Chapter 1

Six Years Later

The medical school at the University of Michigan is consistently ranked in the top ten, and usually in the top five in the country. My classmates hailed from all over the world, about half from Michigan and half from everywhere else. According to the dean who stood at the front of the auditorium in her white coat, we were supposedly the best of the best, and the brightest crop of students they had seen in many years.

But as I listened to her drone on about our MCAT averages, the only thing on my mind was how damn cold it was already.

Everyone had already assured the Arizonian/Floridian that this was just a temporary cold snap, that Ann Arbor was usually unbearably hot until at least Labor Day, and it rarely snowed before Halloween. As though snow at any time was somehow a good thing. But here I was, sitting in a lecture hall at the end of August and it was somehow already in the fifties.

Not so much my idea of good weather.

Renee had urged me here, saying that it would be good to get away from Florida, that she would be fine with Phil, and how could I pass up the opportunity to go to a top-ranked medical school almost for free?

Because free it was. With many thanks to my having locked myself in my psychiatrist-prescribed single room for the entirety of my freshman and sophomore years at UF, my finishing GPA was a perfect 4—even with the grueling biology and pre-med courses I’d piled on. It had taken me three years to feel like socializing even a little, and that had left me with a lot of time to hit the books. So when I applied to Michigan, they’d jumped at the opportunity to have me. Out of state, single parents, female scientist, first-generation graduate student…I was some admission person’s wet dream, for sure.

Michigan had barely even been on my radar, originally. I’d picked neurobiology because it made sense, and because after him, I wanted to have a better handle on the mind. I’d spent hours in the lab at Florida working on the brains of degus and sheep, trying desperately to understand why he had been able to hear—and why his gift had stretched to everyone but me.

The studies had kept me going, through the years when I couldn’t bear to go out, and had been my constant even as I’d started, reluctantly, to make friends. But a single glimpse of a boy whose hair was the right shade of rusted copper, strains of a piano piece I’d heard him practice, the scent of spices on someone’s cologne, never quite as sweet as his scent, but close enough—these things sent me spiraling out of control. I would retreat to my room, call my psychiatrist in a panic, spend a few hours hyperventilating and crying, and then return, always, to the lab. My animals were comforting, in their strange way. I never discovered anything about telepathy, but my honors thesis on the limitations of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors won three awards, and landed me a fully funded spot in Michigan’s medical science program. It would be seven more years of school, but I’d end up a “double doctor,” and really, seven more years of facing mainly cadavers and rodents seemed like a perfectly fine idea.

There were nearly two hundred of us in the entering class, a number which, according to the rumors I’d already heard, would dwindle quickly. My cohort of medical scientists was much smaller: only seven. We’d met for dinner the night before at a pizza place off campus. Three women and four men. Half geneticists, which was common these days. I was the only neurobiologist.

One of the other medical scientist guys, Daniel, had already given me the eye, and as much as I’d tried to deflect him, I had mistakenly answered the question about whether or not I was seeing anyone incorrectly. I’d answered honestly—no, but how did I explain I didn’t have the desire to? There had been two during undergrad, each as short-lived as the other. My therapist had rejoiced at the time, but both relationships had lasted less than a month.

“I’m not ready,” I’d told her both times, when I’d inevitably turned down my suitors. The boys and I had gotten close, even made out some, but then hands on me would not feel like his hands—or even worse, they would feel like his hands—and I would be reminded that the last boy I had loved I had driven to his death.

And that was always enough. As it turns out, “My last serious boyfriend killed himself” is a real relationship-ender.

I’d told my parents and my therapist just enough of the truth to get them to leave me alone, leaving out the crucial details, of course. They thought Edward was nothing more than a tortured seventeen-year-old whose irresponsible—or, more likely, overtaxed—parents had managed to overlook severe depression. I had hated framing Carlisle and Esme like that, but Alice had assured me I would be forgiven, and besides, it was crucial that the Cullens not be exposed.

Alice was the only one I had ever seen, and she disappeared after she’d managed to smuggle me out of Italy. Later, after I’d served my term in the psychiatric hospital in Jacksonville—suicide risk, they’d dubbed it, and used it as an excuse to hold me for weeks—she would write to tell me that the whole family had returned briefly to Forks to exterminate “The Redhead” and assure my safety. Jake and the Quileute boys  had helped, but beyond that neither she nor he would be telling me more.

“It’s better you forget all of this, Bella,” Jake had told me quietly, the last time I’d seen him, four years ago. “It was wrong of that leech to drag you into all this to begin with.”

I had stormed out on him and dialed Alice at once, only to find her phone had been disconnected. I asked Charlie to check on the house, and he informed me it had been bought for use as a vacation home by some Nike executive who wanted to have a base camp for hiking the Olympics. My emails to Alice went unanswered, and, after a few months, began to bounce.

Renee hovered for exactly one year, at which point she wanted to get back on the road with Phil. I finished high school with a tutor at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital and went to UF because I had nothing better to do, at first only part-time, making the fifty-minute drive twice a week, but then moving to campus after a year. The therapy helped—the drugs helped more—and the shrink visits went from daily to twice-weekly and finally to monthly.

See, Edward? I thought from time to time, as I made my way through an honors degree. I can get by without you. And so I had, complete with summa cum laude and multiple awards. I stayed on campus all summer, still breeding degus, and then, two days ago, shoved all my things into a ten-foot U-Haul and drove myself up to Ann Arbor, hauling my aging Toyota.

The little car had been one of my first triumphs of therapy. The monstrous red-orange truck had, of course, not come down from Washington with me. Charlie thought it wouldn’t make the trip. For four years I had forced him not to do anything with it, until one day he called and said Jake couldn’t keep the thing running anymore unless someone was driving it with more regularity. I had wanted it to at least go to someone on the Rez, but to those boys the truck reeked of him, and so the truck, with its clawed-out radio, dented side, and painful memories disappeared to a collector in Port Angeles.

I refused to let Charlie send me the money. He’d bought the thing, anyway.

And so I got by, with a new car, in a new state, with new friends. But the truth was that my life for six years still felt like a postcard constantly going back to that room in the house in Forks with the huge glass wall. Wish You Were Here, it said.

Shaking my head, I forced myself out of thinking about it, and instead forced myself to look around the auditorium. Some of the medical scientists had sat together today, and I could see them in a little cluster down in the second row. I’d arrived later and slunk into the fourth row from the back. I felt old, compared to my classmates, in part because I was—it had taken me two extra years to finish my degree thanks to all the therapy, and in part because of all I’d been through. Their excitement was strange to me, and I let the chatter thrum in my ears as I hunched down in my seat and tried to listen to the dean.

The dean of the medical school was a woman with a broad smile and a pleasant voice. She was encouraging all of us to work hard, to love our studies, to forget about specializations until later, when we’d had more experience. Some of my classmates were scribbling down notes—these would be the ones who would panic over every exam. Others were fiddling on laptops and iPhones—they would be either the whiz kids, who never had to lift a finger, or the smart alecks who hid ineptitude behind jokes. I glanced around the room, my mind beginning to count, to think about how to analyze this class’s chances for success statistically, when I was poked in the arm.

“Do you know that guy?” came a whisper.

I turned. The person next to me was leaning back in his chair, trying to appear to be paying attention to the dean. But he cocked his head in the direction of another, three rows down. From the back, all I could see was sand-colored hair curling slightly at the neckline of a hooded sweatshirt—typical fall attire here, I gathered.

Returning my eyes to the dean, I murmured, “No. Why?”

“He keeps checking you out.”

Frowning, I looked back down the rows. The guy in question was slouched in his chair, fingers drumming on the top of a venti Starbucks cup as he stared forward as absently as the rest of us. There was something vaguely familiar about the angular jaw, the Roman nose. I studied him for a moment. He twisted in his chair and pulled out an iPhone, which he tapped on a few times as though he were checking something. A moment later, he turned toward me again.

At once, his face yanked itself from the memories I’d tried so furiously to bury. It made sense, of course, as his features were as unchanged as they ever would be. But it was so jarring to see him here; his usually neatly-combed hair looking as snarled as every other boy’s beneath the pair of sunglasses on his head; his customary shirt and tie replaced by a black hoodie bearing the words MICHIGAN TECH in huge white letters. For a moment we stared at each other, and then he casually turned back to face the front, sliding the sunglasses down to cover eyes whose color I knew all too well.

My mouth clamped shut instinctively. I would have to remember to tell my therapist in Florida about that. I had finally mastered what she’d taught me. Breathe in through the nose, slowly, slowly—there. And hold it. Exhale. In again. When I was certain I wouldn’t hyperventilate, I looked back at him.

His eyes were now fixed on the front of the room, and now it was I who was watching him. His tall frame was slouched into the chair, his feet kicking up on the back of the empty chair in front of him. Running shoes, with ankles showing between the top of the shoe and the fraying bottom hem of his jeans. Edward had worn them from time to time, but even he preferred slightly nicer shoes, and of course Alice was forever bringing back the latest in Italian leather footwear for all of them.

It made sense, I supposed. Medicine was a field that changed almost daily, although surely all of them could find time to read every single medical journal and stay abreast of new developments. But then there was licensure, and being able to prove a recent residency, and now that I’d thought about it, it was unbelievably short-sighted that it had never occurred to me that he’d need to come back to school periodically.

The irony.

Whatever the dean said for the next twenty minutes was lost. Were they all here? I wondered. Esme, at least…my heart raced as I thought about how wonderful it would be to feel the embrace of the woman who had been so quick to think of me as her daughter. Lost in thoughts of this nature, I didn’t notice the dean wrapping up. It wasn’t until his feet dropped off the chair that I recognized the rustling bags and the creaks of auditorium seats springing upward as their occupants vacated them. I got out of my seat, too, shoving into my bag the steno pad on which I had idly doodled the mean MCAT scores of my class.

In the time it took me to do so, he disappeared from his seat into the throng of M1s. I felt the panic rising again. Why hadn’t he waited? Surely he knew I would want to talk to him. They could move fast; he could disappear. But then, he couldn’t move that fast in a roomful of humans. He wouldn’t risk it, would he? Finally I spied the shock of corn-silk hair, the back of the black sweatshirt, the new-looking navy knapsack.

I jumped over the row in front of me, banging my shin and landing on my hands and knees in the aisle. A hand immediately came to my upper arm and pulled me upright.

“You okay?” a deep voice asked, and I looked up into dark eyes and dark hair.

“That was some jump,” he said.

I shook my head. “I’m fine; I’m fine. I’ll be fine. I’m just trying to catch up to someone.”

Someone who was moving faster and faster away. I ducked a few students in the aisle, squeezing past them, bumping backpacks and messenger bags out of the way. Behind me I heard muffled “Hey”s and “Sorry”s and even an “Excuse you”.

“I’m sorry,” I called backward to no one in particular. But when I looked up, he had hit the door of the auditorium. Still jostling my way through a few more people, I called out his name.

“Carlisle! Carlisle, wait!”

I could have sworn I saw the slightest hitch in his step, but one, it wasn’t possible for him to stumble, and two, he didn’t turn. I kept pressing my way through bags and bodies, calling his  until I was a couple feet from him. And by some small mercy, the guy standing next to him noticed me.

He tapped Carlisle’s shoulder. “Hey—Will?”

The name stopped me short. My feet quit moving of their own accord, and my jaw dropped a little bit as he spun to face me. There was no way I had mistaken his face, could there be?

Then he turned and I knew it was impossible. No one else had those eyes. The rich, honeycomb gold, the way in their expression, they carried the weight of centuries. I remembered at once the first time I’d met him, how he’d seemed weary, but was gentle and kind…and casually evasive.

“D’ya know her?” his comrade said, cocking his head toward me.

I realized at once that I’d accidentally trapped him.  He couldn’t claim to have a child as old as I was, not if he was pretending to be an M1 student, so he couldn’t explain how we truly knew each other. He couldn’t very well claim to have gone to my college when he was wearing a sweatshirt from another institution. And then I saw flicker across his face something I’d never seen. His brow furrowed, and my breath caught as I realized for the first time I was seeing Edward’s gentle father, not looking with his usual kindness, not with pity, or even confusion, but with anger.

And the tears were already stinging my eyes when that beautiful voice I’d first heard in the tiny hospital on the other side of the country answered evenly, “No. I’ve never seen her before in my life.”

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§ 48 Responses to Chapter 1"

  • foufymaus says:

    Oh! no… he didn’t … wow.

  • verseseven says:

    OOOOH MY GOODNESS. SO GOOD! You are a master craftsman with words.

  • Malianani says:

    I know it’s not my birthday, but when I saw your chapter alert in my in-box this morning, I felt as if I’d received a fabulous gift! Your stories are always a joy to read not only because you have such a natural way with crafting words, but even more so, because you develop characters and their inner complexity so expertly. I *love* that Carlisle is angry!! And I imagine that he has projected much of his personal guilt for Edward’s death onto Bella. I enjoy how you take your time to set the tone for both this changed Bella and the changed Carlisle. Neither is the same person after the tragedy of Edward’s death. I especially like how you draw Carlisle through Bella’s eyes. He no longer wears smart suits and Italian leather shoes. (Perhaps a hint that Alice is no longer part of his life?) But that he dresses in a sweatshirt and casual jeans–wearing shoes that *Edward* might have worn. Hmm!!! What does *that* tell us, I wonder?

    One thing is sure, I am learning patience better than I ever have before, as now, in addition to awaiting updates for “Strengoni”, I am almost jumping out of my seat for updates on “One Day”!

    Both, I am positive, are absolutely worth the wait.

  • benkat says:

    I just recently stumbled upon your webpage through Fanfiction, I have read Da Capo and Ithaca is Gorges previously but did not realize you had other works separate from what is posted on Fanfiction.

    I read through the first couple of chapters for “One Day” and and am very much looking forward to updates.

    “Ithaca is Gorges” is to date my favorite Fanfiction story, I am fairly sure I drove my husband nuts by taking over the computer for a couple of days so I could read through the entire piece.

    I can already tell that “One Day” is going to be another favorite!

    • giselle says:

      Welcome! So far One Day is the only exclusive content to the site, which is mostly because I have a lot on my plate at the moment, but wanted to get this story out where at least a few people could read it. It may update very slowly (although I’m hoping not every two months like the last bit took!) However, I always post here first–if I don’t have time to post on every archive when a chapter is ready, the chapter goes up here first and then on other sites when I have a second.

      But anyway. I hope you enjoy it! I’m really fond of it, and having a LOT of fun writing Carlisle pretending to actually be 23.

      • verseseven says:

        I looove the idea of Carlisle wearing a SWEATSHIRT! :) Brilliant detail.

        • giselle says:

          I’ve always loved C in sweatshirts. One of his sweatshirts makes a cameo in Ch. 2 of Ithaca, too. They have the power to transform one instantly to a younger age, and I think it would be an easy trick for him to use.

  • benkat says:

    Hey I am a stay at home mom, with a 2 year old and I just recently went back to school full time. You’ll likely be finished by the time I can actually read the rest!

    BTW I read “Cannon Backfire” a couple weeks ago and “Tweet Tweet” had me giggling so hard at 1am my husband actually woke up to ask me if something was wrong. Too Funny!

  • winniegirl says:

    Sooo, looking forward to this. I’m excited to see what happens when you abandon canon. very interesting.

    • giselle says:

      Hee. Well, I never “abandon” canon, per se…but this will definitely be characters who’ve been profoundly changed by the intervening years. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Jill Cohen says:

    I literally Just found this!! Why did you not put this in FF.net? It’really good! I cant wait to see more! Cant wait to see how the Cullens have been in the past 6 years. And definately want to see much much more of carlisle!! I’m actually not surprised he doesnt want to talk to Bella. Why would he? He might not blame her for what happened, but looking at her and talking to her will definately not be easy for him, all things considered. AHHHH!! you have made my day, once again! Thank you!

    • giselle says:

      I’m glad it made your day. I haven’t put it up on FFnet because I have three stories which are my priorities ahead of this one, although this one is nagging at me. So while I’ve been a FINK about updating Stregoni, I *really* don’t promise speed with this one, and I don’t want something posting on FFnet that posts super slowly. But I’m having fun with this, and I hope you enjoy it.

      And what makes you so sure he doesn’t blame Bella for what happened? :devious grin:

      • Jill Cohen says:

        Carlisle is so gentile that it’s hard for me to imagine him being angry at anyone. But if there is anything that would change carlisle so completely it’s Edward’s death. So i guees you’re right… ahhh! You’ve made me want to read this even more now!
        Now that I think about it there are some things that have changed already… When you decribed how he’s dressing, of course it’s diferent from his usual dress code, but at first I just thought that was him playing the first year med student… he couldnt possibly pull off the italian suits and leather shoes when he’s supposed to be buried under student loans… But then it could also mean that his own personal stylist (aka Alice) isnt available anymore? which is a really sad thought… that the family separated… Also… Carlisle’s friend calls him “Will”. It surprised me that carlisle isnt using his real name. That right there is the first thing that to me means he’s changed. He probably doesnt want to be “carlisle” anymore. I mean… the first person who really knew him was edward. Now that he’s gone, carlisle probably feels like “carlisle” died with his son.

        You’re the Devil, i hope you know that!! Your stories take over all of my head space!! hahahaha Already late for my bus to go to college. I blame you! :)

        • giselle says:

          You’ve definitely stumbled on a lot of the biggies. And I like your thought that on some level he feels like his identity died with Edward. I hadn’t quite put it in so many words. Thank you for that.

  • spikeishotter says:

    Wheee! So excited to find this story. You are one of my top 5 writers in the fandom, and it’s just so swell to find this lovely tale. Can’t wait to find out how E DIDN’T die… or shit. did he?

    • giselle says:

      It’s always a delight to hear from you! Glad you stumbled over here.

      As for E…well, you know my loyalty is always to Carlisle’s story first…

  • Karen Day says:

    Hi Giselle.. I just read Ithaca is gorges and it was amazing.. tell me do you have anymore stories based on the other novels….. I think you are amazing…..Thank You

    • giselle says:

      Hi Karen! Thanks so much–I’m glad you enjoyed it, and glad you came over here to comment, since I couldn’t reply to your FFnet review!

      All of my fics, with the exception of “One Day the Sun Will Rise” (and “The Last Days of Socrates,” which is in-progress but not yet posted) are compliant with the action in the books, but I don’t have another like Ithaca that traces the full lefth of one of the four books (I still have a project simmering to re-write book 4, but I’m finding I’ve taken on rather a lot lately). But I love fleshing out the characters and the plots in the books, and so most of what you’ll find here are stories which expand on and complement the books.

  • baldtomato says:

    wow interesting premise – can’t wait to see how Carlisle fakes it out, having a different name, wearing messed hair and hoodies (awesome!), and trying to “pretend” to be a 23 yr old for real hah. You dinnnnt actually kill off Edward did u? awwwwwww. please tell me he’s still alive and wandering somewhere (that even the Cullens aren’t aware), pretty please….

  • ashling92 says:

    *holds up hands in defeat* I should have known better than to bet against Carlisle where you, giselle, are concerned. ;-) But I assumed Rosalie to be the one who gets a chance to truly heal. And I still think that this pairing would make for interesting dynamics! I do love to read about Carlisle, though, and this chapter has me completely hooked up in your story. :-D

    Unfortunately I read the reviews before writing mine, so I will not comment on Carlisle’s clothing. Alice’s probable absence does make sense, if not for her but for Jasper. He would not only feel his own grief but that of everyone around him and I’m not sure even a vampire can survive that without going insane.
    I really liked Jill Cohen’s thoughts on Carlisle not using his own name and it may be a sign for a change in his personality due to grieving. But I tend to believe that in this age with all the research opportunities given by computers and people moving a lot he may use different names from time to time just to make sure that nobody and especially nobody in medical society would recognize him and get suspicious. Carlisle seems to be excellent in his field, so I’m sure former colleagues would remember him rather easily.

    Bella turning to books and studying to find comfort makes perfect sense to me, after all she has been known to have the tendency to do so in her time in Phoenix. With her love for books and reading, I would have expected her to take up a subject in the literature or linguistic field, but that would probably remind her too much of Edward — just imagine to have to read and study a romance novel or some love poem in her current state! And in Twilight we have seen that she can excel in biology, too. Her reason to pick Neurobiology seems a bit masochistic to me, I have problems depicting Bella killing and dissecting those little degus and I wonder how she manages that part of her research with her reacting to the smell of blood like she did in Twilight. Btw I like the parallel between meeting Edward in Biology and meeting Carlisle (again) in Neurobiology. Both don’t give her a very warm welcome…Thinking about it, this parallel may even be a (subconscious) motivation for Bella to pick up Neurobiology, kind of getting/feeling close to ‘her’ vampire(s) or hoping of finding him/them again in this way.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this chapter immensely and am looking forward to see how the Cullens have dealt with Edward’s absence — still have problems to wrap my head around the word ‘death’, guess I show sings of grieving myself or maybe it’s my Doubting Thomas trait that induces the need to see the corpse (or rather the ashes) before I believe ;-) — and what became of Bella’s and Jacob’s relationship.

    Thank you for writing and sharing.

  • Jill Cohen says:

    Hey. It’s me again.
    It’s now the 11th of febuary and i was just wondering how much longer you intend to TORTURE us by making us wait for an update on this story???!!!! I’m in pain here!! I think i’d be a lovely valentine’s day gift for those of us who are Carlisle-less, which makes ALL of us! :)

    • giselle says:

      I’ll see what I can do. The main reason this fic is up only on my site is because I *know* I don’t have the ability/time to update it as often as I’d like to. SB takes a lot of work, and beyond that I have two FGB pieces. But I have hammered out parts of chapter 2, so perhaps?

    • Malianani says:

      Regarding Jill’s comments: ditto! (times 10!)

      I try to be patient, but oh! it can be so haarrd sometimes–especially with this story. I am three steps beyond intrigued with the idea of an angry Carlisle. I can’t wait to see what happens next :)

  • Jill Cohen says:

    our wait is going on 3 months! :(

  • Jill Cohen says:

    4 months….

  • PDXMadeline says:

    Hi Giselle, Can’t wait for the next chapters here. Enjoyed Ithaca is Gorges very much; great writing!

    • giselle says:

      Thank you! This one is fun for me…but it does update veery slowly, as you can see from the other comments. I think once more of it falls into place I’ll be able to move on it more quickly.

  • Sharon says:

    Does he blame her for Edward’s death? I saw response on ADF and had to come read this here. Wow! I don’t think anyone writes Carlisle like you. Great story!

    • giselle says:

      I won’t reveal too much, but he has many reasons he’s upset with Bella right now…many conscious, some subconscious. And thank you! I hope you enjoy the rest.

  • jenny says:

    okay so
    1) he loved edward and
    1a) it was edward’s wish to leave bella’s life for her own good, so carlisle might want to deny bella in order to respect his beloved son
    1b) he might hold a grudge against bella for her part (however innocent) in edward’s demise
    2) the fiddling with his phone may have been instruction from that know-it-all vampire that it would not be prudent to acknowledge bella at this time
    BUT, if that is the case why did he turn to look directly at her AFTER fucking around with his phone?
    given this paradox, i’m attributing his uncharacteristic coldness to one of the #1 options until i am supplied with further information in this case.

  • RobinVanDam says:

    If I were Carlisle, I too would be furious with Bella, even if Edward is or is not dead. In reading the New Moon Saga, I constantly cried my eyes out. (Maybe I’m just a sap!) I literally can not read that book without crying…or watch the movie. Whether Bella was consciously or unconsciously aware of it, she was the biggest self-absorbed, selfish hippocrite and liar of them all. When she and Edward lay on her couch watching Romeo and Juliet and he told her of is thoughts of going to the Volturi to die, she got angry with him for having those thoughts. If that conversation meant anything to her she would have never fogotten it. But no, what did she do after Edward left? She endangered her life over and over again, claiming it was to hear his voice. But it wasn’t just to hear his voice. She knew Alice could see her, she knew Alice would tell Edward what she was doing, especially since she thought they were all together. So she continued endangering her life in hopes he would come back and when he didn’t her attempts escalated. She can deny it all she wants but she was attempting suicide when she jumped off that cliff. “You wanted me to be human…watch me. You won’t stay with me any other way.” Sub-conscious or not she would have done anything to make Edward come back, even suicide. And I don’t cry because of Bella’s pain, I cry because of Edward’s, Alice’s, Esme’s Carlisle’s and the rest of the Cullens pain (except Rosalie of course), not to mention her father, mother and Jacob. When that thought came into her head about “empty stupid broken promises” she was angry. It was a vengeful thing to do…to try to guilt him like that. That’s what I truely hated about that book. SM did not depict Bella’s true motives, she masked it, trying to make you become so caught up in what she only wanted you to see on the surface, not showing you “ALL” of Bella. And the saddest part…it would have made for better reading to see that side of Bella she tried to hide because then you could truely understand Bella’s need for Edward and her anger for him leaving her. It was a deception on SM part to have it in the underlying echo of the story, especially since so many teenagers have read the books and may or do find it romantic the way she wrote it. It was not a “Romeo and Juliet” kind of suicide attempt but she tried to make it look like one.

    Yes, I too would be very angry if I were Carlisle. He knows and understands.

  • StormDragonfly says:

    The idea of Carlisle blaming Bella for Edward’s death is painful. I imagine that the only way such a thing would occur was if it were an example of emotions taking over reason. I’ve seen many fics that conclude a vampire is set (personality, state of being, mental health, etc) unless a powerful emotional event takes place, like the meeting of a mate. If after six years Carlisle blames Bella for Edward’s death, I would lean towards concluding that his blame is an emotionally centered one, and one that got locked in because his grief was so strong. The events of New Moon, leading up to this prologue here, have Bella rather blameless in Edward’s decision-making. I wonder if another unknown fact might come to light revealing something Bella did wrong.

    Yes, the hoodie needs yet another mention. :) It definitely helped to blend him in. I enjoyed how you didn’t outright reveal who the guy was. One might guess that it was Jasper, until Bella starts thinking about the logical of medical schooling.

    I’m curious to learn about the reason behind Carlisle using a different name – hell, I’m curious about a lot. :)

    And here’s where I start talking to the characters:
    Carlisle, Bella wouldn’t even have known that you were there if you hadn’t kept looking at her. So it’s your own damn fault that she chased after you.

    (Now I find myself suddenly envisioning a fight between Bella and Carlisle, where she’s screaming at him that he has no right to assume his grief over Edward’s death is any greater or worth more precedence than her own. )

    I’m looking forward, with patience, to whatever direction you lead is in with the story. First, I get to read the next two chapters. Whee!

  • Lila says:

    Wow. I can’t believe that. On the other hand, she did kill his son… kinda.

  • Cold Relief says:

    Wow, this is one AU that I’ve always wondered about, but never thought I or know of anyone up to the challenge, but when I found this I was ecstatic. You are amazing writer, and no matter where you take this story, I’m sure you will do a very moving and amazing job.

    I can’t wait to explore the last line. I can’t help but wonder how much his anger is about being trapped or maybe he can’t help but blame Bella a little for Edward’s poor choice. Grief isn’t rationale and it would be only human for him to do so.

    Sorry for not review the prologue, but I’m very excited to continue. Speaking of which I have four more chapters ready…

    • giselle says:

      I hope you enjoy it! I’d also wanted someone to write this AU for a long time…and nobody did. So I got going on it. :) Thanks for reading!

  • EdwardsMate4ever says:

    Wow. I am so happy I’ve found this little gem on your site. I am normally not a fan of Bella’s, but, as you well know by now, I AM a fan of your writing style and your ideas for stories. And I am very well intrigued by this. Such a different side of Carlisle. I really cannot wait to see where this goes.

    • giselle says:

      I hope you enjoy it! This is my weird little foray into the land of AU, but it’s one I love. It updates like molasses, I’m warning you in advance, but soon it will be my only fic being posted and I *hope* that will change things? This is my little toy, and I hope you like the journey.

  • Nikki says:

    Wondering…is this a Edward x Bella or Carlisle x Bella fic? Please tell me, I need to know before moving on. By the way, I LOVE this chapter and your writing, I always have! Thanks for sharing!

    • giselle says:

      This is a fic narrated by Bella. :)

      • Nikki says:

        THAT helps! No, not really, but I can’t be mad at you when you write so wonderfully. You can’t blame us for being frustrated; you make us that way. ;)

        Thanks for sharing!
        ~Nikki

        By the way: Do you have an intended date for this to be posted on FFn.net? How about Patroclus Rising and Present Perfect?

        • giselle says:

          hee. I’m devious like that. But really, I don’t want to give *anything* away about this story, even by saying things like, “Well, but I didn’t say….” which implies that whatever I didn’t say is true.

          This is a story told by Bella, and that’s about all anyone is getting from me besides my betas.

          As to the 2nd question, I will probably never post this to FFnet, I’ve decided to keep it only here, unless someday down the line I decide to stop paying for gisellelx.com (might happen, but I’m as broke as I hope to ever be right now and if I can spring for the cost now, I should be able to spring for it later). This fic is sort of my little port in the storm, that reminds me why I found these characters so captivating and why, for me, this has never been about a review count or a huge fic but has been about freely sharing a story about characters I love with other people who love them. So I kind of don’t want it to go on FFnet to participate in that rat race. But I *might* put it up when it’s complete (2017 at this rate! gah!), and, as I said, if I ever take this site away, I will make sure it’s available somewhere. I’m not into pulling fic.

          As to the other two, my beta and I have been going back and forth over preliminary notes on PRESENT PERFECT and I hope to have it up really soon. PATROCLUS I’m still finishing, but there’s quite a bit done.

          Thank you for asking. Nudges are good. :)

          • Nikki says:

            So if I offer myself as a beta…

            Kidding. Kinda.

            If you ever need any help with pre-reading or something, you know where to find me. ;) I’d be happy to help.

            Unfortunately, I DO understand where you’re coming from. Which means that I will patiently wait until you update the next chapter…whenever that is.

            Well, WP is always free too, so you wouldn’t have to delete it. Isn’t it as simple as adding a .wordpress.com to the address?

            I can’t wait!

            I completely agree. I’d never get anything done without a little bit of nudging.

  • Jenny says:

    This reminds me of the tune I Get Along Without You Very Well as sung by Chet Baker.

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