Rosalie left Bella and gracefully made her way downstairs, relief filled every part of her stone body, she'd waited too long to tell Bella her story, she could only hope that what she had said to her would make her think. Think long enough to question the choice she seemed so desperate to make, about the life she was so willing to commit to. Rose envied Bella, at least Bella had the choice, she had had none that night. She would easily have chosen death after what Royce and his friends had done to her, instead Carlisle had found her and changed her. Forever young and beautiful, she should have been thrilled, but instead she found herself bitter and resentful. She'd been robbed of every dream she'd ever possessed, the only consolation from her "new life" had been Emmett, he loved her more than Royce had ever done, she was no trophy to him. But he knew aswell as Rosalie did that however much he loved her, he could never make up for the aching gaps in her life, nothing but a child could fill. And yet here was Bella, prepared to throw it all away without a second though, she knew Edward would be horrified about the details she had shared with Bella, but she had to tell her. She had to know why Rosalie had sided against her at the vote, understood why Rose, out of all the Cullens found it the hardest to bond with Bella. It had little to do with the fact Edward had chosen Bella, although Rose admitted at first that had played a part, but more to do with Bella was everything Rose wanted. A young girl at the beginning of her life with everything to live for, if only for a lifetime. A lifetime would have been enough for Rosalie.
"Rose", the gentle, musical voice came from the doorway.
Rosalie turned to face Edward in the doorway, she'd been so wrapped in her own thoughts she hadn't heard him return to the house after his hunting expedition. She wondered how long he'd been stood there, long enough she knew to get inside her thoughts and to know what he'd told Bella.
"I had to tell her Edward" said Rosalie, eager to defend herself against whatever rage Edward was bound to deliver her.
"I know" he replied, gliding over to the sofa where Rose sat and placed himself beside her. "I'm not angry with you Rose".
She looked into her brothers eyes and saw sincerity behind his eyes and the crooked smile that made so many girls swoon take over his face, and she had no choice but to believe him.
"I don't want her changed anymore than you do Rose, and she doesn't seem to listen to me, but maybe, just maybe she'll listen to you" he continued.
"Why would she listen to me?" asked Rose. " She thinks I hate her Edward".
"And tonight you've told her why you've been how you have towards her, you've made her understand, about your choice, and more importantly about you. She's always wondered about you, why you behave how you have towards her, and tonight you've offered her insight into why" he explained, his eyes never breaking from Roses.
"You were much to nice to me" said Rose.
Edwards face crumpled in confusion.
"In what you've told her about me, about what happened" she elaborated.
Edward shrugged his god-like shoulders.
"I told her the truth Rose, as much as I thought she needed to know. I'm no Alice but I knew the time would come when you would need to tell her your story. And she deserved to hear it from you, not what I've learnt from your thoughts" he explained.
Rose closed her eyes for just a moment as the wave of human memories flooded over her, of her last human memories consumed her from head to toe. Even after all these years she could still feel the pain, hear each voice in her head, as fresh as it was yesterday.
Then she felt Edwards hand on hers as he saw her thoughts along with her.
"Sorry" she whispered, holding his fingers. "I forget you see what I do".
"It's not your fault, I'll admit it's not easy, seeing what you do, makes me want to rip them from limb to limb" he said.
She smiled at him, once again seeing sincerity in his eyes.
"You'd do that for me?" she asked, genuinely surprised by the pure anger in his voice as he'd said what he had.
" Rose" he paused. " You may be a self-obsessed airhead, but you're my self-obsessed airhead sister, and that means there isn't anything I wouldn't do for you. And I swear, if you hadn't killed those men first, you wouldn't have been able to stop me from doing what you had".
"Even though I'm a complete bitch to you and Bella most of the time?" she asked.
"Despite that, I know you have your reasons for feeling how you do towards to Bella,and tonight hopefully now she'll understand too why you've been how you have" he replied. "You're not a bad person Rose, you've just lost a lot, and those kind of scars leave last impressions, and your scars are still weeping".
She glanced at him, sure in herself that if she was capable of producing tears, at this moment they would have been rolling down her face uncontrollably. Instead she held Edwards hand that bit tighter, desperately trying to seek the comfort she so desperately wanted.
Rosalie sat there holding Edwards hand, her mind a blur of pictures of how she had imagined her life to be, of Vera, of the life she now had, none of it slotted together.
Edward watched her intently, hearing every thought that went through Rose's mind. Out of everyone in the Cullen house, Rose was the one who's thoughts pained him the most, the one he wished he could block out. Jasper's would cause him pain on some level, as he saw the baby vampires bite him and hear his pain, but Rose's was something different. He could feel the same protective anger bubble inside him as Rose saw Royce's face as he felt when he knew Bella was in Jacob Black's company. Pure unadulterated anger to protect the girl, Rose was always so vulnerable in her thoughts, surrounded by the man who should have protected her above all others, instead he betrayed her in the worst way possible and left her with an eternity of nightmares. Edward should know, he had to relive each one with her.
"I'm sorry" muttered Rosalie. " I thought I'd be strong enough to do this."
"Don't apologise"replied Edward.
"Do you really not want Bella to change?" asked Rosalie. "If she changed it would mean you would get forever with her instead of a lifetime, surely that's what you want?"
"I do, if there was any other way of doing it, other than changing her, she thinks now it's what she wants, but she's so young Rose, practically the same age as you, what if she has the same regrets as you? I couldn't look at her everyday knowing I had taken all of those human experiences away from her for my own selfish pleasure, knowing I had condemned her to the same bitterness you carry around inside of you everyday. I couldn't do that to her Rose"he explained, his voice fraught with emotion. "She's so sure it's what she wants, but how can she know? When she has barely started living how can she know that this is what she wants? Maybe she would be better off with that dog Black?"
"As much as I wish Bella would make the same decsion I wish I could have made, I know she won't. She's not me, and that's the key element here Edward. I know what my decision would be if I had her choice, I wouldn't even consider the possibility. But she's not me, all I ever wanted as a child was the white picket fence dream with children all around me. But that's not Bella. To her she doesn't see it is a sacrifice, she sees it as the reward to spending eternity with you, and don't ever say that about Black again" she added threatingly. "Or I'll get Emmett on you".
Edward laughed and so did Rose.
"You thought you'd lost her once Edward and look what it did to you, straight to the Volturi, if you let her continue along this mortal path then one day you're going to have to once again face losing her, and this time it will be real." continued Rose.
"For somebody who didn't want her to become a vampire you're fighting her case strongly" said Edward smirking.
"I still don't want her to be, but this isn't about me, it's about her and you" replied Rose.
"Me?" asked Edward incredulously.
"If it's about her it's equally about you" Rose pointed out. "You and her are one and the same. All that I'm saying is that I know what my decision would have been, but she's not me, and you can't judge her by my experiences, don't let my pain cloud your thoughts".
"So if you were her?" asked Edward, gazing into Rose's butterscotch eyes, waiting to see her reaction.
Rose sighed, for emphasise more than anything.
"I wanted the human experiences too much, to be a mum, that was all I wanted in life and I never got to experience it, so if I was her I wouldn't want it yet, not until I had experienced every human experience I could. But at the same time, if me and Emmett were swapped with you and her" Rose paused.
"I can't say my answer would be the same. Emmett is to me what Bella is to you, and the idea of being without him? Maybe back then it would have been worth the sacrifice? I can only answer with hindsight, with the circumstances I had. Bella has you and she's lived without you before, and we both know the effect that had on her, if she thinks a life without you isn't worth it then she doesn't have any other options, and in that situation then, I understand her choice".
"If someone now, came along and offered you the choice?" Edward asked.
Rose sat still for a second, thinking out her reply, her eyes gazing all around the room before they came back to meet Edwards.
"Now? No, I wouldn't. I couldn't. It would mean not being with Emmett, and not being a Cullen. And those are the only two things that have made this life worth living. I may not always show it, but being a part of this family is important to me, without you showing me this way of life, who knows what I would be? I can just about face myself now, I don't know if I could living any other life".
Rose stood up, her shoulders light with relief after her talk with Edward, he didn't blame her for telling Bella, and better yet he understood why. She bent down and pressed her lips against his ruffled bronze locks.
"Thank you" she whispered. "For listening and not judging, I hope I helped her."
She straightened up and so did Edward, their eyes meeting for a final time.
"Like I said" she continued. "I may not always show it, but this family means a lot to me, and this may be the only time I admit it, but you're the only one who understands me."
"Does that make me your favourite?" Edward asked teasingly, his famed smile returning.
"Don't tell anyone" she replied pressing one finger against his cool glass lips before gliding out of the room and upstairs to Emmett.