A/N: So, here comes chapter eight. Not one of my best chapters, but I view it more as filler. It's just getting me to a certain point…after which a series of events will unfold that will start to make everything a whole lot more confusing, but also a whole lot clearer. If that makes any sense at all. I'm also working on editing the second chapter to my other story, since this one has already kind of unfolded in my head. This story still gets priority, though…

So, read on! And REVIEW.

Rosalie POV

Chapter 8

"My God, Edward, can you be any more pathetic?" I couldn't believe this. I absolutely could not believe this. He was actually going to do what Alice had suggested?

"It wasn't a suggestion, Rosalie," he said frostily, his eyes narrowed, "it was more along the lines of a demand."

What could Alice have possibly done that would get him to just give in to her like that? Blackmail? Threats? Or, God forbid—did he actually like this human?

"Threat, Rosalie," he said wearily, running a hand through his hair. That was what he did whenever he felt any emotion that made him vaguely uncomfortable. Insecurity, perhaps, had triggered this? Or, better yet—I could feel a grin spreading across my face—he was ashamed. I certainly would be ashamed. Driving a human to school? Please.

"Pathetic," I hissed again for good measure, sauntering over to the Mercedes.

"Couldn't you take something a little less…ostentatious?" Edward said wearily from behind me.

"Hey," I said, swinging into the front seat, "you're the one with the Aston Martin, remember? And the Lamborghini."

"Rosalie, you know what happened to my Lamb."

Oh, right. Emmett had totaled it.

"Actually, he drove it off a cliff. Which was, if I might remind you, your fault."

I blinked at him innocently. "My fault, Eddy?" I said, my voice coated with sugar that had the consistency of honey. "How so?"

"He was ogling you," he said bluntly, glaring at me.

I smiled sweetly at him. "Well, that's not exactly my fault, is it, Eddykins?"

"If you don't take into consideration the strip-tease, then of course not, Rosalie," he said dryly.

I just smirked. "At least I'm not sexually repressed."

He gritted his teeth together before slipping into his car, looking miffed. I had to say, I almost pitied him. First he had to drive the human girl to school, and now he was having his inexplicable need to be a prude being challenged? But, in my opinion, Edward was getting what he deserved. How could he degrade himself to the point that he would actually cart a human to school? It was shameful. He deserved to be made fun of, at the least.

He glared at me as he slowly turned the stereo up in volume to drown out the cacophony of cawing birds and Emmett's chuckles that now made up the background—vampires could listen to a lot with superhuman hearing. This also meant that Edward would never live my comment down—as if he didn't get it at least once a day. You would think that, over time, he would stop being bothered by our teasing. But that's Edward for you—the family nutcase.

Suddenly, a delectable scent wafted through the air, and I sniffed. A human was in our presence—no doubt that girl. She had just walked out the front door, looking about her in wonder. She was probably in awe of her surrounding—we were all so beautiful, and our house certainly wasn't shabby. It was likely that she was simply overwhelmed with the magnificence of it all in comparison.

I was surprised to hear Edward growling at me from his car, his eyes hateful and his upper lip curled. I raised an eyebrow questioningly. What was his problem? He just shook his head and gripped the steering wheel tightly between his hands, determinedly not looking at the human girl. I could hear her whispering softly to Alice, clearly very shy.

"Um, Alice, why do I have to ride with Edward? I mean, I think we both know how he feels about me—" I shook with laughter. No, she had no idea what Edward thought about her. She had no idea just how appallingly delicious she was to him, how his lust for her blood was probably the strongest feeling he had ever encountered. Chew on that, I thought viciously to him. He hated when we brought up our special type of "food," or drink, rather. I grinned when I heard his growling grow louder and more intense. Perfect.

"Trust me, Bella," Alice said, giving her a silly little smile, "Edward doesn't have a problem with you. If anything, it's with himself."

I groaned. Trust Alice to start hinting at our secret within a day of meeting the girl. She put so much faith into her visions…it was like she lived and breathed them. If her visions said something, then of course they had to be right. After all, she was Alice the fortune teller, Alice the soothsayer, Alice the visionary. Disgusting. So she had seen a vision of her being friends with Bella. Big deal. That was no reason to tell her everything about what we were and end up siccing the Volturi on us like a pack of wild dogs.

"I don't know if I really believe that, Alice," the girl said tiredly, and almost sadly. I snorted. Did she have a crush on ickle-Eddykins already? Ha! Edward loved no one but himself and his music—he had certainly stated as much to me. That had been, in fact, the way our relationship, if it could be called that, had started.

But it didn't matter anyways. I pressed down on the horn, the loud beep accompanied by a chorus of "We're coming, Rosalie," from inside the house. I rolled my eyes and reclined in my seat. I was so bored that I even began to examine my nails, which really was needless, since I knew that they were both perfect and unbreakable—an excellent combination. The only thing that could make my day better now would be further embarrassment for Edward, though that didn't look like it would be coming along any time soon.

However, when Edward got up to stiffly let the human girl into his car, I couldn't help but chuckle. He looked like he was having something venomous injected into him. That girl would be having a lot of fun with him for the twenty-minute drive to Forks High—though with our speed, it would be more along the lines of ten minutes.

I started full out laughing with what happened next. The girl, who Emmett had informed me had a nefarious clumsy streak, had tripped on her shoelace, and been gracefully caught by Edward. She now looked like all the blood in her body had been squeezed up to her face, while Edward simply looked shocked. No doubt her scent was terribly enticing, but I wasn't particularly concerned. After all, Edward did have some fairly incredible self-control, I would give him that.

But the way that they stood there, almost as if they were both frozen, worried me slightly. If it had been anyone else, by now Edward would have graciously dumped them back within the car and smoothly proceeded to drive to school. And, from what I could tell of Bella's character, she was probably mortified and would have squirmed out of his grasp. Certainly she, like any normal adolescent teenage girl caught in the arms of a 100 plus year old vampire, should have acted in an appropriate way, like running as fast and as far as she could in the opposite direction. But she didn't. And he didn't. Neither of them did anything but stay in that same position for what seemed like hours, though could only have been half a minute. No reflexes. No reactions or movement. They just held on, immobile. And they both seemed, if you looked deeply enough, thoroughly pleased with themselves.

This was definitely something to worry about.


Bella POV

"So," I said, staring out the window. I couldn't bare to look into his perfect face and see hate in his eyes. My words seemed to linger in the heavy silence, circling above our heads like a lone, hungry vulture. I couldn't believe that Alice had forced me into taking a ride with him to school.

"So," he said, his voice rigid. I gave an internal grimace—he really disliked spending time with me, didn't he?

I sighed and rested my head on my hand. It's not like it was a crime to look bored. And it didn't matter if I offended him with my actions—my presence seemed to do the job well enough.

"Is something wrong?" he asked, his voice still somewhat sharp.

"No," I muttered glumly, "everything's peachy."

"No," he said angrily, "everything is not peachy. You're upset."

I frowned. "Why do you care?"

"I don't know," he said slowly, almost thoughtfully, before adding, "but I do. And I want to know. What has you so upset?"

"Well, same question to you," I said nastily, turning my head to spare him one disdainful glance. "As if you don't know."

He looked genuinely hurt. "What?"

I actually felt bad for apparently damaging his feelings, so I decided to apologize. "Sorry," I mumbled, "I just…I don't think you like me very much. At all, in fact." I was surprised by my sudden boost in confidence—two days ago I would have been mortified to admit anything like that to my best friend's brother, had I even had a best friend.

"Oh," he said quietly. "I'm truly sorry for the way that I've treated you," his voice was sincere and laced with remorse…which reminded me that many drinks were laced with lethal doses of arsenic. No doubt there was something poisonous lingering within his sweet words.

"Liar," I whispered, so quietly that it nearly blended in with the rain that was pattering lightly on the windows. My finger was tracing their liquid trails, even trying to mentally egg on certain droplets as if they were racing. This only let me further know that I didn't want to be involved in this conversation.

"No, I'm not," he said harshly. I blinked. Had he heard that? I was about to respond when he continued. "You won't even give me a chance, you think I'm a monster—you won't even look at me." His voice was desperate now, and—dare I say it—longing? Was he longing for me to look at him?

I decided to oblige him. After all, it couldn't hurt to look at an angel for a few seconds, now could it? However, as soon as I turned to him, I felt as if all the wind had rushed out of me. He was just so heart-breakingly beautiful. It was painful. I couldn't even compare. I blushed and ducked my head down, playing with my hands. Suddenly, everything he had said before came to mind—I was reminded of the reason I had looked at him in the first place. "I don't think you're a monster," I said hurriedly, "I just…I don't want to look at you for a different reason." Idiot! I mentally berated myself, That was a very stupid, rude, thoughtless thing to say. Now he's either going to pry or he's going to have his ego wounded, neither of which are good if you want to have any hope of him having any sort of relationship with you.

"What do you mean?" he said curiously, and almost sadly. Of course, I thought bitterly, he's the inquisitive type. I should have known.

"It's just, you…" I sighed. It was best to get this over with now—no doubt he had already figured it out. "You dazzle me. I can't really think straight when you do that…" I blushed to hear myself say it, but I blurted it out anyways, "when you do that eye thing."

"Really?" Did he sound pleased, or was my hearing faulty? I didn't dare look at him, because I knew that he would immediately compare my face to that of a tomato. And I definitely did not want my crush to be comparing me to vegetables. Or were they fruits?

"Yeah," I said, my head dropping even lower, if that was possible.

"Oh." He was silent for a moment and then said, "What are you thinking?"

"Huh?" I involuntarily turned to look up at him, and immediately found myself blushing. His gaze was intense, as if he was trying to read my mind. Was his entire family into this "I can tell what you're thinking" thing, or what?

"What are you thinking?" he repeated, slightly annoyed.

"Well, I was just thinking about…tomatoes," I admitted, my face turning even redder.

"Tomatoes?" he appeared just as taken aback as I.

"Yeah," I said, "because, you know, I'm pretty sure I look like a tomato right now."

"Oh," he smiled. Then he said seriously, "Well, a tomato would be lucky to be compared to you."

"Um…" was that supposed to be a compliment? "Thanks. I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't being constantly admired as a garden vegetable."

"Fruit," he said automatically, his eyes never leaving my face.

"Oh," I muttered, "well, that answers that question."

"You were wondering that, too?" he said, frowning.

"Uh, yeah. I mean, I didn't really know…" what was I supposed to say? Why did he want to know, anyways?

"You hedged."

"What?" I looked up at him in surprise. What had I hedged?

"You said you would tell me what you were thinking," he said accusingly, his eyes narrowed, "but you didn't tell me everything."

My eyes widened, but then my defiant streak kicked in. "Sorry," I said, "didn't mean to not completely spill my mind out to you." I regretted the words as soon as they were out of my mouth—the hurt in his eyes didn't make me feel any better, either. "I'm sorry," I whispered, "I didn't mean it and…"

"No," he said, interrupting me. His jaw was hard and he had turned back to staring straight out the windshield. Apparently, he found the windshield wipers to be devastatingly intriguing. "It's my fault. It's just…I'm usually so good at reading people, but with you…I have no idea. I've never encountered it before." His head turned quickly to face me, his eyes guarded, gauging my reaction.

"Oh," I said, licking my lips. "Well, I mean, I guess you're just not used to it. Though I think I'm pretty easy to read."

"Oh, no," he said seriously, "not at all. It's very intriguing…but simultaneously frustrating, if you know what I mean."

Oh ho ho, he didn't know the half of it—here I was sitting next to the mysterious Edward Cullen, who treats me like I'm a leper one day and then acts as if I'm one of his friends the next—that wasn't at all intriguing or frustrating. Not in the least. And I was being tracked down by a world-class hunter, my life now being counted in days. I had to repress a shudder. "Surprisingly enough, I think I do know what you mean," I said dryly, though inside I was anything but confident. That thought had brought back a whole new flood of worries…what was I going to do when he finally came? I couldn't run forever, and though I had found temporary refuge in Forks, how long could it last?

"That's good," he said smiling, oblivious to my inner turmoil.

I couldn't help but smile back.


Edward POV

As soon as the tomato incident had passed, a part of our little chat that I tried not to think about (who tells someone that a tomato would be lucky to be compared to them? Who?), Bella had initiated an actual conversation with me—me, a monster, a stranger who had glared at her with no apparent reason, a seemingly stand-offish older brother to her best friend. But she had done it anyways, because she was that interested in me. I was surprisingly pleased by the notion that she had any concern for or about me. It made me…happy. Suffice it to say, I hadn't felt like that in quite a long while.

"So, tell me about your brothers and sisters," she had said, looking up at me expectantly with those large doe eyes of hers. I found it very hard to look away, so I simply chose not to.

"Well…" did she know about the romantic involvement in my family? I didn't think so. "Alice and Jasper are in love, as are Rosalie and Emmett. And it's not incest. We were all adopted."

Her eyes widened before she began to glare at me, which I thought was adorable. "I don't think that it is incest, actually. You shouldn't have instantly jumped to the conclusion that I would have thought that, you know. I actually think it's kind of cute."

I smiled apologetically at her. I should have known she would be understanding—but since I couldn't read her mind, everything was so much harder. I guess this was what most human males went through. Or, really, any human, not just males, I had to remind myself. I wasn't trying to ask Bella on a date or kiss her or something along those lines…though I wasn't particularly adverse to the idea. "I'm sorry, the assumption was wrong of me, you're correct. It's just, most people at our school seem to take offence at the more intricate relationships within our family."

She blinked at me and swallowed loudly. "Well, I don't think that," she whispered. Then she smiled, and I felt my long-dead heart jump. "I think it's sweet, and cute. I didn't notice it before, but now it seems obvious. They have certain…connections between them."

"Well," I said, "aren't you observant?" I didn't know why, but being further proved that Bella Swan was not your average human being who would automatically make assumptions made me giddy.

She smiled shyly and proceeded with her questioning. "I, um, guess I was wondering…what happened to your parents?"

I gazed at her, trying to decipher the reasoning behind the question. She seemed to shrink the longer I stared at her. "I…I'm sorry," she said quickly, "that was a stupid question, and I shouldn't've asked it…"

"No," I said quietly, reaching out to gently tilt her chin towards me. She blushed slightly, which to me was utterly irresistible, both in the fact that blood was rushing to her cheeks, and also in another, foreign way that made my lust for her blood slightly small in comparison. Her breathing was becoming shallower and shallower. As much as I hated it, I had to reluctantly drop my hand—I didn't want her to stop breathing on my account. However, I was more than pleased that she reacted to me in the way she did—she was just as affected by me as I was by her. "It's perfectly fine."

"O…okay," her voice was shaky.

"My parents died when I was very young. I hardly remember them. Carlisle and Esme…they are my mother and father, now and forever." I wasn't about to tell her that I meant forever in the literal sense—at least, until the earth perished and even then I wasn't sure if my existence would cease.

"I'm sorry," she said meekly, her eyes darting to the road.

"It's alright. It doesn't bother me." I tried to sound soothing. I didn't want her to be upset or uncomfortable because of me. She remained silent. I desperately grasped at whatever possible conversation was left—the absence of her voice made me…sorrowful? I wasn't sure, but I certainly didn't like the emotion. And her voice was so pleasant to my ears, like a different form of music—one that was much better than Debussy. "But what about you? What about your parents?'

"Well," she finally turned back to look at me, hesitant. "Renee and Charlie have been divorced for as long as I can remember. They married young, and it…just didn't work out. She left with me shortly after I was born. She couldn't stand it here. I can't stand it here, either. For the past sixteen years I've tried my hardest to avoid this place, but…you can't run forever." She gave a bitter laugh.

I felt despondent. Was it really that horrible here? Did I make it that horrible? I hadn't been very welcoming, that was true, but I was trying very hard now to make her stay pleasant. "Why don't you like it here?" I ignored how strained my voice sounded. It didn't matter to me how she would answer…right?

She looked at me quizzically before responding. "Well, it's so green, for one thing. I can hardly stand the color anymore. It's all you see. And it's so wet—it's like it's perpetually raining." She frowned and backtracked. "No, it is perpetually raining—there's no like about it."

I gave a quiet chuckle, though I wasn't sure if she had told me everything. She had admitted to her editing on the tomato question—I had specifically asked her what was on her mind, and she had hedged. Who was to say that she wouldn't now? "Is that all?" I said quietly, staring into her deep brown eyes.

She flushed. "Y…yes," she said shakily. "And I really wish you would stop doing that."

What was she talking about? "Excuse me?"

She smiled sheepishly at me. "You keep dazzling me—I can hardly form coherent sentences when you do that."

"Oh," we had returned to that, had we? Well, that was just fine. I was very happy to know that I could do that to her. "Well," I said seriously, "maybe I can use that to my advantage."

"That's awfully manipulative of you," she muttered.

I laughed it off. "What else about your parents?"

She sighed. "Um, Renee remarried this past summer…to Phil."

I immediately took it that she didn't like Phil—this was the case with most step-daughters, as I had noticed throughout my many years. "You don't like Phil," I said confidently.

"No," she said tiredly. What? She didn't not like him? Then what was wrong? "He's nice, a little too young, maybe, and a little too…daring, but not bad. He's perfect for her," she said the last part ruefully.

"So…you're jealous?" I was assured that this was correct, at least.

She surprised me once again—she shook her head. "No, I'm happy for them. It's just, my mom was my best friend, and now I'm afraid that she'll change because of him. I know it's silly, but…" she sighed. "Anyways, I decided that they might prefer to have some alone time for a while. So I wound up here."

I had the nagging suspicion that she wasn't telling me everything—not being dishonest, but simply…omitting certain facts. This annoyed me to no end. Why couldn't I read her mind? "That's not all," I said. "You're hiding something."

She looked at me, shocked, and…was that some fear in her eyes? I wasn't as attentive as I should have been, instead mostly happy that she hadn't called my bluff. "No," she murmured.

"You're lying," my eyes narrowed. Why would she conceal something from me? What didn't she want me to find out?

"Well, I…" she seemed flustered. "Look, I'll tell you when I'm ready," she snapped, turning red.

This compromise didn't particularly please me, but it was better than nothing. I nodded. "Alright. Until then."

She looked slightly surprised. What was she surprised about? Had I done something wrong?

"Okay," she said, her voice small. I looked over to her and smiled—she was so cute when she was timid. But this was a completely older-brother type of feeling, after all. Completely. I wasn't romantically interested her. Not in the least.

Though there was Alice's vision…

I shook those thoughts out of my head as we pulled into the school lot, sliding smoothly into a parking space. I slipped fluidly out of the car and whipped over to her side, probably going over a normal human's speed limit with the rate of my motions, and gracefully opened the door. She clambered out, blushing furiously, and took my hand when offered. As soon as we touched, I swear I tingled. It was the most amazing sensation, and she was just so warm. I beamed at her, exuberant, and she grinned back. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to prove that Alice was right—I actually wasn't completely opposed to the idea of what her vision had in store, and I was very pleased by the fact that it meant spending more time with Bella.

All in all, I had been having a surprisingly lovely day—it really irked me that Newton had to come along and ruin it.

A/N: Ooh, cliffy. Sort of. Anyways, next chapter, you'll get to see exactly what Mike is up to—you'll also get to view the world of Twilight through the eyes of Alice, Jasper, and Rosalie…and the plot will be set into overdrive…

I hope I did okay with Rosalie's POV this chapter. Next chapter I think she gets a lot more, well, Rosalie-ish—at least, her predatory nature comes to light. Jasper's also kind of fun. I have fondly dubbed him my "emoticon", and my poor, sad emoticon is about to be drowned in so many emotions that he falls over…sigh.

So, REVIEW! Lots and lots of reviews make for lots and lots of happiness on my part…which will transfer into updates and such.