Author's Note: This is what happens when you randomly thumb through Twilight and have Rosalie as a favorite character. Edward's point of view- excluding anything anyone might have read in the leaked Midnight Sun. Warning: Themes of rape and violence. Eclipse spoilers as well- kind of. Hope you like it! Enjoy, Read, Review!
It was not a secret that I had been following Bella that night in Port Angeles. Not a secret from my family, not a secret from myself, not even a secret from her. Of course, Bella didn't know at first, but it was never something I kept to myself on purpose- never something I was hiding. Granted, I didn't go to her and tell her I was going to follow her to Port Angeles. That was mostly because I had never intended for her to know I had done it, because it was more for me- to ease the anxiety I felt when I was away from her- to fulfill the need to make sure she was safe. And, as it turns out, she needed me that night- needed me more than I could have ever guessed- and I'm glad I could have been of service. But, no, it was never a secret.
The sun- mostly hidden behind clouds- was nearly setting when I noticed Bella was no longer in Jessica's thoughts. I hadn't realized it at first, but it had been that way for some time. So, as I drove through the streets- my eyes hypersensitive to each person that walked past- I picked through people's thoughts, waiting for her face to appear once. When it didn't, the nervous anxiety took hold of me again- like a rogue wave with too much power- and I felt my hands clenching the steering wheel.
I started driving in circles then, growing more desperate with each street I sped down. There couldn't be any good reason for why she had disappeared- this was Bella, after all.
Horrific scenarios started working their way through my brain. Human scenarios, like being kidnapped, lost, hit by a car, tripped into the street. Monster scenarios, a rogue vampire finding her just as irresistible as I do. Either way, I was sure I would have been able to see someone's thoughts of her if any of these things had happened, so where could she be, I wondered.
As the anxiety riding through me reached new peeks- with the sun finally setting, darkening the sky- I considered getting out and searching for her on foot. I was just about to pull over when I saw her face. Ivory skin, dark hair, deep brown eyes, delicate features. It was right there in my brain- but steeped with the worst filter from the man who was thinking of her.
And then, as all of their thoughts made their way to me, it all became clear. They were cornering her in the back streets- herding her. I saw it all as if I was there and it made me sick- saw the look of fear and calculation in her eyes, heard the jeers of the men as they all went about surrounding her.
I was speeding toward them as their thoughts flashed through my mind- disgusting rapid-fire.
She'd look good without that shirt.
If only these jackasses would leave so I could have her for myself.
Wonder what she's hiding under those jeans- wonder how much of a fight she'll put up.
Look at that face- so pretty and so scared.
"Stay away from me," she said, in a voice that was shaking and dry, and my foot pushed so hard on the gas I thought I was going to actually break the car.
Without meaning to- without being able to stop myself- I was remembering Rochester- remembering what I gleaned from Rosalie's brain and Royce King's after she was changed into a vampire.
"Royce, what- what are you doing?" she had asked- her voice just as dry and weak as Bella's. And even though they had herded her in the street too- had ripped off her jacket and hat and laughed at the sound of her painful cry- she couldn't accept what was happening. Rosalie hadn't refused to believe what was happening to her- couldn't accept that her prince charming was drunk and lewd- that he and his friends were attacking her. It was the weakest she had ever been, I knew, and it made the anger explode in my chest as I searched for Bella in the back streets.
Royce had laughed with his friends and grabbed Rosalie- grabbed her around the waist and pulled her to him. When she had struggled, he had yanked a fistful of her golden hair- making her cry out again- and pulled her face away so she would stare into his eyes, and he had said, "I'm going to be your husband, and you have a duty to me."
"Royce, I-" she gasped through tears, as all those men laughed at her. "I don't- You can't-"
And then he pushed her to the ground, and shouted, "You have a duty to me!" Then, glancing at the group around him, he added, "But I don't mind sharing with my friends."
This made the men catcall and hoot, and they descended like wolves.
Wincing against the memory, I focused on the present.
"Don't be like that, sugar," one of the men was saying to Bella, and I was relieved that his voice was close- mercifully close- because I couldn't bear for what happened in Rochester to happen here too.
But he was imagining himself on top of her- her bare body pressing into the filthy street- just like Rosalie's had been- and I was sure I was going to rip someone apart from the rage that filled me.
In the empty car I let a roar- so loud and so violent it almost felt like it was ripping my chest and throat- escape me, but it didn't assuage my anger.
And then I knew where they were, and I was flying around the corner, their figures all illuminated as I nearly hit the stocky one- the one who was undoubtedly Royce King's counterpart. He leapt onto the sidewalk, away from me.
Holy shit, he thought. Holy shit. And I could hear his heart careening in his chest- feel the nausea as it suddenly racked his body, and it brought me some small satisfaction.
Bella dove into the street and I slammed the brake, fishtailing around and pushing the passenger door open as the car stopped beside her. The surprise on her face only registered slightly as I managed to control my voice and say, "Get in."
All I wanted to do was get out and tear those men apart. I wanted their blood to drench the street and I wanted their bones to splinter, and I wanted them to feel all of it. But I knew I couldn't do that. I knew I had to keep Bella safe- that's what was most important.
She jumped in without a single question and pulled the door shut, and I was spinning around, nearly hitting the men once again and straightening out as I sped down the street.
"Put on your seat belt," I said, but I was thinking about Rosalie again.
The pain and anguish over what had happened to her in Rochester never left her- I knew because I saw it and felt it with her. And while Rosalie and I were never close, never the best of friends, she was still my sister- for all intents and purposes- and I loved her, and to relive that hurt with her- to know she couldn't get away from it- hurt me and angered me in the most horrible of ways.
Bella asked, "Are you okay?" and her voice was small and hoarse in the car.
I had been hunting with Esme when Rosalie had been attacked. I hadn't been following her like I had followed Bella because I hadn't cared about her- she hadn't made any difference to me. Sometimes I regretted it. Sometimes I wish I hadn't been hunting so I could have at least had the opportunity to hear Royce and his friends- so I could have spared her the awful existence she hates so much- but who knows how things would have turned out if I had saved her and killed Royce and all of his friends. I couldn't let myself think about it. Couldn't dwell on it. There were too many what ifs to leave me comfortable.
I had saved Bella and that was what mattered. If I focused on her I wouldn't think of Rosalie and what she had gone through- the mistakes I made in the past involving the events that led to her being changed.
Stopping the car, I stared through the windshield- flashes of Rochester and Port Angeles meshing sickly in my brain.
"Yes?" she replied, her voice still meek, though rough as well.
Thinking of how my sister had felt before she had been attacked- the shock and fear and paralysis- made me ask, "Are you all right?"
Surprisingly, she said, "Yes."
It made me furious that she had allowed herself to get into a situation like that- made me enraged that there were people like Royce King in the world- and I so vehemently wanted to go back and kill those men- to make them suffer like I never made Royce and his friends suffer for what they thought they had some kind of right to do to women- women like my sisters, like Esme, like Bella.
"Distract me, please," I said.
She looked confused and she asked, "I'm sorry, what?"
I exhaled as a flash-memory of Rosalie screaming against a dirty street went through my brain. That could have been Bella.
That could have been Bella.
"Just prattle about something unimportant until I calm down," I said, pinching the bridge of my nose, because I desperately needed a distraction.
"Um," she sounded, seeming to be trying to think of something. "I'm going to run over Tyler Crowley before school tomorrow?"
My eyes were squeezed shut, and the horrible image of Bella being pressed into the street like Rosalie was replaced with Bella running over one of our classmates in her monstrous red truck. "Why?" I asked.
She began telling me about how he was going to ask her to prom as a means of making up for him almost killing her with his van, and how hitting him with her car would make them even.
"I heard about that," I said, my eyes still closed.
"You did?" she asked, incredulous, and it was nice to hear her sound so normal again. "If he's paralyzed from the neck down, he can't go to prom, either."
I sighed and opened my eyes, because the rage was slowly- almost hardly- lessening in my brain.
"Better?" she asked.
No. I was still having flashbacks from 1933, and they were bringing up the reality of what had almost just happened- making the situation sharper and more horrific than I would have liked.
"Not really," I replied, leaning my head against the seat and staring at the ceiling.
Quietly, Bella asked, "What's wrong?"
My sister was raped. You were almost raped. People can be filthy and evil. She suffered- she's still suffering- more quietly, secretly. It could have been you. I wouldn't have been able to bear that, Bella.
Instead, I quietly replied, "Sometimes I have a problem with my temper, Bella." I looked out the window, my eyes narrowed and I said, "But it wouldn't be helpful for me to turn around and hunt down those...." I trailed off. It would have made me feel better- at least a little- to kill those vermin, but I knew Carlisle and Esme would have been disappointed- and that, in its own right, was unbearable. "At least that's what I'm trying to convince myself."
Rosalie killed Royce and all of those men who had attacked her, and it hadn't dissipated her rage or her hurt. I had to remind myself of this.
Sitting in silence, I managed to breathe and tried to clear my mind.
When a moment or two passed, Bella quietly said, "Jessica and Angela will be worried." I marveled at how calm and unbothered she was by what had almost happened to her- it almost made me angry when I compared it to the hell Rosalie put herself through every day for years. "I was supposed to meet them."
I started the car and made my way back to town, where I heard Jessica and Angela making their way out of an Italian restaurant. We were there and parked in no time, and before Bella could even register what was happening, I was opening the car door.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
Making sure you don't have a break down when the realization hits.
"I'm taking you to dinner."
And I did take her to dinner, but she didn't go into shock or break down. She hardly seemed bothered by what had happened to her- it didn't feel normal to me, but I was relieved. Later, I found out that that was just Bella. Even when she found out the truth about my family and me, she wasn't bothered- didn't run or even look scared like any normal person would- which worried me even more. But if she wasn't nervous upon learning the truth, I wasn't going to shake the fear into her- no matter how much I wanted to. Obviously I reminded her of the danger for weeks- months- afterward, but that never changed anything. I was glad for this, but also frustrated and wary.
And while my attention had been completely focused on Bella all night- because I knew, somehow, that I was falling in love with her- Rosalie had been there too. In the back of my mind, lurking. Through Bella's theories and my confessions, there was Rosalie- nagging, as usual, on the edge of my thoughts. And for the first time in a long while, I actually felt sympathetic for my sister. While I was confident that Bella was all right when I dropped her off at home- how, I couldn't possibly know- I couldn't help but fill a wriggling suspicion that Rosalie wasn't.
So while I sped home that night, I zeroed in on her thoughts, and I found them easily, bringing with them relief, and the ability to ignore-albeit, slightly- the fondness for my ever-shallow sister.
She was looking through a designer website with Alice- picking out spring clothes and thinking about how good she would look in each piece. It made me chuckle to myself in the car- she wasn't feeling miserable tonight.
But as I left Rosalie's mind and continued toward home, the events of Rochester and tonight entered my mind again- and I couldn't get them out. And by the time I entered the house, I felt a complete and resolute sympathy for my sister that I wasn't sure I had ever felt- or would ever feel again.
When I entered the living room Esme, Carlisle, Emmett, and Rosalie were all there. Carlisle and Esme were sitting together on the love seat, reading and watching TV in intervals. Emmett was watching TV- a ball game- intently. And Rosalie was now flipping through a Mercedes catalog.
"Edward," Esme said when she noticed I had entered.
Everyone but Emmett looked up.
I gave them a small smile.
Rosalie got up to get a marker from the kitchen- so she could circle things in the catalog- and as she went to pass me, I stepped in front of her.
She looked me in the eye and raised an eyebrow, saying, "What?"
When she tried to step around me I blocked her path again.
"What, are you in grammar school?" she asked. "Move-" and she went to push me, but I actually put my arms around her and hugged her.
Her first thought was, What the hell?
Esme and Carlisle both stared, curious. And Emmett finally looked over.
"Oh my God, I can smell that human all over you," she said, not returning my embrace. "What did you do, wrestle with her?"
This made Emmett laugh out loud, but when I didn't let go of Rosalie he sobered up and continued to watch us.
"Edward, what is the matter with you?" she pushed me away. "Why are you hugging me?"
Emmett put in, "Should I be concerned?" He was only partially joking.
I shrugged at Rosalie and rolled my eyes at Emmett.
"Edward," Esme said tentatively. "Everything all right?"
I nodded, looking down at Rosalie and saying, "Yes. I just don't think I show Rosalie enough appreciation."
Everyone stared at me curiously, and Rosalie looked up at me with her eyebrows furrowed and her lip raised in slight distaste.
I smiled genuinely and fully at her and then moved to the stairs. As I ascended them, Rosalie said, "He is so strange," and moved on into the kitchen.
But in her thoughts- through her confusion- she was smiling softly.
Author's Note: Hope you liked it! Hope it wasn't too Edward/Rosalie!