I've basically stopped writing all fics, due to the fact that Breaking Dawn ruined Twilight for me. This is an entry for Shakespeare Freakazoid's contest.

Note: As snow was falling the night Rosalie was found I am assuming she was changed in winter, and for my purposes put this date in December of the year I am writing in. I am placing Rosalie's birthday in April and saying the official proposal is around October. This is roughly eight months before she was raped.

-1933-

"Rosy, Rosy, it's your birthday!" William bounced excitedly onto his sister's bed, his small face alight with a smile so wide one would have thought it was his own birthday that had him excited.

Slowly Rosalie opened one eye. "William, the sun isn't even up. Let me sleep." His face melted into a pout.

"But I wanted you to open my present. And I waited so, so, long and now it's finally time and you won't open it." With a just-noticeable sniff he began to climb off the bed, casting a despairing look back he knew his sister before he turned away.

With an over exaggerated effort Rosalie pulled herself up and glared at William, only to break out into a grin a moment later at his victorious expression. "All right now, I'm up. Let's see the amazing gift that is to be blamed for this."

In an instant William leapt off the bed and was at his own corner of the room, dropping to the floor. Wriggling underneath his small bed he seemed to feel around for a moment before working to carefully squeeze back out. He wouldn't be able to use that hiding place much longer, Rosalie reflected. Her eight-year-old brother was getting bigger every day, and soon he would be too tall to sleep in the bed, let alone hoard his treasures below. He would most likely be given Rosalie's bed, for if things turned out as hoped she would be a married woman before the eve of her next birthday.

William scuttled back to his sister with a small box in hand, wrapped in newspaper and tied with a ribbon Rosalie recognized as being her own. Today though, she didn't mind. After all, she thought, she was beyond such juvenile baubles.

"Open it!" he begged, handing her the box. His blue eyes twinkled eagerly.

Slowly Rosalie pulled at one, then another end of the ribbon, letting it slide off smoothly. Searching for the seam she picked at the edge of the newspaper and slid it away, revealing a small tin box. Opening it revealed a deck of cards, with a simple crossword book placed behind it. Rosalie gazed lovingly up at her sweet brother in the knowledge that it had taken quite a bit of his meager savings to buy the gift.

William's impatience got the better of him. "Do you like it?"

"Of course I do, William. I love everything my favorite brother gives me." Rosalie smiled, setting the items back in the tin and placing it on her nightstand. "Maybe we can play a few games tomorrow, but today I'm very busy. Now why don't you run downstairs and have breakfast while I get ready?" Looking 

slightly annoyed at being sent away William turned to leave allowing Rosalie to stand up and prepare for the day.

She worked quickly but carefully as she painted her face, highlighting her cheeks with rouge and applying a perfect coat of ruby red lipstick. Her beauty was her value, and she made sure to take full advantage of it. Everything flowed together flawlessly—her basic twist looked classy but simple, her pale blue dress fit to show just the proper amount of curves while bringing out her violet eyes, and her makeup, though she needed it not, was elegant and alluring. It was the look of the powerful, the face of the woman flourishing.

Adding the finished touches, Rosalie smiled at her reflection and set downstairs for breakfast. William and Roger were already there, seated and eating contently. William smiled upon her entrance, his dismissal already forgive. Across the table Roger nodded his greeting.

"Happy birthday, sister."

"Thank you, Roger. How are you this morning?"

"Fine. Thank you."

The three sat in a companionable silence, broken roughly as their mother rushed suddenly in.

"Rosalie dear, how magnificent you look today!" her mother gushed, placing a plate of steaming bacon in front of her daughter. Bending over she kissed Rosalie's head. "Simply a glorious morning, isn't it? And don't forget that tonight we've been invited to the Kings for dinner, such wonderful people really." She continued to bustle around the kitchen as she spoke. "I know you're visiting Vera today, but please dear make sure you keep yourself looking nice for tonight. As for this morning I thought we'd go shopping on Third Street, buy some special things for the birthday girl."

For the first time she looked at William and Roger, both finished with their meals now. "Shouldn't you be getting off to school William dear? Roger, I was hoping you could walk with him since Rosalie will be with me, but after that you can head off to see about that job Mr. King mentioned. No, no, put your dishes away first before you leave, that's a good boy." She paused momentarily to take a large breath and give her son a small squeeze.

"Rosalie, are we almost ready to go? Good. I'll see you boys this evening, stay out of trouble for your mother now." Kissing William on the cheek and giving Roger a pat goodbye she whisked Rosalie out the door and into the New York City morning.

The crisp spring air bit at Rosalie's face the moment she stepped out the door, her cheeks budding a soft pink. Overhead the piercing blue sky was unmarred by even a single cloud as it stretched proudly overhead, pleased to put on such a brilliant display of its color. From above the sharp rays of the sun stabbed into the heart of the city, bathing everything in a majestic gold. The busy hum of the metropolis clattered about her as the city began its toil through yet another day. Elatedness rushed through Rosalie's veins as she absorbed the moment. It gave one a beautiful, thrilling high, this place she loved 

so much. Nothing would bring her down. Not the sleeping forms of the homeless in the alleys, nor the faces of hunger that stared pleadingly up at her in utter desolation.

This she simply ignored.

It wasn't a conscious choice. Rather, a way of living bred into her. As her mother led her into stores she gleefully marveled at gloves and exclaimed over dresses, aware only of herself. It was a blind life she led, but only in this unseeing state did she remain content. And that was the perfect summary of Rosalie's life: contentment.

Nevertheless the shopping passed all too quickly, and in time Rosalie bade her mother goodbye and set out for Vera's. It wasn't a long walk, but did require cutting through the most heavily populated area of the city. She secretly loved the looks men gave her as they passed by. They tried so desperately to be inconspicuous about their desire, but in the end simply looked like fools. Rosalie giggled to herself. How easy they were to toy with. A smile there and he would lean to a wall for support. A small turn of the head and eyes would widen like children on Christmas morning, then suddenly fall away abashed as she met their gazes.

With another internal wink Rosalie found herself standing on a small doorstep she had come to many times before. Reaching up she knocked softly, knowing she was expected

"Rose, you're finally here!" Vera exclaimed opening the door. Rosalie smiled and gently reached out to pat little Henry's head and Vera gazed lovingly at the child in her arms.

"I'm sorry I'm a little late. Mother and I spent all morning at the stores and I'm afraid we lost track of time."

"Come in, come in. David's out looking for some extra work, so it's just us girls, well and little Henry of course," she cast an adoring smile at her son, ushering Rosalie into the living room and gesturing for her to sit. It was a very simple home, only two rooms, and through one wall you could hear every movement made by the neighbors in the evenings. The furniture was plain and faded, but the warmth that permeated the home made these things seem trivial. "And wouldn't you know it, Henry's just starting to take his first few steps! Here, let me show you."

Vera placed the small child carefully on his feet, gentle hands guiding him as he stood. Rosalie bent down next to her and held her arms out, her face alight as Henry tentatively placed one foot in front of another.

"There's a good boy, come on for Auntie Rose now," she cooed. Vera slowly took her hands away, and Henry took one, then two, steps. As he lifted his leg up a third time his balance was abruptly broken and he fell straight into Rosalie's ready arms. Scooping him up into her arms she sat on the old couch, Vera taking a seat across from her.

"He's getting so big, Vera. What happened to that little baby?" Rosalie shook her head.

"I know what you mean. He's growing before our very eyes. I would love another child, but in times like these…" Vera let her sentence fall to a sad silence, gazing sorrowfully out the window.

For the first time Rosalie studied her friend more closely. A small web of lines had appeared on her youthful face, and her deep brown hair had lost some of its shine. It was depressing to see this in her friend, but despite this she couldn't help her self-assurance that the same thing would never happen to her. When I have a child, thought Rosalie decisively, I will be the vision of health. For a moment she tried to imagine her and Royce standing together over a small cradle where a tiny babe lay sleeping, but something about the image felt strange and she pushed it quickly away. She was pulled out of her thoughts however as Vera suddenly stood up and bustled around the room, finally settling on a small package wrapped in brown paper.

"And of course, we can't forget the reason for our get together! Happy birthday Rose! I know it isn't much, but something about it fits you perfectly."

Taking the package Rosalie carefully opened the paper, finding a folded piece of fabric within. Pulling it out it unrolled into a brilliant red scarf, crafted with the utmost skill by Vera. The yarn alone must have cost her quite a bit—it was dyed lusciously and was free of any imperfections, a rare find in today's markets. A sudden catch came into her throat as Rosalie looked at the scarf that had been knitted with utmost love, and she smiled back up at her friend.

"Thank you so much Vera. It's beautiful."

The two spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on old times and playing with Henry. It was so easy to spend time with Vera. They could gossip and laugh together with utmost ease, a friendship that was rooted so deeply in childhood Rosalie knew by instinct that nothing would ever separate the two. There was a steady connection between them that only came with the rarest of friends, a bond that meant nothing could divide them.

All too soon their time together was up, and Rosalie departed with a happy farewell, promising to meet up again in the near future.

"You're late!" her mother cried in hysterics the moment she opened the door. "We have to be at the Kings' in an hour, and you haven't even begun to get ready!" Shaking her head she ran to the other room, where her ranting was slightly muffled by the thick oak wall.

Sighing, Rosalie tuned her mother's ranting out as she proceeded to her own room where she unhurriedly slipped into the evening dress she'd bought earlier. The silken fabric glided smoothly over her head and settled easily at her hips and Rosalie nimbly did the buttons up the back before turning to appraise her reflection . The deep maroon made her hair appear to be spun gold and her eyes gems of the sky, while her smooth skin was a river of silk. Deeply satisfied she placed her gloves neatly to the side and she turned to her hair, letting it down from the twist and carefully brushing it out. She wanted to get it just perfect, and carefully twisted the complicated style, pinning it expertly and adding a small crystal comb to the side. She was ready.

The Hale family arrived at the King home at six o' clock on the dot, where they were greeted with the usual courtesies and led gracefully inside. As always the King mansion was impressive and luxurious, everything seeming to emit a glow of splendor of those who spare no expense. Everything from the mahogany furniture to the crystal chandeliers boasted of status, items which Rosalie had seen her parent's eyes drift to longingly many a time.

In the reception room Royce greeted Rosalie with his usual charming smile, offering his arm. "You look lovely this evening."

"As she should. It is her day, after all!" Mrs. King exclaimed.

"Shall we eat?" asked Royce, and the small group smoothly found their way into the dining room.

On the grand oak table seven places had been set, each plate a bearing a delicate pattern of bluebirds that matched seamlessly complimented the powder blue walls. The two families took their seats, Rosalie next to Royce, and a quiet buzz of conversation started. Mrs. King asked Rosalie how her day had been, and Roger spoke to Mr. King about banking. As is true for all polite conversation, nothing was truly said at all, and the discussions slipped lazily from the day's weather to the best hat shops to an annoying bank secretary without pause.

At exactly the stroke of seven a maid bustled in with trays of food, signaling the time to dine. A sweet red wine was poured and the conversations became more easygoing and friendly between the families. Rosalie sat in an aura of adoration as the both families fawned over her, complimenting her grace and competing for her attention. More food was brought out and the celebration grew ever merrier. Laughs were had, stories were told, even Royce seemed to be enjoying himself.

Through the window Rosalie could see that the sky had grown completely black, and a ribbon of moonlight was now bathing the city in an aery glow. The evening would be over soon, yet she never wanted it to end. Beside her Royce cleared his throat, and turning her head she saw him rise to his feet.

"It's been a wonderful time having you here tonight, Mr. and Mrs. Hale, Roger, Rosalie, and my family and I look forward to more of these dinners in the future," Rosalie's parents exchanged a quick look of glee, "But tonight is an especially important night. Tonight this beautiful young lady sitting beside me is a year older, and I knew I had to find something perfect to give to her." Out of her peripheral vision Rosalie saw Mrs. King give her son a slight nod. Smiling, Royce turned to Rosalie and presented her with a velvet case.

Her hands trembled slightly as she reached for it, and she had to work to keep herself from yanking it open. Stretching the moment out as long as she could bear it she carefully opened the lid and gasped.

Inside the box was nestled a glittering of colored stones, joined delicately together so that they resembled a small bouquet. A silver pin on the back allowed it to be worn, and for a moment Rosalie could only marvel. Touching the broach lightly she admired the intricate design of the crystal flowers, each a small beauty in itself. It was so beautiful, a precious gift unlike any she had ever gotten before.

"Thank you Royce, it is a valuable gift and I will treasure it always." Rosalie smiled widely, while one opposite ends of the table Mrs. King and Mrs. Hale seemed to be bouncing with glee.

Finally they said their farewells and bad one another goodnight. The entire ride home Rosalie stared at the broach, unable to take her gaze away for even a second. Happiness filled her. She was a year older, grown into a woman with years to come. She was loved and adored. It was perfection.

It was her birthday.

--

It was her birthday.

The broach now sat on a chestnut nightstand. One of the stones was missing, knocked away when it had hit the pavement. It had been pinned to her jacket that night. He had broken it before coming after her.

The moonlight glinted sharply off one of the facets, a piercing glare that bored into her. She didn't look away; she sat with the perfect stillness of an immortal, an aura of light surrounding her. Centuries could have passed and the two would remain completely unchanged. Both silent. Still. Glistening.

Broken.

Her face breaking into sudden rage Rosalie flew to her feet and hurled the broach across the room. The diamonds shattered, fragments ricocheting off her skin harmlessly. She wanted them to cut her. She wanted to bleed. She wanted her humanity.

The room filled with her tearless sobs.

If you are so inclined, the broach is here (minus spaces) I imagined it with multi-colored flowers.

treasuresofgold . com/broaches/images/broach02 . jpg