Epilogue summary: I have this "consolation." It can only get worse from here, and then she will die, because I will kill her with my own hands, hopefully, ... and then I will be destroyed. And this is the best-case scenario.

Warning: I don't have to write that a story marked as "tragedy" doesn't have a happy ending, do I? Sadness follows, and the ending? Not happy, not sweet. This is the warning: this is the end, and the end is bittersweet.

I watched the light of the morning begin to filter in through the window beside the bed, and I was filled with a sense of something akin to peace.

No, I wasn't experiencing peace. But I was restful and resting in my resolution.

For now.

I was not experiencing peace, because that is something I shall not experience in this eternity, as I will always be moving toward the next kill, as I will always be fighting against my wants.

Or, and I can and have seen this so clearly, I will simply give in and always be consumed and driven by my wants, a true monster.

I had thought that would be something that was unchangeable in me, my Haleness. That is, that I would always fight, that I would never be crushed.

But the simple fact of the matter now is that I may still be a Hale, but I have been irrevocably altered. I've been changed. Permanently. I now love this girl in my arms, and my fate is now inextricably entwined with hers. When she gets hurt, either emotionally or physically, I feel it, too. When she dies ...

I've seen what will happen to me when she dies: I'll die, too. I'll die again, but this time it won't be my heart stopping, because she has it now, it will be my reason that stops, and with that gone, there will be nothing to stop the monster in me from moving the monster that is me from murder to murder.

In fact, I feel myself on the edge of the knife right now. I am intentionally planning to make my beloved hate me. I am intentionally planning a course of action that, if my resolve is not strong enough, will drive me to despair, and may very well drive me to madness. For I can see the results of my handiwork: I can see her face, peaceful in sleep now, contort with hatred, hatred for me, as she spits out the words:

"I hate you, Rosalie!"

I can see her standing there, facing me, and putting everything she can into those words, spitting them out of her mouth as they lodge in her mind and in her heart. I can see her hating me with every fiber of her being.

Because I will make her feel that. Because I will make her say that.

Because I love her.

I wonder if I'm insane already. I wonder if I have already taken more than that first tentative step away from reason by setting this course of action into motion. I am trying to save her. I am trying to save her from me. But can anybody or anything be saved by hate? Didn't I already learn this last night that hate does nothing but breed more hate, consuming the soul? Didn't I learn anything at all this last night? Wasn't it love, not hate, that saved me? Wouldn't it be love, not hate, that saved her, too?

See? My will is already weakening; my resolve, wavering. I cannot allow this. I must be strong. I must be vigilant. If I hesitate for one second, the Volturi will have her before I can do what I must, and they will certainly cause her to commit grievous errors. They will bend her; they will break her, and then, when she is twisted and curses God, they will kill her, and she will go straight to Hell, welcoming, even, her eternal damnation.

And it will be all my fault. I must be strong now and for as long as she lives. I am marble; I am indestructible. I am Rosalie Lillian Hale.

The girl's breath hitches. Ah! She wakes. She stirs in my arms in confusion, then she looks up at me with those big, brown, beautiful eyes, and I feel myself melting in her gaze.

I feel myself taking in her heart-shaped face and I feel myself wanting, wanting to abandon this insane course of action, and I feel myself wanting to tell her that I love her.

But then she turns away from me, covering her face.

Rejecting me. Me, the monster: rejecting me.

As she should.

But that rejection flies right at me, shaking my resolve to the core.

And just when it can get no worse, I hear it. I hear it in her voice.

"Oh, my God. Oh, Rosalie!"

There. Right there. When she said my name, she placed just the slightest emphasis on the first syllable. She probably didn't even hear it. She probably wasn't even consciously aware of what she did. But she just did it again.

She called me 'Rose.'

She has called me 'Rose' in her sleep, and she has called me 'Rose' just now in her wakefulness. Because she loves me.

And I, the monster that I am, must now go about crushing that feeling she has for me, conscious or no, for her own good.

Now I know that I am made of marble, because now I feel the marble that is me crack, and the fissure spreads throughout me like an ever-expanding spider web, and all that is left of me is a pile of rubble and fine dust on the floor.

And she says it: "I am so sorry."

Yes, my love. I am so sorry. I sigh to myself, internally, not daring to breathe in that sweet scent of hers. I pull myself away from my beloved, get dressed, harden my resolve, and face her and face this first day of the rest of her life, the first day where the only measure now will be not time, but the agony I inflict on her and on myself.

For I cannot be her Rose. She cannot know my love for her. She cannot give in to her love for me. Because I am not lovable. I am not.

For I am Rosalie Lillian Hale. Strong. Proud. Beautiful. Cruel. Cold. And, truly, there is no creature on this Earth with a fate so well-fitted as that to me.

I am a Vampire. That is my fate. That is what I am. I am Eternal, and Eternally damned, and the only thing I can do to save this girl, my charge and my love, is to keep her far, far from me.

For as long as she shall live.