His face was so hard for me to see. Despair was overpowering his joy. I looked to Edward, who didn't seem surprised, with his idea that all vampires were soulless monsters, why shouldn't Charlie be disgusted with himself? I rolled my eyes at him, and his eyes flickered towards me, catching the movement, but not bothering with it.

"Charlie," Carlisle soothed. "It's alright, you are fine. We're all fine." I heard a low snicker from behind me. A lethal hiss escaped from my clamped lips.  Carlisle paused for the tiniest second, changing the subject. "What do you remember?"

Charlie pursed his lips, his brow furrowing. He only stared blankly at Carlisle. Then slowly, softly, he whispered,

"Not much. I only remember the man in black. He was a thief, wasn't he?" He accused, his voice raising an octave. His expressions lit up, and his memory came pouring out. "I was the first one to respond to the call. I thought I could handle him. I almost had him too,  I remember thinking I would get a big promotion when the boss found out I had taken down an armed criminal by myself," he chuckled darkly. His eyes grew wide.

"Then I heard Nessie, and she was running to me. Running really fast." His eyes scanned the room until he found her, huddled in the corner next to Jacob. His eyes narrowed slightly, but he turned his attention back to Carlisle.

"And then a loud "BOOM!" And I thought I had taken him out by accident, then I was worried about Nessie, afraid I hit her by accident, it's all a blur, then darkness," he babbled, shaking his head, trying to erase the memory. Carlisle said, "Ok Charlie, that's all I need" when I said, "Dad, dad it's okay!" I glanced at Carlisle, sorrow in his eyes. He stared back at me, communicating a message without speaking. I took Charlie's hand, which wasn't hot to me anymore, yet a little warmer than Edward's felt.

I looked into his eyes and told him the truth calmly and as subtly as I possibly could. His eyes grew wider with every word I said. He gasped every time I said "Vampire". He shuddered every time I said "Werewolf." 

When I was finished, Charlie was still as a statue, his eyes blazing into mine. His face was horror-struck, something you would expect to see on a person who had just been told they were dying. No, worse than that. A person who just had been told they had one day to live. 

After a few minutes of quiet, his eyes peeled from mine to look around the room at his new family. I felt as if I had two holes burned in my pupils. Then he gazed down at his rock hard hands, flexing them, then looking over them again as if he could somehow brush off this new skin.

"Charlie," I murmured, taking both his hands and holding them to my chest. "I know this is hard. But would you rather have died than become immortal? Don't you want to stay alive with us, with me?" He didn't reply. My eyes fell to the floor, his hands slipping from my grasp. Charlie didn't want to be here. He wanted to be dead. Maybe he would have been happier in heaven. I let out a  heavy sigh and took a step back.

"Do-" Charlie started, and my head snapped back up. Charlie wasn't looking at me anymore. He was surveying the room. "Can I still-" His eyes fell on Billy. A small smile formed on his pale face, as did one on Billy's russet skin. "Can I still go fishing with you?" 

The room burst into laughter as Billy nodded his head up and down, his teeth showing in his smile. He wheeled over to the bed and patted Charlie on the back.

Everyone froze, including Charlie. But his eyes suddenly burned bright crimson, and his pink lips pulled over his new, shining teeth. Edward, Jacob and Jasper all took a defensive position in front of Billy as Carlisle wheeled him back against the wall. Billy was terrified, his hands clawing his pants in regret. I ran around the wall in front of me to Charlie's other side, grabbing both of his hands hard and pulling them to his other side, twisting him away from Billy.

Charlie was panting now, his teeth still bared, but he managed to choke out a fragment of breathless words.

"What. Is. That. My throat...." He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, which was a mistake made out of habit. His eyes snapped open and a vicious growl ripped from his throat. 

"Rosalie! Get Nessie and Billy out of here!" I turned my head and called to her behind me. 

"Grandpa," Nessie whimpered, and Charlie's face lost all of it's anger.

"Nessie?" He wondered to himself. Then his expression was dangerous. "I would never harm her. Never." I tried to calm him down, getting down on eye level with him.

"I know Dad, I know. It's just for her safety. We can't take any chances." 


"Any chances Dad." I put as much venom in my voice as I could. He got the point. Immediately, Charlie laid down and closed his eyes, not breathing, not moving. I lightened my grip on him and gave him his space until he finally talked in a small voice.

"Is this what it will always feel like?" I felt so sorry for him. What kind of pain was he going through? Carlisle answered for me, his voice falsely joyful.

"It will get better as you learn to control the thirst, Charlie. Until then, it might be better if you weren't near Jake, Billy and Renesmee."

Charlie's eyes grew sad, but he nodded his head.

The End

51 comments about this story Feed