This is just an angsty, little one-shot that was crawling around in my brain. Thanks again to Daddys Little Cannibal for being so kind as to beta for me. POV is a surprise you'll find about midway through.
As always, I own nothing.
I couldn't believe my eyes.
"Who's that, Bells?"
I ignored the slurring voice of the nameless girl pulling at her hand. I was too caught up in staring into a pale, too thin face. The dark eyes that had once been warm and full of life seemed dull and empty. Her hair was dry and brittle from a bad dye job that turned it from deep brown to a hideous black. The body was too thin, the bones of her shoulders and neck clearly visible where the skin was barred by the black tank that couldn't be doing much of anything to ward off the chill of the night.
Bella Swan stared right at me and I knew she recognized me. "It's no one I know."
I stared, my horror too deep for me to fully wrap my mind around it. Me, a monster, rendered silent by the sight of a too-thin, too-pale human girl being pulled along by her 'friends' who were just as pale and thin as she.
But it was the sight of her eyes that haunted me most. Hollow. Dead.
I watched them leave, forcing myself not to rush forward. I could not do that here. I could not kidnap Bella with so many witnesses around.
I waited until they had disappeared into the dive passing itself off as a club before I turned away. I had to get out of here. I had to collect my thoughts.
I had to decide what to do.
I didn't return to my car. I needed the run. To feel the wind in my face in a vain hope that it would scour the sight of that thing wearing Bella's face from my mind.
How could we have been so stupid? How could we have been so wrong?
No, that wasn't fair. Only two of us had been wrong. The others… they had always argued against leaving her.
That wasn't living. Even we were more alive than that pathetic creature.
I made my way back to our home. I needed to reach sanctuary before I let out the pain inside my chest. The door slammed shut behind me before I allowed myself to scream. No words; just sound. I tried to pour every ounce of sorrow and rage I was feeling into it and wished that I could still scream myself hoarse.
I didn't have very much time to myself. Emmett was there before I had to draw breath to start again. His arms wrapped around me and pulled me in close. "Rose? Rosie! What's wrong?" He sounded frightened, and I couldn't blame him.
I clung to my husband, my nails digging into him as I desperately wished that I had tears. By all rights I should be able to shed real tears for something like this!
I had been the one person who supported Edward in his belief that Bella should not be changed. He held that opinion because he believed we are damned. I believed that she had the right to live.
Edward, Esme, Emmett, and I were all at the end of our lives when Carlisle had changed us. There was no saving any of us. Bella had been healthy and full of life. She had possessed the ability to have all the things that my so-called fiancé had robbed from me. Edward had walked away from her so she could have those things. A warm and living husband, a cherub-cheeked toddler clinging to her knees, all the things that had been her birthright as a human woman.
How were we to know that she would lose all that simply because he walked away in an attempt to save her? How were we to know that her heart would be left on that forest floor, bloody and raw and unable to carry on?
What had we done to her?
I had never hated Bella. I had envied her, of course. I had wondered what it was about her that turned Edward's head when I would always be more beautiful. But that was just shallow vanity; not true dislike. I had almost come to think of her as a potential sister when Edward had made us walk away.
Now I knew that I should have thrown my lot in with Alice and Esme when they had fought against leaving.
Emmett continued to hold me, squeezing me tightly and trying to get me to talk to him until I had grown tired of screaming. We didn't need to breath, but I was still making short pants with my breath as is kept me cheek pressed against my husband's arm, my eyes staring at the wall as my mind raced.
Edward would not be happy, but everyone has their breaking point and the wraith I had seen tonight had pushed me past mine.
'It's no one I know' indeed.
She knew me. I know that she knew me, just as certainly as I know that she would know Emmett and Alice and Jasper when we came for her.
Carlisle and Esme would support Edward out of loyalty, of course, but that would change the moment they saw what had become of our Bella.
No, Edward would not be pleased. He would rant and rave about the injustice of it all and how we had no right to take her life. But I had been wrong when I had supported his decision to leave. It was up to me to make amends for that error.
Finally I pulled away from Emmett and looked up into his eyes. He would support me in this. He had been against leaving Bella, not wanting to lose the girl he had seen as a little sister. Once I told him what had become of her, he would be more than willing to track her down and collect her himself.
But for now I had phone calls to make. Accidents would need to be staged and a death needed to be faked.
The Cullens were about to reclaim what was rightfully theirs.