CHAPTER 6 – Motion Sickness – Rosalie's POV
With the school day finally over, Rosalie's mind began to focus on the long, luxurious bath she would take when she returned home. 'Maybe I'll buy a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and sink into another novel.' She thought. Most of the family was going out hunting, so she would have some time to think.
As she approached the car, Rosalie opened the trunk to store her things. She had some time before all of her siblings would arrive, so she just sat on the lip of the open trunk and looked around. She told herself that she wasn't looking for anything in particular.
Nope. Nothing that she was scanning the masses in hopes of seeing.
In her not-search, Rosalie's eyes landed on Bella coming out of the locker rooms adjacent to the gym and her nostril's flared. 'Freshly showered. With a hint of…what was that? Sandalwood.' Rosalie mentally, mused. 'What an odd, yet invigorating smell to mix with coffee and vanilla. Is that a helmet under her arm? God, was she that clumsy that she was going to need that in her regular, daily life?"
Rosalie's eyes tracked Bella to a hidden, back corner of the parking lot reserved for bikes…and motorcycles. The world came into crystal, clear focus. Helmet. Motorcycle. Bella.
Helmet. Motorcycle. Leather Jacket. Bella.
A grinding screech filled the air, Rosalie startled as she realized that she had clamped her hands around the lip of the trunk so tight that her fingers left deep dents.
'Fuck, it's going to take me forever to buff those out.' She glared at her own handywork.
Rosalie's head snapped back over when she heard the first purr of the engine coming to life under Bella's feet. Someone knew how to take care of that bike. Rosalie adjusted her eyes to get a better look at the make and model. To her utter shock and delight, it was a Triumph Bonneville 1959.
Bella flicked her visor down before expertly maneuvering out of the parking lot.
"Yeah, babe. You're totally fucked." Emmett snickered as he slid into the car.
With a start, the blonde got off of the trunk and attempted to close it. Unfortunately, the damage her fingers caused prevented the lid from clasping closed. She hung her head in defeat as she petulantly held onto the top of the lid to keep it closed. When that proved fruitless, she slammed the lid a little harder than humanly possible to ensure that it would stay closed before walking over to the driver's side.
"Serves you right. You can't just act like a kindergarten boy with a crush, Rosalie." Alice said from the backseat. "Pulling on the pig tails of the girl you like, or, in your case, keying her car."
Rosalie said nothing as she buckled her seat belt, ready to peel off as soon as the rest of her siblings got into the car. There was an unfortunate ice pick of a thought in the back of her brain teasing her of what it would be like to race motorcycles down a long, dirt road or have her arms wrapped tightly around the driver as they sped down the Pacific Coast Highway in the middle of summer.
What an absolutely foolish plan. Make that two bottles of wine. Hopefully, there was an Audrey Hepburn collection on tonight that would distract her enough.
"Jasper, how's it that you and Rosie are the only two that I can't beat in Call of Duty?!" Emmett whined. "Broody can read minds & Tinkerbell can see the future, yet you two consistently smoke us."
"You forget this game is all about strategy and patience. Those two don't know how to operate without their powers and the only strategy you utilize, big guy, is coming in hard and fast."
"Really, Jasper? 'Coming in hard and fast'?" Emmett said.
"Is there a problem? You lost the bet and you know the rules." Jasper raised his eyebrow. "If it's going to be too hard for you to stick to the terms of the agreement, then I can always bring in reinforcements." His eyes glinted with mirth as he stared Emmett down.
"NO! I can do it. I swear. Just please don't call her in!" Emmett pleaded. "Remember what she did last time I…." Both men shuddered as they remembered that night.
"What are you all talking about?" Edward said as he sauntered down the stairs towards the couch.
"Jasper was just reminding me about why it's wiser to not make any sex jokes for a week than deal with The Enforcer." Emmett said as he reclined his body on the sectional.
Edward's body also let out an involuntary shudder as he remembered that night. "I still don't understand how neither Alice nor I was able to anticipate her." Jasper just gave Emmett a knowing look as he sat down on the couch.
"Speaking of, when can we begin?" Edward leaned against the armchair.
"Well, Edward, how do you think it would make you feel for us to tell you that you are not alone in this struggle? We've both experienced what it's like to encounter a Singer." Jasper said.
Edward looked skeptically, intrigued.
"Our stories might have opposite ends, but the lessons learned along the way are not." Emmett said closing his eyes. To the human eye, he looked like he was lying in eternal slumber.
"I just don't want to make it hard on anyone, especially, if Bella chooses to interact with us more." Edward says chin to chest.
"You're doing the right thing, bro." Emmett smiled. "I guess I'll start first."
Upstairs, Rosalie sat in a scalding hot bath trying to tune out her brothers and their 'lessons' to help Edward with his control. No matter how much she tried to tell herself that it was pointless for them to undertake this endeavor, Jasper's words drifted upstairs and echoed through her brain.
'Rosalie is very particular about the way she likes doing things…we just have to trust in her and her process.' On screen, Audrey was being twirled by Henry Fonda and Rosalie couldn't get her own thoughts to stop spinning. She took a sip of the dark red wine, chilled by her forever icy hands.
'This is absolutely asinine. She is not going to be 'interacting' with the family any more than she already has.' Rosalie thought as she took another sip of her wine. She had been trying and trying to shake the thoughts of the brunette for weeks now. Each day brought a new interaction and with each interaction, Rosalie couldn't remember why she was upset with the girl in the first place.
The little voice, that sounded eerily like Alice, got louder 'it's because you don't her at all, do you?' Almost a century old, but still getting lovestruck like a common teenager. 'God, Audrey was robbed at the Oscars.'
She tried to focus back in on the dialogue that she knew by heart. After a time, her mind began to wander again. Inevitably, her mental frolic brought her back to her. She could hear Emmett finishing his sad tale. She took another sip as the memories washed over her.
Rosalie was thirty-five in human years at the time. Emmett had been turned a decade before and was still struggling to maintain his control. Alice and Jasper had not yet joined the family. Rosalie had suggested that she and Emmett split from the family for a while because she couldn't stand to look at Edwards face anymore. When in reality, she had seen how much her extroverted best friend struggled daily being around people.
They decided that sparsely populated English highlands would be the best place for Emmett to gain some control. Plenty of wildlife and open spaces, but close enough to civilization to continue monitored exposure to humans.
It was during one of those nights that the pair decided to venture into the European metropolis. The London smog did wonders to provide them cover during the day, but Emmett got too many stares. Whether it was his skin or his size, Londoners were not used to seeing him. Hence the duo chose to venture out as the sun die and the night came alive.
"We're creatures of the night, so we might as well act like it." Rosalie would sardonically say.
The night that will forever live in Emmett's memory started like many of the others. Dusk was just bleeding past the thick veil of fog to cast its gloomy shadow down the Strand. Rosalie was in the midst of recounting the benefits of being able to take apart the new car she'd acquired for Carlisle, when Emmett suddenly bolted from her side.
By the time she caught up to him, the scullery maid with flaming red hair was already close to death. It took every ounce of strength Rosalie had to pull Emmett away from her. The heartbeat wasn't strong enough to pump what little blood remained in her body. Emmett became catatonic once he saw what he had done.
Rosalie couldn't look at him as she gently picked up the girl. She could still smell the lightest scent of freesias and honeysuckle. She quickly dashed her to the nearest church and placed her in a semi-hidden bale of hay. The least Rosalie could do was ensure that the girl could die in peace, and that her body would be discovered come the priest's or groundskeeper's morning rounds.
When she returned to Emmett, he was rocking back and forth in the shadows of where he had killed her. "She was my Singer, Rose. My Singer and I killer her. Just like that." He whispered out as he continued to rock.
She had never encountered a vampire's Singer before, but she knew from Carlisle that Singers were the worst kind of torment for a vampire. Rosalie knew that it was next to impossible for a vampire to be able to resist their Singer. She knew that she couldn't fault Emmett, yet he had just taken the most precious thing from that woman.
Rosalie's eyes refocused on the present and she saw Bella's face swim into view. She could hear Jasper begin his story, while the Russian landscape and Henry Fonda were replaced by Greenwich Village and Audrey catching the eye of Fred Astaire. Yet, all she could think about was how each interaction with the brunette brought her to closer and closer to that dim alley in London. This time the memory distorted so that it was Edward rocking himself on the unforgiving pavement and Bella limp in her arms.
She knew that her mind and her body weren't aligned on how to engage with Bella. Part of her wanted to spend every moment finding out what made that girl tic. The other part of her knew that if she did, she would be putting her family in danger. She would be holding the ultimate Forbidden Fruit just out of Tantalus's hands. She couldn't do that. She refused to do that to her brother. Edward may not be her favorite sibling, but he was her family after all.
'You know that's not your choice to make alone.' Bella's smile on the first day of their shared class danced in her vision. Eyes bright and face a little flushed as she took a big breath at the end of her speech. Her eyes scanning the room before finding Rosalie's and locking in a heated battle that left Rosalie's insides feeling like liquid fire.
'Will I figure it out?' Her head thunked back as she slowly slid under the bubbles.