Synopsis: Bella and Rosalie return from Bella's first attempt at therapy, and Rosalie must handle the aftermath, as Bella is as vulnerable as ever.
Setting: Seattle, Washington, Tuesday September 27th 2005.
Warning: The story is rated M for violent, sexual and all together adult content.
These two hours had been barely enough for me to feed properly, it wasn't enough, but was it ever? I was on Jaime's front porch two hours later, just in time to pick up the girl. My eyes were of a warm golden hue, but I had no illusions that it would not last very long once the girl was by my side again.
Jaime had opened her door to me, Bella shuffling behind her. The tall auburn haired and pale skinned woman was looking at me with a form of patience that I had not encountered in many, actually I only knew Carlisle to look at me this way, or more precisely, she was looking at me somewhat like Carlisle would.
The vampire woman was very attractive, she was older, she had been older in her human years when turned, maybe thirty, it was hard to tell. Her eyes had been gold when I left her, but they were black now. 'Good', I thought, 'She's had a taste of Bella Swan and now she will know to remember what I told her.' Of course she could not have forgotten, vampires do not forget, but she would know to remember what I would do to her, if she proved weak.
Her features were well defined, refined, softened by her will to be gentle and inspire trust. Deceiving as it looked to me, I guess it worked for her human patients. I could tell she was British, just by observing her body language, but I do not think Bella could have. Her accent was spotless, well almost, but again, humans would not notice. Her hair was long, gently resting on her right shoulder, free of any ties, perfectly straight, it must have been vibrant when the sun caught in it. She was wearing a silken blouse, of ivory color, neatly tucked in a pair of dark grey slacks, with leather flats, nothing pretentious, but she was classy anyway. The make-up was light but expert, she must have looked quite human to any human who would have to spend some time in relative closeness of her.
Her scent was entirely distinct from the perfume she was wearing, although it complemented it satisfactorily. She smelled fresh, zesty almost, it gave her this energetic tone, contrasting with the softness of her attitude. The scent made me think of a summer afternoon in a British garden, bright and lemony, fresh grass and brisk tingle of country air, a detailed and painted metal table, assorted chairs and a tea set, watching boys play cricket or tennis. She would be the one looking for an adventure, while others gossip, only looking up at you to roll her eyes trying not to snort, she would be an Alice seeking a rabbit hole and finding Wonderland fascinating. That kind of spirit emanated of her, knowledgeable, kind, but spicy, very capable of being zingy without an ounce of ill assorted taste.
She offered a small smile and said to Bella, turning around slowly, looking at me only, while she did: "Thank you for coming Bella, I will see you again on Thursday?"
"Ok", was the girl's answer, as she walked past Jaime to stand by my side, just furtively looking up at me before focusing on her shoes quietly.
"Same time?", I asked raising an eyebrow in question.
She inclined her head and said: "Yes, that would be just fine."
I nodded and turned around to leave.
Bella was quiet, by my side like an empty shell, a willing puppet, and I reflected on what would be appropriate to do next. I knew I wouldn't ask about what was said, it wasn't my place. Asking her how she was feeling seemed useless, I knew the answer to that already.
I studied her for a moment and Bella followed in queue linking our hands and taking my arm, as was her custom nowadays. We walked back the same way we had come, for a few feet, until I realized how irritated I was.
Bella looked drained, so I decided to spare her the walk and raised my hand to hail a cab. Once we were in, she kept her hand in mine, all the while looking through the window at the moving town and buildings, mute. We reached the Fire Station, I gave a twenty to the driver and exited the car, gently helping her out.
Inside on the second floor, what to do was clearer to me and once Bella was peeled off of her coat and other accessories, I asked matter of fact:
"Would you like to use the restroom?"
She nodded and walked toward her bathroom as I followed her. She undid herself and while she was sitting, I asked her quietly:
"Would you like to take a bath?"
She looked up at me from the toilet and nodded again. I waited for her to be finished and wash her hands before I offered, standing by the door of her bathroom:
"Come with me?"
She looked at me intrigued, tilting her head slightly. There was a bathtub in her bathroom. She sighed and walked toward me. I let her trail behind, at her pace, without holding her hand, as I walked toward my bedroom.
My room was significantly bigger than hers, and since she had not seen it yet, I smiled ahead getting a glint of the surprise on her face as she stopped to take it in.
The room was vast with a large king size bed to the left, dark wood, it looked heavy and solid, but not imposing. It had no head board but a bedside table on each side, simply four posts that weren't draped, beautiful white linens and many pillows. There was a mirror against the opposite wall, it was massive and old, with a beautifully ornate and hand-carved wooden frame, mated with golden leaves, as they used to do it in the 1700s in France. There was also a vanity on that wall but closer to the entrance where the door to the walking closet was. Deeper in the room, on the same wall was a fireplace, an assembly of a couple sofas and chairs, side tables, same century, style and wood as the mirror, facing an amazing window, round and colorful, from ceiling to floor, tainted and band soldered with what looked like silver but was in fact tin. There were a couple of fur rugs on the floor by the bed and the lounging area, white and light grays, rabbit fur. The sensation was always soft and delicate to my bare feet.
There was a cello resting close to the window, with a chair, some music sheets at its feet. The walls were bare, actually, compared to the rest of the house, the room looked quite empty. Then to the left of the window was the entrance to the bathroom.
I took my shoes off and let the vest I was wearing rest on the chair by my vanity. I let Bella take a couple of steps inside, and while she was still captivated, I entered my walking closet, dropped the clothes I was wearing on top, at my feet, and simply grabbed a white collared shirt. It was a man's shirt, my favorite, one I loved to wear to lounge. I walked back into my room rapidly, shirt still opened, barefooted in my faded blue jeans, as I was rolling my sleeves up to my elbows nonchalantly.
Bella looked at me, guessing more than seeing the absence of a bra and the skin of my stomach underneath the opened shirt, which elicited a deep and blazing blush to creep all the way from her neck to her cheeks. I breathed a small smirk as she caught herself staring and buttoned my shirt, in the same gesture I had rolled up my sleeves. I turned and walked to the bathroom, attacked once again by the venom that always accompanied her blushes, my eyes evidently ebony black, my hunt long forgotten.
Again the room was bigger than hers, and very different. Bella was impressed, and shy. The bathroom was luxurious, and had a beautiful window as well, directly on the park. There was a massive claw foot bathtub in its proximity and I went over to run the water. I poured in some bath salts and immediately a subtle, for the human, scent of cherry blossom filled the room. Although floral, the chemical scent didn't do anything to cover her delicious, natural perfume.
She was frozen in the center of the room, I could see she wanted to ask: "There is a bathtub in my bathroom, why did you take me here?". She was curious, that meant alive, and alive was better than walking dead. I walked back to her and without a word exchanged, I undid the buttons of her jeans and her zipper. I pulled her top layers off of her carefully, walking around her to undo her bra, I gently accompanied it off of her, careful for my fingers to only graze her skin as little as possible.
Her blush had actually been born from her lower back, and was lacing itself to her soft, creamy skin in a vivid contrast as it intensified. I watched the avalanche of goosebumps grow under my finger tips and she shivered violently when, still behind her, I let my hands in the hem of her pants, to her sides, into her underwear, and softly pulled it down as I lowered myself to my knees.
She stepped out of them, grabbing the hand I had offered her to her right for support. I got back up and stood still, behind Bella, her breath itching and her body trembling slightly. I would have thought myself cruel, to be provoking the human girl this way, if it hadn't been as difficult for me as it was for her.
The venom was flooding my mouth freely, scorching my insides. There was so much, I would have liked to be permitted the luxury of spitting it out. Again I was inexorably tempted to possess her, her blood, her arousal, which was now potent in the air, her pain, her life, her being. I stood there, so close, yet so far, waiting furiously as the heat radiated from her body into mine, as fluidly as the intensity of my anger, my passionate rage for her life, was radiating off of me. I was waiting, craving her, I was waiting for her to break the moment, and care for her life, for her modesty, for... something, anything.
"Rosalie..." She whispered, her voice hoarse from the silence.
"Go on." I said equally, knowing she would know where to go.
She stepped in the tub, shutting off the faucet and clutching each side as she lowered herself to seat in the water. I retrieved the chair from my vanity, tossing the jacket on my bed, and sat myself in front of her, but to the right side of the large tub.
She hesitantly leaned back in the water and I saw her body gradually relax as the hot water and foam covered her. She took the time to get acclimated to the temperature of the bath and I saw her eyes look for shampoo and a wash cloth. She looked at me and I made no move to take control. She could tend to herself. She used the shower head to wet her hair and washed it, before rinsing it off of the last of conditioner she had put in. She then used the wash cloth to gently rub against her skin.
I watched Bella clean herself, observing how she touched herself, how much care, or lack of, she used, where she lingered, where she was sensitive, where she was embarrassed and shy. I was completely still and silent, as she tentatively let go of her self-consciousness with each stroke, each caress of the water. When she finished, she allowed herself to lie-down in the water, sighing discretely and closing her eyes.
She was laying in the water, steam ethereally raising from her body. Her soft and regular breath was the only sound grounding me to my seat. Bella opened her eyes and looked at me for a minute, maybe more, and then she casually let her head immerse into the water, fully. I counted the seconds, somewhere in the back of my mind, and as if she could feel my doubts rising, she reappeared after twenty seconds.
She wasn't out of breath. She looked at me, again, with the same soft, tranquil look, and let herself down under the water again. I counted thirty seconds this time, before she emerged. Bella breathed, a little deeper, a few more times, still looking at me, as if to reassure me she wasn't playing the game for danger, for pain, or to provoke me.
I saw her breathe more air in than usual and let herself slide under. This time she only emerged after forty seconds and her breathing was a bit more ragged than before, her body wanting oxygen. She allowed herself to recuperate, watching me intently. Then she immersed herself again, but didn't come back up after forty seconds.
When I counted fifty eight seconds, I rushed over to her in one swift movement she could have never caught, and gently place my hand on the nape of her neck as her head was still under water. I pulled her up accompanied by her natural movement of coming upward and her face came to a halt merely inches from mine, glistening with running water.
"I wasn't doing that." She stated, taking a deep breath of air.
"I know." I answered in a whisper.
She wrapped her arms around my neck, her body coming in contact with my shirt-covered chest, water rolling off of her and drenching me. I stood up, oblivious to the water, gathered her in my arms, holding around her waist, and walked back to my bedroom. She could hear the sound of my bare feet in the water that was pooling down on the floor with each step I took.
"We're putting water everywhere." She observed, not as concerned as I could have imagined her to be.
I arched an eyebrow, looking at her with an expression that meant: 'so?'
"Does it matter?" I asked, making it clear it didn't to me.
The ghost of a smile tugged at her lips, "I guess not.", she concluded.
I let her feet touch the wooden floor in the middle of mine, and I instructed stepping back: "Don't move."
In a quick movement of air that made her shiver, I was back with a large towel, encircling her. I allowed her to take the towel and I stepped back again, making it clear that she could, as in the bath, tend to herself. I went to her closet with the same rush of air and picked some comfortable clothes for the girl to wear.
She took on the task of drying herself and dressing herself, as I was watching, and when she was done, she looked at me with a small smile that vanished as fast as it had come, I could have missed it.
In its stead, another infamous blush took over her feature and her gaze fell down to my chest. I followed it myself and remembered I was soaked, my white shirt perfectly transparent. I crooked an eyebrow at Bella and she bit her bottom lip, avoiding my amused look.
I sighed aloud and rolled my eyes, walking to my closet this time, and simply grabbing another shirt of the same fashion, putting it on as I made my way back to her. Bella looked up again, her blush receding.
The next destination was the kitchen, it was time to feed the human. I opened my MacBook and pulled one of the recipe Esme had sent me to 'help' me keep the girl alive. Bella climbed on a comfortable bar stool and looked at me quizzically. I felt a fleeting second of satisfaction when she started gesturing for the computer before recoiling from her spontaneous idea. More curiosity, I liked it.
I picked up my phone from my back pocket and handed it to her.
"Why don't you give your dad a call, while I try to figure this out?" It was more than a suggestion.
She took a shaky breath and looked at the phone in her hand.
"I just thought today would be a good day to call him. You have things to tell when he asks you what you have done. Maybe it'll be more comfortable." I added calmly, trying to reassure her.
And in true Bella fashion, she answered softly: "oh... Okay."
She found her father's contact in my phone and I heard it ring a couple of times before Sherif Swan picked up:
"Uhm hi... Hi Rosalie"
"Hey Dad, it's me." Bella greeted him back.
"Hey Bells!" He then added enthusiastically, "How is it going?" He asked, trying to be casual.
She went on to tell him about her day, casting a couple of glances at me, here and there as she was answering her father's questions, whom sounded grateful to have 'things' to discuss. The Swans didn't appear to be easy conversationalists, especially over the phone.
I had minced and diced carrots and mushrooms, chicken breasts, onions and garlic, following each step carefully and making sure not to breathe in the disgusting odors. I kept myself occupied, giving Bella a semblance of privacy by looking distracted.
I was searing the chicken before reducing it in white whine adding the veggies and herbs following the instructions. The girl had hung up with her dad after fifteen minutes of what sounded like a good conversation. She was watching me cook for her, and I felt her gaze on my back.
"Dad says hi.", she said in a soft tone.
I didn't answer, focusing on the color of the onions, as per Esme's 'advice', to know when I had to add the next ingredient, when I felt, more than heard, Bella lift the chef knife I had been using to prepare her dinner.
"Not tonight, Bella." I enunciated calmly, willingly not turning around to look at her, hearing her heart pump furiously as I spoke, and adding the last of things to the wok.
She swallowed, hesitating. I could reach her in time, I knew that, but I was giving her the chance to choose.
Her voice shook: "Rosalie?"
I turned around slowly, and looked into her eyes.
"Please, Bella." I whispered.
Her breathing itched and it was hard for her to keep steady for a couple minutes. She was looking at me, and the knife in her hand, alternatively, already inward, ready for her to stab herself.
She nodded and put the knife back on the counter of the kitchen island. It clinked against the marble, and she sat back on the stool. I took the culprit object away from her, and replaced it by a plate. The timer ringed and according to the recipe, the food was now ready for her to have.
I served Bella and took a seat myself, right in front of her, but not before washing my hands. I studied her and she studied me back. I was preparing for the battle of succeeding in feeding her, but she must have been hungry because she lifted up her fork and took a bite.
She smiled slightly, fighting tears: "it's good," she was looking intently at her plate, "thanks for cooking it."
I smiled, in case she wanted to look up, and said simply: "I am glad you like it."
I watched her in silence, as she ate, then as she cleaned her plate and placed it in the dishwasher. She took a drink of the glass of water I had placed in front of her, and she fell in a shy silence.
It wasn't late, but I could tell the events of the day had taken a toll on her. She needed to rest, and so I offered the possibility.
"Yeah, ok." She nodded, getting off her high chair and walking towards the stairs to the second floor.
We went to the bathroom first, teeth brushing and restroom, evening routine. She climbed into bed, under her covers, and I sat on the edge of the bed facing her.
"Thursday won't be as hard." I told her reassuringly.
She nodded and then she said, fidgeting with the covers: "Your eyes are black again. You didn't go hunt?"
"I did." I answered, bloodlust regaining its prime position in my awareness.
"Oh." She looked away, suddenly emotional. Obviously she was drawing conclusions with the information, she just didn't feel like sharing them.
"Do I scare you, Bella?" I inquired gently.
She flashed a sincere look at me and said firmly: "No."
'Of course not', I wanted to snap sarcastically, 'you foolish girl'. If only she had been, like any other human, and stayed away, like any other human, following her survival instincts.
Bella was trying my patience, and my resolve. Greatly.
There had been some positive, I supposed, she wasn't bleeding to death on the kitchen floor or flattened mush, mess of blood and bones on the pavement. She had been to therapy and so far had not argued she wouldn't go back. She'd allowed me and herself to take care of her, she even had eaten and talked to her father. There had been some positive.
'Take the good days when you can get them, Rosalie Hale.' I told myself, it would have to do.
Bella was lying down, her head resting on a pillow, she cautiously reached my hand with hers and pulled. I climbed onto the bed and lay down beside her. She turned on her side to face me and snuggled into me, her face in the crook of my neck, her leg between mine, her arms against my chest.
I wrapped her in my arms and caressed her hair lightly.
She inhaled and moaned softly: "You smell so good." There was an urgency and a hunger in her tone, she even grabbed at my shirt saying it.
"Don't go", she commanded.
I hugged her a little tighter, musing over the damage Edward, we, had inflicted on the young human. She pressed herself hard into me, breathing in staccato, her muscles working to pull me as close as she could get me.
I could feel her desperation, her need, her longing and her aching. I could feel it, exactly as it had felt when she had sucked on my skin the first day. Almost as if she had needed to take me in to feel capable of breathing, of being.
"Bella" I breathed in her hair.
"Hold me," she pleaded with me, "Rosalie..." She let my name fall in my ear a few times.
I held her, her desperation jabbing at my heart, I held her into me until she fell asleep, I held her for the night.
I held her until I heard a window being forced opened from outside and then a soft chuckle from the living room.
A/N: Hey... It's been a long time. I needed to stay away for a while, but I guess I missed writing, and I really don't like to leave things unfinished.
In any case, I would like to thank you for your reviews and encouraging PMs, your support and simply for taking the time to read.
Hopefully I am not too rusty...