Rosalie stood out of sight in the hallway, listening to Carlisle and Esme greet her

Rosalie stood out of sight in the hallway, listening to Carlisle and Esme greet her. Alice bounded down the stairs and kissed the girl's cheek. Rosalie hissed through her teeth, Alice was acting on that vision Edward had thrown a tantrum about earlier. This girl would never be her sister.

I thought she would be prettier up close. That's what Rosalie thought when she saw Edward's human walk slowly into the house. It was a double slap in the face that he had not only rejected her, but had also picked a human so inferior to her. Her mouth tightened into a straight line as she remembered the fight this girl had caused with Emmett earlier.

"Give her a chance!" Emmett had said almost angrily, except he was never angry with her.

"Edward's being stupid, letting her in like she loves him," Rosalie had snapped, turning away from his hand on her cheek.

"Maybe she does."

"Human's don't love, Emmett. I have scars to prove it."

Emmett was quiet. "I loved you before I was changed, and I love you now. You can't judge everyone by them."

"Watch me," Rosalie said. "I won't meet her, and so help me Emmett, you stay away from that human as well."

Rosalie shook away the memory and watched as Bella stumbled a bit and Jasper tensed as the girl's seductive scent was thrown into his face. Rosalie flinched inwardly, just another incentive to kill this girl — not only did Bella know their secret; she also endangered their lifestyle. Waves of calm rolled through the room, a result of Jasper trying to keep control of the situation. Rosalie's tense fists unclenched from where she watched upstairs.

Rosalie hated that she couldn't be happy for Edward; hated that she wanted to be happy for him, and hated that human Bella. Rosalie's carefully balanced world was slowly cracking at the foundations with the change she knew was coming. How could things not change, with Edward loving someone so utterly breakable and prone to life-threatening situations? Even the little sympathy Rosalie had for Bella's most recent life-threatening incident — those men at Port Angeles had made Rosalie long to kill for the first time in decades — was lost because of Bella's every perfection.

It was stupid how much she disliked Bella, and Rosalie hated her with even more vigor for it. Bella obviously loved Edward. But the way she stood just beside him and cried when he played the song he'd written for her (oh, how Rosalie hated that song), just made Rosalie angry. Bella could cry; she was human, and she was everything Rosalie wanted to be.

Would it be worth making friends with Bella to be close to this link to humanity Edward has forged for us? Rosalie thought bitterly.

No, it wasn't worth it, because it would never last. In a few months, fragile Isabella Swan would be scared away, leaving Edward with a broken heart and a few memories. A few months were just a heartbeat to Rose and the rest of the Cullens. If our hearts could beat …

Rosalie had never been able to stand competition, and Bella was no exception. Her past could never let her forget the glory of being the one everybody thought about. She couldn't escape the vicious shallow circle of instinctively hating a new woman on the scene. Bella was exceptional in that even though she wasn't as beautiful as Rosalie, she was infinitely more attractive to everyone around her, it seemed.

So as Rosalie stood looking down on her family and listening to Bella talk and banter with everyone, she watched carefully.

Rosalie wanted Bella's secret.

What has she got that I haven't got?

It can't be beauty. The girl is skinny and soft and her eyes are too big. She's too pale and plain.

As Edward is fond of telling you, beauty isn't everything.

She couldn't possibly be smarter than Rosalie, who's been through high school and college multiple times. Bella can't possibly have wisdom Rosalie has, having only lived seventeen years to Rosalie's decades.

Perhaps Bella was "deep," with her doe-like brown eyes (like the deer I hunt), and the way she was utterly unafraid and seemingly Edward's equal in mind, if not in body.

You're shallow and irritating. That was what Edward had said to her that day she tried to kiss him. She was meant for Edward, however much he annoyed her at first.

Rejection is hard to take when you've always been wanted.

Even though Rosalie didn't want Edward any more than he wanted her, she was still as possessive of him as she felt of Emmett. He was her brother, after all.

She couldn't face the memories that Bella brought with her, and Rosalie ran as she heard Edward and Bella coming upstairs.

You bring back the shadows of my used-to-be's and I hate you for it.


Thanks to the lovely Kayla Ariev for being a fantastic beta!