Chapter 39 - With Unwanted Conclusions

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Carlisle felt the words die on his lips. He rose to his feet, meaning to follow after her. He could barely begin to imagine what thoughts could be plaguing Rosalie's mind. He knew more than anyone that such actions were not easily undone. In a moment of hesitation, he took in his surroundings again and realized he could not leave. There is no way he could leave Lily in this state.

Lily, who was supposed to be the safest, was surrounded by the abrasive red color of her own blood. He finally let his eyes focus on her deathly pale face that seemed to glisten under the overhead light.

Turning humans was a delicate process. There was a reason he had volunteered in Alice's place when Bella suggested it. There was no guarantee it would work. He prayed that Rosalie was able to produce enough venom to finish the transformation. There was nothing else he could do. It was unwise to mix venom. It was too volatile. Even though he knew they agreed not to turn her, a deep selfish part of him was relieved that Rosalie had slipped. He would atone for his sins later.

But there were more pressing matters than his own internal conflict. He knew things were going to get worse for Lily before they got better. Every vampire went through a painful transformation process. He needed to be proactive to try to make the situation the best he could. He picked up the form on the ground and laid her softly on her bed. He couldn't think of her as his daughter at the moment. He could process what happened later.

He covered the teen's body with one of the extra blankets in the room. He let his mind turn off as he busied himself inside the empty house. He immediately put the dirtied towels in the machine. He soaked the floor with a cleaning solution, letting the chemicals break down the blood that had quickly mutated into a brown color once exposed to the air. Once everything was put away again, he threw the last few rags in the washing machine before starting it.

He gave himself a few moments to decompress before heading back into the room. He had done as much as he could. There was still so much to do. He knew he was trying to hide from the reality of what happened, but that wasn't fair to Lily. It wasn't fair to himself. Most of all, it wasn't fair to his family.

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The suspense was killing the vampires outside. There was nothing they could do, but wait for news to reach them. This did not sit well with any of them. Most of the family stood around. Emmett, however, had a need to physically manifest his emotions. His quick pacing kept a steady stream of noise encircling them. No one bothered to keep count of the number of rocks he had grounded to powder in his hands.

The tense mood was only broken by the sound of a rushing wind through the trees. Emmett barely looked at the others before taking off in the same direction.

Esme felt the sensation of lead sinking into her stomach. It wasn't a good sign that the figure had not joined them. Something was wrong. The remaining vampires were even more on edge. People liked to think vampires were impossibly all-knowing beings, but that was far from the truth. This deep into the forest, they were no better than a human at what could have been going on in the house.

Luckily, they did not have to wait long. Barely five minutes had passed before they heard rustling in the leaves again. The Cullens instinctively tensed. The day had been long. The fight was still making them act on instincts. The emotions were too raw.

"It's just me." Carlisle's voice broke through the trees. Esme swore she could have cried in relief. That also made it obvious to the group that Rosalie had been the fleeing figure from before. Carlisle became visible to the group. He looked tired. There was some blood soaked into the cuffs of his jacket. Jasper stood a little straighter. It wasn't enough to set him off, but it wasn't pleasant.

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