She was so beautiful.
Every hair on her tiny head was shimmering as it caught the light. The brush I was using so carefully separated each perfect bronze curl. And I wished she was mine. For the moment at least, I could pretend she was.
Her mother was upstairs, in a room painted bright red with her own blood. I recalled the moment the scent of it hit me. The two seconds in which I nearly lost sight of my goal...Of our goal.
Mine and Bella's.
Our little princess, no matter what claim the stupid mutt thought he had on her, she was ours. She was mine. Because Bella finally understood.
I tried to recall my own longing for a child. The one thing in the world denied to me. The sacrifice involved. I too would die if I thought it would bring such a precious gift into the world. Yet, in some ways, I was glad it wasn't me. As I thought back to my human life, or the brutal end of it, I wondered what would've happened if I had survived Royce's attack, if Carlisle hadn't found me... if I had lived.
Despite my previous certainty that I wanted to be a mother, that Carlisle had robbed me, I don't know that I would have been able to go through with it.
It had taken many years for my anger and the humiliation suffered at the hands of men to settle. Even longer, it seemed, before I had found Emmett, and felt the strange compulsion within my body to save him, to cradle him in my arms, to damn him to the same life that I regretted. I don't think my mate would have been so perfect for me if he hadn't been so easy going and good natured. Despite Edward, Alice and Jasper's snide remarks upon occasion I am aware of my own flaws. I realise that I am inherently selfish, that I want what I want and nothing else. But I can't help it now. It's a bit late to start thinking about changing.
If I had lived, it would have been worse. Carlisle and Esme were far too compassionate for their own good upon my awakening, and while Edward's indifference initially stung my ego, it was better than the alternative.
Rosalie Hale. My father's golden girl. The most beautiful woman Rochester had ever seen.
Reduced to a cheap harlot in some back alleyway.
Oh, I have no doubt that people would work out what happened. That Royce would be recognized as the perpetrator of such an act. Apparently it was common knowledge to everyone but me that he and his vile friends were up to no good. But money buys silence, and it would not be him who bore the shame of the act.
My reputation would be ruined. No-one would wish to marry spoiled goods now. Even if they did wish to marry me, to wed me and bed me and make me with child, I don't think I could have let them. The thought of some scabby man, his hands crawling up under my skirt, his putrid breath clogging up my nostrils as he leaned in to kiss me...
It would not have happened. I would not have let it.
Beautiful Rosalie Hale. An old maid. To be pitied and ridiculed by young women with their lives ahead of them of which they had no clue about. I would never have been so naive again. I wondered if I would have still even had a place among our society. Certainly Vera would have welcomed me. My loyal loyal Vera, and her little Henry. My place in society resigned to that of a surrogate aunt for a child I could no longer bear to have.
After Emmett's first year, when the strength and the thirst had abated somewhat, I began to open up to him, to trust him even. But even then, the first time he kissed me, the first time that we made love, I sobbed uncontrollably and futilely. I had no tears to grieve with. It took a long time for sex between us to be solely about pleasure and not tainted with the ghosts of my past.
Emmett never mentioned that part of our time together. I wonder if it was as painful for him as it was for me. At that time I often caught Edward sometimes staring silently between the two of us, but I never had the heart to ask him if he knew the truth of what happened, and he never volunteered the information.
A slight tug on the brush brought me out of my musings as Renesmee's head nodded forward slightly in tiredness. As much as she might try to fight it, my little one was tired and needed some sleep. And she was my little one.
Edward and Bella may have created her, but it was Bella and I who fought for her existence. Bella and I who plotted and planned for the birth and what would come after. I was to care for her, to raise her, whilst her parents were... otherwise occupied. In the hands of a potentially dangerous newborn vampire was not where we wanted this precious little bundle to be.
I shifted Renesmee so she was cradled in my arms, setting the brush down on the sofa, cooing and lulling her to sleep.
I knew that Edward and the dog had considered my fixation on the baby to be dangerous. Everyone did, even Carlisle and Esme, sneaking glances at myself and Bella as we continued to work our plans. I knew that they believed I was letting Bella die for nothing, that I didn't care. But they couldn't be more wrong.
I wanted Renesmee more than anything I really did, and whilst I was prepared for Bella's death as part of the price for this gift, I wasn't the only one. My fervour was only second in intensity to that of the fragile, little human. And in that moment I loved her. Fiercely. Passionately. As much as I thought I hated her only a few months before when she called upon our family to vote on her humanity. To toss it away so callously.
Bella and I were finally equals. The baby was what mattered. We were inconsequential in comparison. And I finally found a sister I could trust, and a surrogate daughter I could bestow all my love upon.
Well, all the love that I wasn't currently expending on my mate who was trying so hard to tiptoe quietly around the baby so as not to wake her up. He stretched over the back of the sofa resting his cheek against mine and gazing down at Renesmee.
'Are you alright my love?'
I smiled, bringing my hand up to cup the other side of his face, holding him gently to me.