Disclaimer: S. Meyer owns all recognizable characters, plots, etc. Only original content, characters, etc. belongs to author. No copyright infringement intended. Any errors contained herein, are expressly the fault of the authors idiocy, and not her beta.

A/N: This was my submission for the Countdown to Valentine's Day, hosted by the lovely BreathofTwilight. I had originally planned on submitting a different story, but that one was closing in on 20k words and still wasn't finished, so I made a last minute call to start over. I'm sure I'll eventually post it, but until then, this one will have to do. It isn't the normal V-day fare, all shmoopy and cavity-inducing, it's a little angsty, but I hope you enjoy it.

As always, gotta give a shout out to the women that I couldn't do any of this without, V and Char. I adore you both.


Served Cold


~∞Ѿ∞~

He feels like an ass, driving all the way over to her house as if he's checking up on her, but this is just so unlike her. She's an hour late to meet him, and he can't reach her on her phone; he's worried. If he's honest, he's been worried for a while now, and this latest disappearance of hers is just the icing on the cake. She's been so distracted lately, forgetting dates, suddenly being unavailable, disappearing without explanation—he's not sure what's going on, but it's making him nervous. Has she changed her mind about him, about them?

He doesn't see her car when he pulls up to her house, but it could be in the garage, so he gets out, walks to the front door and knocks.

"Rose," he says stiffly when his girlfriends sister—well, step-sister—opens the door.

"Edward," she drawls. "Please, come in."

Standing aside, she gestures grandly for him to enter, and then closes the door behind them after he does. He walks to the center of the marble-floored foyer, and stops, unsure of what's expected of him—he always feels this way in Rosalie's presence, she makes him feel like he's always fucking up and he doesn't know why. He turns around to look at her, and his eyes widen. She's leaning back against the door, one knee bent with her foot resting on the wood behind her, gazing at him with narrowed eyes and parted lips.

Half-smirking, she licks her lips and asks, "To what do I owe the…pleasure, Edward? What can I do ya' for, my good man?"

The foyer is suddenly stifling. Tugging at the collar of his shirt, he gulps, but isn't sure if it's lust or bile he's swallowing down, because he's feeling both; he can't deny the stir of desire she causes when she's looking at him the way she is—like a predator about to pounce—and the fact that he feels this way, makes him nauseous. There's no denying that Rosalie Hale is gorgeous, in a pin-up-slash-centerfold kind of way, but he's known her for years and knows her for what she is—a raging bitch with a mean-spirited, bitchy, daddies-little-princess, prima-donna, attention whore attitude, an over-developed sense of entitlement and a vicious cruel streak; it's really not something he finds attractive, but his dick hasn't gotten the memo.

"Um, Bella—is Bella here?" he chokes out, much to his chagrin. Wow, way to look like pansy, dickweed, he silently admonishes.

"Nope," she answers, shamelessly letting her eyes roam over him. The way she emphasizes the 'p', reminds him of the sound he sometimes hears when Bella goes down on him and, against his will, he finds himself wondering if Rose would release his cock with that same audible pop! As soon as the thought pops (he mentally groans at the bad humor pun) up in his head, he kicks himself…metaphorically speaking, of course.

The silence goes on for just a beat too long, but Edward doesn't realize it until Rose raises one carefully manicured eyebrow at him in question. Snapping out of it, he tears his eyes from hers and shoves his hands in his back pockets—afraid they, too, will grow minds of their own. He looks to his feet, tracing the swirling pattern in the marble, as he stammers, "Well, uh…do you know where she is or, um…when she'll be home? It's just—well, we kinda had plans…you know, being Valentine's Day and…whatnot."

She doesn't answer him. Instead, she pushes away from the door, secretly rolling her eyes at him, and saunters up the stairs, knowing he'll follow. Boys are too easy. One…two…three… She hears his footsteps as he scrambles after her. Like she said, too easy. She makes it almost to her room before he says a word.

"R-Rosalie?"

She ignores him.

At her bedroom door, "Um, Rose…?"

Still, she says nothing.

She enters, going to her dresser and opening one of the drawers. Rooting around, she hears, "Um…uh, Rose…?"

Finding what she's looking for, she smiles. She loves it when a good plan comes together. She wipes the look off her face and, expressionless, turns to face him.

"Yes?" she replies with a question, waggling the bottle of tequila she just pulled from her drawer at him. Edward's confused. Not only does he not know what they're doing in her room—well, she's in her room, he's still in the hallway just outside of it—but he isn't sure whether she's answering him, with a question, or offering him a drink.

"I was asking if you knew where Bella was." Despite his best efforts, his voice wavers a little, and Rose has to struggle to keep her smirk at bay.

Sighing in (calculated) exasperation, she ignores his inquiry. "You can come in, you know? I don't bite." She bites at the air, letting her teeth click together. "Much."

Holding his gaze for half a beat, a hint of amusement gracing her face, she waggles the bottle at him again, and turns. Her back to him, she magically produces a couple of shot glasses and fills them. Once full, she looks over her shoulder at him and asks, "Shot?"

Her voice is slightly taunting, her body language challenging. The whole effect screams to him, Come on, drink it. Prove to me you aren't the pussy we both know you are. He doesn't drink very much—not because he looks down on it, he's just never particularly cared for it—and she has to know this; it's not as if she's ever seen him at one of the weekend parties she regularly attends. Uncharacteristically, he puffs up, full of bravado, and finds himself rising to her challenge. He never allows himself to be goaded, he just doesn't really care what people think of him—except Bella—but the shot is in his hand and down his throat before he thinks twice.

Rose instantly pours another round, looking him in the eye when she pushes it in front of him, and he thinks he sees a spark of approval when he picks it up and tips it back. Something about it pleases him, which strikes him as odd, because he doesn't care about, need, or even want her approval. Still, when she pours him a third shot, he swallows it down, too.

Rose is barely phased by the liquor, but not being a drinker, Edward already feels the three shots; his head is starting to feel pleasantly fuzzy, and he can't remember why he was so nervous around Rosalie earlier. He's ready for another shot, so when Rose re-corks the bottle, picking it up along with the shot glasses, and starts to walk away, his face scrunches up, preparing to protest.

"Coming?" she tosses over her shoulder, causing Edward's objection to die on his tongue. He should object, but he nods and follows her. Like a good little pet, Rose thinks, sauntering towards her bed, swaying her hips a little more than usual, putting on a little show for him. I know what boys like, I know what guys want, she sings in her head.

Plopping down onto her bed, she bounces around—boobs a'jiggling—until she's sitting Indian style in the center. "Have a seat," she tells him, patting the bed beside her.

To give him credit, Edward doesn't immediately comply. Coming to his senses, slightly, he hangs back. "Look, Rose—I don't think that's such a good idea…"

This time when she rolls her eyes, she lets him see, and she laughs at him a little bit. "Oh, Eddie-boy…relax. I'm not trying to seduce you. I'm just…" Rose drops her head, her eyes settling on her lap as if she's about to really put herself out there, "well, Bella and I haven't exactly gotten off on the right foot—and neither have you and I, for that matter. Admittedly, it's mostly my fault; I haven't been the most welcoming, but…I'm trying. I thought maybe if I got to know you a little better, maybe Bella would be more receptive to me trying to make amends. It's worth a shot, right?"

She lifts her eyes to his again, a carefully constructed look of vulnerability in her them. Edward thinks he's never seen her look so real, so exposed, and he fancies he knows her now. Feeling more comfortable, he takes her bait and sits down on the bed beside her. In comfortable silence, they have a couple more shots.

He's getting antsy and feeling awkward sitting there with neither of them speaking and, running his hands through his hair, he starts rambling. "So, we've never really hung out before, and I've got to say, you're not at all like I thought you were. You've always come off as such a bitch." He winces and then contritely apologizes. "Sorry."

Is this guy for real? Rose wonders, but it's a waste of time; she knows he is. He's that one in a million guy that every girl dreams of—fuckhot, loyal, loving, affectionate, devoted, sincere—basically a real-life prince charming, but…he's still a guy.

"I never would have pegged you for the type who judges a book by its cover, but then again, you actually think Bella's a saint, so I guess I shouldn't be that surprised."

Her comment ruffles his feathers, and he sits up straight. "What the fuck's that supposed to mean."

"Just that maybe you don't know her as well as you think," Rose answers with premeditation.

She watches as the seeds she's planted take root and begin to grow, thinking to herself, that it's almost too easy, and she has her perfect stepsister to thank for that. If it weren't for Isabella, and her out of character behavior lately, she wouldn't have such fertile ground to work with.

Rose chuckles to herself, finding perverse delight in the fact that Bella's devotion to Edward is the very thing helping enable their downfall. Bella has always been totally available to Edward, the two of them are together so much that they're practically up each other's asses, but the past few weeks Bella has frequently been 'busy' and hanging out with some boy from the Rez. Edward doesn't know that, though. Nor does he know that the boy is a childhood friend who's been helping Bella with her Valentine's Day present for Edward.

Apparently, he's always wanted an Aston Martin and Bella's friend Jake managed to find an old one for her, but it needed to be rebuilt—like seriously. Rose thinks the thing is a rusted out hunk of junk and not worth the time, but the girl is seriously stubborn. Whatever, though. All the time she's been wasting working on it is benefitting Rose.

"Whatever, Rose. No one knows Bella like I do." She can hear the uncertainty in her voice. "I think what I was really mistaken about, was thinking that you weren't the person I've always thought you were. I should go." His words are just barely slurred, and he sways unsteadily when he starts to stand up, making it easy for Rose to pull him back down to the bed.

"You're wrong, Edward, on both counts." He starts to pull away, looking at her incredulously, and Rose grabs for his arm. Getting up onto her knees, she seems frantic as she reluctantly blurts, "Look, I didn't want to have to be the one to tell you this, but I can't continue to watch her make a fool out of you. Where do you think Bella is going when she cancels with you, and rushes off? I mean you can't seriously think that she's developed some new hobby or started spending a ton of time at the library."

Rose almost smirks; it's almost time to reap what she's sown. Edward is shaking his head in denial, not wanting to believe what Rose is almost certain he's been beginning to wonder about. He pushes himself up with his hands, about to stand. "You're full of shit. Bella would never…" He's saying one thing, but the doubt in his voice and devastation in his eyes are saying another. Come on, Eddie, just believe it; it'll give you the perfect excuse to do what your dick wants to do.

This time Rose can't keep the smirk off her face. She looks down at her lap as she lowers herself so that she is now resting on her heels. "She is," she confirms softly, still not making eye contact.

"I wouldn't have told you at all, but…I've always liked you, Edward," she looks up as she makes her (false) confession, "and I hate knowing what she's doing to you. You deserve so much better than her."

His arms give out and he settles back onto the bed like a collapsing building. Rose can practically see the puff of rubble filled dust as the foundation of his relationship crumbles under the weight of the lies she's told him. She loves it when her plans come together.

All of his fears are coming true—Bella wanting him has never made sense, she's always been too good for him—and the pain of it washes over him in heady, dizzying waves. Unable to focus on anything, enslaved by agony as his both his heart and world shatter, he forgets about Rosalie until her soft voice finds him through the devastation that surrounds him.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Edward," she whispers. "I didn't want you to find out like this, especially not on Valentine's Day. I kept hoping she would come to her senses, see what an amazing boyfriend she has, and stop doing what she's been doing, but…"

She lets her words die as if she doesn't know what to say, and it's okay, because what is there to say; Rose doesn't need to justify or explain Bella's actions. The kindness he's receiving from a girl whom he has always silently accused of cruelty astounds him, and he has to once again, hastily re-evaluate her.

"Please don't hate me," she whispers pleadingly.

The unsteadiness of her voice causes him to look up at her. He sees her biting her lip, her eyes trained on her lap as if she's afraid to look at him, and he starts to get angry. Damn Bella all to hell! It's Valentine's Day for fuck's sake! This is supposed to be a day for celebrating love, not betraying your lover or hurting others. Staring into the eyes of the gorgeous girl, knowing himself to have been wrong about her and about Bella, he wonders just what else he's judged falsely.

It's no secret that Rose and Bella dislike each other, but he's always been under the impression that their chilly relationship was due to Rose's unwillingness, not Bella's. Now, however, he's not so sure. He can't imagine that this misjudged girl begging him to not hate her, who's just put herself out there in order to right a wrong being done to him, could be out to—in Bella's words—'get her.'

Perhaps it was Bella, all along, who was really the antagonistic bitch. After all, the path between that and faithless whore was a short one. The unshed tears he sees glittering in Rose's eyes pull him out of his musing, and he feels compelled to do something. He wants to make her feel better…wants her to make him feel better.

Shaking that thought away, he turns to her, cupping her jaw and brushing his thumb soothingly over the apple of her cheek. "I could never hate you, Rose. It's not your fault. If anything, I should thank you," he admits. "You didn't have to tell me—you certainly had more to lose than gain by doing so—but you did. I owe you."

His anger is still percolating steadily inside him despite the sweetness of the moment they're sharing, and the way they're staring steadily into each other's eyes while his thumb continues to caress her cheek threatens it…he can't let that happen. The rage is the only thing holding him together. Breaking the contact of their eyes and skin, he grabs the bottle of tequila from the floor at their feet and opens it.

"You probably just kept me from making a really big mistake. We should celebrate." He gestures with the bottle, giving her this sexy little smile that's all crooked and cocky before tipping it back, and she starts to think this might be more fun than she anticipated. Who knew he had it in him be so smooth and charming? She's surprised, but he could be a real ladykiller without his ball and chain dragging him down!

To be honest, she never really noticed him before he started dating the daughter of the gold digging whore who was, at that time, only dating her father. By the time he blipped onto her radar, he was trailing after her new bitch of a perfect stepsister—her book bag on his shoulder and a look of dreamy devotion on his face—and she wished she hadn't noticed him. Physically, he was beyond fuckable (something he was seemingly unaware of it), but the spineless devotion with which he regarded his girlfriend was laughable, not too mention a major turn off. Love was nothing more than a chemical reaction, biologically the same as eating a piece of chocolate.

"Alright, let's celebrate. I can't very well let you spend Valentine's Day alone." She takes a swig from the bottle, licking at the little bit that trickles down her lip, wipes her mouth on the back of her arm, and then asks, "So what are we drinking to?"

It takes him a moment to realize that she's asked him a question, he's so entranced by her tongue flitting out to lick up the drop of glittering liquid sliding slowly down her lip. Oh, to be that drop. His cock jerks to life, and it takes all he has to not palm himself or groan aloud. He shakes it off, and contemplates his toast.

"How about 'new friends and near misses'?" he suggests.

She lets her eyes light up, pretending delight over hearing him call her a friend. "To new friends and near misses," she echoes, tipping the bottle back. This time, she notices the way his eyes are riveted on her mouth and she plays it up, trailing the tip of her tongue around the full circumference of her lips after she takes her drink. He's still focused on her lips when she passes him the bottle.

Licking his lips unconsciously, he errantly thinks that he's about to put them on the exact same place hers were just pressed; it's like kissing one another through a surrogate. If he wouldn't let his mind traipse down a similar path earlier, he's definitely not allowing his mind to travel down this path. He pushes on, hoping to break this little moment they seem to be having, but when he repeats their toast, "To new friends and near misses," in a husky mutter, the tension and heat around them only grows.

Nervously, he tries to gain some distance, and raises the bottle between them, taking two large pulls. The way their eyes linger on each other, however, does nothing to kill the spark that's ignited between them. He corks the tequila and sets it back on the floor. He's had quite enough to drink.

"I'm sorry I had to ruin your Valentine's Day," she apologizes breathily, playing the good girl card again and hanging her head in remorse.

"Hey," Edward murmurs, cupping her face again and tilting her chin up, "don't do that. You did nothing wrong. Bella's the one who ruined Valentine's Day by fucking around on me, not you." He should stop right there, but doesn't. Instead, he finds himself declaring, "You're the one good thing about this whole day."

Something happens as he says the words. It's as if everything gets brighter, and then the light shifts, focusing on the bed—on him and her—and everything else fades into the background. Rose must be feeling it too, because she launches herself into his arms, and then it's lips on lips, and hands tugging and stroking, touching and pulling and shifting around until it's skin on skin. He should worship her, show her that he doesn't take the sharing of his body or the partaking of her lightly, but he doesn't have it in him to go slow, and even in the heat of the moment, he knows that it isn't anything more than comfort sex. He assumes she must feel the same way, because she's just as eager as him.

The second his lips touch hers, something springs to life with her and explodes, engulfing her in an inferno of passion, the likes of which she's never known and certainly hadn't expected. Not with him. Sure, he was attractive as hell, but fucking Edward isn't about wanting him, it's supposed to be about getting what she wants: revenge. She's waited two long years to let Bella and her mother know that they could just waltz in and usurp her position in her father's life without repercussions. She is daddy's little girl, and she doesn't refuses to share that title with anyone, especially not Bella Swan. She stole some of the affection of the only person to love her purely, honestly, and unconditionally so Rose is going to take the person who loves Bella the most. Tit for tat. An eye for an eye. A boyfriend for a father. Fair was fair, after all.

She's not entirely sure she likes all the things he's making her feel, but she's powerless to stop it as he slips inside her, touching magical places that she never knew existed and there's no more thought about what is supposed to be, it just is. Pushing and pulling, taking and giving, wanting and needing, claiming and being claimed, owning and being owned, possessing and being possessed, she gives herself over to the unexpected flames. Let them raze her, she doesn't care, she wants to burn in his arms. Just when she thinks it can't possibly get any better, it does. She dissolves in his arms as he comes apart in hers. Looking into Edward's as eyes as they tremble together in the aftermath, Rose mistakes the shock on his face for the affection that's crept over her unexpectedly.

Rolling onto his back beside her, Edward drapes his arm over his eyes, bracing himself for the shit-storm of self-loathing he knows is about to hit him. He's never been intimate with anyone except Bella, never really planned to be. It would be a lie to say he's never thought about it, because he has, but in the same manner in which one imagines going to the moon—an intriguing thought, but something that is never going to happen. Having experienced it finally, he still equates it with going to the moon—good because he came, but alien, barren, and not at all what he expected. Now that he's coming down from the high of lust and anger, and some of the tequila haze has burnt off, he's starting to feel empty, cold and spent.

Laying naked beside her—this girl who is not his girlfriend—causes a multitude of feelings to wash over him, nearly sweeping him away as he fully experiences the depth of what he's lost. On top of it all, he can't shake the feeling that he's just betrayed Bella's love, even though she betrayed him first; he understands how two wrongs don't make a right. In his head, images of him with Rose are mixed in with ones of him and Bella—memories of what he's just done and what he'll never do again. He gets up from the bed abruptly and stumbles around the room finding his clothes and hastily dressing.

He feels, but doesn't see Rose sit up on the bed behind him, because he can't look at her. He doesn't need any more proof of what he's done. "What are you doing?"

"I've got to go. I shouldn't be here."

"That's it? Just like that you're going to go? Wham, bam, not even a thank you, ma'am? You're just going to fuck me and leave?" Rose doesn't even recognize her own voice. It's whiney, desperate and shrill—not at all like her; she sounds like one of those hysterical women she can't stand, who equate sex with love. Her voice suddenly flat and monotone, "You were just using me, then?"

She sounds almost puzzled, and it may be the most honest emotion she has displayed all night because she is—puzzled, that is. Rosalie Hale does not get used; she's the user, not the usee. So this is what it feels like to be played, she thinks. She can't say it's something she at all likes.

"Yes…no…it's not like that." He stops, closing his eyes with a pained expression on his face. "Look, this shouldn't have happened. I shouldn't even be here. I appreciate you trying to make me feel better, but I really have to go."

He can't find his shirt, a vintage Pink Floyd shirt that he stole from his father, but he really needs to get the fuck out of there before he loses his shit, so he decides to just say fuck it. Without Bella, nothing really matters anymore, least of all a shirt. He yanks his flannel on, missing buttons and all, and then turns to go. He pauses at the door, but doesn't look back, missing the look of fury on her face.

"I really am sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you, but I never intended for this to happen. Bye, Rosalie."

He hears the thud against the closed door behind him, but doesn't have to wonder what she threw; he can smell the tequila. He shakes his head and turns to go…only to walk right into Bella.

The devastation on her face—the welling tears and trembling lower lip—crushes him until he remembers that she eviscerated him first and has no right to look so upset. But even though she doesn't have the right, she does—she's shaking her head side to side, slowly backing away from, and muttering something that he can't understand until he get draws closer.

"No…no…no…no…"

A flip switches, turning him into Mr. Hyde, or an evil Hulk. He sneers at her, all of his hurt—both for her, because he hadn't meant for her to find out like this despite what she's done, and because of her—channels itself even further into rage, because he's just not equipped to deal with the kind of pain she's caused him.

Rose hadn't been a revenge fuck, because he hadn't really meant for it to happen, but as his scorned alter-ego becomes more established in his psyche, the only thing he can think about is making her hurt as badly as him, and he's actually happy that she knows; if she can fuck someone else, so can he. Deep inside, the real him is cringing at his cruelty, but it doesn't change anything; it's a new regime and the real him might as well be imprisoned in the Tolbooth for all the power he has.

"What, you can't handle taking your own medicine? Now you know what it feels like," he snarls, knowing instantly he'll hate himself later for saying it, but unable to stop the venom spewing forth. "And I hope it hurts you just as much as you hurt me."

The dam finally breaks and he watches her heart and composure crumble before him, not quite understanding what's happening or why she feels she has the right to cry after what she's done. Tears pouring down her face, she flees toward her room. She can't even comprehend what she just witnessed; her heart refuses to believe it, but her mind insists it's real. This is really happening, she tells herself. She really just saw him walk out of her evil stepsisters room looking like he just went nine rounds with Jenna Jameson. She never would have believed that he was capable of something like this. Even after seeing it she's still having difficulty fathoming it.

Edward rushes after Bella, not ready to let her off so easily; he doesn't think she's suffering nearly as much as him. Despite her head start, he's faster, and he manages to stick his foot in the doorjamb before she can close it and lock him out. He pushes his way inside, shutting the door behind them.

Bella's not about to go to pieces on him—not yet, at least. You would never know it, but she has deep reserves and a backbone of steel; she managed to survive her life going to shambles with the death of her father and the subsequent breakdown of her mother all on her own, so she can survive this. Her own anger takes over, and she meets him head on.

"You son of a bitch! How could you, Edward? How?" she demands, still teary eyed, but her voice firm. "And with Rose, the one person in the entire world whom I truly hate?"

He looks at her incredulously. How dare she? "Really, Bella?" he asks cruelly in a callous tone that she's never heard him use. "You, of all people, are going to ask me that?" He doesn't wait for her answer. "Let me ask you a question, then. How could you fuck that kid from the Rez behind my back? Hmm? How long has it been going on, Bella? Has it been the entire time we've been together or just the past few months? Did the two of you have a good chuckle about it behind my back? 'That Edward really is a schmuck. Can't believe what we're getting away with right under his nose.'"

With each word he utters, her face scrunches up even more with confusion. "What are you talking about? I haven't been… How could you…? I was building you a car! Well, I wasn't doing much other than financing it and supervising. I was building you your dream car, Edward, an Aston Martin."

Edward's face falls and his anger evaporates as the full weight of his betrayal hits him like a punch to the guts. No, he amends silently, like a wrecking ball slamming into him. "But…she said… That's not... Rosalie said…" he sputters, disbelieving. As she continues, ice water floods his veins, and he knows.

"I was going to give you the title and a picture of it tonight at dinner," Bella continues sadly, "but Jake thought he had it running well enough that I could actually give you the car, so I rushed off to meet him, thinking I would be back in time to give it to you when you arrived. I would have been, too, if the damn thing hadn't broken down in the middle of nowhere. I tried to call you, but I had no cell service, and then my phone died.

"I got here as soon as I could—I walked through the rain to get to you." Her voice, which has been so strong, finally breaks. "I knew you'd be worried, but…I guess I was wrong."

"But she…she said… Oh, God! What the fuck have I done? Bella…"

"Exactly what I wanted you to do," Rose declares triumphantly, stepping into Bella's room looking thoroughly fucked and wearing practically nothing…except his shirt, the one he'd been wearing underneath his flannel. Bella's favorite. Neither one Bella nor Edward had heard the door open.

"I have to say, though," she continues as she walks up to Edward, wrapping an arm around him, and pressing herself close to nuzzle his ear, "it was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Had I known you were so good in bed, I would have fucked you a long time ago."

The last part is whispered into Edward's ear, just loud enough for Bella to hear. Edward had frozen when she entered the room, his face twisting in horror upon hearing her revelations—confirmation of what was only becoming clear to him—but he thaws quickly when her tongue darts out and she saucily licks her ear. Like the cat that got the cream. He roughly shoves her away from him, almost making her fall, but he doesn't care. "Get the fuck off me, you crazy fucking whore. Stay away from me, and stay away from Bella, or I'll make you pay."

He refuses to look at her again, so doesn't see the incandescent rage that floods her features as she steadies herself, but he does here her threat. "I'm not nearly finished with you, Cullen. Nobody walks out on me like did, and gets away with it," she promises before she storms out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

It's strange, she knows she's won, so then why does it feel like so much like losing? She refuses to lose. She'll make him pay. She'll make them both pay! she vows (sounding a little like the Wicked Witch of the West, even to herself). Nobody treats Rosalie Hale like this and gets away with it. Catching a glimpse of herself wearing Edward's shitty Pink Floyd shirt in the hallway mirror, she remembers the crushed look on Isabella's face when she walked into her room, and smirks. It's not nearly the victory she imagined it would be—Edward Cullen fucked that up for her—but it is still a victory.

They both flinch at the slamming of the door. When the echo of the resounding bang! dies, plunging the room into silence, Edward takes that as his cue; it may be the only chance he gets. He pleads, begging Bella to understand, even though he doesn't expect her to and won't blame her if she doesn't. "Bella, baby, I'm so sorry," he claims, his voice breaking.

His entire being is crackling with honesty, and Rose just confessed it, but she just…can't. Not yet. Still, she doesn't tune him out.

"She…fuck! She lied to me, got me drunk and seduced me. I thought…well, you know what I thought. I didn't believe her, at first, and then, even after she convinced me…I still didn't want to. But I was angry, and you've just been disappearing lately for hours at a time, and every time I've asked you about it, you're distant and your answers are vague."

She can't do this right now, she needs to think, doesn't know if she can get past this. Rosalie? Anyone other than Rose!

"Just go home, Edward. Please. We'll talk about it later…tomorrow sometime. I just…need to think right now."

He hates this, doesn't want to leave with things unresolved, but she looks so defeated and broken that he's afraid of the outcome if he continues to push her. Everything is falling apart and it's all his fault. As much as he wants to stay, he won't because it isn't what she wants, and he'll give her anything, do anything it takes to fix this. So, he goes.

Distraught and with hunched shoulders, he makes his way to her bedroom door and steps through it. Just before he pulls the door closed behind him, she hears him whisper, "I love you, Isabella Swan, more than anything, and I'll do whatever it takes to prove it to you," and then he reaches back inside the door, and sets a small velvet box on the chest of drawers just inside her door. "Happy Valentine's Day."

It was supposed to be a memorable night, and it was…just not for the reasons either of them intended.

As he goes out to his car, hoping that things will look better in the morning, Bella finds the strength to walk across the room and open the hinged box. It's a promise ring, but she isn't sure that the promise hasn't already been broken.

~Fin~