Author's Note: Happy Birthday Heartless! Warning: Readers are strongly cautioned, this chapter contains scenes of rape and violence. Though I tried to keep the worst parts inexplicit, I still feel the need to put some kind of disclaimer first. Just, if you're not comfortable with it, skip over it. If you read Eclipse, you'll get the gist. Thanks for reading! And so ends part one of Heartless!
Note: Dialogue has been changed from Stephenie Meyer's intended dialogue in Eclipse's 'Unhappy Ending' for copyright issues and whatnot. Also, title of the chapter is a slightly changed quote by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
In Her End, is Her Beginning
April 20, 1934
The day that ended my human life was April sixth, nineteen thirty-four. I woke up around eight- as I usually did- and had a leisurely breakfast with my mother, where we talked about the happenings of Rochester's upper class and chatted about the wedding plans- all of which were finished. And it's sad because, had I known that I was having the last real, one-on-one conversation I would ever have with my mother, I think I would have wanted to talk about something a little more important. Marriage, material importance, love, life? I don't know, I just know that it wouldn't have been a gossip session like it was every other day of my life with her.
"Do you have any plans for today?" she asked, as Cooky began clearing away our plates.
I didn't. Royce had already told me he needed to work late that day, and that afterward he was going to grab something to eat with his friends. "Freddie's friend from Atlanta's coming up and he wants me to help show him a good time," he told me over the phone the night before. "But you'll be fine without me, won't you?"
So, I told my mother, "Not yet. Royce told me he has to work late, and then entertain one of his friend's friends from Georgia." I shrugged. "I suppose I'll call Vera or something."
My mother didn't look like she liked this plan very much, but she didn't say anything against it as she drained her tea cup and placed it back on the table.
"Stanley has a birthday party to go to tonight, and Charles is going out with some friends to the movies," she explained. "And Mrs. King invited me to a meeting with her ladies' club," she preened as she said it, "so, do you think you could be home for dinner? So your father isn't eating alone?"
I nodded. "That's fine."
"Good," she smiled, standing as Cooky took away her empty tea cup. "Now, I think you've lazed around in your nightgown long enough, miss," she pretended to conceal her next command as a joke. "Time to dress for the day!"
And she swept out of the room, leaving me to shake my head and laugh at her constant need to control my life- something I could laugh at then, because I was sure I would be married and out of her calculating claws within a week's time.
I remember what I wore that day. I remember because I always paid particular attention to my clothes, and it had been a ensemble that I was reasonably proud of. It consisted of a soft, dusty-lilac skirt that fluttered down, mid-shin, and a pressed white blouse with light, short sleeves. I pinned my hair halfway up, applied the slightest bit of blush and lipstick, and slipped into my favorite dove gray heels. It made me feel pretty, and light- like the almost-warm spring air outside.
By the time I had gotten dressed, my mother was already out- taking tea and bragging about my wedding plans to one of her friends, I'm sure- so I entertained myself around the house for a few hours.
First, I listened to the radio and flipped through some magazines. I quickly grew bored of that though, so I dropped the catalogues and rifled through my mother's writing desk instead. There, I found a whole slew of wedding plans, and I amused myself by looking through them for a time. She had all kinds of things written down that I had never even known about, and I soon found myself completely absorbed in the things that I was learning.
She had switched my choice of chicken, to fish.
There was an order form that instructed for the champagne to be colored pink for everyone in the wedding party. I had no idea she had made this arrangement, and I didn't like the idea in the least- I thought it was a touch too much.
The flower girl was the granddaughter of one of the Delano ladies. I thought my mother had called Vera to see if Patrick's niece could do it- I had at least met her- but she hadn't even tried.
She had changed my bouquet to all pink roses.
And the most selfish and underhanded? The guest list didn't include any of the Goodchilds, let alone Vera and Patrick.
I stared at the paper in front of me for a long moment, before I noticed I was breathing roughly out of my nose, clutching the edge of the desk with whitened fingers, practically seeing red.
Yes, Vera was in my wedding party, but my mother hadn't even given my best friend's husband an official invitation? What right did she think she had to take the reigns of my wedding? Why did she think it was all right for her to orchestrate this- like all of my life- without consulting me? My life wasn't hers! It didn't matter if she was my mother; my life was my own, I was an adult- and she was still trying to play the puppeteer to my marionette. It made me want to shake her- made me want to rip up all of the wedding plans and redo all of them on my own. But I couldn't do that. Not with all of the plans finished and the wedding a week away.
I tapped my pointer finger against the wood grain of the desk in frustration, thinking this over. Then, suddenly, an idea came to me.
Maybe I couldn't redo all of the wedding plans on my own, but I could make a difference- just as secretly as she had.
So, I scrambled through her desk a little more and found what I was looking for- hidden behind old shopping lists and already-opened letters.
Two invitations I had written out myself, one for Vera and Patrick, and one for Mr. and Mrs. Goodchild.
Carrying them with me, I got up and walked over to the telephone, where I had the operator put me through to Vera.
"Rosalie," she sounded surprised when she found it was me on the other line. "Hi."
"Hi, Vere," I said quickly, looking down at the envelopes in my hand, feeling my stomach clench in anger. "I was just wondering if you were doing anything tonight- after dinner? Royce has plans and I thought we could do something."
It sounded like she had moved the phone from one ear to another, before she said, "Well, I don't think I'll be able to go out tonight, but if you wanted to come over after dinner I was thinking about making cookies, so we could have dessert and chat- if you wouldn't mind staying in."
"That sounds fine," I replied. "Thanks."
"And you'll never believe it!" she declared suddenly, excited. "Henry's started sitting up on his own!"
This surprised me. "Already?" I asked. "That's amazing!"
"My son, the prodigy," she joked, laughing.
I laughed too, saying, "My godson, the wunderkind."
She laughed even louder, saying, "I like that- Henry Weissman, wunderkind."
"We should make him a plaque," I announced.
"We'll write out the inscription when you come over," she joked. "Bring a pen and paper."
I smiled against the phone, saying, "I will. See you then."
"See you then, Rose."
And we hung up.
When my father got home from work he was annoyed and grumpy- and when he was reminded that everyone was out for the night, he grew even more agitated. But then I retrieved his usual afterwork drink and told him I was staying home to eat with him, and he immediately softened.
"Oh, Rose," he said, taking the drink when I offered it to him. "You don't need to stay in just because everyone else deserted me."
I sat across from him at the table- in my mother's usual spot- and smiled as Cooky entered the dining room to serve. "I don't mind," I told him. "Besides, I couldn't leave you to have dinner by yourself."
As Cooky worked around us, my father smiled. "Royce doesn't mind that you're leaving him for your old man?" he teased.
"Royce had to work late," I told him sheepishly. "But even if he wanted to take me to Paris for dinner, I'd stay and have dinner with you."
I expected another smile and some gibe about Paris being nothing compared to the Hale household, but my father's face fell- amidst Cooky serving him potatoes- and he stared at me, unblinking.
Knotting my eyebrows, I looked back at him in confusion.
Absently taking a sip of his drink, and then clearing his throat slightly, he said, "Royce is working late tonight?"
I nodded. "That's right."
He looked away, staring at the wall- as if contemplating something.
"Why?" I prompted.
Looking back at me suddenly, he looked as if he was just remembering that I was there. "It's just strange," he said. "I was sure that Royce had already gone when I left to come home."
This made me knot my eyebrows and look at my water glass- as if I needed to stare at something other than a living person to figure this out.
"But I'm sure I was mistaken," my father said.
I looked back up and smiled faintly, feeling unsettled.
"He was probably in one of the offices- somewhere I couldn't see him," he amended hastily. "Or maybe he had a meeting with his father elsewhere."
I made myself nod, and then took a sip of water.
"I'm sure I'm mistaken," he said, and the wording almost made it seem like he was begging for me to believe him.
I smiled a reassuring smile and pretended as if I wasn't bothered.
But I know my father wasn't mistaken.
Royce didn't have to work late that day. He had lied to me.
When I was in Vera's living room later that night- all thoughts of Royce's maybe-lie pushed aside- Vera handed me a cookie and I handed her a thick, cream-colored invitation.
"What's this?" she asked, putting the cookie down to take the envelope with a furrowed brow.
"An invitation," I told her, the apology weighing down my tongue. "To the wedding."
She exchanged a glance with Patrick- who was sitting across the room, with Henry on his lap- and then carefully opened the envelope. When the invitation itself was in her hands, she stared at it for a good, long moment.
Finally, looking up, she said, "Corrine got hers weeks ago." She gave me a small, embarrassed smile. "When we didn't get one I just figured...."
She figured I didn't want her at the wedding because of what she had once said about Royce in the ladies' room of an Italian restaurant, because Patrick was a carpenter and Royce owned the city, because I was embarrassed by her dowdy clothes and housewife lifestyle, because Royce might have turned me into a snob.
"There was a mix-up," I told her. "My mother's a fool and didn't send out a whole batch of invites," I fibbed. Handing over her parents' invitation as well, I said, "Could you give this to your mother and father and tell them I'm sorry for the delay?"
Taking the invitation from me, she looked utterly dazed, but she nodded. "Sure- Of course."
"I know the wedding's only a week away," I said, brushing at the lap of my skirt. "But you were there for all of the fittings and you're my maid of honor, and I hope the formality of an invitation won't change anything-"
Vera took my hand and squeezed it, saying, "We wouldn't miss it for the world, Rose." She smiled. "With or without an invitation."
I smiled back at her, relieved.
"Besides, I couldn't let Corinne steal my place as maid of honor," she joked. "Also, I wouldn't have anywhere else to wear my dress."
Laughing, I said, "You're right! It would have been poor taste to wear it anywhere else!"
She shook her head at the absurdity of not being invited- especially as my maid of honor- and let go of my hand.
Turning my attention to Patrick and Henry, I said, "What's this I hear about Henry being a prodigy? I haven't seen him sit up on his own since I got here." I shook my head, as if scolding both of them, and said, "Tell your husband to stop coddling my godson."
Vera laughed again and stood, moving around the coffee table to show off the developmental talents of her son. And I wasn't jealous. I would have my own little Henry- my own little Royce King the Third- in time. So, instead of focusing on pushing away any kind of envy, I laughed and talked and interacted with my godson, enjoying Vera's motherhood with her, feeling at peace with my own destiny.
It was late when I left Vera's- later than I had intended to stay. We had lost track of time between laughing and playing with Henry, snacking on cookies, talking over the latest news of our friends and our lives, and joking about the life we were going to make sure Henry had- football icon, film star, explorer, president, any noteworthy career we could strap him into. So, by the time I looked at the clock, the night had flown by us.
"Oh," I started, once I had noticed the late hour. "I should go, or my mother will have my head."
Vera rose to her feet with me, picking Henry up with her, and looked out the nearest window- into the dark night that lay outside.
Looking back to me, she said, "It's awfully dark out- Maybe Patrick should walk you home."
I picked up my gray, velvet jacket- one of the things Royce had bought me the day of his apology shopping excursion for me- and slid into it, saying, "Don't be silly. It's not that far."
"At least call your father and have him come get you in the car," she suggested, bouncing Henry a little in her arms as his face screwed up in preparation for a good cry.
I buttoned up the jacket and considered this. It was dark- as dark as night could possibly be- without the slightest trace of stars or the moon, and I'm sure my father wouldn't have minded coming out to get me. But then again, my mother would have commented on it and scolded me for being out so late- would have reminded me that I was a bride and that I should be staying home, preparing for my wedding. Either way, the street lamps were all alight and the walk really wasn't long at all, so I picked up my hat, pinned it securely to my hair, and grabbed my pocketbook, waving off Vera's suggestion.
"I don't need my father to come get me," I said lightly. "I'm an adult- I can get home on my own."
Vera looked wary, but she gave in and said, "All right, but will you call me when you get home so I know you're all right?"
"Yes, mother," I teased, walking with her and Patrick, out of the living room and into the hall. Patrick opened the door for me, and I hugged Vera good-bye, whispering- just so she could hear me- "Thank you for being my maid of honor."
When I pulled away she smiled at me and dipped her head the slightest bit in a nod. Patrick slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her to him, smiling contentedly.
"I'll see you later, Henry," I said, leaning in and taking his hand for a mock shake. "My little prodigy."
"Wunderkind," Vera corrected me, a sly smile tugging at her lips.
Rolling my eyes jokingly, I muttered, "Right, wunderkind." Then, stepping out of the house, I said, "See you later!"
"Don't forget to call me when you get home!" Vera called down the steps as I crossed the short expanse of lawn.
I waved back, saying, "All right!" and stepped down from the curb.
As I made my way down the street, I found that the night was much colder than it had been when I had gone into Vera's house. It was so cold that my warm breath came out in little puffs of billowing steam, making me giggle to myself- because it was like I was some kind of fire-breathing dragon- and walk down the street briskly. The chill was refreshing, awakening, and it made me feel revitalized as I clicked my way around a corner, my dove-gray heels creating the only noise available in the intersection.
A street and a half later, the cold lost its magic. It was suddenly biting and sharp. My jacket wasn't thick enough for the rough winds that blew around me, my stockings not providing enough protection from the chill that crept up from my toes, to my very belly, and I began shivering in the dark. Goosepimples sprouted along my arms, legs, and hairline, causing me to rub at my velvet sleeves fruitlessly, fantasizing about a nice, hot bath, waiting for me at home. And maybe I would have some tea and a good catalogue, curled up under my blankets in bed.
I shouldn't be fantasizing about warmth and blankets, I scolded myself. My wedding was a week away! How could we have an outdoor service and reception with this frigid weather, I wondered. And Mrs. King and my mother would be beyond furious if we had to move the wedding- and I didn't want my spring, garden wedding to be shifted to the indoors either- to the antique rooms of the King estate!
Surely the weather will change within the week, I tried to reassure myself. Surely everything will be fine.
It was then- as I was reassuring myself about how the weather would turn out- that I turned a corner and heard them.
I instantly slowed my steps, made hesitant by the sound of broken, raucous laughter under the shadow of a dead streetlight. It was the laughter of men- rowdy, drunken men- and I could see the faint glint of other street lights in their bottles, could see the fire burning in their cigarettes as I slowly made my way closer.
Why didn't I call my father to walk me home? I berated myself. Why had I been so stupid and sure?
I told myself that it was fine though, that I would quickly walk past them and maybe they would make a comment about my 'pretty face' or something, but it would be fine.
"Rosalie Hale!" one of the voices called as I neared them, making me stop dead in my tracks as the men around the caller laughed messily.
Now that I was closer to the group I could see how well-dressed they were, how their slicked hair was losing its hold and falling into their familiar faces.
"There she is!" the voice said, and I recognized it- with a conflicting seize of relief and worry- as Royce's. "Where have you been, young lady?" he asked, walking over to me with a drunk man's gait. "We've been waiting for you for a very long time."
The mantra running through my head: Royce wouldn't hurt me- Royce wouldn't let anything happen to me.
"Hey, John- John, what did I tell you?" Royce said loudly, while grabbing my arm and pulling me to him. He smiled down at me- his eyes hazy and dark, his breath rank with alcohol- and then turned to his friend John- Freddie's friend from Atlanta- and asked, "Isn't she prettier than all your Georgia peaches?"
My heart was thumping in my chest. I had never seen Royce like this- had no way of knowing what he would do next- and I was terrified all of a sudden.
I didn't know this man in front of me, I realized- with the sickest kind of weight dropping into my stomach- I didn't know him at all.
The way he had gone from gripping my arm- digging the tips of his fingers into the material of my jacket- to snaking a hand around my waist, roughly pulling my body against his, made the sick feeling in my stomach become almost paralyzing. I wanted to vomit and cry and scream and ask Royce what was going on, all at once.
Looking over at his friends, I saw Freddie and Peter, and this new man- John- and they were all looking me over like a slab of meat they were thinking about buying.
John's smile was slow, stretching across his face with the speed of molasses. "I can't nearly tell," he drawled. "She's all covered up."
They all laughed at this, even Royce, and I stared at him in horror and outrage.
I was about to demand for him to explain himself- to scold him for being so disrespectful and hideous- but I couldn't, because he suddenly pulled the front of my jacket. His fist was so tight and he pulled so hard that the buttons popped off and clinked to the street- the sound foreign and strange in my ears. Then, with determined ferocity, he wrestled me out of the jacket- me, too shocked at what was happening to fight very much.
"Well," he crowed. "Show us what you look like under all those frills, Miss Hale!"
Then, he laughed and wrenched the hat from my head too, painfully ripping pins from my scalp. I made the mistake of crying out then- so surprised by the pain, by how violent everything was unfolding. The boys seemed to like that. My audible pain seemed to fuel their fire.
"What's the matter, Rosie?" Royce asked, getting so close to my face that I stumbled backward several steps. He reaked of hard liquor, sweat, and a sickly perfume I couldn't place. "Don't you want to spend the night with your fiance?"
I was shivering violently, stepping back farther and farther- away from the surrounding men- until I was standing against a brick wall.
"Come on," he continued, leaning against the wall over me, permeating my air supply with his wretched scent. "Give your betrothed a kiss."
He leaned his lips closer, sloppy and lewd, and I pushed him away- my hands fumbling to push, anywhere I could, finding purchase with his shoulder and chest and just shoving.
Now he stumbled backward, and by the look on his face he didn't like it.
As he stared at me in building anger, I demanded, "What's the matter with you?" my voice harsh and low.
"I'm your fiance," he said, his voice firm now. "I'm your honey, your Royce, your King."
"You're a fool!" I spit. "You're a drunken fool!"
He slapped me across the face then, hard. My whole body rang from it, my eye stinging, my body falling against the wall from the impact.
"Don't you dare talk back to me, bitch!" he snapped at me.
The men catcalled and whistled at this, relishing the profanity and violence. I cursed the fact that we were in the business district- behind a bakery and a toy shop that were closed for the night.
I stared back at Royce as I leaned against the brick wall, looking into the face of some kind of monster. My brain was reeling. Who was this man in front of me? This couldn't be the same Royce who sent me flowers and wrote me a poem, the same Royce who bought me so many nice things and took me to so many fancy places. Was this the man I was going to marry? I didn't understand it- didn't know how I hadn't seen it. I was revolted by the fact that I planned on marrying this person in a week's time.
My vision swirled in front of me as the realization set in, and I was sure that I was going to throw up.
Royce stepped forward and threw me up against the wall. My skull knocked against the stone, making me see stars. He pinned me there, even as the back of my head throbbed, and kissed me. And it wasn't like any kiss I had ever received from him- even the fierce, angry ones. This one was sloppy- his tongue and lips all over my mouth, teeth knocking against teeth, bitter-tasting saliva in my mouth, hot breath against my face- and the worst kind of fear racing through my veins. I struggled against him, but it was no use. Royce was a grown man. I was just a girl.
When he let go of me, I spit at his face- projecting his foul saliva right back at him.
He wrapped a hand around my throat then, pressing me up against the wall once more.
When his face was close to mine, he hissed, "Don't be such a fucking tease."
I fought against him- I really did, with every bit of strength in me- and I tried to scream, but the only sound that came out of my throat was the strangled sounds of someone in pain.
His other hand pulled at the bottom of my skirt and grazed my knee, moving to trail further. I kicked and thrashed against him, loosening his grip only slightly.
"Boys, Rosalie needs to be taught a lesson," Royce said to his friends, wiping the spit from his face. "I'm feeling generous enough tonight that I'll allow you to help me teach her- but, please, allow me to go first."
I didn't know what he was going to do- what he meant- until he handed me over for his friends to hold, and he started undoing his belt.
"What are you doing?" I demanded, my throat choked raw as I fought against the groping and pulling of his friends. "What are you doing?"
This is what Vera meant, wasn't it- about my wedding night? But this wasn't any bit decent- this wasn't in any way all right.
"You can't!" I croaked, trying to scream. "Please, just- please, leave me be, Royce."
He rolled his eyes and jerked his head at one of his friends- Peter- who kneed me in the stomach. And as I fell forward, he knocked my face against his knee as well. As I coughed and spit up blood, I thought of Nina- Peter's twin sister, their friend- and I wondered if she knew what they did. I wondered whose side she would have taken, had she known what was going on in the street that night. And then, strangely, I thought of Will- and for all the times I had thought I hated him for breaking my heart and being so self-righteous, he never would have done this to me, and I felt regretful and weary. Thinking of Will, of course, made me think of Vera.
Vera won't get a call from me, I thought. She'll get worried and call my parents- Everything will fine.
My stomach roiled- angry and tempestuous- and I was dizzy again, and even though I was in the grasp of three or four men, I lost my balance and collapsed to the ground.
"Even better," Royce said, laughing sinisterly. "Just flip her on her back."
They laughed, and moved me so that I was looking up at the sky, and the tears started falling before I knew what was happening. And then Royce was over me. Inside of me. Every bit of him was filling me up- his smell, his laughter, his frightening eyes, his disloyalty. And I cried out, but he covered my mouth.
"Come on, my little Rosie," he said, right into my ear. "Do your husband proud and take it like a lady."
It didn't matter when I fought. Everything hurt just the same. Every inch of me. Inside. Out. I was bruised, bleeding- my body ripped open, my heart all but trampled in the cold, Rochester streets. And with every hit, every peel of laughter, every betrayal, every humiliation, I broke just a little more, until I just couldn't fight. There was nothing left to fight for. They had broken me in the most inhumane of ways. They damaged me so severely- emotionally, physically, in every way possible- that I was sure I couldn't come back from that- didn't want to come back from that. And besides, no one was coming to save me- I was sure of that.
And then, when they were stumbling away from me, leaving me for dead, my clothes ripped around me, stained in blood, still lying in the street, I heard Freddie say something to Royce.
"You'll need to find a new bride, Royce."
Royce laughed particularly hard at that one, replying with, "Maybe after I learn some patience."
When the city was cold and empty around me, I stared at the night sky, in so much pain and humiliation that I was relishing the thought of death- of the most permanent end to my suffering- and I knew it couldn't be long before it happened. What with the intensity of the pain throbbing through every inch of my body, the blood caked onto my skin, the way my heart was pounding the strangest rhythms- as if it was going to rocket out of my chest- and the way my brain was humming, like it too was going to combust. I knew there was no way I was going to survive. And I didn't care.
My parents would cry. I was their favorite. My brothers would be lost- a gaping hole in their childhood and the family. Vera and Patrick- My chest ached for my best friend. What would she do without me? I didn't want to leave her behind- didn't want her to have to endure my death and my humiliation for me. And what would Henry do without his godmother? It was too much for me to bear, and I closed my eyes, allowing the sobs to silently rack my brutally beaten body, not sure the emotional strain- on top of everything else- wouldn't kill me.
I felt something- infinitesimally colder than the air around me- land on my cheek, and then melt there. And I opened my eyes to see a million tiny snowflakes falling towards me.
The pain was surreal though, and it made my head swim- made the snowflakes look like they were dancing overhead, and it was beautiful.
I don't know how long I was in the street for, but it got to a point that I couldn't think of my friends or family- couldn't find anything to anchor me to this life. All I wanted was a release from my pain and the nightmares that were already plaguing my mind- if death was that release, then fine. But I wasn't dying. And no one had come looking for me. So I just shivered in the street, too hurt- stiff and catatonic- to do anything but stare at the snowflakes that stopped melting against my ice cold skin.
Delirium prevented me from knowing that someone was standing over me until a golden, blonde head appeared in my field of vision.
Because the Cullens stood out so much in society, I knew right away who it was. Dr. Carlisle Cullen. He was so beautiful and statuesque, standing over me, but something about him made me flinch, and I closed my eyes.
And suddenly his hands were moving aside my tattered clothes, and he was looking over my injuries- a cracked rib, the gash in the back of my head, a bleeding nose, the flow of blood that hadn't stopped since it had begun, everything. But he wasn't making anything better. If anything, I was in more pain- ashamed beyond sanity- and I wanted him to stop.
I was annoyed, felt like he was interfering in what would be my sweet release, and I tried to speak. But I couldn't even think of words that would express what I felt, so I let my eyes slide shut and pretended he was gone.
That proved impossible, because he picked me up off the ground, and- before I could even form a full thought around this- I was flying in his arms.
Part One: Leaving Dusk
Author's Note: *heaves enormous sigh of exhaustion* I had given up on having the first part of Heartless done in exactly a year, but- don't ask me how- I actually did it! Special thanks to Angeliss, for her extremely insightful reviews and our back-and-forth emails; to Caitlin, for letting me take her to creepy, abandoned buildings, and also for collaborating with me on all things Rosalie Hale; to Joanna, for reading all of the chapters and getting mad at me when I don't tell her I'd posted.... and for braiding my hair and owning every awesome Disney movie known to man; and to everyone who's read and reviewed- you guys are stellar! Now, if you want stop reading here- leaving this as a story in itself- that's fine. But, if you're interested in Rosalie's journey as a newborn vampire, the killing spree she goes on, her meeting Emmett, and then her dealing with Bella, then, by all means, continue. The next part is going to be a separate story, titled 'Heartless: Entering Night.' Don't expect it up right away though, because I've all but abandoned my other fan fictions to hammer out this part like it was nobody's business, so I need to catch up on that. And also, school starts in a week, so I'll have that. Ew. Anyway, thank you for staying loyal to the story! Hope to see everyone following to the next part!