This was written for Bethaboo & TheEdwardEmmett's MAKE IT COUNT CONTEST in which entries are limited to 1,000 words.

Here is an AU look inside of Rosalie's head on the day she finds Emmett.

All publicly recognised characters are property of their respective owners.

The Making of Emmett Cullen


Just hours ago I was alone, sated on gamey fugitive goats and listening to a bear gnawing berries off a shrub. I could hear a faint fluttering echo of her heartbeat, so I knew she carried a cub. She'd give birth soon by the sound of it. No wonder she was so voracious. I was considering snatching a few trout from the brook for her when Fate stepped in.

Fate took the form of a strapping young man in worn shoes, a weather-beaten hat, and trousers that rode too high. He carried a Winchester in one hand like it weighed as little as a deck of cards, and he sang in a rich tenor as he traipsed.

I smelled the sweet richness of his blood, thinned slightly with grain alcohol, and his fleshy sweat and sweet tobacco. I could not help but stare when he cut through the underbrush and took his addendum from his fly to water the foliage. His eyes rolled back in satisfied relief, and he looked like a cherub. A massively overgrown, well-endowed, curly-haired be-dimpled cherub. Just looking at him drew a memory from the ashes of my mind and made me smile.

But things went badly when mamabear caught the scent of his boozy piss and growled.

Alas, the cherub was too foolhardy to scamper off like a good little toothless, clawless thing. I could tell just when he sighted her because his heartbeat sped up with adrenaline, and the air all around was sweetened with his manly bravery. He turned toward mamabear, and she turned in kind. It was a face-off across a thicket of boysenberries. When he put the rifle to his shoulder, though, my own heart would have jumped if it could. All I could imagine was mamabear's blood spilling pointlessly on the ground while her baby's heartbeat slowed and slowed.

And stopped.

I jumped, and the bullet buries itself in an elm. I heard the click that said he'd fire again and mama roared fiercely as I lunged at him.
I didn't mean to break him.

When mamabear smelled the blood, she loped away. When I smelled the blood I put my face in it.

Too delicious to resist. Warm, succulent, rich, sticky. His blood was every fine Christmas pudding described in novels.

But the cherub touched my hair and called me an angel and I looked into his pretty eyes. The strength to stop welled behind my still heart. It came from the same pain that quieted when I avenged my own death.

Oh God.

I listened to the wet plunging noise of his heart pumping warm blood onto my skirt. I listened to it grow slower by miniscule degrees while he looked at me. I listened to a squelching, rasping noise that must have been a punctured lung, and I looked down to where I had gravely dented his chest.

Oh God.

I saw blood gather around his mouth, and I thought that we must look the same. Two beasts of the same herd. I dragged my sleeve over the sticky wet blood cooling around my lips. I smiled and he smiled, and I could not let him perish.
Carlisle.

I gathered up my strapping young man while his life spilled out from every conceivable hole in his frail flimsy body, and I ran.

I didn't stop until the house was in sight. I lay him down and concentrated hard on the way a bear attack would look.

Let Edward see the bear, not me. Smug, judgmental, self-righteous, holier-than-thou Edward would sneer at me for the next century if he knew.

I tore great slits in my cherub's flesh. I ripped and mangled, all with mamabear in mind. At least she had been spared this task. At least she was away happy someplace with a boysenberry shrub or a honey hive and her baby sleeping warmly in her safe soft belly.

When the skin was shredded just enough, I ripped up some grass to clear the flesh from under my nails and then ran top speed again with my gushing unconscious cherub.

Carlisle was at the door as soon as he heard me, and Esme was clearing the scrubbed oak table so I could lay him out. Edward looked up from his paper.

"It was a bear! Carlisle, save him. Please."

Carlisle shook his head at me. "He's beyond medicine, Rosalie."

I gazed at my cherub. Dimpled cheeks, grimacing in pain, conjured up old memories again. I had wanted this once. A sweet-faced darling of my own.

I beseeched my de facto father with my eyes. "Please." My cherub.

Esme held my hand while Carlisle ripped his clothes away and winced at the mangled body. Neither of us breathed while we squeezed hands and stared at all that red. Carlisle licked every gash while we counted heartbeats, exchanging guarded glances at the unexpected jumps or gurgles. Once every wound was sealed, he made the bites and then dragged his tongue over each of those as well.

And now we are all listening.

I hear the changes inside my cherub's body. I hear the tears slowly knitting themselves back together, fiber by fiber. I hear the wet slosh-glump slosh-glump of his struggling heart and the wheeze-gurgle of his sodden lung. I hear the wrong sounds becoming infinitesimally less wrong and the right sounds fading away indiscernibly. In a few short days, there will be no sounds at all if he chooses to be quiet. No one can be quiet like us.

Esme has a bowl of water and some cloth, and I will clean him up and keep vigil while Edward and Carlisle mutter in the parlor. Esme says that we can get a fine suit sewn in three days' time. She smiles at me, a vow to keep me company through whatever is to come. She fetches another pitcher of water from the pump while I watch the red leech out of the cloth and over my white hands.