“There must be another way, Marydith,” Iraz said.
I smiled at Iraz sadly. “I hope there is, Iraz. I really hope it.”
A few moments later I was at Lauren’s bed again. “I think we can leave now. I’ll wake them up tomorrow morning. That should be enough time.” I straightened up and looked at Carlisle. “Will you help us? There are going to be more cases of these.”
“Of course. Are you two free right now?”
“I need to go to the station. I’ve got a night shift,” Iraz said. His skin glowed a bright blue light and he changed into an older man with black hair and a moustache. He was wearing a police officer uniform. “You can go, Bells,” he chuckled.
“I don’t know, I don’t want to intrude and…” I began but Carlisle cut me off.
“Nonsense, we would love to have you.” He opened turned to leave. “Shall we?” he called over his shoulder
Iraz gave me a pointed and I shrugged. We quickly followed him.
I was fidgeting in Carlisle’s Mercedes and he noticed.
“Marydith, are you nervous?” he chuckled.
“It’s Bella, and no, I am not.” He gave me a look. “Okay, maybe a little. It’s been a while since I’ve been with vampires.”
“We won’t hurt you, I promise.”
I chuckled. “I’m certainly not concerned about you hurting me.”
“What are you concerned about?”
But I wouldn’t tell him. I could tell he cared a lot about him and I wasn’t going to take away his hope on Edward’s luck.
“I don’t really know,” I said softly.
The house was timeless, graceful, and probably a hundred years old. it was painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned. The windows and doors were either part of the original structure or a perfect restoration.
It was exactly like Carlisle.
As we reached the house, the unmistakable guilt washed over me again, but I kept my face emotionless. I could do this. I could face him.
Carlisle parked in the garage and we stepped out. He led us through a door.
The inside was less predictable than the exterior. It was very bright, very open and very large. This must have originally been several rooms, but the walls had been removed from most of the first floor to create one wide space. The back, south-facing wall had been entirely replaced with glass, and, beyond the shade of the cedars, the lawn stretched bare to the wide river. A massive curving staircase dominated the west side of the room. The walls, the high-beamed ceiling, the wooden floor, and the thick carpets were all varying shades of white.
“What a beautiful home, Carlisle. It’s very… you,” I smiled.
He grinned, seeming to glow with pride. “My wife decorated it. Guys?”
Suddenly, the living room was filled with his family. I recognized the kids, of course, and I also recognized Carlisle’s wife from my vision in 1921. I smiled at her.
“It’s wonderful to finally meet you, Esme. I’m Marydith, but please call me Bella.”
She was frowning and looked at Carlisle. “Marydith? The Marydith?”
Carlisle nodded and Esme gasped, watching me, wide-eyed. Then she surprised me by stepping forward and catching me in a hug. “Thank you,” she whispered.
I chuckled, hugging her back. It felt wonderful, very motherly. When she released me, I said; “I need to thank you. You don’t understand how amazing it feels to see so much love.”
I looked at the others, who were looking very confused. Carlisle chuckled, stepping in. “Kids, I heard you already met, but this is Marydith.”
“So, are you, like, a vampire?” the big, burly one, Emmett asked.
I chuckled. “No, I am not. Why don’t you all sit down and I’ll tell you.”
I waited until they were seated, before starting my story.