Synopsis: A surprising day and an interesting drive lead Rosalie and Bella to an unexpected turn of events.
Setting:Seattle, Washington, Friday 28th of October 2005
Warning: The story is rated M for violent, sexual and all together adult content.
Bella was fuming: "Rosalie! I am not a child!"
I smiled, arching an eyebrow: "It really is a matter of perspective, dear, and very debatable."
Bella was red with anger, stomping her foot, clenching her hands in fists, very agitated and hissing with frustration.
She breathed in, trying to reason with me, "Look, Rosalie, it's been like what? A month now?"
It was a rhetorical question, but I answered anyway: "Forty one days, to be precise." Precision is an overlooked quality.
"Right," she went on, "it's been long enough. I know that you said you would take care of me, and you are, and thank you for that," she looked at me with resolve, "but honestly, Rosalie, I can go to the bathroom on my own, alright?"
"I don't think so." I replied evenly.
"God!" She seethed rolling her eyes and looking at me in anger, "What else do I have to do? I mean, I go see Jaime, I do the schooling thing with you, we go out, I spend time with my dad and I even call my mom." She sounded exasperated.
I was rather unmoved by her arguments.
"I haven't done anything like that, like before, in weeks! I am trying here, okay?!" She yelled, "I am tired of being a freaking prisoner!" Water was gathering in her eyes.
That struck a chord. I didn't want her to feel trapped, only safe.
I answered calmly, "You are not a prisoner, Bella, but you have been a danger to yourself."
"I know you don't trust me to be alone," she told me, a bitterness sneaking in her tone, "but how am I ever going to be better if you don't let me try?"
I thought about her demand for a moment. I already knew that at some point I would have to take chances and let her be on her own again. I had not thought about it being so early. I wanted to check with Jaime if she thought the girl was ready, I wanted to feel comfortable with thinking, myself, that the girl was ready. I wanted to be as sure as possible before doing anything, but here we were, having to look at the issue spontaneously.
She took my silence for a prompt to go on and offered: "It doesn't have to be about everything at once, but maybe you could let me do some things?"
"Define some things." I requested.
"Okay so, like going to the bathroom, for one, or brushing my teeth, or making my own breakfast." She huffed at that, "Like seriously what do you want me to do with a bowl of cereal, milk and a spoon?"
Again, it was rhetorical, but I contemplated giving her a list anyway. It also crossed my mind to tell her that starting a sentence with 'Like' was not in any way more appropriate than starting one with 'Okay', but I decided that both idea might be counterproductive at the time.
She cut me off with: "Never mind, don't answer that." She carried on, "I wouldn't mind being able to shave on my own too, and..."
I interrupted her immediately: "Absolutely not."
Bella rolled her eyes, and I smiled inwardly, wondering if she was starting to, intuitively, imitate the gesture that was so familiar to me, although I never let her observe me in the deed.
I looked at her for a second, studying her features. She was not lying to me, but it did not mean she would not find herself depressed and try something self-destructive, she had before. Either way, the girl was right, she had to start somewhere.
I turned around and walked toward the door of her bedroom.
"I'll see you downstairs." I said simply.
"Oh." She answered, surprise coloring her tone and cheeks.
I left the room, not without swallowing, hard, but without another word, and made my way down the stairs. She went about her business, in the bathroom, getting ready for the day, she even made her bed. I was sitting comfortably in one of the armchairs on the first floor living room, paying careful attention to her each and every move.
Bella graced me with her presence about twenty minutes later. She saw me sitting, apparently absorbed in a book and went on to the kitchen. She opened the pantry, and found one of the different types of cereals she favored. She then went to the fridge for milk, 2%, and set them up on the kitchen island. She got a bowl and a spoon. The girl prepared her breakfast, settled herself on a bar chaise, and filled my ears with her crunchy munching sounds.
A month had past, not without a futile attempt at her hurting herself around the fireplace, but otherwise filled with progress. She had been seeing Jaime twice a week, always for 2 hours, but we had yet to discuss any of it. She sometimes mentioned some things the therapist wanted her to do, or more accurately, she sometimes rebelled to my directions, using some of what Jaime had said in their sessions. The older woman had kept to her routine of visiting me at night, every couple of days to watch over Bella while I hunted. We had exchanged phone numbers as well, in case need would be dire.
Charlie had visited one weekend, with baseball tickets to the Mariners, compliment of Esme, he had said. Bella had laughed again, for the first time that Saturday, something to do with her father, hot-dog and ketchup. They had told me around dinner at the Fire Station, and she had smiled at me reminiscing it. They talked on the phone about once a week, their shy and short conversations, around school and outings, his brave "I love you, Bells" at the end of each conversation, and his greetings for me, every time, right before that.
Renee's calls were more erratic, she never phoned from the same place, never at regular intervals, but she seemed genuine and she entertained Bella with her stories of life on the road, and of the minor league baseball player she was married to. Bella did not mention either of her parents much, she did not mention missing them, at least not to me. I knew better though, she missed the normalcy, the security of being with her father, the sense of home.
The girl was starting to make herself comfortable though, in our living arrangements. She would leave her books on her bedside table, and she had her organization on her desk, where she studied. She enjoyed the new laptop I had gotten her, and when we had started her homeschooling, Bella had proven rather studious. She did not complain, she studied, but she had shown little interest. She was going through the motions, because it was required and that is what she had always done, but the witty student Edward had described was absent from her.
I held her every night. She dreamed a lot, nightmares often. She clung to me as if her life depended on it, but for me, the hell that was Bella Swan never receded. One would think that I would be getting used to it by then, but there was no getting used to her. All I was getting used to was tolerating her, every single moment of her life, bending my will to keep her alive. It really had nothing to do with the blood, and everything with my choice. I was often thinking about Edward, how hard it was for him every day that passed, even harder than the first time he had met her. He did not even have to think about choosing her alive after a while, he would do it, no matter what. It had little to do with her blood, the blood lust would always be a constant, only the desire to keep her. That was bigger than wanting her dead, it made not drinking her, essential.
I did not want to keep her. I wanted to possess her. It made self-control somewhat complicated, and definitely excruciating. It had to be done though, and so, irrevocably, I chose her life over her blood, over my beast, over possessing her to death. What was worse though, is that the girl wanted me. She knew I could kill her at all times, yet her body, her silence... She hungered for me, for the darkness in me, the cold of my dead skin. It was another battle we were playing, on another level, one she wasn't always aware of, but I was. I was always aware, and she was pushing, she was inching in, with every look under soft lashes, with every fistful of my shirt she had to grip, with every dazzled moment of her breathing me, with every time she said my name.
She didn't know me, but she had not needed more than a few days to understand the fundamental differences between Edward and me, even between Alice and me. I was learning her, sometimes I wondered if she was not simply enjoying flirting with death. Maybe she had this fascination for her own darkness, the one she had discovered hanging from the shower frame of her bathroom. I was learning her, yet I knew the girl she was before, the one my brother and sister loved, that girl was dead, and another one had woken from my breath in her lungs.
Maybe the girl, with me, maybe she was the true Bella, broken hearted, despondent, clinging to death for dear life, angry, reckless, struggling with herself. She was a child, growing up, and I wanted to fuck the daylight out of her, sometimes just to instill the fear of God inside of her. She was playing games, the game of faking it till she made it, the game of faking to be good so she could be allowed leeway, the game of faking resignation and disinterest so she didn't have to acknowledge the appalling sadness and hurt that tugged at her heart.
Bella was resisting, denying, looking desperately for something to hang on to and ride the storm out. I certainly did not need Jaime to tell me that much, not that she was anyway. She would let us know, and by us I mean Carlisle and I, sometimes Charlie, the overall progress, diagnostic and treatment methods, the few big steps coming up or already tackled, but nothing more. Bella's trust was crucial, and that was why Jaime talked to me the least. I could not afford Bella stepping away from Jaime.
The munching paused, and a small voice said: "it's Halloween this weekend."
"Yes, it is." I answered what was not a question.
She rinsed out her bowl and put it in the dishwasher. "I have that essay to write, about Romeo & Juliet..." She was walking toward the stairs of the second floor and I got up to follow her.
Once upstairs, she paused to see if I was going to get involved but I went past her to my bedroom, leaving her be, in the study area.
"Let me know if you need help." I tossed at her casually.
Some of Bella's friends had called her, texted her, even that Quileute boy, Jacob Black. It was Halloween weekend, she had said. Bella was not the partying type, not the social type either, at least not from what I gathered since she had moved from Arizona.
I took out my phone and dialed Chief Swan, who picked up quickly: "Hi Rosalie?" He thought that maybe I was Bella, like it had happened many times.
"Hello, Charlie." I answered gently.
He cleared his throat softly and asked, a note of worry in his tone: "Everything alright with Bella?"
"Yes, she is studying right now." I reassured him, before explaining the reason for my call: "I was wondering if you would be available for Bella to visit Forks this weekend."
"Yeah... Sure!" He enthused. "Do you want me to pick her up?"
"No, we'll drive down. I haven't told her anything yet." I supplied right away, "I'll stay at the mansion though, I need to take care of a few things."
He didn't protest but told me anyway: "You're welcome to stay with us, if you'd like to. We can figure it out."
I thanked him warmly, "I'll be fine, Charlie, thank you."
"I know Bella has received some calls from her friends in Forks, maybe it would be good for her to visit with some of them over Halloween?" I suggested.
"You think she'll want to?" He answered, concerned.
I observed a pause in the conversation, to appear thoughtful: "Maybe just a couple of them, so she is not overwhelmed."
"Okay, I'll let it be known that Bella is coming over." He told me, content to have his little girl for a couple of days.
"We will get to Forks in the evening," I said as a parting, "enjoy the rest of your day sir."
"Drive safely," he told me fatherly, "see you soon, Rosalie."
We hung up and I ghosted to Bella's room to pack her clothes and toiletries. I intentionally made myself discreet, wanting to surprise the girl. She was quite engrossed in her literature essay when I sped to the ground floor to put her luggage and mine in the trunk of my car. I figured she could pack her back pack herself, she was not four after all and I really did not feel like a repeat of our morning conversation.
It was lunch time before I saw Bella again, coming down the stairs to have some lunch, only to find it had been prepared for her.
"Thank you." She said, sitting down and picking up her fork. She was hungry, and it made me glad that what I could put together for her was not nearly as repulsive as it smelled and looked to me. I was mostly glad for her appetite, she had probably never had a big one, but she had stopped losing weight and looked healthier, which I was grateful for.
I let her eat most of her plate before I asked gently: "Would it be agreeable if we spent the weekend in Forks?"
She looked at me surprised, maybe a little frightened, "At my dad's?" She asked quietly.
"You would be staying with your father, yes." I answered.
"But you'll stay with me, right?" Anguish constricted her throat.
I walked around the island and stood by her, "Yes, I will watch over you."
She took a few breaths, calming her heart, "Is it some sort of test?" She asked with a frown.
"No Bella, it is not a test, just an occasion for you to spend time with your father and maybe even your human friends." I suggested.
"Oh..." she mouthed, Bellaesque, and panic edged her features, "I don't think I am ready. I won't know what to say. I don't want to tell them what happened." She looked at me in horror.
"I don't want to go!" She cried out, throwing her arms around my neck, hiding her face in my chest, trembling.
I patted her back softly, giving her time to breathe and relax. "You don't have to explain anything, Bella, and you don't have to visit with all of your friends, or even any of them. You can just enjoy being home with your father." I reassured her, lifting her chin up so she could look at me, an arm around her waist.
"They already know, don't they?" She asked me, suddenly.
I considered her calmly, "Most likely, yes."
She looked sad, annoyed at the idea of being the center of unwanted attention.
"Are you going to make me?" She looked at me, preparing for a fight.
"No, I won't force you, Bella, but I would like you to accept." I explained.
"Why?" She asked, her shoulders fell, with her eyes.
She knew why. She had discussed it with Jaime, I had a feeling. She was dreading being there, but once she were, she would feel better for it.
The girl looked back up, sorrow in her eyes, and I held her gaze, with what I hope she would understand as warmth: "Because it's the healthy thing to do. I don't want you to be isolated here, with me. You need to be around humans, Bella, around young people your own age."
"Some people will judge you, but your friends won't, if their care is true. You are a student at Fork's High, Bella, you will have to go back eventually, even if it is only to graduate. Don't you think it is a more powerful disposition for you to reappear on your own terms?"
She pondered that for a moment, and lowering her gaze she relinquished: "I guess."
I wanted to make her stand and have a real opinion. Certainly more than a meek 'I guess', but there would be other times for that battle.
"Then it is settled?" I inquired, quirking an eyebrow in askance.
"Okay." She breathed out, yielding.
I smiled at her, reassuringly: "Very well then." And I added gently, "You will be alright Bella, and I am here with you."
"Why don't you go prepare the things you want to take with you for the weekend?" I looked at her with a cocky grin, since I had prepared her luggage, I might as well own it in my own way, "I already packed you a suitcase."
She blushed and glared at me, in some sort of attempt at disapproval, and when she only saw my raised eyebrow, she closed her mouth without retort and turned around, up the stairs to her bedroom.
It was an hour later when we were settled in my M3, gliding down the road to Forks, a quiet, nervous Bella sitting by my side. She was looking out the window, tentative, and I wasn't pushing her, she would talk when she felt she could.
I was engrossed in my thoughts, if that is a term one could apply to vampires, considering that we are capable of focusing above human capacity on many things at once. I was thinking about the weekend, and enjoying the possibility of a little freedom myself. I was thinking about Bella's truck, and how I could maybe have a look at it. I had always wanted to open the hood of that old collector so I could get a good look. I had installed the sound system in the truck for the girl's birthday. The one Emmett had bought for her. I remembered noticing that it had been fixed up a bit, by someone one who, albeit an amateur, was not half-bad at mechanics.
"Bella?" I required her attention, "Who did you get your Chevrolet truck from?"
She tore her eyes from the window to look at me with little countenance, apparently confused by my question.
"uhm… My dad?" She tried.
I scoffed a bit, "Yes, I gathered that much, thank you." I asked again impatiently, "I meant, do you know whom your father got it from?"
"Oh!" she exhaled, understanding showing on her face, "He bought it from Billy Black on the reservation, why?" She was curious, that was unexpected.
I would have enjoyed it, but the thought of Bella's truck coming from the Quileute was unnerving.
"Do you know if someone did any work on it before it was passed on to you?" I inquired, ignoring her mention of one of the Quileute tribe chieftain family.
She shifted in her seat toward me, resting her attention first on my right hand on the clutch and then on the upper part of my body.
There was a heat emanating from her, like a shift in her temperature. I had felt it at certain times, the days before, but it was increasing. The heat wasn't a fever, but it was all over her, and I could not quite place its origin.
"Yes, that would be the handy work of Jacob." She smiled a little; it was obvious Bella was very fond of her truck. "He is really good at mechanics apparently." The smile lingered on, and I thought bitterly that maybe the girl wasn't only fond of the old car.
And then it hit me.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me!" I swore through gritted teeth, and pushed on the gas pedal.
Bella looked offended, "I am not sure what you, I mean the Cullen, have against the Quileute or Jacob for that matter, but…"
I interrupted her with a roll of my eyes, "Bella, I could not care less about your friend right now." And truly the boy would have been a welcomed nuisance instead of this… mess.
She was looking at me angrily, but her annoyance made way to fear when she realized how fast I was driving. It then turned to panic when the car drifted to a muscled halt on the side of the road, at the beginning of a clearing.
"Rosalie?" She whispered, scared of my immobility and the predatory rumbling in my chest.
She made to touch me and parted her legs to lean closer to me.
"Don't touch me!" I growled at her menacingly. "Keep your legs closed." I ordered.
She looked at me dumbfounded, hurt, but did as she was told.
I was comparing all possible scenarios and, at that moment, the different outcomes were all lethal.
Her blush attacked me full force, and a strangled whine escaped my mouth.
"Rosalie, I am so sorry, Rosalie." Apologized a now fully caught-up Bella.
"Of all times, of all places…" I seethed, holding my breath for her sake. "You had to start right fucking now!"
"In. My. Fucking. Car!" I roared and zoomed out of my side of the M3 to her door.
I grabbed her forcefully, and threw her out of my car. She stumbled and fell, as I towered over her.
"Rosalie…" She whimpered.
The anger, the lust, the blood… it was all too much. The few drops of her menstrual blood in her underwear were screaming to me as loudly as that idiotic paper cut that had started all of this madness. Louder, actually, because then, I was able to walk away, I was indifferent to the human girl.
She was scared, of me, and she should have been.
"Rosalie…" She called to me, tears in her voice.
I lifted her with my hands under her armpits. I straightened her back to her feet. She faltered slightly but I had her in my grip, until she realized I was a few yards away crashing into a tree. Then another.
I could not leave her. I could not be with her.
She walked toward me, to the natural stony wall of the hill following the trail of a few uprooted trees. I was facing an especially large sequoia tree, thinking to myself that it was quite old, that I shouldn't hurt it.
Bella extended a hand toward my shoulder, and I allowed it, feeling that any of my movement could be the last of my will.
"Have you not any sense of self-preservation, girl?" I whispered.
"You won't hurt me, Rosalie." She said to me, as inexorable as death.
I laughed, sardonically, "Is that what you told Edward, too?"
"Yes," She answered, "but you are stronger than him."
I laughed again, at the irony, "Yes, I am."
I swiftly put my hand on the one she had on my shoulder and pulled her into my arms, her back against the sequoia tree, my arms encircling her waist, pressing her into me.
"I am not Edward." I told her with a wicked smile that would have made any human pee themselves. She wasn't any human though, she was Bella. Deep inside, Bella Swan was surrounded in darkness, and she was as tempted as I was.
A surge of blood flooded her underwear, mixed with arousal. The scents were entirely distinct but incredibly alluring mixed as one. It was sipping through her cotton panties, reaching her inner thighs, and I was aware of the magnificence of its movement as if I was watching the blood dripping out of her.
It was insanely. I was transfixed, looking into her eyes, her feverish eyes, as she was breathing, ragged, her breath just under my chin, her breast pressed into my chest, her hands on my shoulders.
I pressed her harder into me, painfully so and she moaned. The blood was reaching her jeans, attacking the fabric.
"Rosalie…" She breathed, leaning closer to my face, her lips ghosting mine, "Why don't you ever touch me?"
"I touch you every single day, Bella." I said, my voice hoarse.
"But you don't." She shied, lowering her gaze, blushing ablaze all over again.
The beating of her heart was so loud. I could feel it fight against her ribs, against the pressure I was applying to her body. I wanted her so terribly much, I considered crushing her into my arms, making her mine, as the cracking of her bones brought her heart closer to the dead organ resting in my chest.
I moved my right hand to the front of her, between us, and I ripped off her shirt. She wasn't wearing a bra, probably an unconscious thought as to relieve the sensitivity of her breast, sore from the hormones at work in her body. I let my hand down to the hem of her jeans and ripped them open down to her hips.
She gasped but said nothing, made no move, her hands firmly pressed on my shoulders.
I let my hand to her hip, inside of her jeans and ripped it free to her bottom. I slid my fingertips inside her panties and after ripping the side of them, I cupped her ass cheek. I massaged her butt firmly and she breathed in hard, biting her bottom lip.
My hand caressed to the back of her thigh and I lifted her leg to my hip, stopping my fingertips to the back of her knee, widening the opening of her jeans all the way down with the movement.
Blood rushed out of her, more wetness melted to it, and I hissed, pressing her core to mine in a harsh way. She would bruise for sure, but it was better than killing her, and I was starting to think that Bella, sweet and innocent Bella as she was, would love it rough.
Instinctively, the girl had clasped her leg around my hip, and she was seeking friction with the little movement she was allowed. I could feel the general momentum she was looking for, more than her actual hips moving.
She moaned, and I exhaled a path on her jaw line, to her ear.
"If I touch you now, little girl, I will kill you." I whispered sultrily.
With her leg secured to my waist, almost painfully so, I used my right hand to caress her side delicately, leaving goose bumps behind me. I reached her left breast and cupped it gently.
She shot wide eyes at me, surprised, as I smiled to her, teasing her nipple. I massaged her breast strongly enough that she was feeling pleasure and pain at the same time, enjoying the look of desire and submission in her brown pools of burning lust, and fear.
"Ahhh…" She cried out when my hand firmly squeezed her and I pressed her into my hips as hard as she could take it.
I released her breast and trailed her heaving chest and stomach to her pubic bone. I rested my hand flat on the birth of her pubic hair, merely an inch away from her core, feeling the heat from her blood and her wetness.
"I am going to kill something else than you." I said, predatorily, giving one flick of my right middle finger to her erect clit, effectively making her bolt into my body.
"You, will go wait for me by the car, do you understand?"
She nodded softly into my neck.
"I didn't hear you." I commanded, clacking my jaw in her ear.
She whimpered and answered right away: "Yes."
"Yes, whom?" I asked, relentless, my beast roaring with satisfaction inside of my chest.
"Yes, Rosalie." Bella let out submissively.
"Good girl." I concluded, satisfaction in my voice.
I tore myself off of her excruciatingly. I ran as fast I could, far enough away from Bella that the buzz of my hunt wouldn't take me right back to the girl.
Leaving her was unsafe, unwise, unfair and so incredibly cruel to both of us. It made it difficult to focus on finding an animal, anything big enough to be manhandled, that I could kill and consume. I was vibrating with anger and concern. I was trying hard to ignore the analytic autopsy that was going on in my mind.
'How could you fucking forget about her periods?' I screamed at myself, 'You blistering idiot!' I could not fathom how I managed to let such a huge issue slip my mind, although I knew exactly how. Educated people in the human mind call it denial. 'You were so concerned about not fucking her, that doing so became the focus of your consciousness.'
A couple of deer crossed my path and died without a moment of thought. I had to get back to Bella. I was confident that she would do what she had been told. The shock of what had happened would most likely help, until it wore off.
The question that remained entirely to be faced was how I was going to handle the duration of Bella's menstruation cycle, this time, and the ones to come.
I stopped at the edge of the clearing nearing my car, observing the girl. She had gotten a new shirt, and a big sweater, as well as jeans, from her suitcase. I watched her adjust herself in her pants, visibly uncomfortable.
She spotted me after I approached the car at human pace. I didn't stop but walked slowly to her. The girl didn't flinch or back away, but her eyes looked worried.
"Are you in pain?" I asked, ashamed somehow.
"I am cramping a little." She told me, embarrassed.
I took the soiled clothes she had discarded to the side of the car and speedily retrieved a gas lighter in the glove compartment. I took a few stepped to a stone and lit the shirt on fire on top of her other elements of clothing, safe from spreading the fire to anything else around.
Once I was confident the clothes would burn properly, I walked back to the car and opened the passenger door to Bella. She came around to her side but stopped before climbing in:
"I found a pad in my backpack, I always keep a couple, but… Could we stop at a pharmacy? I will need more."
I nodded, and gave her a soft smile.
She climbed in the car and fastened her seat-belt.
Standing by the driver door, I inhaled deeply, fresh and untainted forest air, knowing that I would have to hold my breath for days, to endure and speak as little as possible, to hold her and will myself to remain sane.
A/N: First, I would like to apologize for the wait you had to go through for this chapter. It's not that I am sorry it took so long, because I don't believe in rushing the writing process, but I am sorry it made some of you anxious that I might not update again.
Secondly I wanted to thank the people leaving reviews. I usually write to the people who review my stories, if just to say thank you, but it's difficult to answer reviewers without accounts. It seems the number of anonymous reviews is growing, and so I felt I could leave a note for my readers here.
About reviews... I have to say it is nice to get some love, and I wouldn't want to discourage anyone to express themselves but, I am so very curious about the whys. You see, the love is nice and thank you for it, but the why you think you love my story, or this chapter? That's priceless. Why tells me many things, and it helps me in my writing, any kind of criticism is helpful in a way or another.
Have an opinion, it's good for you, positive or negative, it's good for you, and it's good for me, and you can even leave it anonymously.
Thank you for reading, and coming back, even when I take a while to write.
See you next time,