Chapter 26: An Unexpected Visit

A/N: Special thanks to raybabiieex3, who helped give me the idea for this chapter. :)

I was in my room studying. It wasn't working so well. I tried to focus on my trigonometry homework, but it was a losing battle. I had a test in a few days, and knew I was dreadfully under prepared for it. The numbers, mathematical laws, and trigonometric identities seemingly flitted through my mind like it was a sieve. Who could possibly remember how or why Sine2 + Cosine2 = 1, when all I could focus on was Edward and I making love someday. I sighed. 1+1=1? I laughed to myself at the ridiculous and implausible mathematic conclusion I'd formed in my mind. But I did want us, Edward and I, to be one – in every sense of the word. Bella's Law! - I thought to myself as I doodled the ridiculous equation on a scrap piece of paper. I heard my dad's voice voice now, calling to me from downstairs.

"Bella? Edward's sister is here to see you..." my dad called out.

My face broke out into a huge smile now. Alice! Just what I needed to distract me from all the confusing numbers floating around in my head. A sweet, excitable, fidgety, pixie faced vampire was just what I needed. I closed my books, and rumbled down the stairs quickly. I was about to hurl myself into her arms, when I skidded to a stop suddenly, surprise clearly evident on my face. My face blanched then, and my eyes opened wide. Her golden voice rang through the air then like the sweetest chorus of Angels.

"Hello Bella..." Rosalie said somewhat cordially. Her head cocked to the side slightly then, and her eyes studied the expression on my face.

I stared at her now, unable to speak. Rosalie was breathtakingly beautiful. More beautiful than even Alice, or Esme. Not that those other vampires were not beautiful, but they were not Rosalie. No one could be as beautiful as Rosalie! Her long honey hair hung down to her shoulder with not a single strand out of place, and her golden eyes shone like the sun. Her ruby red lips were absolutely perfect, and contrasted starkly with the paleness of her creamy smooth skin. She always wore tight, but tasteful clothing, and the garments hugged her body – revealing her perfect form. She waited for me to answer her. I blinked, and then my lips started to work again.

"Rosalie?" I asked - complete surprise in my voice. Was this a dream? If it was...it was definitely a nightmare. My stomach began knotting up now, at this completely unexpected visit from Edward's other sister.

Rosalie laughed softly now. Her laugh echoed through the kitchen like a sweet melody. She threw her head back as she continued to laugh softly at my reaction to her. My mind was racing now. Oh God...what was Rosalie doing here? I did not feel comfortable around her at all. Our relationship could politely be called awkward or strained. Honestly, it was almost non-existent. It wasn't that she was the most beautiful looking person – human or vampire included – that I'd ever seen. Although, that did make me feel a bit self conscious about my own – to me - plain features. The rest of the Cullens had welcomed me into their house, and thought of me as family as soon as Edward decided to pursue a relationship with me. Well, all of them except the vampire who now stood in my kitchen eying me closely. I gulped, and looked around nervously. I always felt so small and insignificant around her. Sometimes - the way she looked at me, after Edward brought me back to the Cullen's house...I knew she considered me a threat to their secret way of life. I wasn't one of them.

"Surprised?" she said in a mocking tone. Then she shook her head apologetically at her unintended slight to me. "I'm sorry Bella. I didn't mean to make it sound like that. It's just..."

"A habit?" I blurted out, finishing her sentence for her. I was slightly annoyed at this breathtakingly beautiful vampire standing in my kitchen, who was even now making me feel so small. My eyes opened wider then. Oh God...did I say that out loud!? I didn't even realize my lips were moving until I heard my own tiny voice in the air! My pulse quickened, but I was finding it hard to breathe now. How could I have said that to Rosalie!

Rosalie's eyes narrowed slightly. She didn't say anything immediately, as she considered my words. She shook her head again slowly, understanding growing in her fiercely golden eyes now.

"Fair enough..." she whispered in her soft delicate voice. She looked at me somewhat sadly now, her golden eyes dimming as I watched. She explained now what she had been about to say before I interrupted her.

"But no...." she said finally. "It's just...this is a bit uncomfortable for me as well." she explained. My cheeks went pink now, at my unintended outburst only a half moment ago.

We stood looking at each other, not sure what else to say. We were alone now, Rosalie and I, for probably the first time since we'd known each other. Charlie must have disappeared at the beginning of our conversation – retreating into the living room to watch sports, blissfully unaware of the tension that hung in the air between Rosalie and I. I hadn't even seen him leave – so completely taken away was I by Rosalie's presence. Rosalie broke our awkward silence.

"Bella...take a walk with me..." she said finally, and extended her hand towards me. I looked at it blankly, not sure if I had heard her correctly, or not. Rosalie smirked at my hesitation, and then she rolled her eyes, and let out a puff of air with her impatience. "Come on Bella. I won't bite"she said with a wink. We both knew the real meaning of that seemingly innocent sounding joke. I continued to stare at her hand – my body unable to move. I tried to speak, but nothing happened. Rosalie's expression softened then. My mind was racing now, trying to figure out why Rosalie of all people was here, and what she could possibly want with me.

"Please Bella?" she implored me. My mind snapped back to reality. I blinked. I looked at her confused.

"Oh!" I said, blushing at my own hesitation. It wasn't that I was afraid of her hurting me really. If that were the case, Alice would have seen it. But just because she might not be planning to physically hurt me – didn't make me feel any more secure about this situation. But, she was Edward's sister, and she had something to say obviously, so I had no choice. My hand moved to hers then. Rosalie turned now, her hand still in mine, and walked to the door. Her fingers were cold like Edwards, and delicate of course...but even more so if possible. Their smoothness felt like liquid silk, if there could ever be such a thing.

"I'm going for a walk with Rosalie dad. I will be back soon." My voice broke slightly. At least, I hoped I would be back soon. My dad answered with a nod, and Rosalie looked at me as she heard the change in my voice – her eyebrow raised. She smiled then, and the full force of her perfectly white teeth, radiant red lips and intensely golden eyes hit me. I blinked again, dazzled, as she led me outside.

Once outside, we turned towards the woods. My heart was thumping madly now. Rosalie continued to look straight ahead, as we walked side by side, her hand still locked with mine. Neither of us said anything. Truthfully, I didn't know what to say. Rosalie and I had only rarely talked, and I didn't know all that much about her other than the fact she was Edward's sister, and liked to work on cars, and that she didn't seem to like me very much. Of all the Cullens, I knew the least about her.

I looked at the trees now, as the brush began to get thicker. The woods began to get slightly darker now, as we moved inwards. Suddenly, Rosalie stopped. I looked around. My heart was in my throat now, and I fought back tears. My hands trembled, and I blinked frantically to stop from sobbing. To my surprise, it was actually working. Rosalie had brought me to the one place I never wanted to ever see again. I knew this place – and hated it. This was where Edward had talked to me before leaving the first time. I'd never forget this place, ever, although I tried so many times to forget it. This was the place I'd had my life, and my heart shattered. I'd never been back to this spot since that day. It held too many horrible memories for me. How many nightmares had I had about that day, and this place, I wondered. Too many. I wondered briefly if Rosalie had chose this spot on purpose, or it was just coincidence? Rosalie studied me quizzically now, analyzing my body's reactions. She seemed surprised. Maybe she didn't know the coincidence of inadvertently choosing this place. Or maybe she did, and was just surprised I was keeping myself together – barely. Rosalie then motioned to a fallen log which was covered with light green growth.

"Let's sit, shall we?" she said courteously, motioning to the log with her hand. I moved to the log and sat down. Rosalie followed me, and sat down herself. She sat only inches beside me, staring straight ahead. Being so close to her, I was overcome with her lovely scent. It seemed to exude from every possible part of her body, filling my head with the sweet scent of flowers, and honey. I found my eyelids starting to get heavy under the intoxicating aroma. They snapped open when Rosalie spoke again.

"Bella..." she began in her Angel soft voice. "I guess it's no secret, that I've never liked you."

I didn't know what to say. My already rapid pulse quickened at her words. My eyes hung low now, eying my hands. I ran them back and forth over each other nervously. I already knew that. Rosalie knew that I knew. Why was she saying it? I couldn't figure out where this conversation was going, and it had only just begun!

"But what I am going to tell you now...is why." she said, still not looking at me. I gulped, and my breath came faster at her words.

"At first, it was because when Edward saved you that day – he put us all in grave danger. He could have exposed us for what we were. Everything that we'd done, and the secret we fought so hard to protect could have been completely undone in that instant. It angered me. I hated how selfish Edward had been just to save a human girl." she said, her voice sounding menacing.

"I wanted to kill you." she said softer now, and she watched me from the corner of her eye for my reaction. I gasped out loud, stunned at what she was saying. She turned to face me then, seemingly searching for a hint of sympathy in my eyes. "You knew our secret. Well not all of it of course, but you knew we definitely were hiding something, and that we were not normal. You could have told someone – bringing attention to us. But you didn't" she explained now her reasoning, in her original softer tones.

I couldn't speak. My eyes were wide now at how easily Rosalie had spoken of taking my life to protect her, and her family. My hands trembled. Rosalie glanced at my hands now and took one in her own icy palm. The gesture must have been meant as one of comfort, but it did nothing to ease how I felt. Rosalie continued to look straight ahead once more.

"That seems like a long time ago Bella." she said, still gazing into the trees. "I know now that you would never reveal us to anyone. I do know that. I've known it for a while." she said, fighting for the right words. She seemed conflicted. Either about what she was saying, or something else I didn't know.

"But...if you know..." I heard myself whisper. I didn't finish. I wanted to say "then why do you still seem to hate me?" but I couldn't. My throat constricted. Rosalie knew what I was going to say. She hung her head slightly, thinking about my unasked question. She sighed now in frustration.

"Bella, do you remember when you, Edward and Alice returned from Italy?"she asked me.

When we got off the plane, Rosalie asked me to forgive her. I did without hesitation. It was a miscommunication, after all. I had meant it too, but it didn't seem to have thawed our relationship very much.

For all my mind's rapid movement through those events, all I could reply with was "Yes."

"You risked your life to save Edward. It could easily have cost you your own life, but you did it. You saved my brother that day..." she said in a whisper. "So I could never doubt your sincerity about keeping our secret. I know how much you love Edward, and how much he loves you." she finished sincerely now.

My mind was swimming through a torrent of questions now. I still had no idea where this was going, or why now, all of the sudden, Rosalie was telling me all of this. I wondered briefly if Edward or the rest of the Cullens knew Rosalie was here.

"I do love Edward. I love...all of your family..." I said barely above a whisper. I meant it. Edward's family was like my own. I knew that they already thought of me as a daughter, and a sister. Well, all except Rosalie. But even as I thought that, my mind wondered what Rosalie was trying to say now.

"I know you love us. All of us." she said sadly. She emphasized the word "all". She looked at me now, and I saw the carefully placed mask in her eyes crack ever so slightly. "Even though some of us do not deserve it..." she said in a voice so low that I could barely hear it.

She stood up now, and walked a few feet towards the woods. She turned then, gracefully of course, and eyed me up and down.

"Bella...I want you to know something." she said, in her Angelic voice. "This is NOT easy for me to say, but it is something important for you to know, so that you may understand." Her voice faltered slightly as she spoke. I definitely knew that whatever it was that Rosalie was going to say, was going to cost her. I leaned toward her subconsciously now, waiting for her to speak. I was completely engrossed now with what she was going to tell me.

"Carlisle created Edward, and he created Esme shortly after. Esme was to be Carlisle's companion. I was created next...to be...a companion for Edward." she began, letting out a long breath after she spoke. I didn't move, and didn't speak. This much of the story I already knew.

"But Edward only ever thought of me as a sister. He...rejected...my advances toward him to be something more." she said now, with a hint of bitterness in her voice. I knew this too. Edward had told me that originally Rosalie was to be his companion.

"At first I was annoyed. Annoyed and angry. Me. ME! I...Rosalie Hale was rejected! I could not believe it." she said, her eyes looking far away now, as she remembered the events in her mind. "But as the years passed, the sting of that rejection diminished. Edward never sought another, and I found Emmett, and Carlisle changed him into a companion for me." she said now, stilling looking unseeing into the woods.

"Esme was worried about Edward. She thought something was wrong with him – that he was changed too early. He didn't seem to want or need companionship the way the rest of us did. He was happy with his family, of course, but did not seem to require more."

"Edward lived almost 90 years without a companion. The rejection I felt so many years ago, completely faded. Edward had not rejected me, I reasoned. He simply did not want to be with anyone." she continued, and then she looked at me. Her eyes sharpened.

"And then – a brown haired, brown eyed, accident prone girl came to Forks..." she trailed off, but her eyes were accusing now.

I realized where this was going now. I could not believe it. Rosalie nodded slightly to me.

"You see now?" she asked me, her eyes like golden slits. I could only nod in reply. I was too stunned to speak.

"I'm a proud woman Bella. A vain, proud woman." she said with a hiss, but also with a hint of regret - her hands clenching as she spoke. She moved slowly to me then, until she was only inches from my face. Hey eyes were ringed with black. The once radiant gold, was now more like a clouded yellowish haze. She snarled now, her lips curling up to reveal her razor sharp teeth. My eyes opened wide, and my pulse thundered through my body at the ferocity she displayed now.

"Rosalie Hale does NOT come in second place!" she bellowed loudly. I shrank back from the full force and volume of her voice. It was like being next to a church bell ringing – so loud, but so beautiful all at once. Her voice continued to echo through the woods, as if to affirm the truth of her words. Oh God...was she going to kill me?! My heart skipped now.

She took a step back now, and her face relaxed, and became slightly sad once more. She took several slow breaths in and out, and I saw her eyes return to their original golden hue. The tone of her voice softened as well.

"At least I didn't until that day...." she finished with a bittersweet smile on her face. She looked down at the ground now, embarrassed by her sudden outburst. She lifted her head after a few seconds, and stared intently at me. To my amazement, she smiled at me. Then she reached her silky smooth hand towards me now, and I stared unbelieving as she ran it softly down my cheek. I shuddered under the graceful caress. My eyelids became heavy once more, and for a second I forgot how to breathe. She huffed to herself slightly indignantly - I felt her sweet vampire breath flooding across my face. "I guess it's not so bad, after all – coming in second place" she said after a seconds pause. "You do have a...certain...beauty" she finished out loud as her finger ran across my soft skin. I blinked now at her words.

My mind was racing again. Second place? Rosalie thought she came in second place to me? I couldn't believe it. She was so beautiful! There was no way that would ever happen.

"Rosalie...you're wrong." I said whisper quiet. She cocked her head slightly, listening, but surprised as she heard my voice.

"There's no comparison Rosalie..." I said turning my pale cheeks slightly pink as I did. I looked her up and down, and my hand followed my eyes. "Just look at yourself Rosalie. You're you! And...I'm just... me..." I said lamely as if that explained everything.

She shook her head back and forth slightly. She smiled bittersweetly at me now once more. "I know Bella. There is no comparison...in Edward's mind." she added with a hint of defeat to her voice.

She sat down beside me, and looked at me again. "I'm sorry I've been so hard on you Bella. I will try not to be so hard in the future. It's just that, well...you now know why I act the way I do. Every time I look at you, I'm reminded of that rejection so long ago." she said apologetically. "But I will try..." she promised me. I nodded at her – it was all I could do.

I was numbed now. Numbed by Rosalie's confession, and her revelation about her feelings of being rejected by Edward. And as if that wasn't enough for my mind to struggle with, she considered herself second to me, even if it was only from Edward's point of view. Rosalie was jealous that I had managed to win Edward's heart when she could not! To Rosalie, that must have cost her dearly to admit that to me. I knew she was happy with Emmett, and that she did in fact love him, but that she still remembered that rejection from Edward after all these years amazed me. Even if I didn't really believe I would ever be second to Rosalie, the fact that she believed it was staggering to me. I was still thinking about all this when I heard her suddenly speak.

"We will be like sisters one day..." she said softly, and took my hand once more. "Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or next year...but someday. We'll have centuries and more to work on it..." she said with her eyes far away now, a slight grin on her face. My heart began racing. Rosalie was the only one to vote against my immortality when I'd brought the decision to them regarding Edward's promise to the Volturi that he would change me into a vampire one day. His assurance of that decision allowed me to keep my life, even knowing the Cullens secret. But she seemed to accept it more now than I would have originally thought. We stayed quiet for a moment - each of us silently reflecting on the recent moments. Rosalie's head snapped up now.

"So!" she spoke suddenly, and clapped her hands together as she spoke. I flinched away from her, surprised. She lowered her voice a bit now, and laughed at my reaction. "I hear you and Edward are attempting to increase your physical relationship?" she said with the hint of a smile.

I turned red immediately, and looked anywhere I could except into Rosalie's probing eyes. Rosalie laughed once more. "Believe me Bella, I have a lot of expertise in that area. If you want...I could...help you...?" she offered hesitantly, trailing off – unsure if I would take her up on her offer.

My eyes opened wide now. Was Rosalie going to give me sex advice? Wow. I never would have thought this day would ever happen. But maybe this was Rosalie's way of attempting to make up for her past behaviour? An attempt to bridge the gap between us? I wasn't sure, but I had a feeling that things would be different between Rosalie and I from now on. She was right though, sweeping changes wouldn't happen over night, but they would happen eventually. She said that one day we would be like sisters! I smiled internally now, strangely happy at the thought of being closer to Rosalie.

I found myself nodding in reply to Rosalie's offer of advice. Rosalie's smile was beaming - happy I had agreed to listen to her. She moved closer to me now. She hovered beside me, and her honey sweet scent made me lightheaded once more. Her voice was so soft and sweet, it tickled inside my ear when she spoke.

"If you really want to drive a vampire wild...the first thing you have to do is..."

A/N: ;-) Okay...so surprise! It's Rosalie! Yeah, I went there. LoL. Not that I didn't want to use Alice again, but I was thinking about having all the Cullens in this story at one point. So having Rosalie explain a bit about why she felt the way she did, and kind of offering a flag of truce over the past events, and her behaviour seemed like a good way to go with her. Things between them won't change overnight, but at least Bella knows why Rose acts the way she does towards her, and Rose will try to be more tolerable towards Bella from now on. I hope you all enjoyed the break from all the recent steamy scenes! :-P

And for anyone wondering why I wrote Rosalie this way - I decided that she would have thought about Edward and Bella being together - and that she wanted Edward to be happy. It didn't matter so much now that he did in fact reject her so long ago, or that Bella was the one he'd chosen. But also, because Rosalie does love Edward, she wants his first time with Bella to be perfect - the way her first time with Royce should have been.

This reasoning, to me, meshes with what happens in New Moon when Edward, Alice, and Bella return from Italy. Esme tells Edward to let Rosalie make amends in her own way, and I've decided that this is how she will do it. :)

But even saying that, it's not easy for Rosalie to change her ways as you saw in this chapter. She still has issues with Bella, even though she admits that it is not actually Bella's fault. But I think the main thing is that she is trying. That's all any of us can ever do - try to be better. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. But at least the effort was made. :)

What's in store for next chapter? I dunno either! LoL. You'll have to wait and see! ;)