AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is not officially a part of the Compass Points series, just a side project while I prepare for "West". I'm just curious about Rosalie, mostly—I wanted to try writing her. I'm sticking to canon on this story, except for one rather significant detail. I'm moving it up sixty years. For example, events that were supposed to take place in 1935 will now be taking place in 1995. So really I guess it's not canon at all…it's really just AU :). Well, whatever. I'm just going to write stuff now :) :).
Brooke paused with the eyeliner pencil half an inch from my eye, and I drummed my fingers impatiently on the chair, willing myself not to blink. "Is there a problem?" I demanded. Good thing my eyes couldn't water.
"No," Brooke said. "No problem. It's just—I could swear your eyes were a different color last week."
"Yeah," I said vaguely. "They—change. They're hazel. That's why." Damn. I'd gone too long without eating again. I was going to have to make a run out to the lodge tomorrow, or before I knew it I would lose control, start slaying hairstylists left and right.
Brooke sighed quietly and switched eyeliners, making it clear in her nice way that I had made her life just that much harder. "This will match better. It's a good thing I even have it, I've never seen your eyes this color before. They're like toffee, or something. Something close to that color that toffee is, in Heath bars and stuff. Nick, what color would you say this is?"
"I don't know." Nick was really not interested in playing guessing games, busy looping the cord of the curling iron around my chair. I was supposed to have moved on to hair a good five minutes ago—it seemed that he'd decided to come to me. "Gold? Why, do we care?"
"I'm sure you don't, it's not like her hair's changed colors," Brooke fretted. "You would notice if she woke up one day and her hair was black, wouldn't you?"
"Brooke, I have no idea what you're on about," Nick said with admirable calm, considering the situation. I could hear Mitch working his way back to us, already catching the strident, tropical-bird tones of our lovely backstage manager under stress. "Are you almost done? Watch the cord!"
I caught the curling iron as it fell, knocked off the chair by the swing of Brooke's hip. It wasn't exactly hard for me, and it didn't hurt when I caught it by the barrel, but I dropped it quickly back onto the counter anyway. "Rose!" Nick yelped. "Are you—did that—let me see your hand, are you burned? Are you all right?" Am I going to be fired because the headlining model of the first fall show just lost all the skin on her palm? I couldn't hear thoughts like Edward did, not officially, but these people weren't exactly hard to read.
"I'm fine, Nick," I said, holding up my perfect, unblemished hand for him. "I didn't touch the metal."
"Are you sure?" he frowned. "I thought I saw—"
"Touch the metal of what?" Mitch burst between us with panic high in his voice, curly-haired and wide-mouthed and with a nose that you could plow a wheat field with. He swung it like a weapon, used his entire face and body to slice things pieces. "What happened?"
"Nothing happened," I assured him as he muscled Brooke out, leaving her standing helplessly two feet away, holding the liner pencil at an angle that meant she really had some further adjustments to make, thank you very much. "I'm fine."
"You are not fine!" It was surprising he had such a good head of hair, really it was. One would think he'd have pulled it all out by now. "You're going too slow! You're taking too long! Do you know you have to be out there in twenty minutes? You have to walk onto that runway in twenty minutes, Rosalie, you're opening the show and you haven't even been to wardrobe yet! Do you know that—"
"Mitch," I said, and I used my best ice-queen voice, low and humming menace. I didn't like to be yelled at.
His ranting skidded to a halt, words cut off as suddenly as if I'd hit him. I wish. "Yes?" he said in the small, careful voice that he only used with me.
"It's going to be fine," I said coldly. "I'm going to finish hair, and then I'm going to get my dress on, and I will be standing at the runway in the instant that the lights go up. Just like always."
"Okay," he said. Calmed down and intimidated.
"And get me a coffee," I said. "Shoo."
I didn't even want the coffee—it wasn't exactly like I needed it. I just wanted him to leave, I had things to do. Maybe most of these models needed a manager to lean over them and yell at them to hurry, maybe they needed someone to keep them in line. But not me. Did he not know I was Rosalie Hale? Did he not know who I was?
Nick watched in awe as Mitch slunk away, off to yell at someone who was willing to be yelled at. Nick was new. He didn't know how things worked here. "You just shooed him," he said. "I can't believe you just shooed him."
"Shut up," I snapped. I was in a bad mood—which was actually perfect for walking the runway, so hey. All I needed was the dress.
I'm sure most runway models couldn't see the audience. There were a lot of lights, there was a lot of brightness directed right onto you, people wanted to see you. If that meant that you couldn't see them back, then, well. They weren't all that concerned. They weren't exactly interested in looking you in the eyes.
Well, the joke was on them, because I could see every face in that crowd. I had these supernatural eyes, and they did more for me than make me look pretty. I could see straight through those spotlights, I could see the people I was walking toward as I hit the length of that catwalk. Usually I looked for Gianni Versace—he was my patron, he was my meal ticket. He was the one who'd stopped me on Fifth Avenue one day and told me that he wanted me now. I was used to people stopping me. I was used to people turning when I walked past, dropping things, causing traffic accidents, I was used to people telling me how beautiful I was. He was just the first person who had told me what he intended to do about it.
He was one of the only people that I actually liked, in—well, in the entire city. He was smart, he was interesting, and good Lord if he didn't make some beautiful dresses. I found him in the first row and I winked at him—quickly, just as I turned at the end of the runway. I might catch it from Mitch later for that one, but Gianni's smirk as I whipped around was all I needed to see. Keep him happy. That was all I needed. It was hard for me because Gianni was as gay as they came, so I couldn't employ my usual techniques, but as long as he thought I was funny and I looked good in his clothes, I was going to have a job here.
It wasn't like I was ever going to get old. I still wasn't sure how I was going to sell that one—hey, look, it's thirty years later and I look exactly the same!—but at least I wasn't crowding the other girls at the mirror, searching my skin for deadly wrinkles and lines.
I passed another girl—Kayla, Kaitlin, whatever her name was—and she had to step quickly to the side as I came through, I was not going to move out of the way for her. It wasn't like I was out to knock girls off the runway or anything, but please. Come on. Coming through here.
Right before I hit backstage, I saw a face that I hadn't been looking for. Sharp and angular, contrasted dark and pale with those eyes that punched into me from ten feet away. I actually missed a step, recovering my stride as I walked past him, trying to keep from staring.
I guess I should have expected it. I was almost asking for it. I'd just up and decided to be an international supermodel, and expected that no one would notice? Well, I didn't care. I was having fun. People dressed me in beautiful clothes, and did my hair for me, and told me I was beautiful all the time. I liked it here. And if the Volturi wanted to send someone to stop me? Well.
I was going to have something to say about that.