Rosalie and Emmett's story
AN: Yeah … I know. I suck. Sorry. I've been wicked busy and then my boyfriend decided I needed a vacation. So, I am currently posting this from Dublin. Tomorrow, I meet his parents and then in two days, I get to go and visit my family in County Kerry. Well, I know it's been a long time coming but I hope the length (17 pages on Word) makes up for it!
Rated M for a reason. Sexual in nature. Strong language. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: Obviously, I own nothing. If I did, I would be rich.
Songs for the Chapter:
"Lullaby" by Shawn Mullins (when Rosalie is thinking about her family),
"The Way You Like It" by Adema (when Rosalie is at the bank), and
"Machinehead" by Bush and "Afterlife" by Avenged Sevenfold (when Rosalie is in the vault) -- you can hear it on my myspace page … if you click my profile and look for the link (and become my friend while you are at it! :) Make sure to subscribe to my blog because I love to post teasers and previews of coming chapters to all my fanfics there.)
Driving far faster than the posted speed limit, Edward and I rocketed down the back roads and crossed from New Hampshire into Vermont, and, then, out of New England and into my home state of New York in record time. The entire drive, he had remained silent and still; the only signs of consciousness were the movement of his hands on the steering wheel.
Approaching Rochester, Edward slowed unexpectedly, ten minutes outside of the city limits. "What's going on?" I asked as we passed a billboard touting hair pomade that guaranteed to leave the user's hair shiny and manageable. A single beam of light crept out from behind it.
A police officer sat on a motorcycle.
"It's a speed trap," Edward announced.
"How did you ...?"
He cut me off, tapping his index finger to the side of his hand.
"I don't know that I'll ever get used to that power of yours," I admitted.
"I hardly have," he said, under his breath.
My gaze returned back to the midnight blackened countryside. As clear as if it were noon, my new eyes took in the familiar sight of the homes that started to pop up in small clusters before the city proper. This was the only home I had ever known, the place where Mother had paraded me around practically since my birth.
One of the highlights of her photo strewn mantle was a framed newspaper article that featured my tiny, cheery body on the back of a parade float. The story I had been told was that during a showcase of local beauty pageant contestants, I'd walked out towards the floats. Bedecked in a pink frock and white shoes with pink bows, I'd tottered over to one of the male escorts who walked beside the vehicles that the beauties rode on. Thinking how adorable I was, he'd picked me up and put me on Betty Rae Stooder's float, where I waved and blew kisses.
Finally, Mother realized that I was no longer at her side. I remember her racing forward to grab me from the float only to catch on that the crowd was reacting more to me than Betty Rae at my side. Complacent, she walked parallel to the parade route allowing me to soak in all the cheers and praise the citizens of Rochester could throw at me.
Betty Rae won her pageant. Mother insisted that it wouldn't have happened without my smiling face during the showcase.
My picture appeared in the local paper, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and, soon enough, Mother received a phone call from the Editor-in-Chief letting her know that the Associated Press had thought the picture so darling that they had requested to run it on their wire. My picture was seen all over the world that week.
Ever the shrewd business woman she was, Mother waited for and then capitalized on the opportunities that popped up because of the photo. On the advice of a friend, she had me sit for a number of portraits until I wanted to cry with frustration.
My photos, my mother, and ultimately, I, were all dragged to New York City in hopes that an agent would find some use for me. "You'll be a model, little Rosalie. Or an actress," Mother had told me. "Won't that be divine?" she asked as we passed a street market.
A short man with a thick mustache and a receding hairline stood in front of a vendor's cart. As we passed, he held out a peony for me. I took it in my fisted hand. When I did not immediately respond to her question, Mother turned to find me staring at the beautiful gift that the man had given to me. She held out her hand, waiting for me to give over the blossom, which I did without hesitation.
Tucking the pink bloom behind her own ear, she grabbed my arm, still chubby with baby fat, and asked again if I was looking forward to being a model.
"No, Mummy," I answered.
She laughed at me. "Why ever not?" she asked, still striding down the street. "Don't you want everyone to know how pretty you are?"
I must have waited too long to answer because I can remember her stopping abruptly and spinning around at me. She dropped to my height and glared at me. "Rosalie, don't you want to be a model?"
"No, Mummy. I want to be a mummy like you," I had answered her with all the naivety of a four year old.
Pursing her lips, she roughly grabbed my shoulders. "Listen to me, little Rosalie. While we are in the city, you will act like a good girl. You will smile and curtsy. You will say 'yes, sir' and 'no, ma'am.' And when Mummy says you will be a model, you will be a model," she emphasized her last words with a shake of my body. I watched as the beautiful flower fell from her hair.
Pulling me up by the arm, Mother rose to her full height and stepped back into the flow of pedestrian traffic. I looked behind as I was dragged along to see the peony, mashed into the cement sidewalk. "Now, we are off to see Mr. Mayer's agency first ..."
Mother's voice faded into my memory as Edward pulled the car into a deserted lot. We had come to the heart of the city while I was day dreaming.
"You can wait here until I come back," I said, grabbing for the handle of the car. "My parent's house isn't far from here and Royce should be …" I trailed off.
"That's not an option," Edward answered, mirroring my own actions as we stepped from the car.
I pushed the car door closed without looking at it. A hollow thunk rang through the still predawn air. I had hardly processed the noise when Edward spoke.
"Damn it, Rosalie."
"What?" I asked.
He motioned to the passenger side of Carlisle's 1933 Cadillac LeSalle Coupe. (See profile for picture.) The door was crinkled into a mass of steel and paint which no longer matched the opening for which it was intended to cover.
"Rosalie, you have to be more aware of your strength. Think before you do something or you could shatter something more fragile than a steel door," Edward said, placing his hand on my shoulder.
"Of course," I answered, stunned momentarily. My forgotten strength would certainly help me carry out my plans.
Reading my thoughts, Edward asked "what are your plans for the night?"
"Kill Royce," I answered. It had been the only thought during the seven hour drive from the summer cottage.
"Such finesse," Edward mocked, leaning against the hood. "Really? Is that as far as you've thought it out?"
"No. The first part of the plan is 'Kill Royce.' The second part is 'Kill the other men'," I paused, thinking that this might be my last chance to visit Rochester for sometime. "I'd like to say 'goodbye' to my family."
Edward ran his hand through the mop of copper hair at the crown of his head. "You know you can't do that …"
"No," I stopped him. "Not in person. I must say 'goodbye' though. I owe them that much. They are, after all, my family."
Slowly, seeing my thoughts, he nodded his agreement. "Tonight," he dictated. "We go there tonight."
Smiling, I took Edward's hand and walked toward my family's home. Reaching the walkway to the house, I paused.
Nothing had changed. I don't know why I had expected that it would have. Pristinely manicured hedges bordered the long wrap around porch which sported a lovely wrought iron banister and railing. The windows were drawn tight against the night air and white lace curtains hung in the frame.
I had always believed that if the kitchen had been blazing with smoke and flames, Mother would have done everything in her power to insure that not a soul living in our town would ever have the faintest idea that a conflagration raged inside. She had always said that which we present to the public must be perfect and we must ignore all else.
I scoffed at myself. Why had I thought there might some outward sign that even after the four days and five nights I had been missing? No yellow ribbon adorned our gateway, no hopes for a safe return home. No flowers from friends had been placed by the door in a makeshift shrine.
Edward's hand tightened around my own. "There's no one inside. I can't hear their voices." He inhaled a deep and unnecessary breath. "No one is here. I can smell them, but it's a lingering smell. Nothing new."
"Odd," I thought. His words came to me, then. Should I be breathing? Could smelling their scents help me let go of them?
"Don't," Edward said. "You'll never …" he paused.
"You will not be able to control yourself," he finally said. "You will be forced to hunt. You will be forced to hunt tonight."
"So?" I asked.
"You will want human blood," he said, turning from me, as if listening to something far off in space or time. "Believe me. Hold your breath until we are far from people. It's just easier on you."
I nodded. Walking to the porch, the normal, everyday normalcy of the predawn light on the doorway set my skin to itching. It was almost as if my family hadn't thought it out of the ordinary that their eldest child, their only daughter, was missing. Dead, really.
Next to the doorframe, in the mailbox, a single letter stuck out. I grabbed it and met Edward's gaze. "Is it safe to go inside?" I asked.
"Yes. No one is inside," he answered. He eyed the heavy doorknob. "I suppose that I could push in the door." He fingered his jaw in contemplation of the situation.
I stepped from the porch, descending the stairs, and stood before a short length of flowerbed. Crocuses had popped out in the days since the last time I had come home. I nudged them, trying to pull one from the ground without crushing it. My attempt was half successful as I pried the flower from the ground without maiming the bloom but obliterating the stem where I had pinched it.
Beside the bed of purple flowers, I buried my hand two or three inches deep into the earth. Soft and damp, my hand rooted through the top soil before coming to rest on a thin piece of metal. Shaking it and my hand clean, I bought it to Edward.
He cocked his head, examining me and my gift.
"I used to lose my key all the time," I explained. "One day, I hid an extra in the garden. It's been my saving grace many days."
I slid the key into the lock and slowly turned it, trying not to crush the delicate inner workings of the knob. Stepping inside the house, I expected memories to strike me from every direction.
Still and silent, my footstep echoed through the foyer and into the parlor. I traced my daily steps through the sitting room into the dining room, through the pantry and the kitchen. Using the servant's staircase, I raced upstairs and passed the closed door of my room to my brothers'. Both beds were empty. I found the same in my parents'. Wandering back down the hall, I found myself waiting outside the white door of my room.
I wasn't sure why I stood there, staring at the white washed finish of the wood. I gathered the courage after a minute's wait and pushed the door inward. It squealed its familiar protestations and I stepped into the eerie tomb that had been my bedroom just four days before. Scanning the room, I could tell that nothing had changed since I left for Vera's house just before dinner all those days ago. Even my book laid still and open to the last page I had been reading.
Reaching out to touch the page, I realized that I still held the letter in my palm.
It was addressed to my parents and post marked with yesterday's date. So no one has been home in at least two days, I thought, knowing my mother was a diligent mail checker.
I opened the letter and read:
Jonathan and Clarice Hale:
Against my husband's wishes, I am sending this message to you. Without rehashing the present circumstances, one might understand why Royce Sr. wishes for our families to remain distant.
I shuttered. She was taking such a cavalier tone about what had happened. It was almost as if it was nothing more than an inconvenience to the families, almost as if no one understood what it truly was: My death.
Please take this as formal notice of the dissolving of the engagement between our son, Royce King II, and your daughter, Rosalie Hale.
On a more personal note, Clarice, I hope that your find your daughter. Royce explained how distraught Rosalie was when she came to him two nights ago. He told me that she had found another that she loved more than he and was traveling west to meet him on the midnight train. We all wish our children to make a better life for themselves that we were able to do and I hope that one day Rosalie finds happiness; even if she had to break Royce's heart to do so.
Do not contact us further.
Yours in good faith,
The letter slipped from my fingers as my arms went limp and fell to my sides. Frozen in place, I stood like a statue.
Royce had told them I ran away. I broke the engagement. I was unfaithful. The man had sullied my name. No Hale had ever besmirched my family's name and I sure as hell wasn't going to allow an outsider to do it for me.
I wanted to tear the room apart, rip the paper from the walls and throw down the curtains, take my nails to the mattress and spill the down from the comforter with my teeth. But, I hesitated. Edward had said I wasn't to tamper with anything. I wasn't to touch anything that might be conspicuous, something that the family might notice upon their return.
I took a step forward, meaning to go to my closet and take out the few jewels Royce had bestowed upon me while we courting. I figured I could pawn them.
Hanging off the doorframe of my closet was a wedding dress. Layers of lace and silk covered the dress. Even in this, the frock I was to wear on my day, I was forced to acquiesce to Mother's choice. I thought the dress was overdone and gaudy. She said it was perfect.
As I left the house, the final token of my human life in my hands, I met Edward lounging against the banister of the front stoop.
"I have a few matters of business I have to set in order after day breaks," I announced.
He looked up to the cloudless sky above us as we walked away from my family's home. "It looks like it's going to be a nice day. We'll need to find a place to hide out," he said, holding out his hands. "Want me to hold that for you?"
"No," I answered. "It's my burden to bear."
Walking in silence, the dawn began to crest the horizon. "It's Monday, right?" I asked Edward who answered with a nod. "If we can get inside, the church on First Street should be safe place. Not many people show up the day after the Sabbath."
Edward's slight smirk let me know he thought my plan a good one. Arriving at our destination, we waited as he scanned for thoughts from inside. With the all clear, we made our way inside to hide from the bright sunshine of the coming day. While we didn't have to fear the Hollywood stereotypes of vampires who burst into flames and dust with the sun, apparently, the sight of sparkling teenagers was enough to cause rioting.
The day came with the cool heat of spring close on its tail. Edward rummaged through the back rooms of the Sacristy and found a deck of cards. We played every game we could think of until midday when a phone rang in a room we had not investigated.
Waiting until it stopped, I counted to forty as slow as I could before picking up the receiver. Setting my plan in motion, I asked the operator to connect me to the First National Bank of New York, Rochester Branch.
"First National. Sylvia speaking. How may I assist you?" a timid voice answered the call after the operator placed it. I pictured the petite girl with light auburn sitting in the round desk in the center of the foyer of the bank.
"I would like an audience with Royce King, please," I demanded, masking my feminine voice with a gruff growl that I hoped would make me sound like a man.
"Mr. King is unavailable," she said. "Would you like to speak to one of his associates?" The typical response was meant to shake me and leave the Kings undisturbed.
"No," I barked back at her. I could see her cringe in my mind. "I will speak to Mr. King Jr. or no one."
"I'm sorry, then. I'm afraid he is unavailable," she answered, determination slipping into her tone.
"I will leave a message for him then," I explained to the girl, who was not much younger than me. "You will tell him that Mr. Kennedy has called. He will call again at 5 p.m. and that if he values his hide, he will take the call."
"I will pass the message along," Sylvia answered before rudely hanging up the phone.
At five on the dot, I called the bank for a second time that day and a new, male voice answered. "This is Patrick speaking. How may I assist you?" he asked.
"Where is Sylvia?" I asked not thinking.
"I am sorry. She is not available. Can I help you with something?" he asked again.
"Yes, I am calling from Boston for Mr. King. I need to speak to him."
"One moment, please. Mr. King is very busy. May I ask who is calling?" Patrick asked.
"Ms. Stooder calling for Mr. Kennedy," I answered thinking of the first last name that came to mind.
Patrick balked at the name and stuttered. "Oh yes, well. I do believe he is expecting this call. Just let me patch you through, Ms. Stooder."
I waited a moment before I heard Royce's familiar gravely voice. "Ms. Stooder. How may I help you?"
Playing the part of Mr. Joseph Kennedy's secretary, I informed Royce that my boss was not happy with his secretary's attitude on the phone earlier. I was assured that she had been summarily fired. Laying down the last of my plan, I explained that Mr. Kennedy, a very influential, wellknown, and wealthy Irish businessman from Massachusetts, was in Buffalo and was planning to stop by First National that evening around 10 p.m. "Will you and your associates be available for an impromptu meeting tonight?"
"For Mr. Kennedy," he simpered. "Of course, we can."
I hung up the phone and rejoined Edward in the balcony of the church. Just before 6:30 p.m., Edward gasped and spun towards me, clamping his pale, slim hand over my mouth. I felt his fingers move and pinch my nose. "What?" I whispered against his palm.
"Don't breathe," he begged me, leaning ever so slightly towards the edge of the balcony. I listened, waiting for what he heard, until the shuffling gait of age drew a bent woman down the center aisle towards the tabernacle. She bent to kneel before it, crossed herself, and whimpered ancient prayers in Latin.
"Almost done," Edward muttered after ten excruciating minutes passed. With a final amen, genuflection, and sign of the cross, the wizened woman left the church.
Edward removed his hand and I inhaled an unnecessary breath. The favor of the woman assaulted me, wrapped around my tongue, and teased my saliva glands to life. Venom pooled behind my lips as I imagined jumping from our lofty perch, landing before the unsuspecting woman, and bleeding her dry. The very image of the act left me light headed and warmth pooling in my stomach.
"Rosalie," a soft voice called from a distance. "Rosalie, listen to me. Let go of the railing, Rosalie." I felt fingers prying wood from my hand. Slowly, the church came back to me.
"Edward?" I asked confused, finding myself shaking in his arms. "W-What happened?"
"Nothing happened," he said, pulling my head to his chest. His fingers stroked my head, tenderly as my father had done to me when I skinned me knee one summer day. "Everything is fine now."
I felt my body shake with pent up emotions and unsated hunger. "Shhh," he crooned.
When I felt in control of myself, Edward released me. For more than two hours, I sat in a pew, removed from him. I had almost attacked a little old woman. I had almost attacked a little old woman in a church, no less. I was ashamed with myself. Even for all the rage I felt towards Royce and my attackers, I couldn't imagine myself the cold blooded killer that would harm an innocent woman on sacred ground.
I was repugnant.
"No," Edward interrupted my thoughts. "You're just following your nature. Not feeding from her was the most unnatural thing you could do."
I nodded and pulled my legs up to my chest, rubbing my palms back and forth across them almost as if I was looking for heat in the cold solitude of the church balcony. Edward allowed me my silence.
As 10 p.m. rapidly approached, Edward stood and offered me his hand. We left the church to the quiet streets of Rochester. Running through back alleys and side streets, we avoided detection and were soon standing before the brick faced front of the First National Bank of Rochester.
I could hear the men inside, sharing lewd jokes and wondering aloud if Mr. Kennedy was as rich as people said he was. "How many are in there?" I asked Edward.
He rubbed his hand through the scraggly mop of copper hair and scrunched his brow in concentration. "I'd say seven. Wait," he put his hand out to stop me. "There are eight. What are you going to do?"
I thought about his question and shifted the bag in my hands that I had carried from my parents' home. "I'm going to finish what they started," I said started toward the front door.
Edward's grip on my wrist stopped me.
"I'm going to do this, Edward, whether you think it's right or not." I met his determined gaze with one of my own.
"I was just going to make a suggestion that you take a deep breath out here and you won't be as tempted to feed," he said, pushing a strand of my loose hair back behind my ear. "If you need me, just call for me. I'll come."
Shocked for a moment, I had to gather my senses before opening the large glass door with gold letter that announced "First National Bank of Rochester."
Inside the foyer were a line of benches and the round desk where Sylvia had sat until this afternoon. I kept walking, purpose spurring me forward. Deeper into the bank, the long stairway to the second floor, where the executive conference room, vice-president, and president's offices were, loomed in the dim lighting of night.
Men's voices rang through the hallway as the door to the conference room opened, suddenly, rinsing the corridor with golden light. I paused at the top of the steps and judged the distance between myself and the numerous doors lining the hall. I could hide in an empty room until the opened door closed or I could stand my ground.
As silent as I was deadly, I shot passed the open door and skidded to a halt, hidden in the shadows of the corridor's recesses. The man exiting the conference room shouted one more lewd joke back towards the other men inside and turned his back to them, closing the door behind him. He staggered slightly down the hall. If I remembered what was standard business procedure for Royce and his cronies, most of the underlings who were privy to the meeting this evening were already three sheets to the wind in anticipation of their guest's arrival.
As he passed by my hiding spot at the far end of the hall, I step between him and the conference room. Blocking his escape route, my shadow fell on the marble floor beside him. In an exaggeratedly slow move, the man turned to find out who had fallen into step behind him.
Through the hazy of alcohol, I watched as recognition touched his mind. "You're … you're that whore from the other night," he said, pointing a cubby finger of accusation at me.
Closing the gap that lingered between us, I laid my on his shoulder. "You remember me?" I asked, confirming that he had been one of the men that evening.
Hooded eyes peered up at me. "How could I forget a sweet little thing like you?" his spoke as his fingers touched the red fabric about her hips. "Come back for more, did you?"
"Something like that," I admitted, running my hand from his shoulder down his arm and onto the side of his chest. His hands continued to roam as I felt the ribs in the man's chest and moved closer to him so I could feel his back.
"Why don't we take this to the lavatory, baby?" he asked moving his hand toward my hemline.
"No right here will be find," I finished. Deliberately, I pushed my pale, slender index finger through his meaty flesh directly above his fifth intercostal space. Like a hot knife through butter, my finger sliced through his paper thin skin, the fatty deposits underneath and kept moving until I felt his rib. Pushing again, I felt the ribs separate and crack before my finger punctured the wall of his heart. It beat frantically for a moment before I felt the warm liquid spill onto my hand.
I dropped the man to the floor before the slight of his blood caught my eye and the hunger I had pushed down inside me reared again.
With renewed determination, I picked up the bag I had left in the cubby hole before walking to the conference room. Stooping down, I placed the bag just to the right of the door and began removing my shoes. It was be a shame to waste a fantastic pair of shoes on beasts like the men inside.
Wishing I could take a deep breath to relax my jangled nerves, I reached for the door knob to have it turn in my hand. The door burst open with a rattle and the tired eyes of another one of Royce's buddies met my own. "Rosalie?" he asked, startled.
"And, you would be?" I asked stepping into him, driving him back into the room of men. A quick scan told me that these were the members of the Vice-President's board, which Royce headed. All five, including the man, slowly bleeding out in the hallway, were there.
"Mr. Thomas," he shuttered, backing up until his posterior bumped into the board table. "Joe, call security," he shouted with a gulp.
As if pulled by puppeteer's strings, my hands flew up to his neck. Anyone watching would have suspected me of delivering a lover's caress. His groan would have only added to their suspicions. Any illusions would have been broken the minute his head parted his body and rolled to the center of the maple table.
A man close to the phone jumped at the console and mashed the pad. I step around the desk to a dark haired man, picking him up, I heard the man on the phone ask for bank security. The man in my hands pled for his life. "Miss, I never meant to hurt you," he barked as I threw him up into the air only to catch him before he hit the ground.
Judging the height between his now unconscious body and the chandelier, I heard the fourth man at the table stand. Thinking to take me unaware, I tossed the man to the ceiling, allowing his body to graze the lights above. Sparks showered the table below and the loosened chandelier rocked.
The fourth man was barreling at me now. Had I truly been the fragile human woman whose visage I still clung too, he would have had the upper hand in the fight. My vampire instincts were having nothing to do with allowing this mere mortal man to get the better of me.
Milliseconds before his body crashed into mine, I spun on him and delivered a punch that struck him mid-stomach. His eyes questioned me before blood gurgled at his lips and he slumped over.
"Yeah, Frank. There's a problem in here. That crazy bitch is killing the board members," the man on the phone paused.
"We'll get Mr. King to safety. You just get out of there," the guard instructed "Joe" before he clicked the phone off.
"You're not going anywhere," I informed the man as I reached for the phone. Wrapping the length of curled cord connecting the handset to the base around the man's neck, I pulled it tight until the wire look as flat as a stalk of corn. Reaching above his head, I wrapped the cord around a wall bracketed lamp shaped like a flower's bell. I left him there, his legs kicking the air, desperately trying to find a foot hold, while the air in his lungs quickly diminished.
The man who I had tossed sky ward finally finished his decent and crashed into the conference table in a shower of wooden splinters. "Why?" he croaked at me. I turned to leave, wrenching the door off its hinges. I wanted to be sure that in the morning, when the workforce started to arrive for the day, that someone would stumble upon their bodies.
"Because," I turned back to face him. "You finally messed with the wrong woman. I could blame it on your choice of friends. Royce is no gem. But, I think, given the opportunity, you would have done the same thing without him there to goad you on."
"Enjoy your Hell," I enunciated my last word by slamming my fists into the doorframe.
The wall and ceiling shook violently for a moment and then stopped. I heard the man take a breath as relief washed over him. My heightened sense caught the slight jerk of sound as if screws were loosening someplace. The mortal's heart began to race again as he realized him final outburst had caused the chandelier to come loose. In a rush of tinkling rain, the brilliant two ton chandelier, the pride of Royce King Jr.'s boardroom, came crashing down on the man lying on the remains of the conference table.
I picked up my shoes and my bag which I remained where I had left them and walked on down the hall, passed the man whose heart had finished pumping blood to his dead body, and to a secret stairway that would take me back to the first floor. The dark stair well smelled of wood oil and tobacco as I wandered downward, towards the secured back of the first floor.
Entering a small and dark foyer, I listened for any voices of which I heard none. No guards were posted outside Royce's office.
He must be in the vault, I thought. I could remember the time he told of me of the safekeeping measures in place for his safety. For any security cause, his personal guards had been instructed to take him to the vault where the walls were made of a foot of lead. Bullets could not penetrate them, nor were there windows for anyone to reach him through.
Making for the vault in the back of the bank, I found two guards standing in wait before the huge wheel that would open the locking mechanism for the vault. Royce had once told me that the lock could also be turned from the inside, a precautionary clause his father had insisted on for the safety of his bank employees that might be locked inside.
The guards froze as I walked into their sight. "Miss, you need to turn around and leave. I don't want to have to call the police," one of them said.
"Yeah," the other said, trying to get his two cents in. "We don't want to have to hurt you."
"You're giving me ultimatums?" I asked. The younger guard nodded and took a step towards me, his revolver bobbing in the air. It took a moment before his name came to me. The boy was only two years older than me. "Eugene, this is your last chance. I need you and your friend to leave or I'll be forced to hurt you. I only want Royce."
I slowly covered the distance between the two of us and placed my hand on the muzzle of his gun. "Go Eugene," I said, trying to hypnotize him with my voice.
In response, I felt his hand tighten around the gun and the powder blast, sending a bullet directly into my arm. It tore through skin and bone before exiting the other side. No blood pool at the entrance or exit wound.
My lip curled in annoyance. "Great," I announced. "I don't even know how to fix that!"
Eugene raised the gun, again, and made a motion to fire at my heart. The first shot had been enough to put me off bullets for the rest of eternity. I moved with lightning speed and spun the young man around. When the bullet left the gun, it hit his partner in the chest, felling him immediately. A second shot followed. This time, Eugene was his own victim. He never saw my hands turning the muzzle around to face him.
Wiping a gray piece of Eugene's brain off of my shoulder, I noticed the bullet hole in my own flesh had begun knitting itself back together. I hoped that by the time Edward and I were heading back to New Hampshire, the hole in my dress would be the only remnants of tonight's battle.
Moving quietly, I grabbed for the bag that now held my removed shoes and the garment that I had taken from my parents' home, my wedding dress. Stripping down, I took the silk and lace monstrosity and put it on. My mother had been right, the dress hugged my curves beautifully and I'm sure that under other circumstances, anyone would have been more than delighted to see me walking towards them wearing it.
Royce, on the other hand, would not.
It was his turn now.
Turning the enormous wheel, I felt the locking mechanism twitch and click open. Swinging outward, the door opened with a slow and aged movement. Still hiding in the shadow of the vaults waiting area, I heard Royce inhale a ragged breath.
"Eugene? Pete? Is it all clear?" he asked the deceased guards. After a second's wait, he called out for the two men again.
"I'm sorry," I answered. "But Eugene and Pete are …" I paused stepping into the light. "Dead."
"Rosalie," he snarled, the perspiration rolling off him like waves. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I'm here for you," I told him. "Don't you want me? I mean it was you that ruined me for all other men."
I walked toward him, stalking like the lioness I was. His eyes darted to me then to the open vault door. "Don't even think about it," I instructed him. "You'll never make it out before I get my hands on you. Then again," I shrugged my shoulders. "A predator does always like a good chase."
"Rosalie, honey," his voice cracked. "I was so worried. I thought we had hurt you. I mean look at you. Not a scratch on your beautiful face."
I laughed. Deep and guttural, the laugh came from some feral part of my soul and ripped through my veins like quicksilver. "You thought you hurt me?" I taunted. "You were worried? Then why do my parents think I ran off to marry some other schlub?"
The breath caught in his throat. "Whatd'ya … I mean …how couldja …" he stammered. "Where have you been then?"
I approached Royce, looking at his wiry frame and oily brown hair. He retreated, shuffling backward until he bumped into the metal framed chair. "What's the matter Royce? Don't you like my dress?" I asked motioning to the wedding dress. "I wore it just for you."
Even now, I watched him dip into his reserves and pull some sass up. "Do you think white is still appropriate?" he asked, fingering a ringlet that had pulled loose from the rest of my hair.
"I guess not," I said. With the flick of a wrist, I ripped the dress off and stood before him in the light sheath of a slip. I tossed the remnants into the corner and placed my hands on Royce's shoulders, forcing him back into the seat behind him.
"I don't know what you think you are doing here, undressing and forcing me into a compromising position, but I'll never give you a penny. I don't care if any of them got a baby on you," Royce announced. My eyebrow cocked.
"You think I want money?" I asked. "You think you can buy me off? No, no, no, Royce. I don't want anything from you."
I turned and walked back to the open vault door. Grabbing it with two fingers, it swung shut, clanging ominously. "Other than your life, that is."
"Rose, what do you think you're going to prove here?" he asked.
"Don't you ever listen? I'm not here for proof. Not a living soul will pass out of that door tonight," I finished, pulling Royce from his seat and throwing him onto the desk.
"What the?" he murmured, finally realizing his disadvantage. "What about you? If no living souls are going to be passing through the door how do you plan on leaving? There are no windows or heating vents, you stupid blonde?"
My laughter cut through the air like the peeling of a bell. "Stupid blonde? Try this on for size: I'm not living nor do I have a soul."
"I knew you were crazy," he said, watching me take the laces from his shiny black shoes. "What are you then? A ghost? A wraith."
I tried his hands behind his back and moved to his legs which followed suit.
"Oh no, dear fiancé … I guess I can't call you that anymore." Taking the lacing from the corset of my wedding dress, I tied his extremities to the closest part of the desk or that he lay face up. "I'm far worse than a ghost. Death took me … processed me … and spat me out. I'm a walking, talking, thinking weapon with an insatiable hunger for …"
I let my words trail as I ran my finger down his double breasted coat, popping the buttons as I went. Ripping his vest and undershirt off, I exposed his chest. His pants soon followed until he lay in his undergarments.
"Blood," I finished flashing a toothy smile. I couldn't help by flick my tongue across my razor sharp teeth. Satisfaction came when the acrid smell of urine assaulted my nose. Royce had pissed his pant.
"Scared?" I asked.
He didn't move. "Well, you should be," I told him. My finger nails, almost as sharp as my teeth, made small patterns across his chest. Wincing, Royce didn't let a single cry escape his lips.
I continued making marks down his body. Like miniature paper cuts each wound like the slice of a scalpel and oozed with blood. From head to toe, I had scarred almost every inch of Royce's body, except his arms, in a matter of seconds. He began to shiver with blood loss.
"Scared yet?" I asked. A flick of his head said "no."
Impulsively, I grabbed his right foot and wrenched. I heard the crack of bones tearing and tendons snapping just before Royce roared, trying to pull free of the bindings that held him to the table. "Hmm, not scared yet. How about now?" I asked pulling thef big tow of his left foot off completely.
"What are you?" Royce screamed as he thrashed against the table.
I sauntered around his flailing body and took his hands. Taking his hand in my mouth, I licked around one finger. I remembered Vera told me once that some men can become aroused with a simple flick of the tongue. Apparently, Royfce was one of these men. I almost cackled to watch the tiny tent his member made of his pants.
"You like that?" I asked him. When he didn't respond, I snapped back all the fingers in his right hand and moved to his left. Dislocating his shoulder, I took my time prodding the bone and teasing the muscle beneath until I was sure Royce was blind with pain.
"Now tell me," I implored Royce, shifting my weight to sit on his torso. Straddling his waist, I could feel his flaccid phallus pressing against my hip bone. "Are you scared now?"
"Y-y-yes." His lips blue and cold, chattered mercilessly.
"I'm glad you've finally come to your senses," I said dipping my head down to plant a kiss on his cheek. I allowed my cold skin to linger against his as I whispered in his ear. "I would be scared too if I were closed in the same room as a vampire."
Realization flashed in his eyes only to be replaced by sheer terror.
Royce's shrill, feminine scream was cut short as I push down on his chest with all I could muster. As the desk collapsed to the floor, I felt his heart mash to a grinding halt as his lungs became the same consistency as well-worked butter.
Lifting myself from his body and the wreckage of the desk, I peeled off the slip I wore, threw it in the corner with my wedding dress and opened the vault door.
I quickly threw on the clothes I had left in the vault's foyer. The red dress felt cool against my body and my feet ached to put the beautiful shoes Esme had bought for me back on.
I took a final step back into Royce's death chamber. Looking over the wreckage, I smiled.
"You'll never touch anyone again. I hope it was worth it," I said. With pleasure unlike anything I had yet experienced, I spit on his unmoving corpse and turned to meet Edward outside, slamming the vault door behind me.
He was there, still sitting on the benches outside the bank, waiting. Seeing his face and his tentative smile, the night caught up with me. My body jerked as dry heaves wracked my frame. Edward held his cold hand to my head and forced me to my feet. He allowed me to hold on to him, grip at him, like a sailor would a lifeboat.
"I knew this would happen," he said as my sobs petered off. "So, I went and got the car."
We walked in silence around to the back lot where Royce's expensive car sat next to the Cullen's equally expensive vehicle. Five other moderately priced cars flanked two cars that looked like they had been put together with scraps from the junk yard.
Edward held my hand as he helped me into the back seat, the front passenger seat being occupied by the remnants of the door that I had destroyed earlier. "I'll have to get a job to pay for that," I said.
"No. Carlisle won't hear of it. You'd have better sense to help out Carlisle when he asks for a hand," Edward finished, walking to the driver's side. "Anything else?" he asked.
"No," I said thinking about all the things left undone in Rochester, in my former life.
Turning the car, we headed passed the Rochester city limits sign and out of the state. "Want to talk about it?" Edward asked when we were halfway through Vermont.
"No," I confessed, staring out at the stars shining in the dark, velvet sky. "Not yet."
AN: Don't forget to read and review. Be honest with me too. I'm always trying to improve and value your comments more than you could know. :)