A Real Secret, Quil/Claire


Claire had known about werewolves, that Quil was one of them, since she was a child. And as soon as she was old enough, Sam and her parents had agreed it would be best to explain the imprint, keep things simple and straight-forward.

Quil hadn't had to lie to Claire.

Until now.

Now he had a real secret.

He was pretty sure that he was in love with her.

In love.

It wasn't the imprint, because Claire was nineteen now and dating, and all she asked of Quil was friendship.

But he still wanted to give her so much more.


Dreams, Sam/Leah


There is one thing Sam keeps from Emily, only one thing, and he thinks the imprint lets him lie to her because the alternative would cause her such pain.

He dreams of Leah, regularly. And not the odd snippet, full-blown long, vivid, and, well, frankly, pornographic dreams.

Pornographic dreams with sweet whispered I love you's, laughter entwined, smiles that tug at his heart…

He tells himself it's nothing, the subconscious is tricky, there's no reason to feel guilty…

But the truth is that these dreams are dangerously close to memories, and Sam is dangerously close to waking up disappointed.


Secrets, Bella


Bella has always liked secrets, treasuring things inside herself. The truth is she sort of enjoys lying to Charlie.

It's an undeniable thrill just having Edward in the house, even more so when it's the past midnight and her father has no idea that she has a guest, let alone that that guest is a vampire.

The kids at school are clueless, even though they had a head start on her. Billy Black has his superstitions, big deal.

Bella is the only person in this town, maybe the only human being in the world, who really knows about the Cullens.


Tomorrow, Earlier, Jacob/Bella



Bella was coming to see Jacob tomorrow and he was so fucking exhausted that everything was sandpaper sinking in syrup and all he could think was I should have spilled my damn guts earlier.


Before the bloodsucker came back, that's when he should have told her.

The confession would have been simpler - I'm in love with you, Bells, I love you so much… No need for humiliating add-ons like Dump him, please, choose me.

And maybe the words would have followed her to Italy…

But it had always felt too soon.

And now it was too late.


Scent, Sight, Edward/Bella, Tanya


Edward leans into Bella's hair, inhales the familiar scent.


"It's the shampoo," she'd told him when he'd asked, so long ago now. She'd blushed under his intense gaze. "It's supposed to smell like strawberries or something."

Back then, scent had slipped quickly through language into sight, an old vision well-preserved, pale, shimmering streams of glorious, incomparable loveliness…

Strawberries, strawberry blonde.

He doesn't see Tanya anymore.

"My hair really isn't that interesting, Edward," Bella says after a moment.

He strokes the mid-brown locks that come with a thousand faces, smiles tenderly.

"Yes it is."

It's a lie Edward absolutely believes.


Only Her, Jasper/Bella


Jasper is fairly sure that Bella's blood smells just as good to him as it does to Edward. Either she's singing to him too and just as loud, just as sweet, or he is going crazy.

He thinks it best to keep his desire a secret, finds that that is not a particularly difficult task, even with a telepath in the family – after all, bloodlust is sort of his thing.

When he snaps, lunges at her, nobody is surprised.

In the chaos, Edward doesn't hear it in Jasper's mind – Her, only her, oh Bella, Bella, Bella, only you…


Privacy, Edward/Rosalie


When Rosalie first met Edward, she quickly decided she hated him. The trouble was that no sooner had he been formally introduced to her than he took her aside, smiled gentle-sweet, began telling her too many things she secretly wanted to hear.

Carlisle had told her about his son's ability, but she hadn't expected him to use it, and right away.

She was about to snap Respect my privacy in future, you beast, when Edward stepped back, eyes wide, hands up.

"I'm sorry Miss Hale, it's a tricky thing to switch off."

Rosalie's eyes narrowed. "Tricky means not impossible. Try."


Messes, Tanya


The Denali do not believe in killing people.

And since years of practice have afforded them great self-control, the Denali do not kill people.


The sisters choose their human companions with care, and the secret of their strangeness is usually eagerly kept.

But sometimes a man, however firm and broad he may seem, becomes narrow, afraid, backs away with quick promises and the lie of them plain on his face.

In such cases mercy is a luxury the Denali cannot afford.

Tanya cleans the messes up, whether they are hers or not.

She is the strongest (hardest) of heart.


Shameful, Jacob


There are some secrets so shameful you'll even try keeping them from yourself.

Jacob shied away from the fact that he'd almost meant it in the clearing. When he'd suggested he'd let the battle take what it wanted of him, Bella could have called his bluff and found that it very nearly wasn't one.

Suicide disgusted Jacob, no matter the circumstances.

But at that moment his heart had been so heavy, his young-wearied mind so impossibly full, and an old loss had been stinging bright and sharp inside this new one – She's gone Jacob, she's not coming back…


Sleeping, Edward/Bella


Edward likes watching Bella sleep because that's when she's most open to him.

She gives him her heart every day, utterly, absolutely, but her mind is never open, and maybe that's why she's so good at bringing him out of himself.

She hides, he seeks.

Bella's eyelids flutter, secrets flit across her face. She lets slip words that tease at hidden meanings… and some that just make him smile (Love you, love, Edward).

One night she mutters "Stop that! I'll get the monkeys…" over and over, and Edward chuckles, kisses her hair feather-soft so as not to wake her.


This Stuff, Rosalie/Leah


Rosalie's tongue tripped along a dark collarbone. The taste was foul, but oh the texture and the heat.

She could drown in this. Right now Rosalie feels as though it would be possible for her to actually drown.

Leah writhes under her hands, breathes in sharp with a hit of sick-sweet because it's like ice, when Rosalie's fingers slip down between her thighs it's like ice.

"Do you wanna know a secret?" she shudders out, raking fire-lines through wild blonde hair.

Rosalie smiles wicked-indolent for an answer.

"I always thought Sam was pretty good at this stuff. I was wrong."


The Only Thing, Jacob/Bella


Jacob remembers when the wolf broke into his life, took Bella away from him.

It's a secret, you can't tell her, she's not your imprint, you can't be near her, you can't tell her, Jacob.

And he couldn't. He remembers his tongue straining at his teeth, his heart beating frantically at his lungs…

In the end the only thing that could bring Bella back to him was Edward Cullen. Because of him she'd had enough puzzles pieces to figure it out, enough bricks for a bridge.

Jacob laughs bitterly.

Edward Fucking Cullen.

Now he's the only thing keeping them apart.


Simple, Quil/Claire


"Truth or dare?"

Claire picked truth. She'd just seen Jenny Sanderson get bullied into kissing Amy Rich on the lips. She was only twelve and that was not happening to her.

"Okay." Briana's eyes narrowed. "Why does that huge freaky old guy hang around you all the time?"

Claire smirked. The answer to that one was simple, there wasn't even anything juicy about it. "He's my best friend."

Eight faces screwed up in unison. "Ew, that's so - "

"Shut up!" Claire interrupted crossly. "So he's big, and sorta old, and a boy. Who cares? Quil is my best friend."


Thirst I, James, Alice


Alice lied to the Cullens, even to Jasper (and even to Edward as best she could), but only about one thing, and she told herself it was okay to lie as long as she was keeping an eye on his decisions, on the future they would attempt to shape…


She told them all she was safe now. She was strong, fast, gifted, and more importantly, James no longer had a use for her.

Her trail was cold as her body, and if he happened upon her she would walk away, he would not follow.

She could almost convince herself…


Thirst II, James, Alice


James had found her, after the change he had found her twice, and both times she had barely escaped, weighed down by his brutal whispers I still want you Mary Alice, I still want to make you suffer, I still make you mine.

That was the truth of the matter. Alice was not safe, she never would be.

James was distracted right now, by a line of sweet blood trickling across the continent. But that thirst was not the only one he knew, not the greatest. His throat would always be parched for that little mad girl, human or not.


The Last Time I, Sam/Leah


When Harry explains imprinting to Leah – the millionth time, the one where she actually lets it sink in – she walks to Sam's place, clutching her stomach with every step.

He is surprised to see her. She hasn't returned any of his calls, and why would she, why would she ever speak to him again? He dumped her for her cousin, her best friend, brutally, suddenly, for reasons even he barely believes, and - Jesus, he hates himself so much - in the space of two days.

Sam opens the door and there she is, swaying, shaking and impossibly white.


The Last Time II, Sam/Leah


"The barbeque was Saturday."

It's flat, but for a tiny tremor.

Sam wants to say something but his throat has closed over, wants to nod, but his neck feels thick, too stiff to bend.

"The barbeque was Saturday," Leah repeats, "Which means you met her on Saturday. Across a crowded backyard," she sneers, rising to a shrill, sharp point.

Sam opens his mouth without sound, Leah fills the silence.

"You met Emily on Saturday, which means…"

Tears are tipping messily inside her like rough seas.

"Which means that the last time you said you loved me it was a lie."


The Truth I, Irina/Laurent/Victoria


Laurent had never loved Irina. That was the truth.

She knew it, because he had treated her like dirt – pretty, pliable dirt, smooth and quick-slow between the sheets, Perfect he'd moaned at nape of her neck, perfect… but dirt nonetheless.

He had scuffed his boots against her skin with empty kisses, –

Empty, I know, they were empty even if they tasted like heaven and sin, madness, coming home and always

- then left her a lit flare, gone chasing after a dead man's trophy, a dead man's wife…

Irina wondered why Laurent hadn't chosen Tanya.

Strawberry blonde. That's almost red.


The Truth II, Irina/Laurent/Victoria


A lit flare.

That's what Irina was.

But the burn was dull and colorless –

This is a sun-sucked sky and I am nothing, nothing, not even a glimmer…

- and her sisters were calling her crazy in guilty whispers long before any news of werewolves in Washington.

It was a miracle she heard them, the walls were so thick. She was trapped inside her own heart, slumped against cold stone that didn't shift with her chest, with her breath and the few works she spoke.

Laurent had never loved Irina. That was the truth.

But she had loved him.


The Truth III, Irina/Laurent/Victoria


Irina had been hasty, naïve, an utter fool.

She had paid the price.

For the rest of her days she would be a slave to an endless, useless love.

Endless, useless.

That had been true when Laurent had grinned cruel-sweet, winked, turned away, whispered Victoria…

She shouldn't blame the werewolves. He had been preying on an innocent girl, someone they loved…

But she found that she needed the vengeance, for a time.

An eye for an eye, those filthy animals, they took him from me, I'll destroy them, they damned me to this –

That wasn't the truth. Irina didn't care.


This Little World I, Rosalie


When Rosalie gets a part-time job, she keeps it to herself for as long as possible, scurrying out of rooms when Edward enters, making up excuses when Alice wants to come shopping that just get lamer and lamer till she peers at her with sharp eyes, snatches the decision and follows it all the way to the Mercy Hospital.

"You got a job?" Alice asks, puzzled. "Why on earth would you do that? We're richer than the Queen of England, Rose."

"It's not about the money," Rosalie snaps. "I wish you and Edward would learn to stop spying on people."


This Little World II, Rosalie


Rosalie has two medical degrees. They're both useless in this small Seattle hospital.

She's too young, too beautiful, people will talk, they already do, and she's only kitchen staff.

(She doesn't stop to think that it might be because she's only kitchen staff. The rumor mill spins something like this: Women who look like that, do not work minimum wage jobs. She must be hiding from something – or someone! Maybe she's on the run, maybe she - )

Twice a week, she carts the trays around wards eight and ten, glimpses the breaking and mending...

That's her favorite part.


This Little World III, Rosalie


The cafeteria staff think she has a problem. Rosalie can hear them whispering about it while she chews methodically on her sandwich.

They're all worried she's bulimic, and really, technically, she supposes she is.

She doesn't care until she hears one of them telling the other that the poor child needs help, it's their moral duty to have a word with a doctor.

From then on she eats lunch at a café across the road whenever it's cloudy enough to make the trip, and she's careful to carry the foul-satisfying mess inside her back to the ward before throwing up.


This Little World IV, Rosalie


Alice doesn't tell anyone about the job except Edward, and Edward is a great keeper of secrets, even though his brain must be flooded with them.

Rosalie is glad, grateful.

But when Alice shows up at the hospital with a spring in her step and a cheeky grin, she wants to lunge at her, right through the cart – Apricot chicken be damned!

She does her best to smile politely, she can't afford trouble.

"Hello Alice. What are you doing here?"

Alice chuckles, bats her eyelashes. "Oh nothing, I just wanted to check you out in your cute little outfit."


This Little World V, Rosalie


Alice sticks around for about ten minutes, teasing her mercilessly.

It's irritating. But Rosalie isn't just irritated, she's upset.

When Alice is gone and she's alone in the basement stacking the shelves with powdered milk, she understands why.

This is hers. This little world belongs only to her and as long as she keeps it that way, she can pretend she belongs to this little world.

The spell is broken now, and these soft-solid bricks of human sustenance suddenly feel heavy in her hands, a strain on her strong arms.

It's over.

She quits at the end of the week.


Intrigued I, Victoria, Alice


Whenever James speaks about 'his little ghost' his voice rings with a bitter-fond lust, and Victoria is not jealous, Victoria is never jealous, but oh, she is intrigued.

Mary Alice.

She wants to find her almost as much as James does.


Victoria is unimpressed by the nice little vampire family and their colorless sack of blood, but it doesn't surprise her that James is hooked like a starved fish.

What does surprise her is the following exchange:

"She was there, you know."

"Who was there?"

James turns to her with a slow smile and heavy lashes, hisses "Mary Alice."


Intrigued II, Victoria, Alice


Victoria's fingers make fists, her mouth pools with venom.

"Which one?"

James smirks. "The pretty little one with eyes like daggers and all over me."

He knots his fingers into Victoria's hair and she closes her eyes, tries to pick her out of the line-up, murmurs "She didn't say a word."

"Mmm. I suppose she likes to keep me a secret."

"It's not like you to be merciful, James."

He laughs at that, a low, dull splutter.

"The human won't stay fresh forever. But my little ghost…" his lips are a grin and a sneer at once. "… she'll keep."


Intrigued III, Victoria, Alice


Mary Alice will keep, but Victoria finds she cannot keep away from her.

The ghost steps outside into the darkness summoned by pictures in her mind.

"What are you doing here?" she asks, stone on blade.

Victoria smiles politely. "Watching you."

Why? is sharper still.

A smooth shrug. "You're nice to look at?"

Alice lunges, Victoria lets her come.

She embraces her.

The strangeness of it cuts Alice's instinct. She is stock-still for the briefest of moments in which Victoria leans into her neck, breathes in with a throaty sigh and I always did enjoy playing with other people's toys.


Reunion I, Jacob/Bella


When Bella hears that Jacob is back, it's all she can do to keep from running out the door, speeding (to the extent that her truck is able) to La Push and throwing herself into his arms.

But she's in the middle of a fitting when Charlie calls and Alice's eyes snap up to hers the second she snaps the cell shut.

"Later," she says firmly. "Leanne can't make the alterations till we get it pinned right."

Bella nods, smiles like she's fine even though her stomach is a pit of quick, knotted snakes and she keeps forgetting to breathe.


Reunion II, Jacob/Bella


By the time Alice lets Bella go, relief and excitement have given way to fear.

She wanders around Port Angeles for hours thinking What if he doesn't want to see me? Does he even know the wedding is in two days? Does he care? Does he hate me?

She doubles over in shock when she finally thinks And Edward, he - , not at the thought, but at how long it's taken her to get there.

The snakes are sick and angry now. Bella lies to herself with Edward wouldn't want me to go, climbs into her truck, destination Forks.


Reunion III, Jacob/Bella


The next day is hell, and Bella wishes she'd been organizing this wedding herself, because there's nothing she has to do, nowhere she has to be, except the spa Alice booked her into so she could relax.

She lies to herself with I owe it to Alice, fully intends to keep the appointment.

She'll just have to see Jacob another time – another time after the wedding – that will have to wait because she can't –

When she hits the treaty line she's quivering, slowing and collapsing at the wheel because she's here.

She's here, he's here.

Bella is terrified.


Reunion IV, Jacob/Bella


It's the (suddenly huge, mad, wild, long, high) night before the big day and Bella has finally scratched enough courage together to drive to Billy Black's house.

She finds Jacob sitting on the front porch like he's waiting.

He's silent, stock-still while she approaches, and she can look away all she likes, she knows he's watching her the whole way.

He's not budging, which makes it hard to follow through on her initial plan of throwing her arms around him.

Bella stands in front of him, wishes you could keep tears a secret.

Finally she whispers "Please stand up. Please."


Reunion V, Jacob/Bella


He does.

It's a simple command – Please stand up – and Jacob complies with steady ease.

But he still doesn't say anything, he still doesn't look down, up, to the side, anywhere but at her.

It takes Bella forever to reach out into this wordless scrutiny, but when she does, she holds him tight, determined, clings until he hugs her back.

She's not sure how long it is before her fingers slip up into his hair, he pretends not to notice when their hearts start racing each other.

They'd both swear they don't know how they ended up in the garage.


Reunion VI, Jacob/Bella


The kissing is incredible.

Now Bella knows what those pop-songs mean with all that stuff about being on fire.

Somewhere in this molten mess that's masquerading as her mind, she thinks about telling Jacob that – I feel like I'm burning, Jake, God, I feel… But he still hasn't spoken a word and it feels like that might be part of some spell, the same spell that's letting her have this, that's making this okay.

She shuts up, opens up, drags his shirt up his body because why is he wearing –

Jacob grabs her wrist.

"What are you doing?"


Reunion VII, Jacob/Bella


His voice ruins everything.

Jacob's voice ruins everything because it's not right, it's hard and cold, like sea-shells, like vampires, like -


It's the night before her wedding, she was due home hours ago and she's standing in this old garage, reeling from kisses that are not okay, and Jacob Black is asking her what she's doing…

What am I doing?!

"What is this Bella, your idea of a hen's night?" Jacob asks, sharp like knives. "A last hurrah before you head down the aisle to bloodsuckerville?" He shakes his head stiffly. "I won't be your dirty little secret."


Reunion VIII, Jacob/Bella


Bella's eyes widen. She takes a step back. "What do you mean by tha - "

Jacob interrupts her, rolling his eyes.

"Relax I won't go telling Edward. If you're really okay with marrying him when you clearly have feelings for someone else, then…" He pauses and his mouth twists into a grin that shares nothing with happiness. "Funny how I assume that's what this is about."

Again Bella asks "What do you mean by tha - "

Again Jacob cuts her off. "Feelings. Do you even have those?"

She slaps him. Bella slaps Jacob like she doesn't know better.


Reunion IX, Jacob/Bella


"OW!! Oh my – Holy CROW!"

Bella is paper-white, pressing her palms together, gasping for breath.

Jacob is holding her hands in his and kissing the tips of her fingers. "Jesus, honey! Are you okay? Let me see, c'mon." He peels her hands apart, winces at the purple-red staining. "God Bells, I'm sorry. Christ. I'm so sorry."

She starts giggling at that. "You're apologizing to me? I just slapped you."

He grins, holding her hand gingerly because the heat of his won't soothe. "Good point. How about 'Serves you right, you bitch?' Better?"

Bella giggles again, and it's a teary mess.


Reunion X, Jacob/Bella


Jacob goes into the house – quiet so as not to wake Billy - finds an icepack for Bella's hand, and they sit on the porch and talk about trivial things while he holds it gently to her skin and she whimpers intermittently.

When the icepack warms, he says he's leaving again, being here hurts too much, look at the mess they've already gotten themselves into?

She shakes her head at his strained grin.

"I can't go on without you. I can't."

The next morning, as Bella is slipping into her ivory silk, she thinks That must have been a lie.


Sharing I, Edward/Bella


"Tell me a secret," Bella says softly.

"Hmm? What kind of a secret?" Edward asks, brow furrowing.

"Just… Something about your life. I feel like I don't know anything, or… I don't know enough." She twists around in his arms, adds pleading eyes to her request. "It can just be a little one."

He grins. "It might have to be. After all, you already figured out my big one."

Bella smiles. "Oh please. That you're a vampire? That one's nothing. When I said little I didn't mean you could get away with something like that again."

Edward chuckles softly. "Alright."


Sharing II, Edward/Bella


"When I was a child…" Edward's eyes become faraway, his jaw twitches with the effort of memory. "My parents had somewhat conflicting plans for me. My Mother saw me as a concert pianist, taught me to play."

Bella watches his face, transfixed, holds her breath when he smiles softly, hazily. "I can see her face most clearly when I practice."

The smile slips into his crooked grin. "My father had other ideas. "Strong as an ox," he'd say, "My boy's for the army.""

Edward returned to reality, expression solemn. "I'm thankful he didn't live to see me weak and sickly."


Sharing III, Edward/Bella


"Well I didn't say the secret had to be so… sad." Bella says after a moment's reverent silence.

Edward smiles, lifts a hand to stroke her cheek. "Not sad. Didn't I just say I was thankful?"

"I suppose so," Bella concedes with a sigh. "You're always tricky like that, aren't you? Bittersweet."

She settles into his embrace.

"Don't I get one?"

Bella raises a questioning eyebrow.

"A secret," Edward whispers. "One of yours. It can just be little. I already know your big one."

Bella frowns. "And what's that?"

"Too many people are blind… You're the loveliest creature on earth."


Sharing IV, Edward/Bella


Bella rolls her eyes, bites her lip against a too-wide smile, hopes the night will cover her blush.

"Well… I was always a really clumsy kid." She grins ruefully, shakes her head. "As you know."

Edward just smiles.

"So mom sent me to ballet classes - " The studio shivers through her mind, she trembles - " to try to fix it. Anyway, everyone made fun of me. It was hell. Until this chubby kid came along… Only somehow that was worse. It was worse watching them do it to her. I cried so much… Finally mom let me quit."


Sharing V, Edward/Bella


"I love you," Edward says, low, earnest.

Bella smiles, shakes herself out of her reverie. "I love you too."

Edward seems to ignore that, like he's thinking too deeply to hear. "How did I know… How did I know your soul before you said a word? I can't hear your thoughts, yet I knew so quickly and surely that you were more than a sweetness of blood. You were a sweetness of nature, a true heart."

Edward lets the silence hang a moment, Bella cannot break it, she is speechless.

Finally he smiles wonderingly, murmurs "A heart that is mine."


After All I, Carlisle/Rosalie


Rosalie keeps her secret well. Not because she is particularly careful, but because Carlisle and Esme are too eager to be parents to a son and now a daughter, they have a perfect, lovely, sweet (broken, bitter, scheming) daughter.

She keeps her secret well from them. Not from Edward.

"He'll never want you that way, Rosalie," he says, struggling to be gentle, to hide the anger inside him. "It's not that you're not… charming," – he struggles with that too – "It's just impossible."

"Nothing's impossible for me." Rosalie's smile is smug.

Edward grabs her wrist, holds firm. "This is."


After All II, Carlisle/Rosalie


Weeks go by and Carlisle does not give her one glance that is not utterly platonic, utterly fatherly.

Rosalie is appalled.

One day Edward finds her sitting stock-still on a dining-room chair outside in the rain.

"You were right," she grinds out. "How were you right?!"

When she looks up at him, so genuinely confused, Edward almost laughs because she's so sure of her own appeal that it's almost endearing.

He crouches beside her.

"We are limited beings, Rose. Once we love one we are no longer capable of loving another."

Rosalie's lip trembles.

"Who said anything about love."


After All III, Carlisle/Rosalie


They don't discuss it again until Rosalie carries Emmett home, clutches his hand while he suffers into this life.

"I'm glad, Rose." Edward says when they're alone.

"About what?"

"I'm glad that you didn't love Carlisle after all. For his sake and most of all for yours."

Rosalie smiles tightly, nods once, but as she turns away Edward catches echoes in her mind.

Didn't love him after all. Wouldn't that be nice.

Edward grabs her wrist again, just like before.

He steps around to face her. Her eyes are weary, her lips a wry curve.

"Maybe I'm just practical, Edward."


Healing I, Carlisle/Esme, Edward


Esme has only ever kept one secret from Carlisle.

She shared it with Edward.

At first it was just that she couldn't hide it from him. But as time went by she found herself telling him more, willingly and with such relief… Edward was always a good listener, to words spoken just as those thought, and it helped to talk, it healed.

For a time after Carlisle had saved her, she had resented him.

She had sought death and it had almost been granted her.

It had almost been hers - escape from a world without that baby boy in it…


Healing II, Carlisle/Esme, Edward


Edward held Esme's hand while she spoke in short, agonized bursts.

"I know I shouldn't. I wish I didn't. I wish I wanted this life he has given me the way that... And I do, I do, Edward. It's not a lie when I say I love him, when I say I love you. I just… I still feel like he should have left me there, because…"

She looked down and Edward thought it was a peculiar thing to see a woman so distraught without tears.

"Because I still feel him in my arms and it still hurts so much."


Healing III, Carlisle/Esme, Edward


But with every conversation it hurt less, and there came a time when Esme could say "Carlisle, I'll never be able to thank you enough for this life," without feeling like a fraud.

Carlisle noted a subtle difference in tone, in the curve of her lips, though thankfully he didn't know what it signified.

"And I will never be able to thank God enough for letting me give it to you," he said softly. After a moment he added "You seem… happy, Esme."

She smiled. "I'm always happy when I'm with you."

From then on, that was the absolute truth.


Destiny I, Alice, Rosalie


Sometimes Alice isn't entirely honest with herself about her gift.

Sometimes she wants something so badly that she'll call a hazy possibility destiny, pretend she's not trapping it with her own decisions.

It's one thing when she can't help but see a translucent Jasper buying the Marc Jacobs dress, drops playful hints until it becomes solid and the package is in her hands!

It's another when she sees a dim, flickering watercolor: a small brown-haired girl, all awe-struck smiles, clinging to Edward while he sucks tenderly at her neck, delivers a new sister…

Alice nags until they return to Forks.


Destiny II, Alice, Rosalie


Rosalie watches with quiet, busy eyes as Alice flits happily around Bella Swan.

When she overhears "You're like a sister to me, Bella" she can't help but recall an argument… no, let's call a spade a spade, a fight she and Alice had a few years back.

Rosalie had been in one of her funks that whole week, and she took Alice's normally endearingly blunt fashion advice – "a little too whorish" - to heart.

They screamed, sulked, postured, pulled hair… and at one point Alice hissed bitterly "I thought I was getting a sister when I joined this family."


Destiny III, Alice, Rosalie


"You knew, didn't you."

It isn't a question.

Alice sighs, asks "Knew what?" like it's a line she's learned, and Rosalie thinks Yeah and I bet you saw this coming too.

"You knew that Edward would find Bella Swan in Forks. Eventually anyway. And you knew that when that happened there would be no going back." Rose grits her teeth. "How could you let this happen?"

Alice folds her arms. "I didn't let - "

"No, wait. My mistake. You didn't let this happen did you? You made it happen."

Alice shakes her head, even though she knows it's true.


Destiny IV, Alice, Rosalie


A minute passes in silence but for the sound of Rosalie's panting. She always does that when she's upset – breathes, like she's a human. It has always irritated the hell out of Alice. Right now, she thinks it's going to make her crazy.

"What business is it of yours, Rosalie? What's between Edward and - "

"Oh because this is all about Edward. This has nothing to do with you and your need for a sweet little sister you can dress up and boss arou - "

"Shut up!"

It's a brittle scream, a battle-cry.

But neither of them lunges.


Destiny V, Alice, Rosalie


"You don't understand," Alice says finally. "She was so perfect. She was his… she was our destiny. I couldn't let that slip by."

"Slip by? What kind of destiny slips by unless you lie and manipulate your way into its path?"

Rosalie's eyes burn and she thinks in a mad rush If they melted away I'd be in tears. She shakes her head, gulps for air, presses her hands to her chest.

"What kind of destiny traps this girl with everything, jobs, babies, beating hearts, everything into this life? She's trapped, Alice. Don't you see? She's trapped in this body..."


Destiny VI, Alice, Rosalie


Alice pulls Rosalie into her arms, whispers "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that…"

She doesn't know how to finish that sentence honestly.

Rosalie's arms drift up like wisps of smoke, encircle her sister – she is my sister - like it's all they can do.

"You lied to me, Alice. You said I'd be happier in Forks, I'd have my garden, I'd work in it without worrying about the sun. I'd be around people… be like people… You lied to me."

Alice frowns over Rosalie's shoulder. "But… isn't all that true?"

Rosalie closes her eyes, repeats softly "You said I'd be happier."


History I, Jacob/Bella, Edward/Bella, Jacob/Nessie


Edward thought they should tell Renesmee when she was grown. Bella forbade it.

Her history with Jacob would remain a secret. Forever.

It was a good thing Nessie hadn't inherited her father's special ability.

The others wouldn't have been a problem, even if she had been able to read their minds. To them the feelings Bella and Jacob had shared were not worth thinking about, just a glitch, a drop in the ocean.

The wolf belonged to Nessie. Simple.

But Bella knew that had her daughter been able to read Edward's thoughts, the secret would have been impossible to keep.


History II, Jacob/Bella, Edward/Bella, Jacob/Nessie


Edward was fully aware of the bizarre, sick irony that lived and breathed in their happy home. Bella could see it on his face when he watched his not-so-little girl with the man who just a few short years ago, had been madly in love with his wife, her mother, who had kissed her long, hard, hot, and who – as Edward knew too well – had wanted so badly to do so very much more than that…

Edward was all politeness with Jacob, but inside, oh inside…

Bella thanked God that Nessie couldn't read his face like she could.


History III, Jacob/Bella, Edward/Bella, Jacob/Nessie


The secret was safe. For now.

Bella lived in fear that her daughter's power might develop, that someday she might be able to take images as well as give them.

What if she was stronger than Edward, Aro… What if she tore into Bella's private mind and…

She would have to stop relying on her shield, just in case. She would have to start trying not to think of the way he used to smile at her – her smile, her Jacob – of the easy way he'd taken her hand, of Bells, honey, of I'll never see anyone else…


History IV, Jacob/Bella, Edward/Bella, Jacob/Nessie


Jacob didn't see her at all anymore, Bella knew it. Even when he was looking right at her she was just part of the scenery, a patch of night sky and Nessie was the only star.

No, his mind would never be a problem. Nessie could probably live in it and – Nessie did live it in it, that's why all she would ever see in there was herself.

Jacob didn't think about their history anymore, Bella knew it. Why would he waste time thinking about a glitch, a drop in the ocean…

The way the world was supposed to be.