire's ear, "If someday you have a child, and the child shouted at you, would he not be your 'child' anymore?"
Edward exhaled. 'It's obvious that the little girl has a mental disease!' As he was thinking that, he also felt a pang in his ear.
YOU BIT ME!!" Edward demanded indignantly, and let go of the hug.
"And you insinuated that I am crazy! And I'm not!"
"Uhmmm... Are you sure? See, thinking that I could have a child... well
'One day you'll have to swallow those words, Edward Cullen!' The girl thought while smiling. She reformulated her question "Okay, okay. Try again. Suppose that you're a human and you'll have a child?"
"Of course he'd never stop being my child! What a silly question!"
"Well... What if your child not only shouted? What if he disobeyed you? Would you throw him away?"
"Ufff of course not! And what's your point? Why are you asking all this nonsense?"
"And if he promised you something, and couldn't complete it, would you stop loving him?"
Edward stared at her beautiful small eyes which were waiting, no, which were demanding a answer. Now he realized exactly what the purpose of each question had been. He sighed and looked down. "But you know it's different
" he tried to explain, but the girl interrupted him again.
"There are no 'buts' in this discussion Mr. Cullen. The love that Carlisle feels for you covers any 'but' you want to add. He will forgive you. I'm not saying that he's not gonna punish you, but I am sure that he'll receive you with open arms. Do you wanna know why? Because he loves you with this crazy and incomprehensible love that only a parent can feel!"
The sweet sermon touched the vampire deeply, but he couldn't help asking, "How are you so sure? Did you learn it in your divination classes at Hogwarts?" Edward showed her a relaxed smile.
"Ha, ha ha. It's very easy, because my father loves me too, and it doesn't matter what I do. He always forgives me. And believe me when I say that I screw up with capital 'S'!"
The comment sounded so spontaneous and truthful that Edward laughed and whispered, "I wouldn't wanna be in your poor father's shoes!" Then the girl also laughed loudly.
"Wait! One more question." The little one stopped smiling, and for first time this afternoon, Edward could have swore that there was a sign of actual concern in her face. "If your son, I'm talking hypothetically, if your child in a rush... uhmmm how can I explain ... in an 'angry child' tantrum broke a full set of dishes right at your feet... you would, I mean ... Would you consider burning him alive, or throwing him to wild beasts?"
"Ha, ha, ha. No, definitely not. I don't think that I'd decide to kill him."
"Are you sure? I mean, we're talking about a very expensive set of dishes, and not to mention a very old set!"
"Yes, I'm very sure."
"Do you promise me, Edward Cullen? She asked seriously, like her life depended on that promise."
"Yes, I promise you." The vampire told her cheerfully.
The little girl sighed, and smiled him back like she was able to take a heavy weight off her young mind. Edward looked at her sweetly, like they were old friends chatting on a summer afternoon. Suddenly a pang burst into his thoughts. 'Ohhh right now Carlisle would be going crazy looking for me. He's surly gonna kill me!'
"Uhmmm I don't think that you should worry about that, my dear Edward."
"Are you serious?"
"Sureeeeee!!! Carlisle is not gonna kill you. He only will have a little talk with you, you know the father-son talk." The girl said it like they were dudes, putting a hand on the shoulder of the astonished vampire.
The mischievous look in the eyes of the girl raised the vampire's hopes. If this girl knew several events of his past, it would be probable that she also knew their future!
"Great! Then I just have to go home and apologize. I can't wait to sit down and play my piano! That helps me to cool off and
"Uhmmm Well, I don't think that you're going to consider this a good idea. At least not in the near future."
"No, not that, the other thing."
"Playing the piano?"
"No, the other one."
"What? Spit it out damn it!"
"SIT DOWN!" The girl laughed hard. His distressed face was definitively priceless.
"But what the... ohhhhh." Edward's face showed a spontaneous painful wince. "Guess my father is gonna keep his promise, right?"
She nodded, and the vampire's body slouched down twice, no, three times. He gave a venomous glance full of bitterness to his new friend, whom could not stop smiling.
"I don't think it is funny!"
"Well I do! You look so cute pouting!"
"Really? Well I'm not the only one who's gonna end this afternoon 'pouting'. I mean after all, it was an exquisite set of dishes, and very old. Do you remember?"
Edward's mocking words had the desired effect on the little one. All signs of joy were erased immediately from her beautiful face.
"You have no idea what you're talking about Edward Cullen!"
"Ha, ha, ha. Well, from the look of your face, I'd say that I hit the nail on the head! Ha, ha, ha."
"Argggg, you are impossible! I do not understand how Mom... Ahhh, stop laughing right now!"
"Now, now don't get angry. I'm sure you will survive. Better than that, I'm sure that we both will survive!"
The girl sighed, there wasn't any reason to be angry. "I guess you're right about that," she ended up saying very softly. A few minutes after that, she finally added, "Hmmm. Well, I think it's judgment time. It was a pleasure chatting with you Edward Cullen." Her eyes were sparkling and the vampire trembled at her look. "Now I have to go," she said with a smile and disappeared silently among the trees, in the same mysterious way that she had appeared a few hours before.
Edward was surprised. He was listening to the wind blowing hard through the trees but he had lost all trace of the girl. She was gone, leaving a lot of questions in his mind.
At least he'd achieved one positive thing from his debate with the unexpected visitor. He didn't have to run away anymore. His fear was gone, and only one truth lit up his mind. Carlisle loved him and forgave him.
He looked up to the skyline and realized that it was getting dark. He sat on the grass again. He had no doubts that he should go home... it was just that, well... he had to admit that he was a little worried. And the longer he could delay the conversation with his father, the better it would be.
He let the time fly a little longer. He closed his eyes just for an instant, until a tone of voice very different from his previous visitor, made him react.
"EDWARD, SON. ARE YOU OKAY?"
"Carlisle?" Edward stood up immediately and asked hopefully, "Did you see her?"
"The little girl. The unbearable brat! She was right here a while ago! You should have seen it!" Edward was pacing up and down. "How could she disappear so fast?"
"Sorry son, I didn't see anyone. I heard you and came to you. I was very upset with you."
The last sentence from his father brought the vampire back to his predicament. The mysterious little girl was gone. He could not even find a trace in the air. It was like she had never been there
or maybe... she had been only a figment of his imagination. It was probably just a dream, or even better, a nightmare induced by the guilty feeling of letting his father down. Carlisle, who was beside him, and to whom he owed an apology.
"I'm really sorry father. Will you please forgive me?" He said roughly, but in a very sincere tone, while he became completely engrossed in looking at a thin branch that was near his feet
The words spilled out of his mouth spontaneously, without falseness, and full of regret. Dr. Cullen was speechless, but his mind was still full of thoughts, and Edward shuddered with the combination of relief, pure love, compassion, and anger that he could read in the older vampire's mind. That was the first time that the teen had called him father.
Carlisle was immensely overjoyed with feelings of uncontrollable happiness. Although he knew that the boy knew what he was thinking quite well, he wanted to put it into words. He managed to answer him. "Of course I forgive you. You're my son and I love you." The sincerity was evident in his eyes, and in his voice. "Do you want to tell me who were you looking for?" he asked, clutching Edward to his chest, waiting to hear the story, but he only received a head shake from Edward.
Edward was very unsure. How could he explain his adventure with the... girl, creature, or who knew what else she was. He wasn't even sure it really had happened. Had he dreamed it? Surely Carlisle would think that he was crazy. Examining the situation a little bit, Edward thought he could allege 'temporary insanity' in his own favor, and perhaps save his backside from a painful future. But Edward wasn't in the mood for playing up a dramatic show. Not after what he had literally 'heard' in the mind of his father.
"No I just wanted to say that I regret having run away. I... I..."
Carlisle sighed and began to rebuke him in his mind. 'I want to hear what happened.' Edward grunted, but Carlisle continued. 'Yes, yes, I know, I know, but still. I would be pleased if you'd tell me your side of the story."
Edward was quite aware of that under this politely request there was an order. "I was in school, when a guy made fun of me and..."
"Did he really make fun of you? Or was it just a thought?" Carlisle interrupted the explanation, moving the young one away from his chest, and looking him right in the eye, without letting go of him completely.
Edward sighed, the conversation wasn't going in a good direction. "Well, he didn't make fun of me, but he thought about playing a prank on the big headed son of Dr. Cullen, and that's the same! If I had not beaten him, I'm sure that he would have continued with his plans!" The boy abruptly left the arms of his father.
"Edward..." Carlisle's stance was so still that it was frightening. "You're a smart kid, and you know that your actions weren't the best. I know that you can not avoid reading people's thoughts, but you can control your outbursts." The older vampire's compassionate eyes scrutinized his son. "I trust that you can do it," he added gently, and the boy felt like a dagger was stuck in his chest.
Carlisle trusted him, and it was precisely the fear of betraying that trust that had turned him into a coward, and made him run away to the forest that morning. He didn't think he was strong enough to see the disillusionment in his father's face. "That's the problem. I
I knew that the principal would call you and... and..."
'Please son, do not say that you ran away from home because you are afraid of me, please... please...' Carlisle was pleading in his mind.
'Edward look at me' Carlisle said in his mind, but the boy did not obey. "LOOK AT ME EDWARD." This time the command was verbally expressed with much authority. Too much for the likes of Edward who obeyed immediately.
"I know that you know my thoughts." He paused, and the young vampire agreed with a nod. "I'm glad," he said smiling, "because I don't think I'd be able to express with simple words how much I love you, and how proud I am to be your father!"
Carlisle's tenderness made Edward's shame climb to a new level. Unable to deal with the sincerity of the older man's gaze he brought his eyes back to the ground, waiting for him to finish his sermon. But Carlisle wasn't going to make things so easy. He took the boy's chin with his cold hands and lifted his face, literally forcing the boy to look him in the eye.
"I'm not asking you to be the perfect son, Edward. No one is. I know that you'll make mistakes, but you can be sure that I'm always going to forgive you. I hope you'll stop torturing yourself, too." He tightened his fingers on his son's chin. "I trust you, and my greatest wish is to be worthy of your confidence, so as I said before, we are a family Edward, and there is no need to run away when you're in trouble." He relaxed pressure of his hand slightly, but not the force of his eyes. "Do you understand me?"
"Yes sir," he whispered. "I'm sorry I yelled when you phoned me." He saw Carlisle smiling slightly, and didn't understand how the man could smile after everything he'd said to him. "And I regret that what I said was so... so..."
"Imaginative?" Carlisle finished the sentence aloud.
"Uffff, I was going to say so disrespectful!" Edward spit out.
"Well yes you're right. You were very disrespectful. But... I have to admit that in all my life, nobody, nobody, absolutely nobody, suggested I do 'that' with my stethoscope. It really was a very creative insult my dear son."
If it was possible Edward thought he would have died of embarrassment right there! He felt so stupid and nervous that he picked up the branch by his feet and started playing with it. "I'm so sorry father," he said after a few minutes. He could feel the emotion in Carlisle's mind. The older vampire really liked to be called 'Father'. It was funny to see himself through the tender reflection of his father's thoughts. 'He sees me like a child, like a sweet innocent child.'
He took advantage of that image, and apologized again to encourage compassion. "I... I am sorry I tried to escape from home... I think my insecurity made me break my promise."
He'd said it with pity, but without warning, Carlisle's thoughts took a different turn. Edward didn't like what he was reading in his father's mind in that moment, but Carlisle didn't give him the time to analyze it.
Suddenly Carlisle grabbed the boy's arm powerfully, and spoke gently in his right ear. "Well then, we must find a way to motivate you to keep your promises," he said joyful. Edward nodded with a sadly. "And I think that this stick," he said, taking the branch from his son's hands, "might help us with your motivation problem."
Edward felt a shudder in his spine and his body tensed immediately. He knew that his father had promised
"Edward." Carlisle said in a patient but firm tone. "Do you remember what I promised would happen if you run away again?"
Yes, sir. I remember sir... but..." He was trying not to stutter, but he was honestly really scared, and the view of his father with a rod in his hand was not very encouraging, to say the least
"But you thought that I would not keep my promise?" Carlisle finished the sentence and then asked, "What did you think? Did you think that I was lying?"
"No, sir... but... I thought maybe, miraculously, you might have forgotten."
Carlisle smiled while he placed his hand on my shoulder. "Excellent, you think I'm slow witted!"
"No, sir! I didn't mean that! I... I... I don't know what I'm saying," his voice sounded defeated. He knew that the battle was lost. He saw what his father was going to do and he saw the overwhelming determination in the older vampire's thoughts. He raised his eyes to meet his father's, and really didn't expect to see the funny look on his face.
"Still, son," his voice was soft again, and he was rubbing his hand around the back of my neck now, "I told you that I forgave you, and that's it. You know that I'm not lying." Edward knew that was true. "But I can not let you run away from me every time that you wish. Especially after you promised me that you'd never do it again. Do you understand why I should punish you son?" he asked in a slightly more severe tone.
"I... I..." Damn! Of course he understood it! If he'd been in Carlisle's shoes, his son would not be able to sit for centuries! But in this case... well it was a little difficult to express, but he managed to complete the sentence. "Yes. I understand it father. Although I don't like the idea at all!"
"Glad to hear it," Carlisle said looking around. "So let's finish this right now."
He took the boy's arm gently and placed him in front of a huge trunk, and then pronounced the two most frightening commands that Edward had ever had heard in his whole life.
"PANTS DOWN AND BEND OVER." He'd said it without any emotion in his voice.
Edward obeyed immediately. Not because he wanted to, but because he could not bear the suffering that his punishment was causing Carlisle, his father. He put his hands on the rough bark of the trunk, and felt his pants falling down to touch his ankles.
He was scared. This was going to be the first time that his father punished him this way. He was praying with all his heart that it would also be the last. Not because his behavior was perfect, but because thankfully for his butt, Carlisle was the sweetest and most merciful creature on all the earth. He could read his father's thoughts, that he had a duty to keep his promise, because Edward had broken his. Surely if Edward had not disobeyed him, then he wouldn't be in this scary position now.
Edward felt his father near, and then he felt him rubbing his back. Carlisle's hand was soft and soothing, and his mind was asking Edward's forgiveness for having to whip him. How ironic! It was Edward who should be begging forgiveness!
"There's nothing to forgive." Edward said with his voice shaking. "And I love you too," he added with sincerity. Carlisle smiled in gratitude of the words.
Edward heard him sigh a few times, and he shuddered when the hand moved away from his back to pull his underwear down, and lift his shirt a little. He recognized the characteristic whistle of the cane swishing through the air. 'Get ready for this, it's gonna hurt Edward Cullen!' He warned himself, and clenched his teeth strongly before feeling the sharp pain across his entire backside.
"OUCHHHHHH!!!!" He couldn't hold back the scream poured from his mouth between his clenched teeth.
Just three more strokes and he had forgotten that once he considered himself a man. Now the grown man was crying like a little kid. He was unable to take such torture any longer. "Please! Stop it!!!" He began to beg, swallowing the little pride that he still had.
"I am sorry son." ZASSSS
"But it's still not enough." ZASSSS!
He could tell from his father's voice that the man was moved by his pain. While the swarm of bees still was torturing his backside, he yelled without thinking, "AYYYYYY!! DAMN IT CARLISLE!!! YES IT IS!!" It was clear that when his backside was within reach of his father's hands his brain was not able to reason.
Carlisle didn't wait to express his displeasure with son's words. ZASSSS!! A much stronger swat than the last few made the boy twist his body, and a huge yell tore out of his throat, "AAAAAAARRRGGGGGG!!!"
"Control your attitude and your words, Edward!!!" Carlisle rebuked firmly. "Do not make me punish you harder!!!"
'PUNISH ME HARDER?' He thought. His poor ass was already in the throes of death and Carlisle was able to punish him harder? "Noooooooooo please! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" he shouted despairingly. He could not risk his father accomplishing his threat.
He heard how his father sighed. The man was shaken by his son's scream. Edward felt Carlisle's heart break into pieces. Ironically, Edward realized that Carlisle was suffering more than he was. His pain was so great that the younger man could feel it running through his body. He was in the throes of death too. Edward felt so bad. He was to blame. It was all his fault. Absolutely everything!
"Hold out son." Carlisle's words interrupted Edward's regretful thoughts. "Just five more lashes," he pronounced. In that moment Edward knew that he would be able to receive a hundred more lashes if it meant he could move forward, and that his mistakes would be forgiven.
ZASSSSSS! "No escaping from home. Never again." ZASSSSSS!
"OUCHHHHHH!! I won't!! OUCHHHHHH! I promise!"
ZASSSSSS! "No breaking..." ZASSSSSS! "
a promise! Not ever!" ZASSSSSS!
He felt the cane biting mercilessly into his bare legs, and he couldn't stay up anymore. He knelt to the ground, and then realized that he couldn't keep shouting. His throat was completely dry and his pride was dashed.
He forced his legs to stand. He wanted to hug his father, but felt too embarrassed to do it. He tried to speak, but Carlisle stopped him with a big hug. He felt his father's strong arms holding him. Carlisle couldn't speak either, but he began to comfort the boy in his thoughts.
'Everything is all right,' his mind repeated softly. Edward wanted to open his mouth to apologize again but Carlisle's lips were faster. "You are forgiven my son," he said in a soft whisper, and Edward wondered if Carlisle was a mind reader too.
Edward lost track of time in his father's arms. He felt protected, and loved. The moment would have been perfect if not for the never ending burning in his ass, which reminded him over and over of how stupid he'd been to run away from home.
"Edward." Carlisle said softly, and the younger man lifted his eyes to meet his father's gentle look. "Do you know why I had to punish you today son?"
"BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME LIKE A REAL SON." He answered without any hesitation, and knew that it was the truth. If his father didn't love him enough, he would have let him go. He would have left him alone. But his father did love him. He loved him so much, that he was determined to laugh and cry with him, not just for a couple of years, but for the eternity. "AND I LOVE YOU LIKE MY REAL FATHER." He added sincerely and spontaneously.
"Thank you son." He said with a smile. His heart was exploding with joy after hearing his son's answer. 'And do you think you that you could do me a favor?' He asked silently, and let out a whistle when I read his request.
"I'll try!" Edward said loud and clear. Of course he was going to do his best to never need another 'motivational' lesson about the seriousness of keeping a promise, or running away from home.
"Time to go home." Carlisle suggested, and Edward agreed. He was dying to write a song, and thought, 'Wow! I had completely forgotten! That girl was right. I will have to play my piano standing. At least during the days, no better make it years, that my poor ass won't be able to deal with sitting down!'
# # #
"Did you enjoy your walk around time my dear Renesmee?" A voice asked softly, making the little girl smile mischievously
"How do you know about my trip Aunt Alice?"
"Are you kidding? I know the future. Don't you remember? I've known since always." Alice said smiling. Taking the girl's hand, she carried her to the house. "Time to go. Your father is waiting for you."
Sighing with her head bowed, the girl was carried away with the same emotion as a lamb carried to the slaughterhouse.
"Are they very angry with me?" Renesmee asked, raising her eyes just a little bit.
"Hmmm, well I guarantee you that they aren't very happy. Let's say that yelling at your mother, smashing Esme's china, and using your powers to run away, was not a smart move indeed, my dear friend."
"Well it's not like I had too many choices
But I think you're right. It was not."
"Well then you'll agree with me that your father is right to be a little bit annoyed, isn't he? Although I think by now his biggest concern isn't his anger."
She only nodded slightly. They continued on their way, slowly and in complete silence. Apparently neither of them wanted to get home soon.
"Aunt Alice?" the sweet little voice said suddenly. "Uhmmm... My dad is gonna... Do you think... well... How can I say it... Um... Do you know if Dad has the intention of expressing his 'concern' specifically on my backside?"
"You'll find out very soon little one," Alice said distractedly.
The simple answer made the child's face fall. She looked at a near future. Definitely not very pleasant, and full of black clouds. But she must picture it. A couple of hours earlier she had started 'the tantrum of the century' and it was impossible that her father would let her get away with it.
"Then I'm dead Aunt Alice. I'm sure Dad's going to kill me."
Alice completely stopped their march, clutched the girl in her arms, and began to comfort her indulgently like the warm cool breeze that accompanied the two solitary walkers. A few minutes later, she pulled the child away from her chest and held the innocent face between her hands.
"The experience will be a little... let's say a little painful. But my dear child, you'll survive. I can guarantee that!"
"How do you know?" The impatience to know her fate was evident in the voice of the girl.
Alice's beautiful eyes shone with a combination of compassion and kindness. After a few seconds she said with a tiny bit of mischief sparkling in his eyes. "Because your father promised you, and I can assure you that since that day, Edward Cullen always keeps His promises!"
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