Synopsis: "The noblest battles are always fought in vain." Act Five, Scene VI of Cyrano de Bergerac. As Bella's life is slipping away, Rosalie is the one to stand for her.

Setting: Forks, Washington, Swan's Residence, Saturday September 17th 2005.

Warning: The story is rated M for violent, sexual and all together adult content.


We were driving on the I-5, not far from Bellingham, on our way to Canada and away from the cursed nowhere little town of Forks, Washington. Away from a particular human, and I was surprised to find myself unsatisfied. We were running, and a Hale does not run, from anything or anyone. We were running, and Edward was delusional, as per usual, thinking even for a second that Bella would forget, and simply go back to normal.

Normal did not mean anything to the girl anymore, not after she had met us, and that, is precisely why she should not have.

Alice had argued and screamed. She had fought him with all of her might. Carving Edward's face into boulders and trees, showering him of her punches and kicks, but he had not caved. I thought for a fraction of a second, when she saw his decision, that she was actually going to kill him. Her favorite brother, lying on the ground, cracked and defeated, but she only had looked away, on her knees by his side, heartbroken. She had grown silent, and sobbed dry inexistent tears of sorrow and despair, so hard, and if her trembling little frame had not shaken Edward's resolve, then nothing would.

Bella was a menace. Each and every one of the Cullen was in love with her a way or another. She had tamed vampires. To my utter astonishment and any of their better judgment, this girl, this human, had tamed a full coven of vampires, but me. 'I, Rosalie Lillian Hale, shall not be tamed. I am Rosalie Lillian Hale, I shall not be tamed, no man nor god nor vampire can even caress the hope of taming a Hale, certainly not an insignificant nothing of a little human girl, and certainly not this Hale.'

This was aggravating, why could I not shake this nagging feeling? 'She is not my responsibility, she is Edward's… Fuck, fuck, fuck.'

"Emmett, something is wrong. This isn't right." I said, looking at him intently.

Emmett nodded to me, a happier look on his innocent face than any he had been showing since Edward had decided to leave the girl, to leave Forks.

I spun my M3 in a power slide u-turn, as Emmett called Carlisle on his cell phone. Whatever they said was lost on me, as I pushed the beautiful roaring engine into a race back to the place, I was so grateful to have been leaving. We did not talk to each other. I could feel Emmett, eager, but surprisingly not as eager as I was.

We arrived at the Swan's residence at this precise moment when night and day flirt with each other, and the moon shines as bright as the morning sun. Chief Swan's cruiser was already gone. Not a brush of wind, not a breath of life, time was still, the house felt deserted and cold.

Something was very, very wrong.

I was out of the car and through the house front door in a blink, Emmett right behind me. I paused, taking in my surroundings.

"Bella?" I called softly.

I listened for the familiar rhythm of her heart, only to hear the faintest whisper of a heartbeat coming from upstairs.

Too faint.

I rushed up the stairs, ripped open the wooden bathroom door, and that is where I found her, the tip of her knees brushing the bathroom floor slightly, hanging from the broken shower frame, with what seemed to be climbing rope tight around her neck.

Her lips were blue, her mouth half open, drooling, the thin rope was biting her neck cruelly. Her face was contortioned and shot with hundred of exploded blood vessels, from gagging and fighting so hard to breathe, from suffocating, white and purple skin, with a multitude of red dots. Life was draining out of her, second by second in slow motion.

She had done the noose wrong, and she obviously had miscalculated the weight the shower frame could support. It had broken in half, still supporting her but not as much, and what should have been a quick, clean death, broken neck or crushed wind pipe, turned into a long and very painful agony by suffocation. She had tried to fight the noose, to untangle herself from the climbing rope. She had not stood a chance. The girl had failed, the lack of oxygen intoxicating her, able to breathe still, but not enough to bring the delicious nectar of life to her brain in the needed quantity, slowly sliding to unconsciousness, aware and helpless.

In less than one of her fading heartbeats, I had my arm around her waist, lifting her up to instantly release the pressure of her weight on the rope, ripping it from the shower frame, and loosening the knot, undoing the rope from around her throat.

I laid her on the floor, tilted her head back slightly and began insufflating air in her mouth, counting in my head "one, two, three … blow … one, two, three … blow … Breathe damn it, breathe! You stupid human, breathe!"

It took minutes - minutes - before she was breathing on her own again.

She coughed, and then winced in agony, then opened her eyes and looked at me, so lost from the well of her despair. Each breath was tearing her lungs apart, burning her like incandescent embers were shoved down her throat. She gagged, and then heaved. I lifted her and the toilet lid, and she vomited all the bile and foam of her empty stomach, not breathing again, spitting and choking.

"Breathe Bella, through your nose, slowly", she did as I instructed, and I felt her body relax into mine. "Yes, that's it, slow and steady breaths".

Holding her, I took the washing cloth on the side of the sink in the tiny bathroom, wetted it under the faucet, and gently cleaned her face, slightly tapping the wet cloth on her temple and forehead. She had pushed, gagged and heaved so hard, the exploded blood vessels made her face look swollen. She had two black eyes, as if she had gotten a serious beating. The flesh of her neck was purple and furiously red, veins searing from under the skin but I did not smell her blood, nor did I smell her sweat, her bile, or the wet area between her legs where she had peed herself.

I was sitting down on the bathroom tile floor with the girl in my arms, holding her ever so gently, supporting her back and head, slightly on the side to open up her airways, and let her recuperate a little. She had her eyes wide open, looking at me.

"I want my mommy," she whispered piteously.

I turned to Emmett. "Call her mother, now, please."

Emmett looked lost. "I don't have her number."

Men!

"Go to her room", I said as patiently as I could, "find her cell phone, which is probably on her night stand, and look up the contact "mom" okay?"

Emmett left and, moments later, I heard him speaking to Mrs. Swan ... No, Mrs. Dwyer ... But I had more important things to take care of.

Bella, in my arms, was softly crying. And that's when I knew.

I was going to rip that arrogant prick Edward Cullen into little tiny bits. What Alice had done to him would resemble foreplay, when I would be finished with him. More importantly, I, Rosalie Lillian Hale, was going to see Bella Swan through this, and she was going to stay alive.

The taste of life in her mouth had been divine, the fight of her blood racing back to her features was tantalizing. I could give her what she wanted, so easily. It would only take one single moment of weakness, and she would have her wish. The next words that came out of me were of strength and reassurance though.

"It's okay, Bella; I have got you now. You are safe, you are not alone, and I will not leave you." Because I am Rosalie Hale, and a Hale does not run, a Hale is not weak. A Hale does not abandon a weakling on the side of the road, a Hale will show them their own strength, and if they can't, a Hale will kill them. A Hale does not abandon their responsibility.

I slightly brushed my fingers over her throat and face, she sighed at the cool of my touch, relieving her from the fire biting at her skin.

She looked at me a bit longer, tears blurring her vision, her bottom lip quivering a little. Then she closed her eyes, and rested the side of her face against my breast.

Bella cried and cried and cried.

I closed my eyes with her, rocking her gently against my body, hushing her and reassuring her, until I heard her heartbeat calm down, and her breathing, although scratchy, become more even. She was asleep in my arms, so hurt and so fragile, so precious.

Despite the promise I had made myself that I would not associate with this human, I had to make myself a new promise. Bella Swan would want to live again, even if I had to hammer the will of life into her heart with my bare hands, and I would make damn sure she knew why.

I stayed there, holding her, not paying attention to anything but her heartbeat and her breathing, the warmth of her flesh against my breast, through the fabric of my shirt. Her sore body into my arms, until Emmett cleared his throat softly.

"Her mom said…" he started.

"I know what her mother said Emmett." I cut him off.

"So, is Bella going to be okay? Maybe we should take her to the hospital or something." He asked tentatively.

"No, no hospital, she committed suicide Emmett. She can't be left alone, and she can't be left to the care of the humans at the hospital. We can't trust what they would do or what she would say under the influence of the drugs and when they question her to assess her mental state." I explained in a very evenly tone.

"Plus there is nothing more they can do for her than we can do ourselves at this point." I added, opening my eyes to look at him.

"Oh okay", said Emmett, "maybe we should just ask Carlisle then", he added.

I felt my anger rise in my chest, and I was about to give Emmett a piece of my mind about Carlisle and his help, but Emmett spoke again quickly.

"It's just…look at her baby, she is all broken and blue and red, and …"

"Her body will heal and I have a MD myself, nothing I can't handle. It's inside that she is broken Emmett, and I highly doubt that Carlisle can fix this one, since he let it happen in the first place." I was getting angrier and angrier at my so called father by the minute.

"But babe, how are we going to do this? Bella's mom is coming and we should talk to Charlie too, but after that we've got to go, or Edward …" He then added, visibly conflicted. I could tell he was confused, he did not understand. He wanted the girl fixed, safe, because he did love her, but he had no understanding of the inner damage we had caused.

Emmett had liked Bella from the very beginning, he found her entertaining. I knew that he liked her all the more because I was resisting the girl's presence as much as I could. He liked the animation she had brought to the house, and how he could play with her and her ridiculous shyness, causing her to blush on purpose more often than not. He had loved being able to fight for her life, and carry her around when in public when she had had that cast on, delighted that she would let him, even enduring Alice's incessant jabber and enthusiasm, bossing him around like the big puppy that he was.

"Emmett, what did Carlisle say when you called him from the car?" I asked, my tone getting sharper.

"Well, he said Edward wanted us gone and that we should respect his decision, but …" Emmett was uncomfortable, he was dreading my reaction.

"What else?" I said, more collected.

"Well, he said since-you-are-so-hardheaded-and-you-set-your-mind- on-going-back-to-call-him-back-when-we-had-seen-Be lla-and-to-not-hurt-her-unnecessarily." He had blurted Carlisle's message as fast as he could, fearing my wrath.

I did not answer. I very delicately collected Bella in my arms, as not to wake her up, carrying her as If she were my bride, and walked in direction of her bedroom. Emmett immediately stepped out of my way and opened the girl's bedroom door.

I turned around, with Bella's face resting on my chest. "Get out".

I lay her on her bed, and went over to her closet. I retrieved fresh pajama bottoms and a clean shirt. I then opened her door and blurred to the bathroom getting a fresh wash cloth, a towel and some hot water in a small basin. Once back in the girl's room, I disposed the objects close to her night stand, and proceeded to undress her.

I undid her jeans very slowly and gently, she had a rash on her thighs from peeing herself already. I removed her underwear in a swift motion, then her shirt. She had no bra. I allowed myself a moment to take her in, she was truly beautiful. She was much more graceful in her sleep, her chest heaving up and down slowly, raising a firm breast round and well shaped, with a delicate nipple, almost inviting. Her stomach was toned, thanks to her youth, not to her abdominal muscles, embraced by small hips that actually were curvy, not that anyone could have noticed, with the way she usually dressed. The descent of her pubic bone to the birth of her pubic hair revealed the smoothest of her skin, one that had not been touched, ever. Her sex was delicate and pink, inward. She did not really need to trim the hair on her little kitten. Really her vagina was tiny, obviously untouched and one of the most childish looking part of her figure. A kitten is what it made me think of, soft and probably capable of a loud and delightful purring.

I engaged myself in cleaning her soiled skin thoroughly. Clean her off her pee, her bile and spit, her snot and tears. Brushing her skin up and done, feeling her relax in her sleep, as her body was enjoying the feathery light touch. I focused so hard on the grain of her skin, the beauty marks powdered on her skin like fallen drops of rain, wishing the warm water could wash away her death, her fears and pains, her despair, leaving her pure again, like her untouched little kitten, breathing the life and innocence of her unburdened soul.

Bella shivered lightly, and I was brought back to the reality of her situation, our situation. I dried her swiftly and dressed her, as gently as I had undressed her, into her fresh pajamas and shirt. She did not even stir in her sleep, completely surrendered, but to what exactly? 'To whom you mean? Because she is yours now. Yours to care for.'

My instincts violently recoiled from that thought, the truth of it overwhelming suddenly. I inhaled deeply, her scent caressing the inside of my nose, my mouth, my throat, my lungs, like honey coating every inch of my insights. I swallowed the moan that was born in the depth of me, venom scorching my throat as I did, straightening myself. 'You are a Hale, you will not falter and she will live, there is no other way.'

A second later she was resting with her head on a pillow, wrapped in her fluffy comforter. I looked at her again, making sure she was comfortable, and that she could breathe. I opened the door signaling Emmett to come in, and then I rushed to the kitchen and took a bag of peas from the freezer. I returned to the bedroom with the peas enclosed in a thin towel, and softly applied it to the side of her neck that was visible.

"Stay here, and do not take your eyes off of her, not even for a second, okay? Apply this, very gently, to her neck throat and face at regular intervals so that the cold doesn't burn her." I indicated for him to take the towel with the peas from me.

"If she wakes up call me, but do not leave her side at any cost." I said to Emmett very seriously.

"Okay. What are you going to do?" He asked his head to the side a little.

"I'll be back." I said avoiding his question.

I walked out of the room, took the stairs and exited the house through the front door. Heading towards the woods at the back of the house, I took my phone out of my pocket and dialed Carlisle's number.

"Rosalie." He greeted me.

"Father." I answered as caustic as I could be.

"How is Bella?" He asked concern in his voice, ignoring my use of the endearing word to insult him.

"Alive. For now." I answered, cryptic.

"Rosalie, just tell me what happened please." He said, calm, as much as he could.

"She hanged herself with climbing rope in her bathroom." I said my voice heavy with reproach. I heard Esme's gasp behind him. I could envision the agonizing look of pain on her beautiful features.

"We got to her at the last second. She was at it for a long time Carlisle. I had to do mouth to mouth resuscitation. She is marked and seriously shaken, but there is no internal damage. Physically she will recover in a couple of weeks or so."I carried on.

"I will come immediately" he said to me, firmly.

"Come alone Carlisle, and by that I mean don't bring anybody, certainly not Edward." My voice was almost threatening. I heard Esme's growl of protest, she wanted to be here, and she wanted to take care of the girl.

"Rosalie, she is Edward's …" He started.

"She's Edward's nothing!" I snarled at him in the phone, "Just come alone Carlisle." And I hung up.

I took a deep breath, 'What are you doing Rosalie?' I asked myself, 'What needs to be done.' I answered myself.

I dialed Charlie Swan's phone number next, using Bella's phone, now in my other pocket, to find the digits.

"Chief Swan, it is Rosalie Hale with the Cullen family." I introduced myself. From the background sounds, I decided that he was in a dinner, probably for some morning sustenance. "You need to drive back home now sir, there is a situation with Bella." Really there were not many ways to tell a father his daughter needed him right then.

"What! Where is Bella, is she alright?" He was frantic, though trying to control it.

"Bella is not in danger now sir, and she is not badly injured, but she almost died a few minutes ago." I said calmly.

"I am already on my way, what happened?" he asked, the sound of a car's engine starting.

"I would rather not explain it to you on the phone sir. We already contacted Mrs. Dwyer, she will be here as soon as possible and my father will be here shortly to fully examine her."

"Okay." He said, sounding confused and worried.

"She is safe now Chief Swan. Will you be long?" I asked, hoping to give him something concrete to think over.

"I was out to Port Angeles for a Joint Police Task Force meeting, I am driving as fast as I can, give me 30 minutes." He answered right away.

"Be safe while driving, sir, please. I will see you in thirty minutes." We did not need Bella's father having an accident while rushing to his daughter's side.

"I will." he said, and I hung up.

I needed to kill something … really badly.

Putting the phone back in my pocket, I then sprung forward, in a powerful and determined run; I only stopped in the woods close to the Cullen's property. I paused and relaxed, listening, and breathing, waiting patiently for my senses to find something to kill and they did.

The couple of deer I drained where not life-altering but I needed to sink my teeth in something alive, if the girl were to retain a heartbeat, because I would be much more efficient at killing her than a climbing rope, and a broken shower frame.

Twenty minutes later, I was back at the Swan Residence, standing outside on the front porch, ready to face Charlie Swan, Carlisle Cullen, and everything else that was coming at Bella.

She was going to live, and I would be the one holding her while she fought, fighting for her if I had to.

She was mine now.

End of discussion.

I was terrified.


A/N:

[1] The title of this story is the title of a song « Je te rends ton amour » by Mylène Farmer on her album Inamoramento which came out in 1999. The video was a huge scandal and censored from several TV channels. The Catholic Church declared it blasphemy. I didn't choose it because of the religious content of the video but because the words fit and well yes, I always love a bit of controversy, what can I say. The words are French, and they mean "I return your love" not as in I reciprocate it, but as in I give it back to you.

[2] I have edited a few sentences, one of them referring to Alice sobbing. I know vampire do not cry, I meant to say that Alice was going through the motion of the crying without the actual crying. And yet it bothers me, because I am thinking, their (as in the vampires) bodies are supernatural now, and if vampire can naturally not cry (as if in their supernatural nature) then would their bodies be capable of experiencing the natural human need to cry and the bodily effects other than the actual physical tears? Meaning go through the motion of an emotional fit of crying, without crying, because they want to cry, or would they simply not want to cry because they can not produce tears. Then comes the factor of memories, though Alice doesn't have any, so it's quite complicated for her, although there is such a thing as body memory, skin memory, organ memory, ghost limbs, and you know, the whole subconscious memory and repressed memories too. Obviously I went with the dry sobbing but I feel unsatisfied on the issue.

Thank you for reading this chapter, and your kind support.

C.