Setting: Port Angeles, WA, Jan 29, 2005, the weekend after the van incident in chapter 3 "Phenomenon" in the book Twilight and the following family conference in Midnight Sun, chapter 4: "Visions."
Chapter Summary: Rosalie and Alice are having a conversation about the "Bella Problem" at the Port Angeles Starbucks. Or were trying to: a customer with her baby who looks very much like Vera of 70 years ago rather derails that train of thought for Rosalie.
Alice and I were sitting with our props at the Port Angeles Starbucks. We were lounging in the cushy chairs in a secluded corner, discussing what was obvious to me "the Bella Problem" in hushed voiced much quieter and at a higher pitch than humans could possibly hear, and much faster, too.
Edward, foolish Edward, had just made a public spectacle of himself and saved that little Swan child from a sure death from an oncoming van. Emmett had erased the obvious signs on the van while everybody else concentrated on the (unfortunately) unharmed girl and the (unwisely) rash boy ... who happened to be a vampire.
A vampire just like me. A vampire just like Alice.
So, Edward claimed nobody suspected anything.
Nobody, except that troublesome girl, who couldn't have missed what was happening around her, even if she were as stupid as she looked.
But Edward claimed she wouldn't say anything.
I felt that was entirely fair, and made the entirely reasonable proposal to make sure she didn't. After all, dead girls aren't known to be at all talkative.
Jasper, at least, saw sense, until his dear wife — I glared at my dear sister in front of me — brow-beat him back under her thumb. So it was just me, again, as the sole voice of reason. Me, staring at those 'be reasonable, Rosalie' eyes of the rest of my family.
I shut up. After eighty years? A girl knows when she's wasting air, but I didn't give up on my position.
So here we were, Alice and I, with her mission to talk me down from the ledge.
How sweet of her.
"Rosalie," she began in reasonable tones, "she's not going to say anything; I know it. So you don't have to worry about it on that count. So why don't you put your concerns aside. It isn't always about you, you know."
Well, at least she wasn't using that chirpy-happy voice she use on everybody else to convince them everything is all good and happy.
Because everything was not all good and happy. It surely wasn't.
"But it's not about me," I retorted. "It's not, Alice! It's about stupid Edward planning to go into that stupid human's room, again, all night long, not drinking her blood, so you know what he's going to do, and it's just sick! He should just ..."
I was going to tell Alice what Edward should just do with that girl, but I was interrupted. A young woman walked into the Starbucks, holding a baby less than nine months old in her arms.
She was a real looker ... for a human ... but when her eyes caught sight of Alice, she blushed and looked away quickly, and that's when her eyes found me, Rosalie Lillian Hale.
She blanched, fumbled with one arm in her purse, and flipped open her cell phone that both Alice and I saw was not ringing.
"Hello, John?" her voice quavered into the silent device, and she turned about quickly and made her escape.
I looked at Alice's smirk with my own plastered across my face. Both looked as naughty as mine felt.
"Excuse me a moment, Alice, dear," I purred, and rose to hunt my prey.
Alice rolled her eyes at my antics. Emmett was out with Jasper and Carlisle on a hunt with Edward.
I could just see it in her face as she sighed ruefully: when the boys are away, the girls will play.
But I didn't have time for more verbal sparring with my sister. I had a girl to catch for an entirely different sparring game.
Outside, the woman had just finished hastily strapping in her baby into the child seat and straightened up from her handiwork.
I looked at her vehicle: mommy van, I thought contemptuously, but then I saw the woman's figure. Nice ass. I was just going to love ... well, first things first.
"Excuse me, ma'am!" My voice rang out right behind her.
She turned, gasping in surprise.
Gasping right into my full-contact opened-mouth kiss.
I pressed myself into the woman, pushed her against the frame of the van, feeling her figure and letting her feel mine. I grabbed that nice ass and squeezed, wrapping my other arm behind her shoulder, resting my hand, gently, on the back of the woman's head. The young mother was squirming, squeaking with surprise into my mouth, but she could only squirm closer to me.
I like that.
Eventually, when her struggles subsided, I released the now pliant human, after hearing one or two other customers pass, one muttering "Get a room!" with disgust or jealousy.
The jealousy of humans ... I like that, too.
The woman's struggles eventually relented, and she melted into my kiss. My tongue gently sought the woman's mouth, exploring and enjoying the taste of the human. She tasted so sweet, like black raspberries, but without those annoying seeds; ... compelling, but not painfully so.
I pulled back.
"So, beautiful; you have a name?" I asked, my voice silk and velvet.
The woman gasped out "Vera."
I sighed. "You look like her, too."
She did. I had been trying to ignore the resemblance. I had been trying to deny it, but there it was, and she had the same name, to boot. It was almost unfair, how uncanny she looked and carried herself in nearly the exact same manner of my best friend from more than seventy years ago.
But this Vera was still reeling from me: "What?" she asked in confusion.
I shook my head with regret. This wasn't Vera. This couldn't be Vera. It was just some young mother with the same name. "Never mind," I told not-Vera, who looked and acted just like her. "You have any plans for the rest of this weekend?"
"Um, well," Vera began, still overwhelmed and confused, "I have ..."
"Cancel them all," I interrupted firmly. "Your plans are now with me."
"But my baby ..." Vera began.
"My sister, Alice," I jerked my head back toward the Starbucks entrance, "will watch her."
The baby definitely didn't look like little Henry ... that would be too much of a coincidence.
"But I breast-feed ..." Vera continued helplessly.
All the better, I thought as I looked down admiringly at her fecund assets. And she surely worked that damsel-in-distress plaintive note in her voice to maximum effect. I wonder if she knew she was so effective ... and affective.
Mm. Yes, please.
"I'll help there," I purred, just in case she didn't get the message.
"How will you ..." she began. I guess she was a little slow on the uptake, but she saw my predatory eyes glinting, and she blushed furiously when it sunk in.
"Oh, my God!" she whispered, bringing her hands up to her burning cheeks.
I smiled hungrily, causing Vera to blush harder.
Her scent was starting to pull me in to satiate another hunger ... one that I swore off long, long ago. I'd better watch myself now and go on a hunt as soon as possible.
I pulled myself together. Hunting in one way excited the hunting instincts in all ways, but I was stronger than my instincts. I was stronger than this mortal girl in front of me, almost ready to collapse from the overreactions I was causing in her frail human body.
"Are you okay to drive home?" I asked with sincere concern. "Or do you need me to take your keys?" I held out my hand. After all, friends don't let friends drive under the influence ... of me! And I wouldn't mind being this girl's ... friend.
But instead of accepting my offer, Vera got shakily into her van and put her keys into the ignition. She managed to start the van and closed the door. Vera struggled with herself for a moment, but then, eventually, she did roll down the window.
I couldn't suppress a victorious smile. Mine! I growled possessively to myself. I like to win. Especially with these kinds of games, and with this kind of game. I had to work hard to hide my smile, but it just refused to stay hidden.
"Do you ..." Vera began then swallowed, "do you need my address or directions?" she whispered this question quickly, looking down at the dashboard.
"Oh, honey," I said, thoroughly enjoying my new play toy, "don't worry about that. I'll find you."
I do so love to play with my catches.
Besides her scent was now a part of me. I wouldn't have any trouble locating it in this nothing 'city' of Port Angeles.
Vera acquiesced, embarrassedly. "Why aren't you asking about my husband?"
"Oh, Vera, Vera, Vera!" I sang her name, sighing. "A mom along with a baby at a Starbucks on a weekend? He's either away working because he always is, or he's left you."
Vera nodded, ashamed now, at my assessment.
"I bet," I continued, "you haven't gotten any in a while now, have you, sweetheart?"
I was floating in euphoria: I couldn't wait to be giving her "any" ... in every way she could imagine, and in some ways she couldn't imagine ... yet.
I leaned into the car and whispered provocatively into Vera's ear. "You don't have to worry about that now." Vera gulped. I bet she was beginning to realize that she didn't know what she was getting into. She didn't know the half of it. "I'll see you later this evening," I continued, "with dinner in hand, so don't worry about a thing. I'm taking care of you now, sweetie!"
I placed my bottle of Ethos water into Vera's nerveless fingers. I tsked internally. A breast-feeding mom going to a coffee place? I'd lecture her later about that ... but only after some activities.
"Now pay attention to the road, and drive home carefully," I ordered her.
Vera started to pull out of her parking space, but then stopped.
"Um," she called out timidly but clearly enough for me to hear ... and anybody else in the small Starbucks parking lot.
"Yes?" I asked.
"What's your name?" Vera blushed again.
Mmm. I really like this human ... most of them didn't even manage to reconnect their brains to be able to ask that question. I stepped up to the van's window again.
It took no small amount of effort not to rip the door off the van and take her right here in the parking lot.
But I answered with a voice filled with complete calm and control.
"Rosalie," I said. I reached in and turned Vara's head. Just one more kiss. I took that kiss, full on her mouth, then pulled away, smiling at Vera's completely dazzled look. "Rosalie Lillian Hale," I said proudly and quietly into her completely overwhelmed look.
I turned away from her. If I stayed any longer, I would take her in the parking lot, and she would let me.
"I'll see you later tonight, Vera!" I called over my shoulder and sauntered back into the Starbucks.
I sat back down next to Alice, very pleased with my latest soon-to-be conquest.
"Alice," I said easily, "I may need your help looking after a human baby tonight; you up for it?"
Alice just shook her head. "And Emmett's okay with this?"
I smiled, "'Okay?' It drives him wild when I tell him the stories, and there's nothing better than a wild Emmett in bed; he's always so forceful when he loses control like that. I promised him he's my only man, but ..."
Alice tsked. "And so you're going to wreck that girl's family because she's cute and Emmett's okay with you playing around on the other side?"
I rolled my eyes. "Oh, please, Alice. I'm just going to have a little, well, a lot, of fun, with that human."
We were both keeps our voices far below what a human could here. We were relaxed in the Starbucks setting, but we could never really relax outside the home, and at home, we could never really relax around each other.
I continued: "Emmett's away; her husband's away. And girls just want to have fun, don't you know? Besides, I'm not wrecking anything that isn't already wrecked: it looks like she's been abandoned by her husband. It's just tonight ... no strings. You can join in if you want to ..."
Here Alice rolled her eyes.
"I mean, I know you don't swing that way," I explained, "but everything is worth a try once, right, Alice? You just don't know what you're missing, having a nice, little, warm human female beneath you, completely in your power. Every time I have one of them, I say, ah! I could kill her if I wanted to, and she senses this, she feels it instinctively, she knows, somehow, that she could be on the point of death. But I don't kill her, and I give her a night she'll never forget. And their screams of pleasure mingled with fear as they quake uncontrollably ...? Well, there's nothing quite like it, is there, Alice?"
I looked down at the caramel macchiato prop in Alice's hand: "I'm better than how those humans enjoy that drink, and they seem to enjoy it inordinately." I grimaced, however, at the smell of sugar and syrup polluting the air around it, but then I pressed on, "so ..."
I grinned, then I said quietly, turning solemn. "I'm just giving that poor, overwhelmed mother a night of ecstasy with the most beautiful woman in the world." Here I indicated myself, just so there was no mistaking who that person is ... me. "A night free of cares and concerns, and I get to feel the warmth of her, a human, alive, just for a few moments as she gives herself to me."
"That's good enough for me ..." I said, then I looked down but then I looked right back into my dear sister's eyes, "and that's good enough for her. She could have drove off. She could have said no. And I would have listened to that. I would have respected those wishes. But she let me lead her to what she needs. And tonight, she needs a beautiful and mysterious and strong woman to take care of her for a change, instead of fending for herself and her baby. Tonight she needs me."
"And tonight," I continued, "she's going to get me. And I'm going to fuck the bejesus out of her, and I'll get to hold her, and feel a soft, warm, human woman in my arms. And maybe she'll let me hold the baby for a moment, and kiss her on the head, and look down on her, like a mother would. And maybe the baby will smile. And maybe ..."
Here it got hard for me to continue, however. But Alice understood. My whole family understood my 'issue' with babies, especially, of course, Esmé. But Alice, without even the memory of her human experience, knew of my own eternal loss in this.
I pressed on: "I'm not breaking up her family, Alice. Her family is already broken. But did you see how she left this place?" I wanted to add 'like a mouse' or, particularly, and to the point: 'like a Bella Swan,' but I didn't want this point to get tied to the inexplicably untenable position my entire family had agreed to concerning that girl. "Well, after I'm done with her tonight? After she feels loved by somebody? After she feels desired? For a change? Not oppressed or abandoned ...?"
I shrugged to Alice and then I whispered: "Carlisle has his own way of dealing with things, with this existence ... we all do, Alice. This is my way. That's all. Sure, you think I'm indulging, and I am. Boy! Will I ever!" I smiled privately. "But Carlisle saves lives, Esmé warms the homeless with her blankets she makes and then donates," ... and again, I didn't meanly add: 'and converts innocent humans to be her children ... like me ... like I just know that she's planning for that Bella Swan' ... "and I ..."
"I give a young single mom some confidence again, and then I let her live her human life. What I don't do is become attached to them; I don't worm my way into their lives like you and Edward are doing to that human girl. You know the deal, Alice, you've been around long enough. We move around every few years for a reason, but if you befriend this little girl, she's going to start to see things. No, she's going to start to see more things now, thanks to Edward and his tilting at windmills, and thanks to you and your 'oh, I'm going to love her, too!'"
"Alice," I told her seriously, "she's a human. Do what I do: love'm and leave'm. That's best for them, and it's best for us. Associate with a human too long, and they die. That's all they do: they just die. So let this little girl live her life in her little human world, and die. Edward says he doesn't love the thing, fine!" ... even though the fool is going to be in her room staring at her all night, swallowing his venom-drool the whole time, the neanderthal!
It was refreshing, talking with Alice, I didn't have to guard my every thought. I could speak my mind to her and, when I didn't wish to do that, because I knew it would start another fight that wouldn't get resolved ... or start one she just might win (not that it would ever happen) ... well, then I could speak my mind to myself without having that annoying grimace gave whenever he let you know he heard your every single thought but he was being just so gentlemanly by pretending to respect your privacy.
I don't know how that boy could look in the mirror with any respect for himself.
I looked back at Alice, the newcomer to our family. She got on the high horse herself at times, too, but, honestly, we all did. Have you ever seen Esmé on one of her rampages? We 'kids' decide to have a little fun, sometimes we even manage to convince that ass Edward ("Oh, I'm only doing this to go along with your childish antics!" For goodness sake, we've established Alice is around 21, and Jasper has at least one hundred years on Mr. Blue Nose), and then Esmé catches wind of it or catches us red-handed, as it were (no, not that way, we all agree to live the life), and there's the Talk from her, and — can you believe it? — groundings?
How do you ground a vampire?
Just like a human: take away her car keys.
For goodness sake: we aren't children anymore, but Esmé so loves to play the mother, in every aspect of it. Even when she's an angry mother, she's still a mother.
And in that way, she's eternally happy.
A happy, tender, compassionate vampire! Oh, yes, she just loves that Bella. The very idea of that little girl just ... well, since she's a vampire, she couldn't wet herself, but that didn't stop her from embarrassing herself with her degrading cooing noises at the family council meeting.
So, so ... so very different from my own mother.
Perhaps that's why I turn to Esmé at the times when I have nowhere else to turn for help or for comfort. After all, only Esmé can love me the way Esmé does, and nobody else can.
Wait a minute! Nobody really, truly loves me. I mean, Emmett's blinded by his infatuation of me, and his slavish devotion, so how can Esmé love me as Mother did not?
I shook my head.
Being a vampire, the danger is you think, and then you think about what you are thinking, and it all happens in an instant, and so you can be lost in yourself so deeply, so quickly and so deeply.
To pretend you are human? You have to think one thought at a time. So slowly. So linearly.
Just like that stupid little Bella Swan.
Less than half-a-second had passed while I thought over these things.
"So," I continued, "it makes sense to leave her alone. Let him go back to Denali, make nice with Tanya, and come back here in a couple of centuries. Problem solved. If another van doesn't take her out, well, then, old age will. And she'll have her children and grand-children and forget all about us. That's the way it is. That's the way it has to be. Jasper knows that, and you should, too, sweetie. You don't play dolls with human girls, Alice. Dolls break, and this little human will, too, if you play this game with her."
Or even if we didn't. Have you seen that little thing? Emmett like to look at her, just to hear her heart race. 'Girl dies of heart attack from Emmett looking at her.' I could just read the headline. Or anything: 'Van smooshes Girl' or 'Library Book Smooshes Girl'
Or anything! Bella Swan, the nothing girl!
And Edward had to fall for that?
And to think, he had a shot at me ... and he passes over me ... for that?
Maybe something happened to Edward in his transformation. He turned down Tanya, too, and she's nothing to sneeze at. He claims he has this moralistic stance, but that flies in the face of his stalkertudinalness, that everybody's accepting without batting an eyelash.
Including Alice, the number one fan in the Team Edward fan club. Whatever Edward did, it couldn't be wrong, according to her, or even if it was undeniably wrong (which, I had to grudgingly admit, didn't happen up to now. He had been a goody-two-shoes since before I 'joined' the family seventy years ago) as in this case, then there was a perfectly reasonable explanation that absolved him of all wrong-doing.
God! And the thing was, Alice had a brain that didn't disconnect itself whenever Edward's stupidly good looks made everything human forget how to close their hanging jaws.
Actually, that Bella Swan had been giving Edward dagger eyes, and that would have pleased me, inordinately so, too, if it wasn't obvious that she was angry at him because she was entirely besotted back.
So she gets negative points for her dagger eyes to Edward, even though she managed to hold onto her brain.
She gets negative points, in my book, for every breath she draws from now on, because that van should have stopped those wasted breaths.
She was living on overtime now, and what she was doing with it? The first thing in the hospital she does is to scurry right over to Edward and give him the fuck-me eyes.
Well, that's not what Edward claims happened, but I know when a girl is staking her territory over a boy, and when she rolls up her sleeves and lays into a boy like that Bella laid into Edward?
I'm sure her fuck-me-right-now eyes were on at full strength.
That's what she's doing with her overtime: begging a vampire to take her!
Perfect match for Edward, if you ask me. But nobody deserves our fate. Not even that little nothing of a troublesome girl.
So I hammered in the last nail with a plea for the girl's sake, that should play to both Edward's and Alice's sympathy: "Save yourself and Edward the heartache and let this one go. If not for your sake, then for hers."
I let the impact of my words sink into Alice.
Alice narrowed her eyes at me.
So much for carrying my point.
She did wait a full second. I saw her count to twenty-three thousand, gathering her wits about her and trying to keep her patience.
She even inhaled a whiff of her caramel macchiato. I had no idea why she would do that, for I smelt nothing but the disgusting combination of sugar, syrup, coffee and water ... all of it fine if it was out growing in the wilds of nature, but processed into that soup the humans quaff so eagerly?
She says it reminds her of Jasper's scent.
Caramel macchiato smells nothing like vampire and nothing like Jasper, but she is so in love with Jasper that she probably smells him in everything, and light caramel mane of his, so like mine that we look like twins (I'm the more beautiful fraternal twin, of course) ...
Well, whatever floats her boat.
As long as it's not Bella Swan.
"She's going to be one of us, Rosalie," Alice says quietly and firmly. "You know that I saw that. So, to quote you: 'problem solved.'"
I opened my mouth to speak, but Alice would not be deterred.
"And before you go on your tirade about the horrors of being a vampire — she's going to be happy. I saw that, too, so don't go pinning your hangups and regrets on someone else. We're all different, and I'm trying not to judge you for your lesbianic escapades, so don't judge me or that girl if we don't think that being a vampire is the worst thing in the world."
Alice didn't raise her voice when she was speaking to me, but there was an absolute certainty that I heard in every word she spoke.
But even as she was a tower of certainty (all four feet eleven inches of her), she still had to put in that sisterly dig: 'lesbianic.' Alice always did this. She would invent a word to get my goat. I could hardly resist correcting her intentional misuse or just outright errors.
We had actually honed this back and forth to an art form over the decades that we had had our conversations. They didn't always end up smoothly or amicably, like the time I implied her lost past must have been spent in some backwater like North Carolina, which must have been the cause of her malapropisms, or that 'Jasper had found a suitable and fitting mate' in Alice, seeing they both were so hick.
Of course, neither were. Jasper's our resident philosophy major and Alice is ... well, Alice.
But sometimes I could get mean.
Sometimes even Alice can get mean: like the time she imitated a pair of scissors with her fingers and said 'snip-snip,' glaring at my hair.
Two weeks. Esmé had to divide the house in half for two weeks, and neither of us spoke to the other during that time, because if we did ...
Usually Alice puts forward this image of being this happy little bird, flitting about, being happy and making everybody happy. But I've seen the serious Alice before, and I was seeing the serious Alice now. When she sets her mind to something, when she gets behind something, and believes in it, she was like this unshakeable stone mountain. A tower of strength.
Alice is this happy tiny girlish girl, but in no way is she a push-over.
Because of that, she was one of the few people that could talk with me, and that I could talk to.
But then she had to erase my warm feelings toward her with her next statement.
"And you'd better home that baby is a good sleeper, because I'm not watching it."
I felt my face hardening in anger.
"You know, Alice, fine!" I spat. "It's not like you wouldn't be in the way, anyway. I'll manage, thank you very much for your help!"
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get a dinner with lots of calcium and no wine. See, I take care of the humans that come into my sphere, even it it makes my own agenda a little bit harder to achieve. I don't stare at the all night, nor make designs on them for eternity."
"You and Edward," I shook my head, disbelievingly. "I love you both to death, Alice, but really! You both rely on your disabilities too much. Edward's failed him now with that girl, and so it proves what I've always thought: that boy hasn't a brain. Now you're relying on a vision you've seen that is so fuzzy even Edward can't make head or tail out if it, but you sure are putting all your eggs in that basket. I'll grant you, you're mostly right, but when you're wrong? Remember our little wager on the markets back in the 50s, sister dear? You were just so sure of your ability to direct you to the right stocks, weren't you? Remember how you raced ahead with your seed money, until you put it all, and the rest of the family's assets, on that one sure-winning stock? Remember how many years it took for you to rebuild our portfolio when that stock tanked so hard it was worth less than the paper it was printed on? Remember how you rebuilt the family's fortune after I showed you about the proper usage of options to balance out a short sale or a long position and how to apply the ten rules of trading? Remember how my seed money just plodded along, growing and growing, capitalizing on the strengths and minimizing the losses, never losing more than ten percents?"
This was my favorite argument and victory whenever Alice was 'sure' about something. Because stocks trend, yes, and it's easy to pick a winner on an emotional surge ... but it's just as easy to sink when the tide turns against you, for the most obscure and unexpected reasons, too.
That's why there are:
"Rules, Alice," I continued forcefully. "They are there for a reason. And experience counts for something, too. You may have been turned when you were older; you may be chummy with your favorite brother, Edward, but after Carlisle and Esmé, I've been around the longest. You didn't have to live with him after his rampage through the underbelly of Chicago, New York and then Europe. You didn't have to live with him after he picked up the pieces of his mistaken decisions that we as just so sure about until the consequences of his actions came up and slapped him in the face. And after how many died because of this last little crusade of his? How many will die this time, besides that girl he's fixated on?"
And for absolutely no reason that I can see! Me or Tanya; that makes sense, but this girl? She can't even look you in the eye! Has she smiled even once? All she ever does is cower in the corner of the school cafeteria, hiding behind her hair!
"Look," I said, "I have to go now, but this conversation is by no means over. Tomorrow morning, right here. And while you're doing your quilting bee with Esmé or whatever it is that you do while Jasper's away — you know? Jasper? The one who's seen the Volturi in action when somebody thinks they are too big to follow the Rule? — while you're doing that, why don't you think about this: is that girl happy with this unlife you've foreseen because she's decided that's what she wants, or is she 'happy' because you've decided for her? And how many things need to fall into place perfectly to make your fuzzy vision of one vampire girl who you say looks happy come into reality? If she's happy in her unlife, which I can't believe and never will, I can only imagine how terrible you and Edward are going to make the rest of her mortal existence. Did you ever factor that into your happy plans for her future that you are directing?"
I paused and glared right back at the angry glare my dear little sis was giving me.
"No, you didn't," I continued, undeterred. "So think about that tonight, and you and the rest of 'Team Edward' do the right thing starting tomorrow."
If Alice thought she could be an immovable mountain, she just met her match with the planet-smashing-sized comet called Rosalie Lillian Hale.
Before she could get a word in edgewise to launch a tirade I knew she would go on about oh! what a wonderful life that little nothing human would have in the Cullen family, I got up.
"Now, if you'll excuse me," I said haughtily, "I'm going to enjoy my night. I hope you enjoy yours, too."
I swept right out of Starbucks, checking my reflection in the floor to ceiling glass. Hm, one hair was out of place. I fixed that. There. Perfection.
Damn! I look good! And a certain human named, and looking uncannily like, Vera would be benefitting from that look of the most beautiful woman in the world.
Rosalie Lillian Hale.
Chapter End Notes:
 This chapter is from the discontinued WIP ("How do we solve a problem like Bella") between my brother, geophf, and Lion in the Land; I did some light editing and changed the third person perspective to Rosalie's. Work used by permission from both authors. I've included it in this story because readers have asked for a more complete backstory of how Rosalie met Vera (again (sort of)).
 I added the meditation on Esmé, because, well, Esmé came out of nowhere and smacked me, hard (lovingly), upside the head.
 Okay, I also added the digs about Edward and about Bella. It just seemed so Rosalie to me that she would think this about her troublesome brother and that little human trouble-maker.
 Whew. I had no idea that a slight adaption would be so much work. geophf is responsible for Rosalie's words; Lila, for Alice's. I'll pass on all compliments to the respective authors. The mishmashing stuff is my fault, so I'll take all the blame for any ickiness.