The sensation of warm and cold were all but indistinguishable to her, and had been as long as she remembered; which was merely due to the fact all memories previous to that point had been of the human kind, and had quickly vanished. To say she missed the warmth would be wrong, as she didn't fully remember what warmth felt like, but she missed being able to feel it whenever she felt like it. She missed being able to easily feel the cold, the bitter feeling of frost or the stinging of a freezing wind. She missed the ability to feel warmth or cold. She was learning to despise the neutral, when before, at first, she had relished it. Savored the ability to not hunker down under piles of clothing, to not have to stand before a fan when the days became so called 'sweltering'.
She didn't understand the logistics, her mind perhaps didn't comprehend, of why she was unable to feel the heat radiating from the sun, why any temperature failed to make an impression on her skin. She had wondered, if only momentarily, if her skin was simply immune, if the granite her skin had become blocked off all her nerves, making her much more like a statue than she had originally thought; but she did not linger on the thought. She had her own health in mind, and found constant contemplation an easy road to insanity.
But then—in one of her pits of desperation—she heard him say to her dear pixie sister of the feeling he had when he touched her, when he grasped her hand in his or she lay her head upon his chest for comfort. Comfort he'd said—she found comfort in his rock hard exterior and cold skin. And him, he found warmth, something she had longed for, for the better part of her existence. He had found it, and in a human, a mere human, someone she couldn't be near for her will to attack and feed soon overcame her desire to be civil.
The emotions that the words spurred within her were too great to describe; even to her lover. Only one could know what was going through her, and that was the one who had what she wanted, and who would want the one they envy to know their darkest secrets? Certainly not her. No, she was a proud creature, one full of arrogance and honor; she hated having her thoughts be known on a daily basis a great deal, it was only natural for her to despise him and the one he loved as well, was it not?
The novelty was, really, that she was to be frowned upon for her behavior; from all but the reason for her behavior, and the one who would always take her side, if only because he shies away from the possibilities of what would happen should he not go along with what she says. For Emmett—the name alone sent a pleasant trill down her spine—as big as he was, she had him at her beck and call. A bad temper can get you far, she had come to realize; most of all, it can get you what you want.
The bitterness she felt for said simple girl soon escalated as she found more and more reasons to loathe the very core of her. She was plain and simple—far from spectacular—yet Edward doted upon her as if she were a goddess divine; something he had never even fathomed doing to her, Rosalie, even though she was as close to a goddess as one could get. No, dearest Edward found it necessary to ogle this plain Jane, whilst shunning out the rest of his family; in particular her—her bad attitude simply gave him a larger reason to avoid her complaints and outbursts.
It was when Edward made the worst decision in his 105 year existence that she made hers. To hear his voice crack as the realization hit him that it was not a social call had made her remorse at previously feeling so at ease with the situation ever greater. It was then that she came to understand what she was longing for, and why she had been so bitter towards the couple.
They had everything she wanted.
There he was, in love—not to say she didn't love Emmett, because her love for him far exceeded just about anything else—with a girl who loved him just as much, if not more. He had all the comforts that she longed for, the comforts she had wanted her entire life as a vampire. He had warmth, something she didn't remember, and in having this warmth, he had cold, something she feared she would never get. And Bella, the human, the simple girl, had everything that most females fantasizes about having; a doting boyfriend, caring family, and possibilities. Human possibilities. She could do anything, in her lifetime, yet she wanted to end it all to remain with her soul mate.
Rosalie contemplated the pros and cons of humanity and the life of a vampire, and found herself longing for the faint blush of her cheeks or the careless stumble of her feet as she doesn't notice a passing person. She missed mingling in society, growing with friends and watching the steady changes in amazement, and realizing—"I've become like my mother"—she'd aged. In all actuality, she missed the fear of a new blemish, or the odd illness that kept her from going out to live.
What she wouldn't do to live for just one day.
She didn't mind the vampire life, it wasn't that, it was just that there were so many things about humanity, and with it being the dominant race, one wanted to fit in with the crowd, not shun it. She wanted to embrace her differences, yet they were so great she felt they blocked her completely from normality. From living.
The fear she'd felt when she'd heard the news of her brothers travels to Italy were so immense, she'd wondered how one could survive after knowing they'd been the reason for a loved one to perish. Could one? She hadn't wanted to know, and had prayed to a god she didn't believe in that her sister and Bella reached him in time—that he would be safe.
Please don't let him leave without me saying "I'm sorry".
The news of his safety had brought more feelings than just relief; no, it brought so much more than that to her. The swimming feelings of remorse, the bitter feelings of defeat, and her overall compassion towards fixing everything. She could not lose her family over her own jealousy and selfish nature. She cared far too deeply to the people whom had helped her in this life to do that—she would prove she did care to the family, that she was happy for Edward, and accepted Bella.
The whispers of thoughts of her own terrible desolation were forced away, to be replaced with faintly happier thoughts of resolution. Though she would feel the envy for the two, she would also feel the happiness radiating from them, and it would be enough—she hoped—to keep her pleasant. To keep her from wallowing in despair that what her brother had was something she never would.
And now, here she stood, before the simple human girl and Edward, her head bowed down, her hands grasped tightly to each other in front of her with her mind blank and her tongue tied. Here she stood; trying to condone her actions; explain, justify, repent.
And there they stood, hands clasped together at their sides, her cheeks flushed pink—a pain in her stomach—his eyes dark and wary—a pang of guilt—but both looking accepting and ready to understand, if she would just open her mouth to speak. And that; that brought along the worst feeling of all; regret.
"I'm so sorry."
She rarely uttered the words to anyone; but most of all, she rarely said them with as much feeling as she had just then. She felt as if she was trying to portray all of hr emotions into those three short words, yet they only came out sounding drenched in feeling. She looked up at them to see a shocked girl and a still wary boy. A sigh escapes her lips involuntarily, and she attempts to end it sooner by clamping her lips shut tightly.
"I don't understand…" Bella said slowly, eying the older girl with both apprehension and curiosity.
"For all of my actions, I apologize." Her voice was articulate and curt, but the underlying emotion she now tried to hide was there; evident as ever. "I've been…unfair on you, Bella, and you Edward. I apologize."
"Really, I don't—"
"I know you don't hold it against me," Rosalie interrupted shortly-yet not in a malicious way—causing the brunette to bite her lower lip and blush a brighter shade of pink. She momentarily wondered why she was doing this with the two of them, and not one; would it not be easier to speak with them as individuals instead as a single group.
"My sentiments exactly," Edward cut in, raising a seemingly perfectly plucked eyebrow. Rosalie nodded then, her head bowed once again. The brown eyed girl simply stared, confusion written clearly on her face.
"What are you—"
"Rosalie wants to talk to us individually," Edward answered, glancing down quick enough to catch the near look of terror before it was quickly fought off with a look of practiced indifference. Edward gave her hand a reassuring squeeze nonetheless, yet she was barely comforted in the least.
"If you don't mind, of course." She furrowed her brow and frowned slightly after the words slipped out of her mouth—though they were true—she needed to have better control over her tongue, for she didn't want to blurt something unnecessary to either of them.
"I don't mind." Of course I do.
Rosalie could only nod, and then looked pointedly at Bella, she would save Edward for last, as his reaction was the one she cared about the most. She could live with Bella hating her, as uncomfortable as it would be, she would live through that; it was living with Edward hating her that caused her panic to rise and her breathing to shallow.
"Oh," Bella said, casting a nervous glance at Edward whispering "save me" in her mind. He only pushed her on, giving Rosalie a meaningful stare before moving away from the two, out of the room and up the stairs to his own room.
The long pause could only be described as just that; long—and slightly awkward. The two girls stared at each other, like polar opposites; the blond beauty and the boring brunette. At least, that was how Bella saw it; and as far as she was concerned, Rosalie did too.
"Once again, I'm sorry," Rosalie said, cutting the slightly tense atmosphere with her words. Her stance was tense, but her face relaxed; there was no threat here.
"Really, I don't—" once again she was cut off.
"I know that," the blond cried, her face contorting into a look of frustration—yet it still held beauty that most didn't when they smiled. Her face held emotion, yet in a different way than others, in a way that made it an overall effort, like her eyebrows and mouth agreed with each other, in a way. "I just feel bad, and I mean, you should honestly hate me. I've been rude to you, I've been cruel, malicious, spiteful, jealous, and all of that without mentioning a word to you about any of it; and I owed you that much, at least. And then, during a time of great depression for my brother, I tell him your dead and all because I was so selfish that I only wanted my brother back, and I didn't even think about him or his feelings. And least of all, I never eve thought of you, Bella, and for that and so many other things, I'm sincerely sorry."
The silence that ensued gave Rosalie a sinking feeling in her empty stomach, but Bella thought nothing of the apprehensive almost nervous look on her elders face, she was thinking to hard on the matters at hand.
"As I said before, I don't hold any of it against you," she said slowly, never glancing up at the other girls face, her eyes always cast downwards and her lips pushed down at the ends in a frown. "I know I must have seemed like I was imposing on your family; a silly little human girl who you feared will spill your secret and ruin your life here in this town. I can't say I agree exactly, but I can get where you're coming from in your actions to me."
She paused, chancing a quick look but sending her eyes straight downwards before she really had the time to take in the other girls facial expression. In her momentary look, however, Bella could almost swear she saw…hope in Rosalie's eyes.
"And with Edward…" Bella shrugged, taking a deep breath in and closing her eyes. Edward. He was always such a difficult subject. "I can understand that too, I mean, I must say, if I was in your position, I may have done the same thing."
A sharp intake of air was heard and Bella snapped her head up to see a shocked Rosalie.
"But I was being so selfish, and you," she said it as a praise, and Bella was oddly comforted when she didn't sound like a sin, "you're so selfless, you would have never done what I did."
"Everyone is selfish from time to time," Bella said, shrugging again. "Edward's selfish, I'm selfish, and I'm certainly not as selfless as you think. It's only natural to be selfish, to want things in your life to be as you'd like them to be. To find happiness in what you have. Besides, I'm sure you didn't want him to jet himself off to Italy to kill himself."
To both of their surprise, Rosalie let out a soft, gentle laugh. It was so full of melody that Bella wished to hear it again sometime, as it was almost like music.
"No, I certainly didn't want that," she said thoughtfully, shaking her head, long blonde tendrils falling in front of her face gracefully. Even her hair is graceful, Bella mused, frowning slightly.
"I forgive you," she concluded bluntly, blinking once to cut off her mental battle. Rosalie smiled, a large genuine smile, and nodded firmly.
"I'm glad this has been settled," she said honestly, placing a hand hesitantly on Bella's shoulder. Bella could only nod, feeling oddly stunned by the small gesture of kindness from the once thought menacing monster of beauty.
Bella herself could only nod her head once, all other motor functions seeming to be beyond her reach. Rosalie stepped back, seeming to not know what to do with herself, and merely offered a small smile.
"I'll got speak with Edward, now," she declared, her voice showing little more than an ounce of emotion that could only be described as hesitation. "I'll bet he already knows that we've settled this."
"I bet he does…" Bella agreed, though it was almost silent as her mind was whirling around in other matters that had little relevance to her current situation. Her mind whirred at thoughts of what would become of the two girls; would they be friends? She didn't think so, yet she had been wrong about these types of situations before, as with her and Edward. Never saw it coming, as the saying goes.
Being too caught up in her own ponderings, Bella completely missed Rosalie's exit, as the beauty made her way out of the room and up the stairs on her way to Edwards. The brunette could only remain where she was, looking around in utter confusion as she tried to place how she had missed the vampires exit. It wasn't that hard, was her only consolation.
Rosalie stood at Edward's door, mentally asking for permission to enter. No more than a second after her nonverbal request, Edward opened the door, but by the time it was open enough for the girl to look in, Edward was already seated on his large couch, his eyes resolutely blank and his face a void of expression.
Charming Edward, really, Rosalie thought, frowning but entering the room in two quick strides, shutting the door firmly behind her. You heard, I presume?
A single nod was all Rosalie needed before her walls crashed and she began to have a small case of verbal vomit, something she hadn't had since she had first met Emmett—directly after he had been changed into a vampire. Though, this verbal overflow was all in her head, as her mouth remained firmly shut.
I've felt awful, Edward. I know you already know why, I know you already know how I felt, I know you already know what I'm planning to say, but I just need you to know how sorry I am. I've been so wrapped up in my own selfish desires that I never really thought about any one other than me. I wanted to desperately actually talk to you, long before this, but I never got the chance. I wanted to tell you right from the start about why I was so awful, but I'm far too proud, and you know that.
"I also know you're far too stubborn," he cut in, interrupting her mental monologue briefly. "And I know that deep down you really care more for your family than you do yourself, you just have a hard time showing it. I know you envy Bella for being able to feel, I know you envy me for feeling warm and cold, I know all that. I've heard your mind scream out at me every time I touch her, I've seen your eyes every time she touches me. You seem to forget I've known you for your entire life, and I probably know you better than Emmett."
Why did you never-?
"The same reasons as you," he answered, his nearly famous crooked grin gracing his lips. He stood up, his lean frame unfolding from its position on the couch until he stood completely upright, his head tilted down to look the blonde square in the eye. "Pride, selfishness, and my own stubborn nature."
You're the least proud creature I know, her mind quipped, as she let out of a snort of laughter. You're also the most masochistic creature I know. You can't tell me that by not speaking to me about my own troubles with your relationship added to your own suffering.
"Oh, but that's where you're wrong," he said, his face becoming sombre as he peeked up at his sister through his eyelashes. "I don't like knowing my happiness is the beginning of my sisters unhappiness, thus resulting in Bella's unease and overall unhappiness in said sisters presence."
I suppose, next time, we should shove our pride, selfish natures, and stubborn tendencies out of the way and speak to each other, won't we?
"It may result in a happier situation," he agreed, his smirk resuming its previous position on his lips, his eyes not glittering in mute laughter.
The two stood, no more than a meter apart, gazing at each other for the longest while. Though the forms of the other were both well known to them, deep down they had both felt as if they hadn't seen each other in a time that spanned much more than a few hours.
It's been years, hasn't it?
"It will always feel longer."
Rosalie could all but nod, though she never broke the eye contact they held. Though she couldn't read his mind, his eyes showed his emotions as clear as day; from remorse to happiness to undoubted peace, his eyes looked clearer than they had in a long time.
Edward, when I called you and told you about-
His eyes instantly clouded over once again, as if a hazy fog was blocking out the slight shimmer they had in them previously, and she was tempted to slap herself in the head for bringing it up; yet she knew if she didn't, it would dig at her until she blurted it out at a more inappropriate time. As the brief thoughts flitted in and out of her mind, she pressed on. She wasn't one to back down.
I really didn't know that you would take it so…
"Badly?" he offered through clenched teeth, and his nostrils flared in an necessary huff. She frowned, as he was making it seem as though she had known all along, but continued, needless.
If I had known, I never would have phoned; it was probably one of the worst decisions of my life. I mean, I can't believe I misjudged everything that badly, especially about you and Bella. But, you have to know, that deep down, all I wanted was for things to go back to what it had been. I just wanted you to come home.
His facial expression faltered very little, and his eyes didn't become clearer at her words. He remained still, his body tense and face hard, and Rosalie sighed in defeat. She felt momentarily crushed, to have come so far only to be right back at the beginning, as if nothing had ever happened.
Her long and pale, yet disturbingly elegant fingers pulled gently at the hem of her shirt briefly, showing the nature of her discomfort. She felt like she should crack and crumble into a million little pieces, a tragedy until one comes to clean it up. She had ruined so much, not only for herself but for many others, and she had come just too late to set things right.
As the realization hit her, like a knife to the stomach, she felt that previous self confidence, resolve, and pride diminish as if smothered. She began to nod to herself as it settled in, and promptly turned on her heel and headed for the door in human steps, her mind too caught up in itself for her to rush in her normal self proclaimed importance.
"Rosalie…" Edward sighed, shutting his eyes and groaning under the weight of not only his own thoughts, but hers as well.
Don't pity me, Edward. I'm not so desperate that I want to be pitied in order to have you forgive me.
"I'm not pitying you," he sighed, getting to the door first and leaning against it. She stopped then and glanced up at him briefly, her eyes hovering in that field of blank and expressionless. Her eyes were dark, brooding, and though the lights in Edward's room were fairly bright, it didn't seem to matter. No bright lights would make her eyes shine as they normally did.
Move, please. I just want to think without you here to think along with me.
He chuckled a lifeless, dry laugh and shook his head.
"Listen to me," he said. "I've listened to you, now you have to listen to me."
She nodded, and turned on her heel yet again to sit on the couch. She remembered days where she had laid here, her limbs sprawled gracefully around her, as she listened to Edward's music come blaring out of the sound system, poking fun at what she didn't like and singing along to what she did.
"And you say I'm masochistic," Edward muttered, moving to sit in front of her on the floor. "Now, listen to me Rosalie. What you did, it will be hard for me to forgive you for that. I always knew you to be selfish, just not that selfish or that blind. Though, in a way, I would have rather you called than I find out years later by seeing her gravestone—" a shudder on his part, and he shuts his eyes completely, filtering the thought from his mind quickly, "—if I were to return. And, though I don't think it was your original intention, your phone call did start the chain of events that ultimately brought Bella and me together again."
You're right, that wasn't my original intention.
"You're only making your case seem worse," Edward chided, scowling briefly in her direction, but he continued, knowing she was listening with as much attention as she could muster. "Regardless though, it will take some time for me to forgive you, but I will. I love you Rosalie, though I know you've doubted it for the past few years. You're my sister, you're my family, and I care about you and I always will. You should realize that by now."
I always doubted it, on a more superficial level, but deep down I believe you did. I figured that after so many years, you had better care about me.
He let out a heartfelt laugh and nodded, his soft smile still on his lips as he watched her eyes slowly clear as her confidence in the situation slowly grew.
"Rosie," he said, getting a swift glare from her. "We'll always care about each other, that I'm confident about. Things like this are really just blips in our lives together as a family. I mean, what's two years out of eternity?"
The room filled with the sweet sound of Rosalie's laughter, and she mentally agreed.
We're okay, then?
"We always were," he said, nodding. The two beamed at each other, before gazing around, wondering what to do.
After a moment, Edward smiled broadly and turned back to her, that mischievous glint that she missed so much in his eyes.
"Hey, do you know the Test Icicles?" he asked, already laughing at their old joke. Rosalie smiled broadly, it was the joke that always made them laugh, no matter what the situation.
"I'm sorry, but I don't feel like talking about your genitals, Edward," she laughed.
Though she would not know the sensation of hot or cold, or be able to mingle in society without needing to leave quickly to resist killing someone. She realized that as long as someone was with her, it truly didn't matter what she didn't have, as long as she had them. Love and family was so much more important than warmth or cold, or high society. Because they would always be there. No one else would.