I do not own Twilight.

Guess when I started writing this? November. Last year. I think this is the hardest thing I have ever had to write. Seriously. Partly because Rosalie is nothing like me. She's pretty, popular (in this story) and all round boy killer. I'm just dorky. It's hard for a dorky girl to think like a supermodel girl. Doesn't really come naturally.

And partly because this has sexual assault in it (nothing particularly explicit, but if you're triggered by that sort of thing, I suggest you don't read this). I've, thankfully, never experienced that before and hopefully never will. But I'm not sure if I got everything right. I'm sorry if anything I write is offensive or inaccurate, I mean no harm by it.

I haven't forgotten BF or any of my other stories, I promise. This just had to be written or I was going to go batshit crazy.

So please, enjoy the show!

The Beautiful Girl and the Honest Man

I love how oblivious my brothers, Luke and Mark, are. Or they choose not to notice how many of their friends crush on their older, hotter sister. I mean, I swear I've just seen one of my brother's best friends actually let a little drool escape his mouth in the rear-view mirror. Mark tugs on this guy's arm and tries to engage him in a conversation about the latest episode of Doctor Who, or some weird British TV series all 12 year olds have boners for.

I make a point of licking my lips slowly and I swear the dweeb almost comes in his pants.

LOL.

All bow down to Rosalie Hale. I am the SHIZZ.

I laugh and focus back on the road again, as I take my brothers back from school, tapping my fingers to the beat of Lady Gaga from the stereo. My brothers hate her but until they can drive themselves to and from school, they have to eat it up. They were still at an age that the worst form of torture was to hang out with a girl. Looks like their friends were beginning to see the opposite. Poor bastards, they don't stand a chance.

I glanced up at the picture of my boyfriend tucked into the sun visor. Royce was a senior and played quarterback for the Forks Spartans. And he was perfect. He just was. Blue eyes and golden-blonde hair, he stood at least a head over me. He's a big guy, which makes fun to hang off of him. He owned a four by four Hummer, with large stereos and wide seats, perfect for making out in. For my birthday, he gave me diamond stud earrings and for Christmas, a necklace to match. He. Is. Perfect.

It's not long before we are home. My brothers thunder out the car and their friends follow reluctantly behind, giving me one last longing glance, as I remained sitting in the front seat of my car. I pout at them, take out my lip-gloss and start applying it liberally, making sure to rub and pop my lips together in a way I know boys like.

The nerds' mouths flapped open and their eyes nearly pop out of their skulls. My brothers toss me an irritated look before taking the arm of their friends and yank them into the house. I snort and then check that no one saw me snorting. I pick up my Dolce and Gabbana purse and step out of the car, shaking out my hair before slamming the door behind me. I walk to the large white house, with a wrap around porch and blue shutters. My mother's clematis crawls up the posts and tangle around the slate roof. I push open the front red door; drop my bag on the chest of drawers by the door and head on over to the kitchen. My mom was by the kitchen island, dressed in a pale blue dress and reading one of her beloved gardening magazines.

"Hey honey!"

My mother is beautiful. When I was little, I used to sit next to her at her dressing table and watch her put on her make up and jewellery. I'd watch as she would brush and spray her golden hair until it was perfectly coiffed and how she would slip on the pearls my father had given to her for their first anniversary. And after she had spritzed her perfume onto her wrists and rubbed her wrists against the soft skin of her neck, my father would come up behind her and kiss her temple and murmur an 'I love you' into her ear. In the mirror, she'd give me a knowing smile before kissing him right back.

I always wanted to be just like her.

"Hi mom," I said cheerfully, sitting up next to her, "how was your day?"

She closed the magazine and smoothed her hands over her dress, smiling softly at me, "It was good, thank you. How was yours?"

"Y'know that Alice Brandon? She came back to school today…" I said it slowly, tugging the hem of my sleeve.

Only that morning, Alice Mary Brandon, daughter of a bible basher and the vestal virgin extraordinaire, turned up in the car of the local vampire and slid out, looking like the freaking bride to Frankenstein. It wasn't seeing her that way that was unnerving. Weird and Alice Brandon were pretty much the same thing. It was the fact that she seemed so damn happy. She laughed at the people who gave her evil looks and looked like she didn't care in the slightest when the other vestal virgins refused to let her sit with them. She had glided over to a deserted table and started eating her lunch, while flicking through a magazine she had brought with her in her purse. She caught me looking at her and gave me the widest grin I had ever seen out of her.

And it irritated me.

How could she be so happy? She's a social pariah now, following after some douchebag vampire, who will probably only use her as his own personal refrigerator and fuck toy. Why is she so happy?

"That's the daughter to those church extremists down the road," my mom said, placing her oval face on her manicured hand. Even when she is frowning, my mom looks perfect, "What happened?"

"She's with one of…you know," I mimicked fangs coming out of my mouth, giving her a knowing look.

Mom's eyes widened, and she leaned back, as if leaning away from something unpleasant, "No. Really? Patricia's daughter? Alice was always such a straight kid. I always thought…you mean to say she's a…vampire's consort?"

I nodded, remembering the flashing glimpse of a bite mark on the side of Alice's neck. 'Did that hurt?' I wondered, my hand flickering up to my neck. Mom sighed heavily, "Patricia'll be distraught. She loved Alice. But with a husband like that…"

Mom shook her head and smiled sadly, "This vampire business is not good. Not good at all. Tearing family's apart like that. They should have stayed where they were. Vile creatures. Its just as well you're with Royce. He'll take care of you."

I smiled brightly at the thought. "Yeah…do you think…do you think we'll marry Mom? Be like you and dad?"

Mom reached forward and took my hand, her soft cool hand squeezing my own, "Who knows? Maybe you and Royce will have a multitude of blonde babies in a house like this. Royce is a good boy, you should stick with him."

We both beamed at each other and Mom gave my hand one last squeeze before standing up and beginning to pull out pots and pans. "Steak and asparagus for dinner. Do you have homework?"

I nodded my head, sliding off the stool. "I'll just be upstairs."

I left her cooking, and walked up the curving staircase, my hand sliding up the banister as I went. I opened the door to my bedroom and flopped onto the bed, digging out my phone from my pocket. There was a text from Nina, my best friend:

Alice's parents tried 2 storm the vamps house

I raised my eyebrows at that and quickly texted back:

Shit. Really?

Yea i can hear the sirens from here

Nina lived near the vamp's house so she was the only one who knew the most about them out of all of us. They were a secretive bunch. We all knew that they had moved into town but none of us had ever seen them before Alice and Mr Blonde Vampire rolled in this morning.

How do u no it was Alice's parents?

Theres people with placards in the street outside their driveway

I knew they were insane

EVERYONE nos theyre insane

Imagine havin them 4 parents?

Id run away

No shit. Makes the Addams family look normal

No wonder Alice jumped the vampire

That made me pause. It never occurred to me that having a vampire soul mate would be a source of freedom. Alice had always been a bible basher, ring wearer prude, but she had always seemed happy with that. Or at least, she didn't complain about it.

Nina texted me again:

U goin to Erins party dis sat?

Erin Schoenberg was infamous for throwing the best parties ever. She had one every year to celebrate her birthday. Her parents always moved to their ski chalet in Whistler, leaving Erin with the house to herself for the entire week of the party. Her older brother who went to college brought in the vodka and the beer and he knew a guy who knew a guy who was a pretty good DJ. All of this summed up to be an epic night. Well…epic enough for a shitty little town like Forks. Anybody who was a somebody went and anybody who wanted to be a somebody also went.

Ipso facto – it was always a full house.

And Royce always wanted me to go with him.

Yea

Gr8! Wat r u wearing?

The little blue dress with the beads we got last shopping trip

Dat looked fantastic on u!

Thnx! Wat about u?

The silk red dress. Eli luvs it on me

Yea. U always look gr8 in it

Not as much as u

I was used to girls being jealous of me. I mean…its hard not to be jealous of me. But it stings a little when it's my friend.

Dont b stupid. U hav gr8 hair

There was a long pause before she replied:

Gtg. See u l8er

Nina was gone. I sighed and rolled off the bed, walking towards my desk to start my history homework. I worked until my mom called me down.

I got up, shook my hair out and pouted in the mirror before walking down stairs. Dad was there, sitting in his usual place at the head of the table, and I skipped over to him to kiss his cheek, "Hello Daddy."

Dad smiled warmly back at me, kissing my cheek back, "How's my little girl?"

"Fine Daddy. Glad you're home," I replied, sitting down next to him on his right as Mom set out the dinner plates.

Luke and Mark were still talking about meaningless shit while their friends tried to hide the fact that they were staring at me.

Mom sat down and then we all held hands for grace. The friend's hand was sweaty and warm in my own and I made a point of wiping my hand on my jeans after it had left his grip.

Dinner was normal. Family time. My father joked, my mother laughed, my brothers talked eagerly and I smiled throughout, listening all the way through. Compared to most families, ours was all right. My mom loved my dad and vice versa. I loved my brothers (even when they pissed me off a few times) and I'm pretty sure they love me.

Compared to Alice Brandon's previous life; my life was the dream.

*R*E*

Later, Royce finally called me. I was in my room, dressed in his t-shirt and panties for bed, flicking through magazines when my ringtone played out.

"Hey babe. Miss me?" Royce had that relaxed charm that just made it easy to like him. He could have had any girl he wanted.

But all he wanted was the best.

"Of course I missed you," I said sweetly, warmth filling my stomach, "Did you?"

"Every minute babe," he said, his voice sounding pained, "Coach worked our asses tonight."

"Aw, are you ok baby?" I crooned, twirling a lock of hair around my finger.

"Better now that I've heard from you," he replied back and I almost swooned.

"That's good baby, good," I replied sweetly, "Where are you now?"

"My room," he said idly and I heard the smack and toss of a ball being thrown about. "You?"

"Same," I replied, checking my nails.

"What are you wearing?"

Something prodded in my stomach but I ignored it, "One of your shirts."

I heard him grown, "Anything on the bottom?"

The prodding became more persistent. "Uhm…panties."

"What kind?" His voice is growing huskier by the minute

"My parents are in the next room you know."

"Yeah, so? Nikki always told me."

I chewed on my tongue. I hated it when he reminded me I wasn't his first. It kinda ruined the whole happily-ever-after vibe I was going for.

But…I didn't want him to go.

"Uh…black ones."

"With lace?" A note of impatience now.

I squirmed in discomfort, "A little…"

"Oh yes," he groaned and my face flushed.

I know what you're thinking.

Rosalie Hale, Man Killer, Aphrodite personified; embarrassed over her boyfriend asking her what kind of panties she's wearing? Practically unheard-of.

Secretly, underneath the icy beauty persona, I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic. I wanted dinners by candlelight, moonlit strolls and roses at random during the day. And Royce could do that. I know he could do it. It was how he pulled me in at first. When he took interest, I would find a rose taped to my locker everyday with some silly little note that made me weak at the knees. But in exchange for that he expected…more. He'd been demanding stuff like that for a while now. Sex was not something I had ever done before. And everyone time I thought of doing it with Royce, there was this small part of me that whispered not yet, just wait a little longer.

Royce said that everyone sexted all the time.

Really? It just seemed kind of…tacky. Slutty even.

I do seductress, not slutty. Some girls (Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory for one) needed to learn the fine line between the two.

"Royce, do we really have to do this?" I asked, an almost pleading note in my voice.

There was a pregnant pause and then a sigh, "Why must you do this Rose?"

I clench my teeth and pull my knees to my chest, "I just, it feels…kinda…gross. I don't like it when you ask me to send you pictures of me…naked and posing. It just seems beneath us."

"Rooooose," he groaned, "do you know what happens if a man doesn't get his needs addressed?"

That pissed me off. I wasn't some stupid ignorant girl that he could trick into sucking his cock. "No. What happens?" I said drily, trying to keep my voice restrained from yelling.

"All sorts of problems happen, sweetie. Hair loss, anger, depression, even suicide."

I had to keep myself from laughing at the last one. He must be really desperate. "Oh really?" I said, picking at my nails, "You know what else?"

"What doll?"

"I'm Eddie Murphy."

He takes a long breath. He doesn't like it when I use humour. He's the only one who is allowed to be funny. "Babe…just…c'mon. We already know we're meant for each other. Doesn't my tattoo prove it?"

"You got that when you were drunk," I said flatly.

"Well you know how people do the things that are in their very nature to do when they're drunk. Its exactly the same thing with my tattoo."

I began to cough hysterically into the receiver. "What is it babe?" he now sounds genuinely concerned.

"Oh no, its nothing. I'm just allergic to bullshit."

Another long pause before… "Fuck you Rose. No wonder I'm your first boyfriend."

Then there was a click and a dial tone. I sat there, shocked at hearing the nasal buzz over the speaker.

Shit.

I knew I'd gone too far.

He's going to dump me.

I dropped the phone, shoved it off the bed so it clunked on the floor and I crawled under my covers.

My eyes stung but I blinked it away.

No one deserved my tears.

*R*E*

I was nervous driving into school the next day. I looked around for his Hummer but couldn't find it amongst the other cars in the parking lot. I got out and slammed the door shut, straightening myself and righting the persona.

I walked to my locker alone, giving off the usual aura that told people who didn't matter to look but not touch. Or talk to. Or make any sort of contact whatsoever.

When I got there, I was quietly turning the dial on my locker when I felt a pillar of heat behind me, "Hey baby."

I turned around and Royce was there, his body so close that I could smell his musky cologne. "Hi…uhm…listen I'm sorry about last night…I was tired and-"

He pressed his mouth to swallow my words. I kissed him back, startled by the change in his mood. He pulled away and grinned, "its no trouble babe. I forgive you."

He kissed me again, hands tightening around my waist. The second time he pulled away he asked, "What are you wearing for Erin's party?"

I gave a sigh of relief. If he's still taking me to the party then he's not going to leave me. I reply, "the blue dress with beads?"

He grinned and kissed the corner of my mouth, "you'll look hot. Shall I see you there?"

I nodded and he pressed his mouth one last time against mine before he was gone, walking confidently back down the hall.

I stood stunned by my locker, my fingers reaching up to the place where he'd kissed me last.

It's all ok.

"You shouldn't go."

I snapped my gaze to where the voice had blurted out from and stared at Alice Brandon. She stared expectantly at me She had too much dark eye shadow and black lipstick on and her studded leather choker looked like a dog collar. "What you say, freak?" I snapped, tossing my hair over my shoulder and cocking the bitch-brow.

She shrugged, tapping her fingers along the spines of her books, "You're not going to listen to me, but I'll tell you anyway: you shouldn't go."

She suddenly smiled and skipped off down the hall, leaving a leftover of onlookers. I stared after her, scoffed and slammed my locker shut.

Freak.

What did she know?

*R*E*

The house was vibrating with people when we drove up the driveway. Nina was driving and Elsa laid already half wasted on the back seat from pre-party shots, taken at Nina's house. I was only lightly buzzed, my head feeling all floaty from the tequila. Smog from the various people smoking on the front porch made the front of the building hazy, tips of cigarettes glowing dimly in front of dark silhouettes. Something with a low bass and fast beat pulsed the windows and a few of the shadows were nodding their heads to the music.

Elsa giggled and toppled out the car, "Lets paaartaay!" she giggled hysterically for a moment as we stepped out. I could feel the attention divert to us, the glittering eyes focused on us; the royalty of this bumfucked town. We were the ones who mattered. A party wasn't a party until we had arrived.

Nina and I took Elsa by the arms, "c'mon, princess!" I laughed, linking my arm through hers, "more shots inside."

"You two are my babes. You know that, right? My babes," Elsa said emphatically, finally starting to stagger with us.

Nina rolled her eyes and I smirked. Elsa was always an emotional drunk, "uh huh, whatever you say Elsa."

We entered the heaving house, the place vibrating with people. A dance floor had been cleared in the darkened living room, people grinding their sweaty bodies against each other. People who were uncomfortable in their skins stood at the edge, clutching red cups like they were a life ring. We pushed past them, inhaling the smell of sweat, smoke, alcohol and a mixture of perfume and cologne.

The kitchen had every surface covered with a combination of food and bottles, someone already passed out on top the kitchen island, a penis ejaculating into the corner of his mouth drawn in indelible ink on his cheek. Eli, Freddie, Dan and Royce were all guffawing by the passed out guy, Eli holding the black pen.

Nina was the first to approach, slinging an arm around Eli's neck and going on tiptoes for a kiss. "Giving Eric Yorkie the jock treatment I see," she giggled as Eli turned and pressed his lips against hers.

He then spun her around, his eyes hungrily drinking her in, "Nina, you look hot."

In the mean time, Royce had sidled up to me, pulling me in for a kiss. I could taste the whiskey in his mouth and the slightly acrid taste of cigarettes. It wasn't entirely unpleasant. But he groped through my dress, giving my ass a squeeze and muttered into my mouth, "so fucking hot."

I pulled away, blushing slightly but kept my smile, "Hey baby, having fun?"

Royce grinned capturing my lips one more time, "damn if I don't have the hottest girl in all of Forks. In all of Washington." He grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the disco-cum-sitting room, "dance with me sugar."

He nearly tripped on a lamp cord but righted himself in time to pull me into a tight embrace, shifting and grinding in time to Lil Wayne. I went along with it, clasping my hands behind Royce's neck, as his gripped me by the hips.

I should have felt that something was wrong. He was holding me a little too tightly, his breath was maybe smelling too strongly of liquor, he was far more aggressive with any boy who came too close for his liking. Some sophomore accidentally bumped into me and Royce completely lost his shit. His fist smacked into the guy's jaw, knocking him to the floor. If I hadn't held him back, I'm pretty sure Royce would have beaten the shit out of the sophomore.

Other than that, he would not let me go, through all the songs. And his hands got more adventurous. What started as standard dance hold turned into full on groping. His hands squeezed my boobs, my ass, yanking me in by the waist, the other slithering up to my hair, wrapping it around his fist and forcing my mouth to his.

It was when his hand slid up my thigh and under the skirt of my dress, getting dangerously close to my panties did I have enough. I shoved him off and snapped, "I'm not a fucking slut, Royce."

His eyes widened in fury but I didn't bother to watch the rest. I stormed away, heard him call after me but ignored it, making out to the hallway and wrestled my way to the bathroom. I pushed the unlocked door open, only to find Jessica Stanley vomiting into the toilet and Bella Swan holding the girl's hair back, perched on the bathtub as she was.

Bella grinned sheepishly, giving me a mock wave, and said over the sound of Jessica's retching, "don't mind us. Do your...hair or whatever girls like you do."

I scowled at her, locking the door behind me. I was not in the mood to put up with her weirdness and headed for the mirror.

My mom always said that if you got upset at a party, the best thing to do was to go to the bathroom and touch up your make up. The time it takes for you to look good again will help with calming down. It always worked.

Applying lip gloss was hard at first: my hand was shaking but eventually it smoothed out. As I wiped stray globs of mascara and finger combed my hair, there suddenly came a loud thumping came from the door. "Rose? You in there? Rose?"

I jumped at the sound of Royce's voice, the door knob rattling at the force of his knocking.

I gripped the edge of the washbasin with white knuckled fingers. I didn't know why I was so afraid all of a sudden. I just knew that if I opened that door, I had very little control on what would happen next.

He banged on the door again, his voice straining over the thrumming of the music. "Rose babe, open up. We need to talk."

I sighed, realising there was no way I was getting out of this. Its just Royce, I tried to reassure myself, he won't hurt you. Its just Royce.

So much depended on how Royce and I dealt with things now. We were It. We were the high school sweethearts, we were meant to stick it through, thick and thin. Everyone expects us to be together. It was basic biology or some shit like that.

Jessica was now slumped against the bath tub, groaning against a fluffy towel mat. Bella was trying to force water from a red cup down Jessica's throat. "You gonna open that? He's getting really fucking annoying," she said bluntly, as Jessica mumbled into the rim of her cup about Mike Newton.

"Get fucked, Swan," I snapped, stuffing my purse again.

Swan's eyes sparked in anger, "go fuck yourself, Barbie."

Scoffing, I unlocked the door and promptly returned back to being in Royce's arms. He instantly cupped my face, pulling me in for another kiss. This time it nauseated me, the buzz from earlier now making the room spin. The bitter mixture of alcohol and smoke on his lips made me want to gag.

I pulled away and something flashed in his gaze, but it was too quick to catch. "You wanted to talk?" I asked, gripping onto his biceps.

He frowned, as if trying to remember what he asked. Suddenly his face smoothed out and he herded me down the hall, stumbling over the wasted bodies, vomit and cups in the hall to the back door. "Why don't we take a walk?"

Warning bells were starting to ring but I was too scared to act on them. Also, I didn't think I really had a choice. "Sh-sure," I said, as we stepped into the back yard. Several more people were out here, smoking, chatting, drinking, making out, as they huddled around the big oil drums crackling with flames.

I thought we would stop here and talk a little away from the fires. But Royce ushered me away from this, leading me down the garden and into the first set of trees that surrounded Erin's house and even further on.

If warning bells were going before, fucking sirens were screaming now.

Why was I so afraid? Why won't I run?

He won't hurt me.

He can't hurt me.

He is perfect.

Royce finally stopped until we were nearly out of sight of the house. He turned, staring at me with an unreadable look on his face. He was mostly in shadow, only the dim light of the moon and lights from the house illuminated him. I had to squint to try and make his shape out.

"Rose, why can't you let me in?"

"What?" I asked, confused momentarily by the question.

Royce sighed frustration, "why can't you see that I want you? I'm ready, aren't you?"

A part of me hated how he was making it my fault. As if being afflicted with blue balls was entirely my problem and not his. I wanted to snark about solving his problem by jerking off more often but I realised it was now past sarcasm with Royce. He was hovering near me, thrumming with some unknown emotion that frightened me. I shrugged weakly, "I just...I love you Royce. I just don't think I am ready for that yet. Just...please be patient. A few more weeks and maybe..." I trailed off, unsure of how to finish that sentence. That damn voice was still there, telling me that it wasn't time yet, just a little longer, don't give it all away now. I didn't know how I could explain it to him.

Royce seemed to turn to concrete for a few seconds. He didn't move, didn't speak, didn't even seem to breathe. I guess that's what made what he said next all the more shocking.

"You little cocktease." His voice had completely changed now, from gentle and slightly slurred to a gravelly, threatening growl. He stalked forward making me retreat back, the shaking returning. My heart was starting to thunder in my ears, my stomach was doing backflips. It was like the entire world was getting narrower and narrower until it was only Royce and me.

Royce suddenly shoved me back, so that my back hit against the wet bark of a tree, the cold shocking my spine, "you run around in little fuck-me skirts and heels, practically begging for cock. And you have the fucking nerve to turn me down? Girls have fucking beggedme to fuck them and you say: no?" he spat this in my face, gripping my arms and slamming me against the tree.

Flowers blossomed on my vision as my head knocked against the tree. I whimpered and he snarled, "shut the fuck up, slut. I've waited too fucking long for you to fuck this up."

It was like my brain was now working at the rate of pouring treacle. The words had registered but none of it made sense. I stared blankly at the two glittering eyes that seemed to hover in the darkness in front of me. There was a part of my brain screaming for me to run. For God's sake, run. But my body felt detached, disconnected, frozen against a tree with a boy I thought I knew.

Because this wasn't the Royce I knew. The Royce I knew wouldn't do this to me. He was perfect. He was a gentlemen in a varsity jacket. He would never do this to me.

But obviously...he could.

His mouth was suddenly on me, tongue shoved into my mouth, teeth clicking against each other. He grabbed my thighs and wrenched me up, the bark scratching my skin. Suddenly his fingers were there, ripping at my panties and he shoved his dirty rough fingers against the softest part of me. It burned. Tears squeezed out of my eyes and I whimpered out again.

He growled into my mouth, and vaguely I heard the sound of a zipper.

No!

I'm not about to become another fucking cliche. I don't want to be that girl who got raped for refusing her boyfriend sex. Not me. No one deserved that from me. Especially not some fucktard boy I thought I loved.

Without thought, I bit down hard on the wet, slimy muscle, lolling around in my mouth. He howled in pain as the iron tint of blood filled my mouth. He recoiled back, hand flashing to his mouth, swearing out, "you bit me! You fucking bit me!"

I crumpled to the ground, twigs jabbing into my flesh, moss sticking to the inside of my thighs. Royce looked wild, his eyes flashing, his fists clenching, "you little cunt!" He approached me again, his hand snapping out again.

But not before my body jerked into action. I scrambled to my feet, my ankles wobbly in the high heels I had chosen only a few hours ago. I stumbled away from him, grabbing trees for support as my heart pounded in my mouth and the world seemed to tip and slide.

I heard him shout out to me but I couldn't make out what he was saying as I managed to get to the clear grass of the garden. I ran past the lazy bodies of people by the fires, too doped out to know what was going on in the woods. The doorknob of the backdoor slipped and rattled in my fingers but I finally managed to get in.

The music now seemed too loud, the smells of beer and smoke too pungent, the colours of people's clothes too vivid. My heart seemed to be making an attempt to escape my chest and nausea bulldozed my stomach. I fled to the front door bursting out into the cold night. I heard a different voice shout my name but I ignored it, only having one thought on my mind.

Get out. Get away. Run.

I tumbled down the stairs and made off, sprinting out to the road. As soon as I got to the tarmac, I hooked my heels off and ran barefoot, the ground freezing against my toes. But I didn't stop. I just ran until the lights of the house were gone and I was alone in the dark, in fuck knows where.

That was when it all came crashing down on me. The nausea reached up and clawed at my throat. My stomach convulsed and I stopped running only to vomit on the side of the road. I choked, collapsing to my knees, coughing what little I had drunk and ate during the party. Tears burned out and down my face as I crouched in the mud and the pine needles. My fists clutched at the earth as the dry heaves kept on coming.

This could not have happened to me. This sort of stuff happened to girls in the newspapers and CNN, but not me. Why was it me?

Once my body felt like it had purged enough of itself, I willed myself to get up, my breath was coming in short quick gasps, the back of my throat whistling slightly with each inhalation. I could still hear my heart, galloping away in my ears, in my skull. Pushing my hair back from my sweaty face, I realised that I had a near hour walk until I got to my house. There was no way I could handle going back. I couldn't handle facing that crowd, I couldn't handle facing my friends and I certainly couldn't handle facing Royce.

Wiping my hands on my dress, I still remembered to gather my shoes before stumbling off down the road.

I was too shocked to start crying. The earlier tears were only due to the burn of bile at the back of my throat but now that they were gone, my eyes were completely dry. I just wouldn't cry, my brain trying to get around what had just happened.

Now that I tried to think of what had actually happened, the memory seemed to shift and melt, leaving me with only the over strong emotion of horror and the feel of his hands against the most private part of me.

It was going to hit me like a ton of bricks later, I knew. But right now, I felt numb, cold. I walked dazedly, barely registering the cold wet ground, the sharp air in my breaths, the cars that would sometimes roar past me. At some point it began to rain, icy shards against my skin. My dress and hair slowly began to get soaked, dripping rivulets down my arms and legs. I just kept on going, wanting to just get home and find my mom.

My mom would make all this ok again. She'll explain it to me, she'll tell me it wasn't my fault, she'll explain what I have to do. She'll be there just as she's always been. She'll listen.

Finally, my house loomed into view. I limped my way to the front door, shivering, teeth chattering as I let myself in.

The house was dark. There was no sound. I moved from the hall and up the stairs, uncaring if I woke anyone. I went to my parents room and burst in, barefoot and all...only to find their beds empty.

I then remembered. Mom and dad were at a charity weekend long event in Seattle and wouldn't be back until late afternoon. Mark and Luke were at a friend's house.

I stood, shivering and dripping in the door way, willing for her to magically appear. She had always been there before when I needed her. Why wasn't she here now?

I just wanted my mom.

Was that too much?

*R*E*

I woke up in my bed next morning. Or afternoon would be a more accurate description. I had eventually wandered to bed, stripping off my filthy dress as I went, crawling into bed in only panties and a bra, not bothering to remove my make up.

My pillow was wet and smudged with residue mascara. I don't remember crying myself to sleep.

But now that I had slept, last night surged on top of me, like a huge choking wave, holding me down under suffocating memory.

Alcohol and tobacco.

Shimmery gold strands in the moonlight.

Sweat against my collarbone.

Barraging heat against my stomach, something hard, terrifyingly so.

Coarse, ripping sensation against my softest flesh, horrifying, disgusting, shameful.

In a paroxysm of revulsion, I gathered my comforter to my mouth and howled, shaking with self-loathing.

It was my fault. It had to be. I was the one who led him on; I was the one who denied him. In making yourself beautiful the way I do, you are inviting behaviour like that. It was all my fault. Now I understood why girls dressed in only their worst clothes, skirting the edge of the social scene. To avoid this.

I was so stupid. This was my fault.

Tears soaked into the linen. I sobbed, taking huge shuddering breaths, hiccupping into the comforter.

I still couldn't help thinking: why did he do this to me? Why did he take away the one good thing we both had? How could he do this to me?

I knew, that in comparison to what happened to some girls and women, I had a relatively light ordeal. Nothing was truly taken from me. There would be no long-term physical damage. But I still couldn't help it.

I felt filthy.

Tainted.

Used goods.

I jerked out of bed and ran for the bathroom, grabbing my towel as I went. Once I got there, I stripped off my underwear, turning on the shower full blast and hopped in, hissing at the scalding water against my skin. I grabbed the soap and scrubbed all over, using the exfoliating sponge to rub it into my skin. I scrubbed all over, trying to get the feeling of greasiness, of contamination off my skin. I did this until my skin was close to bleeding, great red welts on my stomach, arms, legs and back. The hot water was getting unbearable, stinging my skin with each splash.

I shakily shut the water off, nearly stumbling out the shower. Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror. I saw a girl with angry red skin, her blonde hair made mousey by the dripping water, her too large eyes shadowed by purplish bruises. Looking at her arms, I jolted at the purplish bruises that were there: they were in the shape of large hands.

A hysterical sound left my lips; I clasped my hands against my mouth, my eyes squeezing shut. I stumbled back, collapsing against the cold tile wall and sliding down, until I was crouched on the floor.

Out of the blue, a snide voice at the back of my head, similar to Bella Swan's whispered in my head: 'how the mighty have fallen.'

*R*E*

Later that night, my parents returned, brothers in tow. I reluctantly dragged myself from bed again, slouching my way downstairs. After my episode in the bathroom, for the rest of that afternoon I had waited for someone I knew to call me or text me at least, to at least ask where I'd gone last night. But there was nothing from my phone; no missed calls or unread texts. It worried me: I may have lost my boyfriend but I didn't lose my friends. Where is their concern? Isn't that what friends are supposed to do? So instead I had moped in bed, watching the box season of Gossip Girl and eating crap loads of ice cream.

When I got downstairs, Mom was already pulling out the pre-cooked lasagne, preparing to thaw it out in the oven. Dad was getting the wine from the fridge, laughing at something Luke was talking about.

I stood at the edge of this, looking in. I felt ashamed even more now: here in this bright clean kitchen. What happened to me didn't belong here. I wouldn't dare say it, in case my father didn't look at me the same way anymore and my mother turn away in shame. I couldn't.

My mom finally looked up and smiled softly, "Rosa! Darling, how are you?"

My eyes pricked and I smiled weakly, "Good mom. How was the Red Cross Weekend?"

She tossed her hand in a nonchalant way, "it was fine. A little dull at times, but fine. How was your party?"

My throat shrivelled up and I fought back tears as I croaked out, "great. Really...great."

"You ok kid?" Dad suddenly asked, "Sounds like you've got a sore throat."

I grimaced a watery smile and lied, "just got a bit of a cold, that's all."

"Oh poor baby," Mom cooed, "would you like some honey and chamomile tea? That always fixes things, hmm?"

I couldn't help but smile genuinely again, "uhm...that would be nice, Mom."

She simultaneously reached for the kettle, moved it onto an open flame and said softly to me, "you gonna sit down, sweetie? Get yourself comfortable, okay?"

My eyes prickled and I nodded mutely. Just as I was about to go, she took my hand and cupped my cheek, so that I looked into her face, "are you sure you're ok? You looked upset about something when you walked in. Did something happen?"

The words, they were there. The script rolled through my head and I knew exactly what I would say. But it was like my tongue had glued itself to the roof of my mouth. I couldn't say it, wouldn't say it. The shame of it, in front of my mother, the one person I looked up to, was too much.

So I only smiled and shook my head, managing to unlock my tongue to say in a surprisingly clear voice, "I'm fine. Just a cold."

She squeezed my hand, her warmth almost scorching me before she was gone, reaching for the shrilling whistle of the kettle.

*R*E*

The next day was school again. Driving into school was like swimming into cloudy waters; you wait for the tell-tale bite of a creature that wants to drag you under.

In the car, I closed my eyes, needing a minute to gather the shields about me. The lack of contact from my friends made what was coming unknowable. Maybe all of their phones spontaneously broke at the same time.

God, I am bullshitting myself.

I opened my eyes and slid out the car.

The entire parking lot seemed to freeze in a montage of high school drama. They all stared. At me. And those gazes were not awed or jealous or attracted, the gazes that I was used to.

They were vicious. Suspicious. Calculating.

I swallowed, wondering what the hell happened in the small time I had been off the radar. Picking up my bag, I walked slowly forward, eyes on the crowd whose own eyes followed my movement, like on those nature documentaries about predators in jungles and prairies. Whispers rippled and collided around me, hisses that were no doubt not saying anything good.

I gripped the strap of my bag and walked through, wondering who was going to attack first.

What the fuck is going on?

Do these people know something I don't?

Walking the halls to my locker, I knew that something had been told, something that made the majority of the school hate me.

But not all though.

As I gathered books from the bottom of my locker, over strong cologne wafted towards me and someone leant against the lockers next to me.

"Hey Rosalie."

I looked to my left and regretted it. Eric Yorkie, the greasy pimply Asian sleaze was leaning against the lockers, grinning like he thought he was sex on legs. Which he wasn't. He was wearing the usual stupid black tie and purple shirt combo that made him look like some gay salesman and his hair was trying to do the whole 'I've been fucked' look but actually looked like it hadn't seen shampoo and a hairbrush since Columbus discovered America.

What the fuck is he doing standing next to me? We shouldn't associate each other. We probably don't even belong to the same planet.

"What?" I asked him, slamming my locker shut with a loud bang.

He shrugged, still grinning, "just saying hey. Heard you and Royce broke up at Erin's party."

I repressed my wince and gave him an icy look I reserved especially for guys exactly like him, "So?"

Eric leaned forward, his cologne stinging my nose, "I heard you like it rough."

My muscles and bones locked together as the words passed his lips. He continued, taking advantage of the fact I had turned to a statue in front of him, "if you uh need a little something, I'm available, baby." His grin swam in my vision, reminding me of the Disney cartoon of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. Nausea churned in my stomach and my cheeks threatened to burn.

I internally slapped myself and slipped into my usual persona. "Firstly, I'm not your baby," I said coldly, pulling myself away from the lockers. "And secondly," I smirked, like I really couldn't give a fuck, "if I liked it rough, you'd never be my first choice. In fact, you wouldn't be a choice at all." I blew him a kiss, fluttered my eyelashes, spun on the spot and sashayed off, leaving him gaping and turning puce.

A shout erupted from behind me, "Ice-Bitch!"

I didn't falter. I'd been called bitch before. Often behind my back, but I was used to it.

I escaped from the scene, wary of more whispers happening about me. Walking into my first class was like walking into a cemetery. Instant silence. I continued to move forward to my usual desk, where Nina normally sat next to me. But today she was at the back, sitting next to a girl who I knew at massive BO. She wouldn't look at me as I sat down. People began to talk again, in low hissing voices but I still heard snatches of conversation even though I tried not to.

"…heard she fucked a college student…"

"…I heard it was actually a vampire…"

"…begging for it…"

"…moaning for it in the woods…"

"…such a-"

Slut.

My body seemed to lock up on the word and my eyes prickled.

Shame was an acrid taste at the back of my throat and it took all my will not to bolt from the table. The teacher walked in, completely unaware of what had been going on, already settling into his lecture with the same dry monotone.

What was happening?

I couldn't understand it. I had been untouchable. I was above it all. High school was not the usual adaption of hell on earth for me. I was doing more than surviving, I was gliding.

Royce must have said something. He must have told everyone. The truth or not, I didn't know. Rumours could spread and grow to create a more interesting story than the one that's told in the beginning. But in the end, it must have been Royce who had opened his mouth and gave the final twist to the knife in my back.

I took a shuddering breath, pulling the tears back. I pressed my lips together and stared fixedly at the board, pretending to be interested when everything inside me felt shrivelled and cold.

This is all going wrong. So wrong.

After the class was finished, I was about to get up and gather my books when someone walked by and shoved my stuff onto the floor.

I gritted my teeth, got up and then bent down to pick up my books. Today was going to be a long one, I could tell.

*R*E*

It was so surreal going through the halls. And shitty. Definitely shitty. I wanted to be invisible, something I was not used to. I kept my head down, drifting from class to class. It was difficult. People bumped into me deliberately, hissed names around the corners.

My friends ignored me. I didn't know what they knew but the fact that they wouldn't look me in the eye and if they did look at me it was disgust that covered their faces. I hated that it hurt so much, but it did.

The joy of seeing Royce was saved for lunchtime. The churning sick feeling in my stomach increased as I went through the canteen, collecting only a banana and a soda. There was some small part of me that pathetically hoped that I could still sit at the same place as always. But nearing the particular table, I saw that it wasn't meant to be. Royce was at the centre of the table, surrounded by a mixture of his friends and girlfriends. He had a cut lip but other than that he remained just as perfect as before, just as confident.

Something dark and ugly roiled in my stomach on sight of him. It didn't seem fair. He'd violated me and got away with it, with that stupid winning smile of his. Didn't he know? Didn't he care?

As soon as he saw me, his face twisted into a sneer, "Haven't you hurt me enough, whore?"

That word again. And coming from him. Barbs were ensnared around that word and they dragged into my skin. He detested me. He was no longer interested in the girl who wouldn't give him what he wanted, who managed to get away when he tried to take it forcefully.

But all the same, oily shame bubbled to my cheeks, even if I didn't know what I did wrong.

"What?" I asked, eyes feeling hot.

"Don't try to deny it," hissed Erin. My eyes zeroed in on the way she held Royce's arm, like he was hers. The knife twisted in my back one more time.

Come on, I thought desperately, what would mom do? What would she say to you right now?

Straightening my shoulders and tamped down on the trembling in my hands and voice and said, "Deny what?"

Royce snorted and Erin snaked her arm around his waist in a show of sympathy, "You know what you have done. Sleeping around behind my back while denying me to even touch you. Do I really disgust you that much?"

"What?" I said again, my voice taking on a slow, stupid quality.

Royce's face took on that of puppy dog hurt, but his eyes gleamed with that same quality I saw on the night of the party. Vicious, taunting. "You know what I mean. You've been fucking guys from here to Seattle. College guys, Rez people, guys from other schools, you even fucked a vampire once in some scummy bar in Port Angeles, you told me."

I couldn't stop them. My vision blurred, the air seemed to become a thick wall around me. I couldn't breathe. This is what people had been told. That I had confessed to Royce about sleeping with multiple guys while we were dating, while refusing to sleep with him. I was the ultimate slut and heartbreaker in their eyes.

My world tumbled and crashed about me.

Today was officially the worst day of my life.

"Its just as well you didn't fuck her, Royce," one of Royce's friends put in, "you can practically see the crabs crawling all over her."

There was a chorus of disgusted yells and I wished that God would send a bolt of lightening to kill me right then and there. Get me the fuck out of there. Anything to escape.

"Look at her, she'd probably pregnant with some fuckwit's spawn," laughed another.

That was when the chanting began. It started as a whisper from the edge of the cafeteria before rippling inwards, crashing on top of me like a tsunami.

"Slut."

"Slut."

"Slut."

"Slut!"

"Slut!"

"Slut!"

"Slut!"

My hands spasmed, and my tray dropped to my feet. I bolted from the room to the sound of victorious laughter and streaked my way out of the building. I ran until my lungs burned and I could hardly take a breath through the painful sears along my ribcage. Tears stung my cheeks and sobs tumbled out of my mouth. I was by the football stands, the place empty of people. I collapsed onto one of the cold concrete seats, pulled my knees close to my chest, buried my head into the crook of my elbow.

The word 'slut' reverberated around my head, it took on the sound of the voices in the cafeteria. Everyone I knew had turned me from the high school prom queen to the high school communal slut. And I hadn't even done anything.

Well, if everyone thought it, it must be true?

I sobbed harder on that thought, ignoring the cold that was seeping up from the icy concrete below me.

This had all gone so wrong. Why had it gone so wrong? It was never meant to be this way.

"Need a tissue?"

I hiccupped in surprise, peeking out from my arm to see Alice Brandon of all people, wearing a deep purple velvet waistcoat over a black lacy shirt, complete with a leather miniskirt, black fishnets and scuffed DMs. She looked fucking awful in my opinion but she never seemed to care. She was holding out a bunch of cafeteria napkins to me, her face unreadable.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" I spat; I just wanted to be left alone, "come to laugh at me too?"

She snorted and said drily, "No. I heard school sluts should stick together, you know."

I winced at what she said, then realised she'd just called herself a slut too. I knew she must have been having the same treatment, as I did not a few moments ago. The idea made me feel less alone, strangely.

I snuffled, taking the napkins and dabbing at my eyes. Remembering what she had said before the party, I murmured croakily, "You must be dying to tell me 'I told you so.' Bet you feel real proud of yourself."

She shook her head, "I don't like seeing other people hurt. Which you clearly are."

I gritted my teeth, "I'm fine."

Alice actually laughed at that, "Yeah, you must be feeling fucking amazing after being called a slut by the entire school for no reason. Over the fucking moon."

Watching Alice swear was really weird. I'd never even heard her say so much as a squeak before the whole vampire thing, and now here she is, being all sarcastic and shit.

"You saw that?" I whispered, humiliation starting to pile on further. Did everyone really know? Was there no one left out?

"Who didn't see it?" Alice said bluntly, "by now its probably front page news of the Forks Standard. Rosalie Hale; Likes it Up the Ass."

I choked again, sobs restarting with more force this time, hiccupping and snorting into the napkins, quickly turning the stuff into papier-mâché.

I heard a sigh and then an arm was slung around my shoulder, "for what its worth, he was going to assault you at some point anyway even if you didn't go to the party. It was just going to happen later."

I stiffened. How the holy fuck did she know? How did she know the truth? I snivelled and hiccupped, "Huh-how did you know?"

Alice took a deep breath, "long story. I'll tell you when it won't freak you out."

I turned to look at her, her comment reminding me that I was talking to someone who was mated with a vampire. And she seemed…well…alright. She wasn't as overly creepy or as overly demented as she was made out to be.

She was probably the only person in the entire school who will talk to me now.

That thought was so depressing I began to cry again.

And I was horrified to see Alice snigger slightly.

"Whuh-why are y-you laughing?" I sobbed, my eyes feeling puffy and red.

She smothered her mouth, "Sorry, its just that…I've never seen you look ugly before. Its just…odd to see."

I hiccupped in shock again, as her words took me by surprise. "Huh?" was my intelligent reply.

She continued to smile, moving her hand away from her mouth, "Its just…you're an ugly crier. Nothing to be ashamed of. I've heard Kim Kardashian is an ugly crier and she's got her own clothes line and everything, plus a sex tape."

Her little speech, despite everything that had happened, seemed incredibly funny. A hysterical sound passed my lips, rolling into sniggers. I couldn't believe I was laughing especially how shit everything had turned out but I couldn't help it. I chortled and said between giggles, "I'm not ugly."

Alice was laughing now too, "you are when you cry."

"No I'm not," I wiped away the salty, sooty trails of mascara and tears with more of the napkins.

"Well you're beautiful for the rest of the time. That's pretty good going for a teenager."

Somewhere far away, the bell rang.

The smile slipped off my face and dread filled my gut.

"You know what I pretend to do, when I'm walking the halls?" Alice suddenly said, "I go to my happy place. I ignore everything and just think about home and Jasper." I started at the name of the vampire, but she continued on, "I think about the things I care about. You should do the same." She nodded towards the main building, "You wanna walk with me? What class do you have?"

This sudden random kindness from a girl I had barely talked to before began to make me suspicious. I narrowed my eyes, getting up and away from her, "I'll be alright, thanks."

Her face was now unreadable as she remained seated, "anytime. Just uhm…" she paused, chewing on her lips slightly, "you can come and sit at my table if you ever felt like it. So you're not alone." Her face screwed up, "I know how much that sucks."

I had no idea what to say to that. So I left, heading back to reality and away from the vampire consort.

*R*E*

The second day was much the same as the first. Shit.

I didn't sit with Alice at lunch. For the first time since middle school, I brought in a packed lunch and had it in a toilet stall.

The third day someone had forced my locker open, trashed my things and poured sour milk over the remains.

The fourth day, I caught Royce shoving his tongue down Erin's throat in the parking lot; in a way I'd never let him do to me. I hated how much it still hurt.

The fifth day, I caved. I walked with my tray to Alice's table, thoroughly aware of how I was damning myself even further. But hell, since I'm already a social pariah, I might as well do it properly. And Alice had been right.

Being totally alone, sucked. And being friends with people I didn't necessarily trust was something I was good at.

Alice was relaxed as usual, wearing a strapless black corseted dress that would not have looked out of place in a period drama. She grinned widely as I grew closer, patting the seat next to her, "This seat is the best place to cause utmost gossip. Welcome to total social damnation."

I gritted my teeth but sat down anyway. The cafeteria buzzed around us but the way Alice continued to grin, made me think she couldn't give two shits.

I slumped over my tray, rubbing at my throbbing temples, "could you tamp down on the smugness? I already feel shitty about it."

Royce passed our table just then, tray in one hand, Erin's ass in the other, "finally found your true place, whore?" Erin cackled and they moved off before I could reply. My eyes prickled and I looked away, my lips trembling. The question that had been repeating in my head for the past 5 days came to the surface, why is Royce acting like this? What did I do?

Alice rolled her eyes, "what a prick."

I stared at her, "What?"

She nodded towards Royce's retreating back, "King Dick there." She arched her eyebrows, "you can't not think that."

I was silent. There was a recurrent thought with that. That what had happened was in some part my fault. Royce had acted on things that I was doing wrong. It was my fault.

Alice's eyes widened, "Oh Rose."

"Shut up," I said bluntly, sticking my fork harshly into my spaghetti.

"Rose-"

"Shut up," I snapped, "and don't fucking call me Rose."

She doesn't know shit. She's not my friend. She's got no right to lecture me on what's right.

There was a cold silence. I ate without really tasting, too pissed off to speak. So what if she was the only one who somehow knew the truth? Not even my parents knew. She still had no right.

Alice cleared her throat suddenly, shifting uncomfortably, "So, uhm…what TV shows do you watch?"

I huffed, wishing I'd just taken the toilet stall again, "I watch stuff."

Another pause, "I like Gossip Girl. Do you?"

A goth likes Gossip Girl. Crazy shit.

I nodded and added offhandedly "And Vampire Diaries."

Alice's eyes sparked in amusement, "Don't tell my boyfriend that."

Boyfriend? What a weird way of putting it. "Why?" I asked carefully.

"He finds the modern interpretations of vampires very annoying. Says the idea of vampires going to high school is stupid." She sniggered, "I think he just gets jealous easy."

She talked of the vampire so casually; it made me ask, "so…what's it like then? You know…" my throat dried up and I looked at her reproachfully.

She grinned wider, "they have strange habits. You know, there's coffins in the hallway, Frankenstein sleeps on the couch and Thursday nights are Family Orgy Nights."

She was teasing me, or maybe she wasn't.

She sniggered, "they're normal, really. They just drink blood and sometimes don't understand the concept of personal privacy. Emmett's the goof, Edward's the thinker and Jasper… Jasper's mine."

The possession in her voice startled me. I'd always thought that being a corpse bride meant being owned. But what she said blew all of that out of the water. The vampire not only owned her. She owned the vampire.

This sudden revelation must have shown on my face. She laughed, "you looked so surprised. Yes, Jasper is mine. He was mine the moment I was born and vice versa."

I frowned, "does he feed from you?" that thought was repulsive.

"Sometimes, like its any of your business," she cocked her eyebrow, "listen, I know you think that people like uh- I mean me are massive whores. We, by the freak of the universe, are sluts because of who's been chosen for us. Do you understand what kinda stupid logic is that? It's the same logic that drove King Douche to attack you."

"Will you fuck off about that!"

"Well then, will you fuck off about my personal life!"

We glowered at each other across the table. In mid glower, the guy we happened to be talking about and his new girlfriend, strutted past our again table, as if to gloat. "Oh look, it's the sluts convention," Erin sneered.

Alice was quick to react, with a scoff and an injection of sarcasm, "Original. You get that from Wikipedia?"

"Just stating the truth," Royce hardly looked at me, "just standing here is enough to get me herpes."

"Why don't you leave then?" Alice snapped, "before I infect you with vampire rabies!" She hissed, bearing her teeth like a pissed off alley cat. Her eyes sparked and in a flash, she didn't look human. Her eyes glowed for a moment and her teeth flashed in the light above. Funny thing was, I wasn't afraid. More in awe. That's what happened to you? You become stronger?

The two other teenagers recoiled both recoiled, "that's sick!" Erin wailed and Royce pushed her behind him, "stay the fuck away from us!" he yelled, causing most of the cafeteria to stare at us. They stumbled away from us and Alice seemed to relax.

She closed her eyes and massaged her temples. "Great, now I've got a headache," she muttered.

She suddenly opened her eyes and began to gather her things, "listen, you can continued to come and sit at this table for lunch, that's fine. But I don't think we'll be able to have a decent conversation until you've got it out of your head about what constitutes being a slut and that being one is the worst thing in the world. You wanna understand better? I'll be waiting by the trophy cabinet after school everyday. Everyday, y'understand? When you've talked yourself round, meet me there. I'll then show you. I'll make you understand."

"Why would I come?" I said bluntly, poking at my food now, no longer hungry.

"Because then, maybe you'll hate yourself a little less or maybe none at all," and then she shrugged, getting up as she did so, "and who knows, maybe something crazy will happen."

She smirked on that, slinging her bag onto her shoulder, "see you later Rose." She strutted away, parting the crowds of fed teenagers like she had an infectious disease. I watched after her, wondering what the hell I had just experienced. It was clear now that Alice was more than just weird. She was fucking insane.

*R*E*

The thing is, I'm a coward. I can't stand to be seen on my own at all. So I still went to sit by her, as she was the only person in the entire school who would not get up and leave when I sat next to her.

But we didn't talk. At least, not much. We'd say 'hello', ask how each of us was and then nothing. She'd read a magazine and would only give one word answers whenever I tried to get a conversation going.

But as I said, I am a coward. I didn't go anywhere near the trophy cabinet after school. My life had already gone on the far side of Twilight Zone, it didn't need anymore pushing. Going with Alice would do exactly that, push it right over, I just knew it.

Maybe she was fucking with me. Fucking with my head. She seemed to be the kinda girl who would do that now. I mean: one minute she is the Holy Mother's prudey prodigee, the next she is Queen of the Underworld. The way she smiled and rolled her eyes, made me think that she was playing the entire school, setting us all up with her act of being the first vampire bride. I bet that when she got home, she laughed at all of us with her vampire boyfriend.

But the way she had spoken to me. Called us 'we', as If we were in the same boat. She seemed to be on my side. She seemed to want to help me. And she seemed to sort of understand. And she just seemed to know things. Things that she shouldn't have known.

She freaked me out. But she also fascinated me.

And everyday people looked at me with scorn, when I found notes in my locker and people deliberately pushed me over in the halls, a little part of my resistance crumbled.

Like she had said, I hated myself and every time I walked into school, all the looks I was getting made that hatred increase. And hate is a tiring emotion. I didn't want to carry around with me anymore, whether I deserved it or not.

If Alice was so happy, the vampires really couldn't be that bad. They coulnd't be any worse than the people at school, the people like Royce.

I had once seen the mother. The small caramel haired woman, doing grocery shopping, of all things. She had a soft smile and an easy grace. She reminded me of those fifties actresses. Of Rita Hayworth and Vivian Leigh. She reminded me of my mom.

They really couldn't be that bad.

In the end it was Jessica Stanley who decided it for me. The girl, who used to try to hang out with me on the concept of 'popular by association', actually had the balls to call me a slut the other day in the girl's bathrooms. She looked slightly terrified doing it but all the same, it showed how far things had changed. As I watched her barely covered ass disappear behind swinging door, I found myself thinking, finally: Hell, I'm already socially screwed, I might as well do it thoroughly.

After P.E. I walked my way shakily towards the trophy cabinet. I don't know why we have one. The last major football win we had was in the 80s, when a mullet was an awesome haircut. I suppose its there to remind us all of how much a cock up of a generation we are, or its there in a pathetic hope that our team would somehow raise itself above the level of shit.

She was there of course, waiting next to that gleaming case of football trophies and cheerleading triumphs. Alice was leaning against the wooden casing, looking tiny against the jostling crowds around her. I heard a jock mutter something as he walked by her and heard her snark back, "suck my dick, Lebowski."

I supressed a smile and she finally looked at me. She grinned the widest smile, "the Pageant Queen is finally here!"

"Happy?" I said, standing stiffly and looking down. Alice is at least a head smaller than me, which I'd never realised before.

She noticed this too. "I wish I was as tall as you," she grouched, "I'm a dwarf."

"A gothic dwarf," I corrected her.

"Well aren't you the comedienne," Alice replied, still grinning though, "c'mon, Jasper's waiting."

I balked, "Whuh-what?"

She rolled her eyes, "Jasper doesn't bite. Well, he won't bite you." A spark of something raw, "not if I have any say in it."

I gulped, "And…the others?"

Alice's face flicked over to a smug smirk that irritated the hell out of me, "…different story."

Oh holy shit. She's setting me up. That was her ploy all along. She was setting me up on a blind date to be a vampire. The little- "Bitch!" I said drawing away from her, her look of smugness evaporating, "you're setting me up for a date aren't you? That was your fucking plan all along." I bet she's their procurer or something. Clever. Place a procurer in a high school full of impressionable and horny teenagers, easy pickings. And she picked me.

Shit, if I went with her, my body is going to end up in a cold wet ditch somewhere. Maybe this the other vampires will finish off what Royce had started.

That jagged oily thought made me want to vomit.

Alice now look terrified, "Oh God Rose, its not like that!" she pleaded, "you have to believe me, its not like that!"

She reached out to me and I recoiled, "Don't fucking touch me!" I shouted, "stay the fuck away!"

I tripped over my feet but still managed to turn and start pushing against the crowd. I heard Alice swear loudly then shout my name again. I ignored her, pushing my way through trampling teenagers until I was out onto clear space. I ran towards the parking lot, thanking God that I had parked the car close to the front doors of the school. I clicked it open, fumbled my way inside and fiddled with the keys, trying to get the car to work. The key finally clicked into place and the engine growled. I hastily made my way out of the parking lot, my breath coming out in quick terrified pants. I thought I saw a flash of gold from one of the sleeker cars in the parking lot but didn't take a closer look.

Heart in my mouth, I concentrated on not killing anyone on the way home. My brothers were being picked up by my dad so they could go to some 'male bonding' thing. My mom was on her weekly night out with friends.

I was alone. Again.

When I got home, I staggered out into the cold afternoon. I tripped up the steps and scraped the key in the lock, wanting to be somewhere safe. The house echoed as I entered it. The chandelier above the stairs tinkled as I slammed the door. The silence after was absolute. Choking.

I stormed upstairs, kicking off my shoes as I went. I ran to my bedroom, locking myself in and staggering back, my breath coming in harsh pants.

Then I heard the creak.

I froze, as I became sharply aware that I wasn't as alone as I thought.

Within heartbeat, I was back, with bark rough against my skin, the sharp cold air in my lungs, the mixed smell of pine needles and sweat. I knew it was a vampire. Something in my gut just screamed that whoever was with me wasn't human. I didn't dare turn around (I heard they could hypnotise you with a look), just stared fixedly at my photo-covered wall. Royce was in some of those photos. The connection did not help.

"Rose?" a gruff yet soft voice, "Rose, I'm Emmett. Emmett Cullen. Alice has told me all about you."

If I get out of this alive, I am going to kill Alice Brandon.

And Rose? It was calling me fucking Rose. Fucking. Rose.

"I know what you are," I said, voice trembling, "I know what you want to do to me. And my parents will know. They'll make sure you're staked before you know it."

Yeah, and the sky is pink.

"That's what you think?" the question was calm, measured, in contrast to the frantic pattering of my heart, like a trapped bird's wings.

"Yes, I'm not stupid. Alice set me up, I knew it." I was fighting the urge to start sobbing. Composure was key here.

"Alice was setting you up, but not for what you think," the vampire replied, "I don't want to hurt you."

"What do you want?" I replied, my vision blurring slightly. The round faces of my ex-friends blurred together, the colours mixing into a twisted vision.

"I want to take it all away for you," the vampire's voice tremored, "I want to make you smile again. I want to dance with you for eternity. I want to show you the world. I want to giveyou the world." The list made the cold fear in my blood melt slightly. He was meaning every word. And it didn't creep me out. Rather it intrigued me. I'd heard another rumour, that vampires took consorts as eternal wives, who never age and become part immortal with their vampire by their side. Was that what this was? Was I a consort? "And I'd never," this came out as an animalistic growl that shocked me to the core, "hurt you the way he did. If you'd want, I could make him scream for you. Beg for mercy."

The bloody promise made my blood race. Not because it scared me, but because it sparked a rage that had never been felt before.

What the hell is going on?

I swallowed and said, "so…I'm your consort then?"

His voice suddenly sounded a lot closer, even if I didn't hear him move. "Yes," he said simply.

It took me a while to compose myself for my next question, "You won't hurt me?"

"Never."

"Will I…will I still be myself?"

"Yes. Only you will be loving me. And vice versa."

So many promises. And I'm only 17 for Chrissakes.

"What do you do to me again? Do you bite me and fuck me?"

"Essentially yes. But I wouldn't call it fucking."

I scoffed, "what would you call it?"

"Bonding. That is not something done to someone else. It has to be mutual."

What he was really saying rang loud and clear. It made a hot tear escape down my cheek.

"Will you…fix me?" Because I needed it.

"If I can, yes."

Maybe it was stupid of me to trust him. But he sounded honest to the core. He didn't coo at me or make wild poetic vows that I knew Royce would have done. He was straight, to the point. Royce was romantic but never told the truth as it was. He had to dress it up first. I now knew what I preferred.

And he promised to mend me. Whether I deserved it or not, I hated the fact that I felt like something had been stolen from me. I wanted to feel whole again.

So, because I was a stupid teenager in love with the idea of love, I turned around so I could truly discover what love was.

Amethyst eyes were all that I could see. My breath caught as I saw the way light seemed to shatter and refract in the perfect rings of deep purple that held my gaze. Everything seemed to drain away from me, until all I could feel were his hands suddenly holding me close, the heat suddenly seeping through my clothes, and the warm washes of breath that caressed my face. His eyes seemed to spark and morph in colour, one moment amethyst, the next lavender to eggplant.

I don't know if I could describe what happened to me. The world seemed to shrink and expand all at the same time. That repulsion for vampires I felt before seemed to become a memory, a distant dream of bad times. Times when I was alone.

But no longer.

Something swelled and burst in me, sending electricity, hot and crackling though my limbs. His eyes also seemed to spark again and a grin that showed a playfulness I had never seen in Royce was echoed there. "There you are," he murmured, tucking a curl of golden hair behind my ear.

I smiled slowly, shyly almost. "Hi," was the brilliant reply that my brain could come up with.

He grinned, "hello. It's a pleasure to meet you."

I knew that this would normally terrify me, I knew that I should feel terrified. But I didn't, in fact I felt the absolute opposite. I was pretty sure that I would never be safer as I was then.

"You too," I whispered, so quietly I was surprised he heard it.

He cupped my face, holding me close to his gigantic body, "can I kiss you?" The question was polite, there was something boyish in his look as he gazed down at me.

I nodded slowly, reaching up to wrap my arms around his neck.

That was when he kissed me for the first time. It made Royce's kisses seem weak, pathetic attempts at intimacy. Emmett pressed his mouth softly against mine, cupping my face. He smelled of wood smoke and cinnamon, darkly spicy. His lips felt soft but they firmly moved against me, waves of sparks tingling out from where is skin met mine. He gathered me close, a slow hum vibrated from him as I began to kiss back. He somehow managed to manoeuvre us to the bed, laying me down gently on the covers. My hands finally moved to bury themselves in his hair, curling across his scalp. His large chest rumbled and his mouth moved from my mouth to trace the line of my jaw, then down to the column of my throat.

There was the press of something sharp and then oblivion shattered through my body. The pleasant burning of before spun in a fury that lit my body up like a firework on July 4th. I arched up, a gush of heat in my abdomen, searing sweetly in a way I had never experienced. I was being bitten by a vampire and I was enjoying it. I gripped onto his huge shoulders, lips parted in squeaking gasps as he latched onto my throat, making my world narrow until only we existed. He growled into my throat, taking gulps, and with each swallow, pleasure pulsed in my body.

In a moment of clarity I realised: this was whom I had been waiting for, who I was going to give my virginity to.

That fact sent my mind reeling. And my body humming.

*R*E*

He lay on his stomach next to me, arm across my chest, gazing lazily at me, a beatific smile on his face. I gazed back, arms wrapped around his arm. We'd moved into the centre of the bed, the sheets tangled around our legs. It was quiet; only the trees rustled outside and the occasional call of a bird broke the peace. We weren't talking, just relishing in the afterglow of finding one another.

I now knew that I had no idea of what love was before. I thought love entailed flowery gestures, songs crooned and poetry scribbled. It was actually incredibly simple.

I now knew that happiness was an impossibility without him.

But that was ok, because I knew it was the same for him.

As I traced the contours of his face with my eyes I thought about everything that happened up to that point. My life was now looking completely different to what it was this morning. My fear of vampires seemed so stupid now. Irrelevant, childish even. Hiding from the monster underneath the bed, even if you weren't sure it was even there.

Thinking like that got you nowhere, I realised now. It probably what drove me to Royce. Fear of stuff I didn't understand, fear of not being the same as everyone else. Royce had seemed to be safe when he was the exact thing I should run away from.

"What are you thinking about?" Emmett stared with eyes the colour of crushed mussel shells, a playful smile gracing his lips.

"I'm processing everything," I confessed, turning onto my side so that I was fully facing him, his arm now on my waist and I tucked my hands up under my head, "What happens after this?"

He grinned goofily, and it made me smile too, "we take things slow."

"It can't be that simple," I said bluntly, nestling my forehead against his.

"It is, of course it is," he said, nuzzling his nose against mine, "your family is nothing like Alice's family so we just need to break it to yours gently." He pressed his lips gently to mine, "we'll be ok."

"What about school?"

"Alice will take care of you. I'll take care of you. I'll never be far off," his eyes scoped my body, expression now sombre "but no school for a week."

"Why?"

"Because Marking takes a while to set hold, your body is weak, vulnerable," then his expression changed to a mischievous grin, "and I also want you all to myself."

He pulled me close and buried his head in my neck, kissing the tender bite mark before kissing along my collarbones and down my sternum before moving back up again. I was giggling again, loving his cheeky nature. I ran my hands over his body, tracing the lines of his body, skimming my palms along his back as his face hovered over me, grinned boyishly "ready for round 2 baby?"

I laughed. What a goof. I wrapped my legs around his hips and quirked an eyebrow, "question is: are you ready, stud?"

Something heated in his gaze as he took the challenge, "sassy."

I frowned in surprise, "you like that?"

He raised an eyebrow, "Are you kidding? It's fucking hot."

I smiled at his admission, brushing my lips with his.

Yes, this was love.

*R*E*

We fell asleep after that, tangled together in my bed, feeling utterly content.

We didn't hear the doorknob turning and the door creaking, we were fast asleep.

We heard the scream though.

Emmett was the first to wake, then his fangs clicked down and he crouched into a defensive position over me, snapping and snarling. I awoke while this was happening, drawing up my covers around me, staring in shock at the person in the doorway.

My mother. Her hands flew up to her perfect face and tears sprung up in her eyes. Her screaming died away, leaving a broken whisper, "Ruh-Rose?"

Emmett still crouched naked over me, not sure if the danger was over, his large body nearly blocking my mother. "Mom, I can explain," I tried quickly, reaching for Emmett's t shirt and throwing it on. I reached out to Emmett's quivering bicep, gripping it to calm him down and whispered to him, "Emmett, its only my mom. Put some pants on."

Happening to someone else, I would have found this funny. But it really wasn't. Not with the way my mother was looking at me.

Disgust could not have been more clear, "what are you doing Rose?" she said it coldly, all previous traces of warmth and the mom I knew devoid from her face.

Swallowing, I moved forward as Emmett pulled his pants on, still not relaxed though. He stared at my mother with clear distrust in his gaze, still placing his body in front of mine. "Mom, this is Emmett. He's my cuh-consort." I choked on the words as my mom gave me a look that should have shrivelled me.

It was like a dagger had been shoved into my back again. Completely unexpected. Completely undeserved. I knew that now. I didn't deserve any of this.

But life is unfair and unpredictable, no matter what you do.

"I am very disappointed in you Rose," she suddenly said, pearls gleaming in the overhead light, "I'd taught you better than to roll in filth."

Tears sprung to my eyes and Emmett snarled, my grip on his arm stopping him from springing at my mother as she continued to send more daggers into my heart, "I've heard you've been sleeping around at school as well."

Oh god, not you too.

"Breaking Royce's heart like that. You should be ashamed of yourself. And now you let this thing into my home," she eyed Emmett, completely unafraid by the way he was still looking at her like a lion ready for the kill, "you are not the daughter I thought you were."

My heart was pulp now. Tears were falling thick and fast and I couldn't stop them. I watched helplessly as the last tether to my old life loosen and break away.

Looking back, I know I should have let Emmett bear me away. Spare me the torture of losing my mother's love. But part of me needed to stay, in the pathetic hope that she would turn around and say that everything was all right and that I was still her little girl.

But that was like waiting for rain in the desert.

Mrs Hale never made a mistake. She never made a faux pas. She said what she said and that was that. She was flawless.

"Mo- mom," I blubbed, in a last ditch effort, "pluh-please." Emmett drew closer to me, gripping my thigh in support.

Mom didn't even bat an eyelash, "Get out. Get out of this house. I don't ever want to see you again."

I was beyond consolation then. I curled into a ball and sobbed; unaware of how Emmett gathered me up and bore me away. My stomach was knotted and balled and I felt like it was about to drop out my butt. How could I have gone from surfing the highest of highs to plummeting to the lowest of lows?

And why my mom? Why did she have to turn on me too? I thought I knew her. Mind you, I thought I knew Royce too.

It now looked like the only person I could count on was the one carrying me to god knows where. He's been nothing but honest from the moment I met him. Something in my gut told me I could always trust him.

So I held myself close and breathed in woodsmoke and spice.

*R*E*

His heart boomed under my ear, a steady and thudding rhythm. We lay, prone in the big blue soft bed, tangled as we had been in my own bed not hours before.

He'd scaled the wall of some big grand house, entering through one of the windows into a large spacious bedroom, making a beeline for the bed. He had lain me down, like I was a figurine of blown glass and held me close until the sobs had died down and he continued to hold me even then.

Pressed lips to my temple, large hands smoothing over my skin. His warmth seeped through my layers of skin and heat the tired worn thing that had been my heart. I felt washed out and yet he didn't seem to mind.

All I could think about was my mom. Her sneering face. Her apathetic glare.

She'd called me filth. Not worthy of her household.

That knowledge stayed with me like a knife in the stomach. Sharp and heavy.

As darkness turned the room into soft grey shadows and blue light, there was a knock at the door, "Guys! I come bearing food!"

Alice's chirpy voice cut through the quiet and she sounded unbearable cheerful, as per usual.

"Leave it by the door, midget," Emmett called out.

"I'm not a midget," but the food was passed through the door all the same. "Come out when you're ready!"

"Why is she always so happy?" I asked irritably as I heard her move away, "its fucking exhausting."

"She's cute," Emmett said, chuckling slightly, "but I don't know how Jasper copes with her. She's mental."

"Say that again," I muttered, glad for the distraction, "What's her deal anyway? Some of the stuff she was saying sounded like she was psychic or something."

There was a pause before he said, "Well…she's an Oracle. So she can see the future."

Well…shit.

Unexpected.

"Right…" I said taking it in, "so she knew…"

"She knew that you were my consort," he explained gently, "she was trying to coordinate a gentler meeting between us at your school, so as to cause you little fuss. But she's not very subtle. She's sorry that she caused you distress. She was only trying to help."

"Oh…" I said stupidly, now seeing Alice in a different light. Emmett was right, she wasn't subtle but she had seemed like she only wanted to make my situation that bit better.

Pondering this, my stomach began to growl with hunger from the smells of food coming from the doorway.

Emmett sniggered, "Hungry Rose?"

I smiled sheepishly as we shifted in the bed, "Maybe."

I made to get out but he stopped me, "I'll get it."

I'd barely blinked and he was by my side again, a tray holding a bowl spaghetti bolognaise, a glass of orange juice and cutlery. I dug in quickly, glad for what I had always thought of as comfort food. Emmett watched me eat, much like one would watch a documentary. "So," I said, after I had dulled the hunger pangs somewhat, "does Alice know everything about the future?"

"She knows some stuff," he said casually, "mainly concerned with our family. She knows who is going to become consorts after you."

My gaze snapped up, "who?"

"Kate Forsyth. Bella Swan."

Such different girls. Different from me, different from Alice. Different from each other. Kate was a tomboy, hanging out with the lacrosse team the whole time. Bella Swan was just a loner, a drifter, not giving two fucks about anyone. Her snide comments in the bathroom at Erin's house proved just how jagged a girl she was in comparison to me. What made them chosen for all of this? Was it a gene, a freak of DNA? Or was it just pot luck?

Glancing at him, I realised that he must have shitting bricks before knowing who was going to be his. I mean, not knowing which girl was going to change everything for you. Which girl was going to take your heart.

I'd be terrified.

"Are you…" I asked quietly, hoping for the answer I wanted, "are you happy with what you got? Me? I mean, I'm-" I choked on the words before quickly stuffing my mouth with more pasta.

Pasta is good for stuff like that.

"Rose," he said quietly, "I love you. More than anything. In my eyes, you're perfect. You're mine."

His royal purple eyes were smooth and deep in their stare. There was no doubt that he meant every word.

I swallowed my pasta. "I love you too," I said just as quietly. I knew it was true. I did love him, everything told me that I did, like they say in the movies: head, heart and gut.

This was right, despite what the anti-vamp campaigners say. He pressed his lips against mine, soft and sweet. When he pulled away, something dark skittered in his gaze, "Royce King deserves to die."

It was a blunt statement. Violence crawled in every word. I licked my lips and said, "he's a horny teenager. He lost control." I defended him for two reasons: one was that I had a feeling that encouraging violence towards Rpyce King was to lower myself to his level. And the other; the idea of Emmett bearing a part of his soul on my behalf was too much to bear.

"No excuse," he growled, "I will never lose control if I thought it would hurt you. Never."

"He's not going to touch me now," I said. I gripped his hand, relishing in its warmth and toughness, "he wouldn't dare."

Emmett was at least a head taller than Royce and several inches thicker in muscle. Royce would cream his pants if he tried to go up against Emmett, no mistake.

"Don't you want justice? Revenge? And your mother, she had no right to judge you in that way. What about her?" Emmett demanded. He was fighting my corner for me I knew, but I wish he would drop it.

"Royce King doesn't deserve my tears anymore. No one does." I said bluntly, even if tears prickled the corners of my eyes at the mention of my mother, "he doesn't deserve shit from me. I am done with him."

I said this firmly and to seal the words I leaned forward and clashed my mouth with Emmett's. Food forgotten, hands in his hair, I straddled his thighs, putting everything that was in me into that kiss.

Relief was sweet when he took my lead, kissing back with just as much fervour.

*R*E*

The next morning, I awoke in Emmett's arms again. He'd wrapped his arms around my middle, head on my stomach while my hands were buried in his hair. Surveying the damage, I saw what we'd been too preoccupied to notice. The food had been thrown to the floor in the aftermath of our conversation. His shirt, which I had been wearing, lay in tatters by the bed.

Looking him over, I gasped in shock when I saw the reddish marks all over his body. They were in the shape of teeth. Had I really bitten him? I must have gotten possessive or something. I sniggered at the thought and combed my fingers through his hair. "Poor baby," I crooned, "someone owns you."

He muttered something in his sleep and snuggled his head into my stomach a bit more.

He is a baby. A big muscly one.

His head was on my bladder as well and I was starving again. Gently extracting myself from his grasp, I slipped out the warm bed and padded towards a door, which I assumed was the bathroom. I was right. Once I had relieved myself, I searched through the massive wardrobe next to the bathroom door, pulling on another one of his shirts and a pair of his boxers, realising I now had no clothes.

Not wanting to dwell on the reason why, I wondered if I could find a kitchen somewhere. My stomach rolled with hunger and I was sure I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. It looked like it was already late morning anyway. It couldn't hurt to have a look? I mean…I'll probably be living here now, wherever here is.

Gathering my courage I gave Emmett a kiss on the forehead and slipped out to the hall outside. Faintly I heard conversation coming from the stairs just to the left of Emmett's room. I glided down, following the sounds of soft melodious voices and smells of really good food. The house was huge and beautifully decorated, priceless paintings on the walls and beautiful if slightly odd flower arrangements on tables around the house.

I reached the bottom floor, where the voices were loudest. Treading carefully I followed the sound to an open doorway, peeking in.

The caramel haired woman I'd seen in the grocery store was in there, her back to me. Stirring a pot on the stove along the opposite wall, she chatted with a handsome boy who looked no older than me, with penny coloured hair. He leaned up on the counter next to the stove, bottle of something dark and red in his hand.

Vitality.

He was a vampire.

It didn't shock me as much as I thought it would. So far, Emmett was the only vampire I had been in contact with. Being so intimate with him put any fears I had of others to rest.

I wasn't afraid, which was a good start.

I coughed politely and the two turned their attention to me. The woman was just as beautiful as I remembered, with kind green eyes and a smiling full-lipped mouth. "You must be Rosalie!" she cried, quickly setting the pot of deliciousness off to the side so that it wouldn't burn, "I'm Esme, Emmett's mother. Sit down, you must be starving. Best thing after a marking is a full fry up, sound good?"

Startled with how unperturbed she was with the whole concept of marking (she must know I fucked her son four ways till Sunday. We weren't exactly quiet) I nodded and sat down on one of the tall chairs that surrounded the granite-topped island. While she busied herself with a frying pan, the boy eyed me hostilely. "So you've taken Emmett," he stated, glowering at me.

I glowered right back. Who the hell does he think he is? "Yes." I said brusquely.

He scoffed and took a swig of his drink before muttering darkly, "another one bites the dust."

It was highly amusing watching Esme smack him behind his head. "Edward Anthony, you do not talk that way to a lady," she snapped, "and you don't mean that. Blaspheme about Marking again and I'll box your ears. Apologise now."

He flinched from his mother, looking like a told off toddler before mumbling a 'sorry' at me and sloping off out the kitchen without a word.

"That was Edward. Don't mind him," Esme said calmly, opening a fridge to extract eggs, bacon and sausage from its depths, giving me a wan smile, "he's feeling a bit out in the cold now that he's the last of his brothers."

Remembering what Emmett had said earlier I asked, "He's supposed to be with Bella? Why doesn't he go into school and…" I trailed off, realising what a bad idea that was. Weird how your perception shanges when you change sides.

"He's the brooding type. Questions Marking a lot as you saw there," Esme explained, with the roll of her eyes, cracking eggs and laying bacon onto the steaming frying pan, "its not the right time apparently." Esme scoffed, "boys, honestly!"

A man with golden hair and golden eyes suddenly walked in, examining a set of documents without looking up. Esme's face seemed to soften and she reached for the man as he sidled up to her, kissing her gently on the cheek, his gold eyes now fixed on her "Esme," he murmured softly, seemingly unaware of my presence. He brushed a caramel lock from her cheek and smiled softly, as they gazed into each other's eyes.

It was such a personal moment that I found myself looking away, ashamed of my intrusion. The man's voice saved me though, "Rosalie Hale, I am Carlisle Cullen. We've been expecting you for some weeks now."

I looked up to see him eying me with a cold curiosity, his gaze completely different from moments before. I gulped and said a squeaky 'hello' in reply. He seemed utterly calm yet ruthless at the same time. His focus scared me a bit.

He smiled, if a little offhandedly and addressed Esme again, "you were having troubles with our youngest."

Esme sighed, "he's mooching over being the last. Talk to him Carlisle, he's been sullen all morning."

"Very well," he said softly. Kissing Esme one last time on the mouth he walked of the kitchen, tossing a 'pleasure to meet you' over his shoulder to me.

"Edward is so much like Carlisle, they could be twins," Esme muttered, turning back to the stove. She eyed me up and down as she began to fry the most awesome smelling breakfast ever, "You're very beautiful. Emmett is lucky."

I blushed, truly humbled, "thank you. You're…you're lovely too."

She was. She almost reminded me of my mother. Elegant, calm and beautiful. But there was a warmth there that was more constant than my mother's. She just seemed to radiate tenderness, compassion. I was drawn to her and I'd hardly talked to her for a few minutes.

She smiled softly, "You're too kind dear. I understand you've had a hell of a time recently."

She didn't look at me with pity. She looked at me with empathy. "You ever need to talk, I'm here."

I was speechless for a few minutes; only break the silence when she set my breakfast down with cutlery and a napkin, "thank you."

She gave my hand a squeeze, her warmth radiating through me when Emmett suddenly trooped in, only in sweats and a grumpy expression on his face. "Emmett George, put a shirt on!" Esme said sharply again, back into the roll of tough-mother-with-rules-godammit.

Not that I was complaining at shirtless Emmett George Cullen.

That shit can happen anytime.

He ignored her, wrapping his arms around my waist and burying his face into my hair. "You weren't there when I woke up," he mumbled tightening his warm arms around me.

"It was time to feed the human," I explained, placing a hand on his huge arm and giving it a gentle squeeze, "girl's gotta eat."

He brushed kisses across the back of my neck, mumbling stupid stuff into my hair. "Don't do that again," was the only clear thing I heard.

Yes, definitely a huge muscly baby.

Esme, tiny as she was next to Emmett, made up for it in rage, "Emmett, get a shirt on. And stop molesting the girl while she's eating. Be a gentleman, for pity's sake."

Emmett whined and finally extracted himself from me. I bit my lip, partly to stop sniggers, partly from crying out at the loss of his warmth. He flashed away and was back within the next few seconds, now with a t-shirt on. He stood behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist again and said to his mother, "mom, she seems to enjoy it and I'm not stopping her from eating. I just wanna hold her."

I blushed again. Emmett just said what was on his mind, without hesitation. It was quickly becoming my most favourite part of him.

Esme rolled her eyes, "for now, I will let you get away with it, you were only M'ed a few hours ago. But after this week, you treat her like a lady."

"My lady," he whispered against the shell of my ear, before giving it a quick kiss.

With all the shit that had just happened, I shouldn't have felt content.

But I did. A hundred times over.

*R*E*

One week later

"Everything is going to be fine," Alice reassured me, kohl rimmed eyes staring earnestly at me, "just stick with me when you can and focus on Emmett when you're alone. You'll be fine. I promise you."

Emmett sat next to me in the car, his hand a hot brand on my back, "you don't have to do this." He'd been saying this all the way from home to the school.

I wish I could agree with him. But I did need to do this. Hiding from the world would do me no good. And it didn't seem fair: if Alice could manage on her own then I could manage with her by my side. The week we'd spent together after I had been Marked, when Emmett had spared me for meals, I'd grown used to her excitable brand of energy and she seemed to like me. I found out that the whole goth thing was just a look for school: she was screwing them all over.

Alice had come far from being the bible basher.

Jasper was the complete opposite of Alice. Calm, composed and very serious. He hardly smiled and if he did, it was usually something that Alice said. They suited each other perfectly. She cheered him up and he calmed her down.

Speaking of which…I really needed calming down. Just being in the parking lot was making my stomach churn. Thank god for tinted windows.

Chewing on my lip, I peered out at the teenagers that flowed past our car. They didn't cast the car any curious looks, used to its presence every school morning.

As Alice began nattering away again about coping mechanisms, I wondered how my brothers got to school that morning. Usually I would have taken them, since mom didn't drive and Dad was always away in Seattle where is job was during the week. I hadn't stepped inside my old house since my mother discovered Emmett and me in my bedroom. I'd gone back a couple of days after to pick up my things, only to find them stacked outside, in plastic trash bags. Some of the trash bags were filled with ashes.

They'd burned photos of me. They'd incinerated childhood knickknacks. They'd completely erased me from the house.

I was beyond tears at that point. I just numbly salvaged what I could, with Alice and Emmett by my side. The curtains from the big house twitched as we gathered the things together but I saw no one.

Well, it wasn't like it was going to be balloons and rainbows.

'C'mon Rose, your stalling yourself,' I thought, gripping the handle of my bag firmly and shifting in my seat towards the door, 'man up.'

"I want to do this," I said resolutely, "I won't hide. I have nothing to be ashamed of."

Not all of me agreed with that statement but I was working on it.

Emmett didn't look happy but he kissed me tenderly while murmuring against my lips, "you need me, I'll feel it and I'll be there."

I smiled shakily and nodded in understanding. Alice was already out the car so I gave him one last kiss and one look at his face so I could hold it in my mind before slipping out into the parking lot.

Alice hooked her arm through mine and grinned a black lipped smile, "buck up Chuck. Whatever it is hasn't happened yet."

I laughed at her logic and said, "Whatever Alice. Lets do this shit."

I felt all eyes were on us but I kept my head high and walked on, Alice chirping away about Alexa Chung's photo-shoot in Vogue. I listened in, ignoring the hissed names of 'vampwhores' and 'Corpse brides'. They wouldn't hurt me.

I just thought of violet eyes and a booming laugh.

Alice parted with me so she could go to Bio. She gave my hand a squeeze and said, "lunch time. It's a date."

I grinned and let her go before wandering to my first lesson.

In the end, the shit didn't hit the fan until the end of the day. Everything was perfectly fine before then. Our lunch was spent people watching and laughing our asses off at the stupid things people do when they think no one's watching. There was also just the same unoriginal name-calling. Don't think anyone was really surprised about my association now with vampires in the end: I was just Queen Slut, living to my name. It was all rather boring.

Royce just had to take it too far.

"Whore!"

As we walked out of school and into the parking lot, Alice didn't falter in her talk about how shit her homework was.

It was only when I felt talons dig into my upper arm, snapping me around.

Erin's bronzed face sneered, "what the fuck are you doing back here, vamp whore?"

Royce's laughter boomed but it didn't nearly sound as innocent as Emmett's laughter. "You think you could just waltz back in here as if nothing had happened. Stupid bitch."

Alice placed her hands on her hips and cocked an eyebrow, pure gothic terror. "If I were you Royce, I'd walk away right now."

Royce ignored her, focusing his venomous attention on me, "You have some fucking nerve, Hale."

I scoffed, even when I felt shaky, "that's rich coming from you." I arched an eyebrow at Erin, and she seemed to shrink slightly in her righteous nastiness, "reel your girlfriend in. I heard stupidity was catching."

"Fuck off Hale," he snapped, "you brought this on yourself."

His eyes gazed at something behind me and they gleamed with triumph, "You hear that vampire!" he suddenly shouted.

The blood drained from my face as I whipped around and saw Emmett standing by the car, looking livid, muscles bunching and rolling. Jasper was behind him, looking a serious and his hand clenched on Emmett's upper forearm. Not that it would do any good.

Emmett was strong. He'd shown me with boyish pride how he could rip steel sheets like they were tissue paper.

Royce had no sense of self-preservation. "Your girl has spread her legs for anything with a dick. You might want to keep an eye on her and her stinking cunt if you expect to keep her with you!"

It wasn't the crass things that Royce was saying that made horror fill my gut. It was Emmett's look of murder. He wanted Royce's blood on his hands. He wanted him to suffer.

Emmett charged, fury in every line of his face. Jasper's attempts at keeping him back were futile and Emmett barrelled through.

I knew only I could stop him. He had to be stopped. If he spilt blood here, in this crowd of vamp-hating teenagers, he could have the Union on his back.

They'd take him away from me.

Royce may have taken my reputation, my old life, my family.

But he wasn't taking Emmett. That was the one thing he would not do.

I ran towards Emmett, dropping my bag as I pushed through panicky teenagers. Elbowing someone in the ribs, I cut across Emmett's path before he was 5 feet away from Royce. His growls were loud on my ears as I finally grabbed his bunched fist. The moment our skin touched, he stopped but his obsidian eyes did not tear away from Royce, who was finally starting to look a little scared.

"Emmett, look at me," I pleaded, holding him back, "Emmett, please look at me."

Emmett's fangs were fully descended, sharp and gleaming under the dull white clouds above. His huge body and snarls made teenagers scatter like sheep, but I held my ground. I reached up to touch his face, pleading even softer now, "Emmett, look at me."

He finally turned his head, slow and jerky, as if it was physically difficult to keep his eyes of his prey. His black eyes held no light, no inkling of the Emmett I knew. Trying not to let my voice shake, I cupped his face, making sure he had his absolute attention on me. "He's not worth it, Emmett," I said, soft and low, "he's not worth you being taken away from me. I won't have it."

He hesitated in reply and when he spoke, his voice held the edge of double timbre, "he takes your honour and therefore he takes mine. I will not have him torment you like this anymore."

I saw his point. Vampires were big on honour and upholding it. You disrespected a vampire or their consort and they'll be onto you like a ton of bricks.

Emmett needed to sort this out. Not only for me, but for himself too.

Knowing I was allowing another person to be punished in a way that probably wasn't legal, I leaned up so that my mouth was next to his ear. "Not here," I whispered, curling my fingers into his hair, "Not now." I kissed his temple, "No blood."

He seemed to relax somewhat and nodded in agreement to my conditions. He wrapped his large hands around my waist and lifted me up so that my toes brushed his shins. "Whatever you say, Rose," He said, eyes lightening to the shade of dark thunderclouds.

He kissed me with passion that left me dizzy before, settling me gently onto the tarmac again, taking my waist with one arm and walking both of us away.

*R*E*

Two days later

Thump. Thump-thump. Thump.

God fucking dammit.

I swear to god, if Alice and Jasper are doing fucking sex gymnastics again, I am going to kill them. Believe it or not, looking as good as I do takes a good dose of fucking beauty sleep, the fucking sex bunnies.

Ignoring the thought that Emmett and I had probably been just as loud in the times we did have sex, I took my pillow and wrapped it over my ears, groaning into the mattress. Emmett was off somewhere, he'd mumbled about hunting at night or something and wouldn't be back until early morning. He'd been acting weird for the past two days too. All secretive and shit, always going off somewhere during meal times or right before bed.

Something in my gut told me it had something to do with Royce not being in school for the past two days, ever since the 'scene.'

Maybe it was nothing.

Maybe it was something.

Thump-thump. Thump.

"SHUT UP!" my shout was muffled through cotton and feathers, wishing Emmett was there to provide back up.

If I've got bags under my eyes tomorrow, Alice is going to buy me concealer for a month to cover it up. Because that shit is unattractive.

Suddenly, our bedroom door burst open, breaking through my thoughts about good cosmetics. I scrambled up in bed, removing the pillow, pulling the sheets up around my naked form.

Emmett stood in the doorway, something lumpy and groaning thrown over his shoulders. Golden light streaming out behind him made his face impossible to see.

He dumped the sack down and made it get onto its knees in front of the bed.

Royce's terrified eyes stared at me in a panicky, pleading way, his mouth gagged with dirty cloth over. There were smudges of dirt all over him; his hair especially caked with the stuff. Tears and snot wetted his face and he trembled before me, completely humiliated.

"Royce has something to say to you," Emmett said gruffly. His face was unreadable, his indigo eyes never leaving my face.

I gulped and pushed my tumbling hair back from my face and croaked, "What?"

Emmett bent down and cut the rag away from Royce's mouth. Royce blubbed for a few moments, looking incredibly disgusting before Emmett smacked the back of his head. "Get a hold of yourself," he said coldly, eyes now like icy shards of amethyst.

Royce finally managed to get his act together to choke out, "I'm sorry for forcing you!" He broke down again, babbling away about how he should have never have done it.

You're preaching to the choir, dickwad.

Emmett smacked him again, "there's more Royce, what else were you going to say?"

Royce gasped and hiccupped, giving me a pleading look, "I-I won't tuh-talk trash about yuh-you ever again! I-I wuh-will nuh-never touch another g-girl again, ev-even if shuh-shuh-she wants to!"

I frowned, "Why?"

Emmett smirked as Royce blubbed out again, "he'll kuh-kill me!"

That took me a moment to process but I finally said, "ok." Glancing up at Emmett I gave him a small smile, "no blood?"

Emmett nodded firmly, arms folded across his barrel of a chest.

Taking a deep breath, I finally put the past behind me, "I am satisfied."

Royce seemed to deflate and Emmett hoisted him up again, grinnig like he was Santa Clause, "alright Royce, you can go home now. Remember what I said."

Royce's sobbing hitched for a moment before silencing itself as Emmett bore him away. I lay back, head resting against the headboard and closed my eyes. At least that part of my life was finally put away.

My family was a whole different matter. But that was for another time.

I felt the girl who had been so unsure about herself slip away and was replaced by a girl who didn't care about what people said any more.

Sticks and stones. Sticks and stones.

Emmett finally returned, stripped and snuggled underneath the covers, wrapping his beefy arms around my middle, "are you satisfied?" I asked him, running my fingers through his hair as he placed his ear on my stomach.

"Deeply," he said, snuggling closer, "no blood, I promise."

"What did you do?" I asked him incredulously, "he looked close to pissing his pants."

"I look him to one of the highest trees in the area before dropping him a couple of times, making him think he was going to die before catching him," he said nonchalantly, "may have left him near a grizzlies' hide out for a couple of hours."

I snorted, "and were you actually going to kill him if you caught him with another girl."

"He made that part up," Emmett said defensively, "I only said he'd get the same treatment again. There was no need to overreact."

I laughed at the ludicrousness of the conversation, kissing the top of his head, "You're a goof, Emmett. You really are."

"And you're my angel," he said, gazing up at me with a silly smile on his face, "eternity is not so bad when you get to spend it with an angel."

Wow, eternity.

Bring it on.

ERMAHGERD. THIS IS SO LONG. *Promptly dies of exhaustion*

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Over twenty one thousand words. TWENTY ONE THOUSAND. I've never written that much for one file. Jesus freak, I am dedicated. Or insane.

So that was Rose and Emmett's story! I know it got pretty dark and the sexual abuse part was rough to write. And there's going to be comments about how the parents were conveniently absent while they were doing it.

All I can say is: I'm a writer. I can do what I want. ;p

Uncensored version on TWCS. Link on profile.

I don't know if parts of this are even appropriate or if I got the reactions right. I did my best. I only ask for constructive criticism. Ta muchly.

For those that are interested, I have tumblr now, where I'm planning to put up posts of what's going on in my life and teasers of chapters to come for both this story and others. Check it out (link on profile) if you need to waste time :)

Uni in 7 days! So excited!

Yours,

Bones x

Random fact no. 1: the most famous person I have ever met was the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. They came to my grandma's house for afternoon tea and my sisters and me happened to be staying there for the weekend. We talked about Harry Potter and the terrible weather we had that day. True story.