My adjustment in the first few days was spent learning from Carlisle abut vampires. It took some getting used to, the fact I didn’t get tired or need sleep, the speed and power. My newborn hunger was ever present, though, and there were many hunting trips. Carlisle and Edward both explained that they didn’t feel it necessary to attack humans when the animal blood did just as well to slake the thirst. I could see it was easier for them, having been this way for much longer, since I felt the need to hunt come around at least once a day. As time went on, it became longer and longer.

 

As I learned to function as a vampire, there was only one thought in the back of my mind; vengeance. I would go find Charles and I would make him atone for all he had done to me. It consumed my thoughts and I was shocked one day when Edward approached me about it.

 

“Esme, some vampires have special gifts. Something they had in their human lives tat has, magnified, translated in their vampire lives. I can read your mind.”

 

He paused, giving me time to absorb what he was saying. As it sank in, I realized he knew of my plans for revenge. My eyes widened, then I dropped my head, feeling ashamed.

 

“No, don’t be ashamed. I know what he did to you. I am sorry for invading your privacy. Sometimes, I can’t shut off what I am hearing, Carlisle is working with me on that. But there is no need for you to feel ashamed of wanting to give that beast back some of what he gave to you.”

 

“I wasn’t raised that way Edward. Does being….being a vampire make me a beast now?”

 

He turned away from me and didn’t answer right away. Even without his ability, I could tell he struggled with that question himself.

 

“Carlisle says no.”

 

“But you don’t believe him?”

 

“I do. I try to. But sometimes, the urge gets so strong. I don’t have anyone I want to seek revenge on, but for the taste of human blood, when I smell it…”

 

He drifted off in his thoughts and I could see that he still struggled. He was only just past the newborn stage. I hoped that by helping me he could further help himself. I touched his arm and smiled.

 

“I believe if Carlisle says we are not, then we are not. I will forgo giving Charles back in kind and work to make you and your father proud of me.”

 

Edward smiled then, his disarming, charming smile. He hugged me close, catching me by surprise.

 

“You remind me of my mother, Esme. She was always there for me, kind and loving.”

 

Hesitating, I stroked the back of his head. I felt a motherly tug at my heart, wondering if my own son had lived, and I had not become what I did, would he be like Edward? I also felt a fear thinking that I could have brought a child into a world that, I was discovering, was only half of what I had once believed it to be.

 

“Thank you Edward.”

 

I gave him one last squeeze and was out the door in a flash, off to think about what he said. I had been blindly following the instruction they offered, not really spending anytime considering my future, which now was laid out in front of me like the heavens, vast and endless. I found a tree and scuttled up into the branches to look over the Wisconsin lands, knowing I had a long way to go to understanding, but grasping the importance of what was happening.

 

Opportunities were mine for the choosing. I found that the desire to confront Charles was still very strong. If for no other reason than to show him he had not beaten me. Set on that decision, I scrambled down and went for a quick hunt.

 

Tomorrow, I would head to Ohio and the face of the man who thought he could control me.

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