Welcome to My Sister Rosalie, Book II: Lover.

A bit of history: on December 26th, 2008 at 12:28 am – yes, very, very early that post-Christmas morning – I published chapter 1 of My Sister Rosalie, Book I: Captor ... and then immediately wrote the next ten chapters of that story.

You could say that this story consumed me – just a bit – back then.

You could say.

Now, My Sister Rosalie, Book II: Lover.

It's been, oh, seven years in the making.

I wonder how long Book III will take.

Enough sadness.

As I say: welcome. But, this is MSR ("My Sister Rosalie"), so the welcome is very much tempered by what is to come.

And what is to come? More of the same?

Don't you wish.

No.

MSR, Book I was the honeymoon: Bella and Rosalie discovered who they were and, importantly, who they weren't. This was a surprise to both; ... a pleasant surprise? For one of them, perhaps.

Bella rediscovered her strength and confidence, or: that she even had these things. Rosalie, on the other hand, discovered that her own strength and confidence – things she trusted in herself – were a complete sham. So Bella went from very much lost to finding her center, both in herself and with Rosalie, and Rosalie discovered that everything she held in high esteem, even after she lost everything, the very things that kept her going: her will, her determination, her perfection, all were empty and meaningless.

These were not surprises Rosalie liked. At all.

And the 'good news' for Rosalie? The one thing waiting for her at the end of Book I, Bella, was the one thing she vowed never, ever to taint with her own fallen nature.

This was the good news of MSR, Book I.

And there is Bella, telling Rosalie to trust her, and there is Rosalie, having to be strong, and right, and perfect, because – damnit! – somebody has to! So even as the weight of these discoveries are crushing Rosalie, she still is Atlas, trying to hold up her world, her perfect world as she sees it, even as it crushes her, even as her perfect façade cracks right in front of the one person she can't afford to show what she really is.

And I say, with all that, that Book I is the honeymoon.

Why?

Have you ever experience first love? When you loved somebody so much everything else faded away? Food, how it tastes, friends, and what they say, even the air doesn't matter: you could die, right now, but you're so in love with her, and she, with you, that nothing and nobody else matters.

Well, the first blush of love fades, doesn't it? Or mellows into maturity, right?

And then what happens?

Well, then you have to do the laundry, and study, and eat, and hang with your friends, now, more, don't you? And not just you and she, she and you, it's now everybody else and everything else, ... and her, too, ... maybe.

Life is infinitely cruel in that it gives those new lovers a break, yes, but then, eventually, inextricably, life worms its way back into your intimate little arrangement, doesn't it? That's what life does: it works its way back into your ... well: life.

MSR, Book I was Bella and Rosalie's honeymoon, a restful, quiet, peaceful, special time for them.

No, really: it was.

MSR, Book II: Lover, Bella is in love with Rosalie, and now she has to deal with the terrible consequences of what being in love with somebody, something, so different than her, that ...

Like you: you're in love with Her, and now you have to deal with the terrible consequences and compromises of what it means to be in love with somebody so different than you, don't you?

... well, now, Bella has to deal with this, this thing called 'Love.'

And Rosalie does now, too.

This is their 'happily ever after,' and Bella thinks she knows this will be hard.

She doesn't have a clue.

Does she.

The honeymoon is over, ladies and gentlemen, MSR, Book II is time for Bella and Rosalie to wake up and smell the coffee, then do the dishes, then deal with each other, ... and with life, and everything life throws at them.

Are they strong enough?

We shall see.

But first, Bella has to figure out a certain 'thing,' and she hasn't had any luck prodding 'this' in a particular direction so far to get to 'this.' 'This': whatever it is that Bella won't name, and whatever this is that Rosalie is avoiding, for whatever reasons she's avoiding it. Perhaps Bella's unlucky in this. Perhaps 'luck' has nothing to do with 'this.'

Warning

Book I was that sweet book where Bella gets to discover Rosalie and Rosalie gets to discover Bella in their safe zone, and the girls do what the girls do: which is to talk, and to fight, and to talk some more. It's all very ... sweet ... phenomenologically-speaking. Book I was sweet and pritteh, o so pritteh!

Book II may have a bit less sweetness. In fact, Book II is not pretty: it's messy and it gets ugly. Things will happen in Book II that did not happen in Book I.

Did you know Rosalie is a murderer?

I just mention that in passing.

So: warning. There may be unflinching moments here, both good, bad, and sad, bitter and terrible in this book and in the novellas attached to this book.

If you are looking for a fa-la-la, tra-la-la, Bella-loves-Rosalie dénouement to Book I, then Book II may be a hard, bitter pill to swallow.

Or Bella and Rosalie could live happily ever after, as they do in this: book II.

This is Bella and Rosalie's happily ever after, as they deal, and put up, with each other, or try to, and take what life throws at them, ... or try to.

Did you know Rosalie doesn't 'deal' with things well? She tends to impose her own will, regardless of the consequences, doesn't she. And that has worked so well, hasn't it.

I mention this observation in passing. There is no implication of foreshadowing here. At all.

Whatsoever.

Synopses

Chapter 1 – "Apologia et Synopses": This introduction ... that utterly fails to introduce any of what follows.

Chapter 2 – "Bacon": 'This is 1934, Bella,' Rosalie primly informed me. Yes, I know what year it is, thank you. I'm not some three year old. But then she told me something else, and it was she who was the one who was hurting.

Chapter 3 – "Reliable": "Pretty reliable" Rosalie called me. Then she explained that I was 'pretty' and 'reliable,' a wry smirk wreathing her face. See, this was a joke from Rosalie. Or was it?

Chapter 4 – "Three Little Words": Three little words. Why are they so hard to say right now?

Chapter 5 – "Sleeping Arrangements": Something was up. I just never in my life imagined it would be this.

Chapter 6 – "Baby": I'm sorry. You were expecting Bella to write something here, weren't you? Well, you're not going to get that now. Or ever again. Because she's dead. She's dead now. And she so wanted me to be happy. This is 'happy'? God damn it, I knew this would happen! God damn me. God damn my soul to everlasting torment!

Chapter 7 – "Now": So. This is what it's like to be dead. Nice. Kinda borin'. Except that Rosalie's still bugging me. Can't get away from her, even in death. I thought this was heaven. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm in hell.

Chapter 8 – "Savior": "And the lived happily ever after, ..." Actually, I've never seen Rosalie so happy to see me... except for the little fact that I can't see. At all. That's a problem.

Chapter 9 – "You": 'Du' in German means 'you.' It just means 'you' ... unless you say it like somebody from the Old Country, when they are saying it to somebody they love, then it gets really embarrassing for everybody else, and you have to look away. But Rosalie didn't say it that way, did she.

Chapter 10 – "Rosalie Hale is the Worst": This is big. Rosalie asked me to trust her and I did, with my life, and, well, even more than that. But then why won't she trust me? I can't hurt her! Why won't she trust me with just three little words, but no. After this special moment we shared, why couldn't she ... I have never been more hurt in all my life. Chapter is lemon-scented.

Chapter 11 – "That Went Well:" Have you ever been scared to face the morning? Now that we've done ... it, we can't go back, can we? I mean, Rosalie can't ... she just can't ... she won't ... I mean, ... what if she regrets ... it? Doing it with ... me? Oh, God, I'm so scared.

Chapter 12 – "Breakfast in Bed": So here's the chapter where I show what a take-charge woman I am. Where I show Rosalie who the boss is, and that's me, in case you were wondering. Yeah. Me. Take charge and tell Rosalie what's what! ... What? Why are you looking at me like that? It's worked before, ... right?