I'm giving Iris a break on this one. She did the first round of edits on the plane to TFMU because she is amazing. Usually she does a second round, but I think she'd rather have fun and you'd rather have this, even if I've left a mistake. Sri's better and is back to pre-reading.
Thanks to everyone who is talking about this and supporting it in ways big and small. If you're here because Lay Athomemom and Carrie ZM kindly rec'd this from their story Girl Code, thanks for taking a chance on a New Moon vamp fic.
He may have floated home.
There was a reason she was reading that book now.
She had made the safe choice when she had thought she'd lost him. But he was back.
He was back.
The house was just about full when he got home. He didn't go straight in, not because he didn't want to see his family, but because he needed to speak to Rosalie. He skirted the house and headed straight for the garage. Rose was bent over the hood of Alice's new car making warranty-voiding changes that its owner wouldn't have asked for. He approached her but said nothing. Working in tandem, he retrieved and passed her tools until she was finished.
It wasn't until she had gently lowered the hood that she even looked at him.
"Hey, stranger." The smile she gave him was genuine. "I heard you're moving out."
"Good for you." She leaned against the car. He was here to talk about something, and Rose knew he wasn't coming to her for decorating ideas.
"So, I think it's time you got in touch with Jenks."
"Jasper usually handles him. You know that." She smiled sweetly, but Edward knew her thoughts were anything but. Rose had started picturing Emmett in various states of undress.
"It's not like I want to be in your head, Rose." He rolled his eyes and joined her against the hood.
"I know. But it's been a long time since I could mess with you. I've missed it." She nudged him with her shoulder.
"Ah, have you gone soft on me, too?" He immediately regretted his choice of words. "Rose!" He pressed his palms to his eyes.
"You're the one who said soft." She turned to him and kept her smile innocent, this time adding exaggerated eyelash batting.
"You're really hard to like sometimes." He couldn't keep the laughter out of his insult.
"It's a gift. Just so you know, you're not very good at asking for favors. What happened to your legendary manners?"
"Please call Jenks and arrange to have him move my cars out of storage."
"Because I'd like them back now. I'd like something of my own to drive."
"Are you planning on driving Bella around in any of these?" She kept her voice light. Edward thought she was teasing.
"Then no." Rosalie suddenly turned serious.
"Excuse me?" Edward was quickly losing his good mood.
"I'm not letting you do to any of them what you did to the Volvo. If I can't protect you, at least I can protect them." She stood in front of him. He didn't move.
"Rose, that isn't going to happen again. Things are different this time."
"You can say that again. She's married." She didn't mean to be aggressive with the truth. She was just stunned by Edward's apparent disconnect with the reality of the situation.
"Whoa!" Rose put her hand up. "What does that mean?"
"I think she might leave him."
"For you?" Edward said nothing, so Rosalie repeated herself. "She's going to leave her husband for you? You think she's going to leave her husband, or you know she's going to leave her husband?"
"We've been talking. I told her about coming back and leaving. Both times. I've explained the lie to her. She believes me now, believes why I really left."
"Have you two talked about her leaving Mike?"
"Oh, Edward." Rosalie leaned against the car once more. "Why do you think she's going to leave him?"
"When we were together that summer, she wrote in her copy of Wuthering Heights that she would only ever be with another if she couldn't be with me."
"She was 17."
"She's been reading that book again. That means something."
"It might. It could mean something. Or it could be nothing."
"I don't think it's nothing. Tonight, we had such a connection."
"Have you told her how you feel now? Have you told her that you still love her?"
"I'm sure she already knows."
"Maybe. This is Bella we're talking about." She looked at Edward. To emphasise her point, she remembered various moments of Bella being insecure. He shrugged and looked away. He knew Rosalie may have a point. It still stung that she believed his lie instantly. "Look, I'm not saying this isn't going to happen. I'm just saying slow down. I don't want her to break you."
"Edward, listen to me. She's married. Stop and think about that for a moment. That isn't something she's just going to walk away from. Look at Esme and what she went through with that son of a bitch. Look at how long she stayed."
"That isn't the same thing at all!" Edward stopped himself before he put his hand through the hood of Alice's car.
"No, you're right. Bella's husband loves her, worships her. And I know this is going to hurt, but she loves him, too." Rosalie reached out to lay a comforting hand on Edward's arm. "Please, Edward. Be careful."
He didn't respond. He sat statue still. She'd said what he had deliberately ignored since he'd seen the book. He disregarded Mike as he joked about sex with Bella before he went away. He made an assumption, and for the first time in his life, he only saw the positive outcome. By discounting Mike, he was discounting Bella's feelings. It was the mistake he always made - the one he swore he wouldn't make again. Rosalie moved her hand up his arm and over his shoulder, with a reassuring squeeze. His head gently fell to her shoulder.
"I'm not saying she doesn't love you," Rosalie whispered. "I'm just saying let her figure it out."