A/N: I'm probably going to end up posting a few more 'The Blue Hour' one-shots before publishing the story itself since I want you to have a solid back story before reading TBH. This was one of the first scenes that came to mind and persuaded me to write TBH in the first place so I hope you like it.
P.S. PLEASE NOTE: The year is 1947, the twins have been alive for a year and they look like they're six months old (hybrids age twice as slowly as humans in the TBH universe).
Disclaimer: SM owns it all.
It had been just a little over a year since Rosalie's change.
She had been injected immediately with Emmett's venom, straight from a needle and into her heart, the moment that Bella had clawed out of her womb, Felix already swaddled and cradled in his father's arms.
She had writhed in pain for three days, feeling like her veins were being fried, her blood being boiled and her skin being charred. Her body had healed flawlessly and turned into impenetrable granite, but the process of healing and turning immortal had been excruciating.
What she hadn't counted on was the even more painful experience of being separated from her babies for five whole months.
As a newborn vampire, ravenous for blood and barely hanging onto her sanity, she had been kept away from the twins by Emmett and Carlisle. What everyone had warned her about – not being able to think about anything but her need for more blood – was untrue. While she craved it with a ferocity that scared her, the cravings lessened from time to time after hunting and feeding. The burn in her throat never truly faded but clarity was ever present at the edges of her mind.
The one thing that never left her mind, the one thing that she never stopped craving, was the presence of her children. She wanted to see them, to hold them and feel the bond between mother and child. She asked Carlisle and Emmett to bring her to them, begged them and yelled at them, but they wouldn't budge. They wanted her to have control over her bloodlust before she was around them.
When Carlisle had given her the statistics – that, normally, it took a vampire nearly a decade before gaining almost-perfect control over their bloodlust – she had gone into a rampage. She didn't want to wait ten years. Carlisle had assured her that he was confident in saying that her twins would age twice as slowly so they'd still look as though they were only five when she returned but the thought of them not knowing who she was, the thought of them being raised by someone else was even more painful than her change had been. Even if they'd only look like they were five, she would've missed out on ten years of memories.
She had worked hard on controlling her urges and her thirst. She worked without stopping for months, hunting deer and bears (something her husband insisted on) and wolves and mountain lions until she was bloated and felt like throwing up what she'd consumed. Still, the burn was there at the back of her throat. By the fourth month, Carlisle was bringing in towels or clothes dotted with human blood he'd stolen from the hospital. It was difficult, and it drove her insane too many times to count, but the image of her babies (she had seen a glimpse of them for a few seconds before the pain had made her almost black out) had given her strength to try and try again until she succeeded.
It took her five months. Just five months before she was able to hold that blood-soaked sweatshirt and remain perfectly unmoved. She'd stood stock still, her eyes had turned the darkest shade of black, she'd barely breathed at all and she'd had to hunt for a few good hours after that…But she hadn't growled and struggled and fought to drain any humans.
Carlisle and Emmett had reluctantly brought her back to the house – something they'd only done because, along with her newfound, tentative control, they also knew that Bella and Felix were in very little danger around her because of their non-human scent. Even though they were warm – hotter than normal humans, in fact – and had beating hearts and warm blood pumping through their veins, they didn't smell the least bit like humans. They didn't entice her.
It had been over seven months since she had settled at home with her children and her husband and every moment…Every moment was precious. Every day that passed was another day she would never get back. Even though she had a few good solid years before the twins were grown and didn't need her anymore, she was still clinging to them desperately. She would never be able to repeat the miracle of being a mother for the rest of eternity. It was something she mourned deeply.
She did her very best to cherish every day with the twins. She wanted to get the most out of this experience, and she wanted the normal things that other mothers would get with their children. Things would be different for her and the twins. She knew that. She wasn't naïve about that. In some ways, she was glad for it – like the twins aging twice as slowly. She'd get more time with them and it felt like such a blessing. In other ways, she hated it – like how the twins would inevitably look too old to be the children of a woman who couldn't pass for older than twenty-one at most.
It was why, with the twins looking as though they were about six months old, Rosalie was taking the first step towards normalcy, dirty diapers and bloody milkshakes aside.
She was taking the twins out to the park.
It was an idea that was met with incredulity and wariness by the others but Rosalie had been adamant. Normal mothers were allowed to take their normal children to the park anytime they wanted. Besides, a few hours of fresh air might be good for the twins.
Carlisle had wanted to be absolutely sure that she would be able to handle it. After all, there would be plenty of humans out at the park and there was no controlling the wind. Their scent blown her way might trigger her inner vampire and it would end badly for everyone if that were to happen.
They'd practiced for weeks. Esme would order some furniture and had it sent to the house so that Rosalie could get used to actual human beings instead of just drops of blood on clothes when the delivery men came. In the dead of the night, Carlisle would tentatively bring her near the hospital or through a street of houses, Emmett and Edward stringing along in case something went wrong.
When Rosalie passed all of these 'tests' with flying colors, barely-there speed bumps along the way, they'd taken things up a notch. She'd step through the hospital doors, maybe even take a detour through a crowded hallway to Carlisle's office. She'd be down in the living room to greet the lustful, Happy-Meals-On-Legs as they arrived to cart a heavy piece of furniture Esme could've handled with her pinky finger.
Finally, after weeks much to Rosalie's impatience, she was given the all-clear.
Now here she was, dressed in a summer dress, a hat and a scarf, her long coat wrapped around her buxom body, as she sat elegantly on the blanket Emmett had laid out on the grass. The whole family was there, just in case an 'emergency' came up and she needed the help. The only people she was focused on, however, were her children and her husband.
Emmett was sitting on his knees directly opposite her, Felix and Bella in between them. Carlisle, Esme and Edward were sitting on another blanket barely a foot away from the four of them, watching every move she made.
Well, Rosalie thought dryly. Edward was probably watching Bella more than he's watching me.
Even now, even after changing into a vampire and imprinting on Emmett as he had imprinted on her when she was human, even after knowing first-hand the bond between two mates…The idea of Edward, a forty-six year old man trapped in the body of a seventeen year old teenager, her brother no less, loving her sweet daughter like that…It wasn't something she could get used to.
She knew Edward felt no romantic love for Bella yet. She was too young, too innocent, and all he felt for her now was familial love and protectiveness. Still, all Rosalie could hear when she was told of this was 'yet'. Someday, Edward would love little Bella the way Emmett loved Rosalie and she wasn't sure if she'd be able to handle that.
She knew that Bella had bonded with him, as well, but the little girl was too young to understand it all. All she knew was that the boy with the funny-colored hair was pretty and she liked having him around, and she couldn't even put that feeling into words yet.
Shaking her head, Rosalie decided to put off those thoughts and worries for now. She wasn't going to ruin the first family outing with her husband and their children just because Edward had ruined things.
"Ba…" she heard a sweet coo and her eyes fell on her tiny son. It didn't seem like he was trying to say anything (with their bodies' slow aging process, it seemed their minds aged as slowly as well, matching the speed at which they physically grew). He was staring up at the open blue sky, his hand reaching at a perfect cloud and his fingers clenching opened and closed a few times.
Rosalie took hold of his small hand, bent her head down and pressed a loving kiss to his tiny knuckle. "Sweet boy," she murmured, brushing some of his soft dark brown hair from his forehead.
Felix turned his head in the direction of her voice like he always did (Edward had told her that even though she hadn't been present the first five months of their lives, they'd heard the sound of her voice for much longer while they'd been in her womb and, as a result, they'd already loved her before they were born…She supposed even Edward had his uses once in a while).
Felix either smiled or had gas, but Rosalie felt the irrepressible urge to hug him. Giving in to her desires, she scooped him up with a grand flourish, making him squeal in shock. She began pressing kisses all over his face, making him giggle.
Bella, whose eyes had zeroed in on them after hearing Felix's laughter, began to scowl. Her lower lip trembled and her eyes darkened to a dark violet. She began to fuss, jealous that her brother was getting all the attention.
And, of course, daddy came to the rescue.
Rosalie almost had to stop herself from rolling her eyes as Emmett immediately plucked Bella out of her spot on the floor, cradling her in his arms and rocking her back and forth. His soothing murmurs and the loving, dimpled smiles he gave her made her happy instantly and she awarded him a similar dimpled grin in return, little fingers reaching up to pat his cheek and grab his nose.
It almost made her envious to see the bond father and daughter shared. They were so similar and so close to one another that it bordered on ridiculous. Emmett liked to tease Edward, saying that it was some sort of joke the universe was playing on him, giving him a future mate in the female version of his brother.
Edward, Rosalie learned, could not take a joke - especially when it came to Bella.
"A-bum-ba," Bella cooed nonsensically in her father's arms, throwing an almost smug look Felix's way, as though to say 'See? You're not the only one who can babble.'
Emmett chuckled, nuzzling Bella's downy hair lovingly. "Yeah," he agreed, as though her words had made sense.
Felix wriggled a little in Rosalie's arms and started to whimper when he noticed his mother wasn't giving him the attention he wanted. "What is it, angel?" Rosalie cooed at him, bringing him up closer to her face. "What is it?"
Felix made an indistinguishable sound at the back of his throat, and she saw that his eyes kept flickering away from her and towards something in the distance. She followed his gaze and saw that he had been staring at an ice cream truck a couple of feet away from them. His hands were clenching towards the truck now and she knew he wanted some ice-cream.
"Oh, you want ice-cream, do you?" she asked knowingly, smiling at her little boy.
He frowned at her, his palm facing upwards as he moved it up and down a few times, as though asking 'Why are we still here and not there getting yummy frozen treats?'
She laughed. "Okay, okay," she acquiesced. "We can get ice-cream. But don't think this is a regular thing, young man. The moment you learn how to talk, I want to hear words like 'please' and 'thank you' all the time, you hear me?"
He cooed at her in response and sucked a lock of her hair into his mouth.
Rosalie grinned down at him. Turning to her husband, watching her with fond eyes, she asked, "Do you think Bella would want some ice-cream?"
Even though Bella and Felix were twins, and were both half-human, half-vampire hybrids, their tastes tend to vary at times. Recently, Bella abhorred everything sweet while Felix craved it. Rosalie felt like she should ask, anyway, not wanting to neglect either one of her kids.
Emmett shook his head. "Nah, she hates that stuff," he said. "Besides, she just showed me that she wanted her, uh…" He coughed, looking around. "Milkshake," he finished in a low tone.
Rosalie half-smiled, half-grimaced.
'Milkshake' was what they called the concoction Bella and Felix were so fond of – milk and blood mixed in together. It looked a lot like strawberry milkshake, which had become their codename for the strange mix.
Rosalie nodded. "Okay," she murmured. Still cradling Felix, she leaned forward to kiss Bella and Emmett. "Be good for daddy," she told Bella in a mock stern tone.
Emmett placed one hand on her cheek just as she was about to pull away and stand up. "You're so beautiful, Rose," he whispered to her, leaning in to give her a much more passionate kiss than the one she'd given him seconds ago. It was more reserved than what they were used to behind closed doors, but much showier than anything she'd ever indulged in in public.
It was moments like these that she was glad she wasn't able to blush anymore.
She pulled away from Emmett's kiss when Felix smacked a fist against her chest disgruntledly, unhappy that she was taking so long to get him some ice-cream. She smiled at her husband – a silent promise of more later – and got to her feet gracefully. Her purse slung over one arm, she carried Felix the few yards from their spot to the ice-cream truck.
There was a line of people in front of her, little children holding the hands of their mothers, pleading for this flavor and that flavor and this topping and that topping. She ignored them all. When once, she would've been envious of them – and would no doubt feel jealous once more decades or centuries into the future when her kids were grown and she was no longer needed as their mother – she simply felt blessed that she had the same opportunity as them with her own kids.
Felix grew bored waiting in line while the others before them bought their treats. He grabbed fistfuls of her hair and started a little game where he'd yank slightly on her golden mane, waited until she softly chided him, pulling the hair out of his grip, giggled then started all over again.
She was gently pulling her hair out Felix's grasp for the twentieth time, mentally cringing at the possibility of Felix pulling a little too hard and giving her a bald spot forever, when she heard a voice address her.
"You have a beautiful family."
She turned her head slightly to see a vaguely familiar looking woman. She frowned, wondering where she'd seen the brunette before. Her vampire memory told her the answer instantly – the woman, her husband and their little daughter sat a few feet away from Rosalie and her family. Even though Rosalie hadn't paid attention to anything but her kids and Emmett, she could still place the woman. With vampire memory, all she needed was a one second glance to remember something forever.
Immediately, she began to assess the other woman. She was average-looking and her clothes weren't as fancy as Rosalie's. Her eyes were a common, dull brown and her skin had imperfections that were so blatant to Rosalie's sharp eyes. Her smile, Rosalie noted with smug satisfaction, was envious as she took in Rosalie's beauty, her obvious wealth thanks to her clothes, and the impossibly angelic baby in her arms.
"Thank you," Rosalie replied primly, not bothering to hide her proud smile when the woman's eyes widened into saucers at the sound of her musical voice.
It took the other woman some time to gather herself, shaking off the shock at hearing Rosalie's beautiful voice for the very first time. "I-I…" the woman cleared her throat. "I don't know if you saw me but I sit a few feet away from you and your family."
"Oh, really?" Rosalie delicately tucked a wayward strand of golden hair behind her ear. "I hadn't noticed…"
The woman nodded slightly. "My name is Marianne," she almost mumbled.
Marianne was silent for a few long moments before she spoke again. "How old is your son?" she asked.
"Six months," Rosalie replied, knowing that the twins hadn't aged physically enough to be a year old. It might not seem like much but she didn't want to risk anyone getting even the slightest bit suspicious.
Marianne nodded again, not seeming surprised at all. Her eyes swept over Rosalie's form once, another brief look of envy passing on her features. "You seem to have bounced back from pregnancy and birth very well," she commented. "I gave birth to my youngest – another girl – two years ago and I'm still carrying some extra weight…"
Rosalie merely shrugged. "I suppose I'm just lucky that way," she said, another beatific smile on her lips.
"Ahh…" Felix sighed. "Aa-baa…"
Marianne smiled. "He's very gorgeous," she complimented. "As is his sister. I saw her earlier…Her eyes are very stunning."
Rosalie grinned. "Yes, they are," she agreed, loving that at least part of her human life was immortalized in her daughter.
Marianne took in the golden tone of Rosalie's eyes but didn't comment on them.
Rosalie had worn blue contacts whenever she came into contact with humans in her first year of her new life, and the blue and red mixed together had formed a purple color almost similar to the unique shade of Bella's eyes.
Now, however, her eyes were the same color as the rest of the Cullens and bore no resemblance to Bella's or Felix's eyes. On one hand, she was relieved: those contacts were very uncomfortable to wear. On the other, she was disappointed.
"You must be very proud," Marianne smiled slightly at Rosalie.
Rosalie gazed down at her son, whose dark blue eyes (the exact same color as Emmett's human eyes, she was told) were riveted to the truck. Only one customer was ahead of them now. "Yes, I am," she replied without hesitation.
The dark-haired woman in front of them paid for the ice-cream she had just bought her daughter and the pair moved away. Rosalie shifted her body away from Marianne, dismissing her presence without a second glance or a word goodbye.
The ice-cream man eyed her with shock and lust, a look she was familiar getting from men even when she was still human. She ignored his appreciation of her beauty, much more interested in Felix's wants.
"What would you like, hmm?" she asked her baby boy sweetly, already knowing that he'd like chocolate ice-cream. "How about some chocolate?"
Felix recognized the word, even if he couldn't say it himself yet. He shrieked happily and she laughed. "One scoop of chocolate ice-cream, please," she told the ice-cream man.
When he paid no heed to her words, staring awestruck at her, Rosalie cleared her throat, annoyed. As much as she reveled in the way men worshipped her beauty, she also had a fussy baby in her arms who was on the verge of throwing a tantrum.
"Excuse me?" she called out, her irritation evident in her tone.
The ice-cream man blinked a few times, an embarrassed blush on his face. "Oh," he muttered, mortified. "I'm so sorry, miss…"
She waved him off. "A scoop of chocolate ice-cream, please," she repeated, her tone less kind this time despite the supposed politeness of her words.
Felix gurgled happily, his eyes lit up, as Rosalie paid for the treat and moved away from the truck, small cup of ice cream in one hand. Rosalie took longer than he would've liked feeding him the ice-cream, however.
Before, she had been too swamped with being irritated at her pseudo-family for their overprotective tendencies and her attention had been completely focused on her beautiful children. This was the first family outing with the twins and Emmett and she had been tuning out the rest of the world, too delirious with happiness to notice anything outside her perfect bubble.
However, now that she had gotten her first glimpse of others' envy when it came to the flawless picture of her life with her children, Rosalie wanted more. She wanted to see them looking at her with jealousy. She wanted to catch their lingering looks. She wanted to hear their longing words.
Why shouldn't she, after all? She had the two most beautiful children in the world. Anyone would be jealous of her.
She deserved to be proud of her angels. She had gone through such a terrible ordeal when she was human, and had received such devastating news of her inability to conceive just a day after the attack. Emmett had healed her, metaphorically and literally, and for that she could never repay him enough. He had healed her womb with his venom as they had made love – without even intending to – and he had given her two children. It hadn't been easy bearing half vampire hybrids and now she reaping all the benefits for all its worth.
Her head held high, Felix clutched to her chest, Rosalie strutted back towards her family with a renewed sense of self-satisfaction. She took in the green-eyed women around her – even the lustful, longing men – and smiled even wider.
Yes, she was the most beautiful woman they had ever laid eyes on and yes, the baby she was carrying was far more gorgeous than their children could ever be. She made no apologies for it.
Felix didn't share her view.
He couldn't wait for the frozen treat and whimpered a few times in impatience. He wasn't satisfied even when she sped up slightly on the way back to her husband and daughter.
"Alright, alright," she sighed. Reaching out, she seamlessly cradled his tiny body to her upper body with one arm, the cup of ice-cream in her hand and her free hand scooping up a tiny dollop of ice-cream with the small spoon provided.
Felix hummed slightly and accepted the chocolaty goodness his mother offered. The happy sound made her laugh.
He was halfway through the treat by the time they reached the others. Rosalie dropped back down onto the blanket with an almost regal grace, placing Felix on her lap as she continued to spoon-feed him ice-cream.
Bella was still tucked into Emmett's chest, her tiny body completely relaxed. Her face was serene and her eyes were heavy-lidded as she suckled the blood-mixed milk from her bottle. Her sleepy eyes flickered from Edward, whom she had been staring at, to rest on Rosalie and Felix. She made an indiscernible sound around her bottle as she gazed at her brother.
Emmett was holding the baby bottle, tipping it up so Bella could drink easier, and her tiny hand was placed near his on the plastic bottle as she drank. Their fingers brushed against one another as he fed her.
Because of their physical contact, Emmett was able to read her uncensored thoughts. She was too young to be able to form words and sentences in her mind, but emotions and images and memories were crystal clear in her mind. As they were projected into his mind, Emmett smiled at the memory Bella was longing for.
"She wants to know if Felix is ready for a nap," Emmett revealed to his goddess of a wife. "She wants to snuggle." That was an unnecessary thing to say considering Bella and Felix had yet to spend one night apart from one another. For all their little 'fights' (where Felix would telekinetically throw teddy bears at Bella and Bella would keep stealing his pacifiers for herself) the two of them were very close to one another.
Rosalie laughed, a sound that made Emmett feel as though his heart had miraculously started beating again and run at a gallop. "Aw, sweet Isabella," she murmured, leaning in to brush a soft kiss to Bella's nose. Bella giggled around her bottle, scrunching her nose slightly at the ticklish feeling of her mother's lips. "Do you miss your brother?"
"Mmm…" Bella hummed.
Felix turned away from the almost-empty cup of ice-cream. Dark blue eyes zeroed in on his sister. The bottle flew out of Bella's mouth and toppled to the blanket on the ground.
Rosalie gasped. "Felix!" she chided. "That wasn't nice!"
Felix ignored her. Instead, brother and sister stared at one another, something akin to smiles on their faces.
Emmett picked up the half-empty bottle, wiped it clean and attempted to give it to Bella once more. Bella whimpered, straining her head away from the bottle. Emmett chuckled. "I guess big brother knew she didn't want the milkshake anymore," he commented with a silly grin.
Rosalie shook her head, a smile curving on her lips. "Let's put them together before Felix uses his gift to pull his sister to him," she suggested. "The last thing we need is more attention drawn to us."
Edward snorted from his spot next to Emmett. "Yes, I'm sure that's really how you feel," he said sarcastically.
Rosalie's blissful smile slipped into a frown. "Why are you here?" she asked him irritably. It annoyed her to acknowledge that he wielded enough power to momentarily chase away her happiness, even if for a few moments. "This is our spot. You're supposed to be there with Carlisle and Esme."
Edward rolled his eyes. "Bella wanted me," he answered simply.
"Well, I'm here now," she turned her nose up at him. "You can leave."
Edward didn't move an inch.
"As long as she wants me, I'm here," he said confidently, much to Rosalie's consternation.
Rosalie scowled at him. "Bella doesn't need you right now, Eddie," she said through gritted teeth. "She's tired and wants a nap. The least you could do is stop being selfish."
He outright laughed at her this time. "That's rich, coming from you," he retorted.
Emmett sighed. He had pretty much resigned himself to the fact that his brother and his wife would never get along, ever since their first meeting. In fact, these days he found humor in their squabbles. Rosalie didn't have any reservations in hitting below the belt, so to speak, and Edward was snarky when he was cranky, which was pretty much every minute he was away from Bella.
Still, it didn't mean he enjoyed their fights all the time.
Bella must feel the same. Hearing the terse words between her mother and her Edward, even if she didn't understand what they meant, upset her. Her lips trembling, her eyes welled up and she started to cry.
"No, no, no," Rosalie panicked. Placing a confused Felix on the ground, where he curled into his baby pillow and favorite soft toy, she reached for a wailing Bella, plucking her from Emmett's grasp before Edward could. She ignored the desperate look in Edward's eyes as he watched someone else comfort his imprint. "Come on…Shh, baby girl…Don't cry."
Bella's clenched fists waved around in the air as her distress grew. Rosalie continued to rock her gently, her hand reaching out to lightly brush back her hair. Her cool fingers accidentally brushed against Bella's forehead, and she caught a glimpse of Bella's mind. Edward's face swam in Bella's mind, longing tingeing his image.
Rosalie pulled her hand back, feeling as though she had just been slapped by her own daughter. She stared with anguished eyes at her daughter, hopelessness flooding her heart for a moment. Her chest constricted, she leaned down and pressed a kiss to Bella's forehead. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut, trying to force away the slew of images she immediately absorbed from Bella's mind at the light contact. All Bella wanted, it seemed, was a hug and cuddle from Edward.
"Here," she spat out bitterly, holding Bella out for Edward to take.
The pathetically pained look on Edward's face slowly disappeared until Bella was firmly clutched to his chest. A blissful smile bloomed on his face as he shushed her, alternatively humming a soft melody to her.
Bella's cries dimmed bit by bit until she stopped crying altogether. Her teary violet eyes opened and she sniffled as she stared up at Edward. He smiled softly down at her, one arm supporting her tiny body as he reached out with his free hand to swipe at the tears from her cheeks and the corners of her eyes.
"Hello, love," he murmured quietly to her. "There, don't cry. I don't want you to be sad…"
Bella sighed at the sound of his voice and curled into his chest with a contented smile.
Rosalie scowled deeply at the sight. She knew that Bella loved her. She knew that Bella felt the bond between mother and daughter between them. She knew that Bella depended on her for many things. But she also knew that there were certain things, certain comforts, that only Edward could give Bella…And she absolutely loathed it.
Was it so wrong for her to want her one and only daughter to need her? Just her and no one else. Emmett was an exception and so was Felix but those were the only two men Rosalie wanted in Bella's life for the next few years.
Carlisle was wrong, Rosalie sighed. Thirty years was too short a time for her. What was three decades in the face of forever?
She was startled when she felt a large hand on her shoulder. Looking up, she saw the brilliant topaz eyes of her husband…And the darkened understanding in them.
He felt the same way, too.
He squeezed her shoulder then shrugged slightly, a half-grimace on his face as though to say 'We both don't like it…But what can you do? He makes her happy.'
Rosalie sighed. Lifting Emmett's hand from her shoulder, she twined their fingers together and pressed a kiss to the back of his massive paw.
Turning back to Bella, still cradled protectively in Edward's arms, she cleared her throat. "Bella must be getting sleepy," she said. "Let me put her down for a nap."
Edward looked up, his golden eyes a little stormy at the thought of his future mate being apart from him, even if she would be right in front of his eyes. "No…I can hold her," he protested. "She seems comfortable in my arms…I don't mind."
Rosalie gave him a glare. "She specifically asked for Felix before, Edward," she chided. "Give her to me."
When he hesitated again, she seethed, "Hand over my daughter, Cullen."
His grip on Bella tightened for a moment as he looked down at her violet eyes. Bella gazed up at him, a confused frown on her face. She reached one closed fist to his jaw, but nothing significant came to either of their minds. She was only projecting her desire – she wanted to sleep. She wanted the comfort of her brother. She wanted to feel Edward's love while he held her. She was confused.
Sighing, and knowing that he couldn't keep her to himself all the time no matter how much he wanted to, he bent his head and brushed tiny kisses along her hairline, breathing in her sweet scent and letting her soft hair tickle his nose. "Go on, my love. Be with your brother," he urged her softly.
She frowned, her head snapping back and forth between Edward and Felix, her brother drifting in and out of sleep restlessly, unused to sleeping on his own when his sister had always been by his side.
"Uh…Num?" Bella mumbled sleepily.
Edward smiled at her gently. "No, I don't mind," he answered as though she had actually formed a coherent question. "I know you love him, too. It's okay. We'll play when you wake up."
She gurgled, a small smile on her face, and watched him with semi-open eyes as he gently transferred her into her mother's arms.
Rosalie paid Edward no mind at all, murmuring softly to her daughter as she placed her right next to Felix. The moment Bella was on the ground, she turned on her side. Felix did the same, the two of them facing one another. Cuddled into one another, the pair of twins fell into deep slumber.
"Well, today had gone splendidly," Carlisle said with a huge smile. "Good work, Rosalie."
Rosalie preened at his words. She knew it had been hard for Esme, Edward and especially Emmett to be around humans in the beginning of their eternal lives. None of them would have been able to sit around for hours surrounded by humans while their scents blew around them just one year after their change.
I think it's safe to say that, next to Carlisle, I have the most control in the family, Rosalie thought smugly.
"So is it okay if Emmett and I take the twins out again sometime?" Rosalie asked eagerly. "Soon?"
Carlisle nodded his head slowly. "I'd feel better if, the next few times, Edward or I accompany you four…Just to be safe," he added quickly at the scowl he saw forming on her lips. "But there doesn't seem to be any need to confine you when you did so well today."
Rosalie nodded stiffly. Having Edward or Carlisle following them on trips designated for them and their miracles would be…Unsatisfying, at best. But it was better than having to stay inside and out of the sight of civilization. At least, this way, she could still bring her children out.
She knew it would only be a few years until it was too late for her to take the twins out and still be able to claim to be their mother. Sooner rather than later, she'd have to claim the title of their 'sister' out in public. She sneered at the mere idea.
As long as I can still pass as their mother, I'm going to milk it for all its worth, Rosalie thought decidedly.
She was already thinking of trips to the zoo (maybe that isn't such a bright idea, Rosalie winced, thinking of all the animals that would be in fright at their mere presence) and future trips to the park, the playground, maybe even an outing to _.
She could picture the cute little outfits she'd dress the twins in – pretty dresses and bows for Bella, and smart little shirts and pants, maybe a pint-sized baseball outfit or two for Felix – and the covetous glares she'd get from others.
She hummed happily to herself as she made her way into her empty room. Emmett had gone hunting after they'd gotten home and placed Bella and Felix in their room.
Stifling the urge to giggle, Rosalie sighed contentedly as she spun around once on an impromptu dance and sunk down on the edge of her bed.
Who knew I would turn out to be this happy? Rosalie thought to herself, spreading her arms behind her back, palms flat on the soft mattress, and tipping her head back with a smile.
"Don't you think you're being a little selfish?" she heard, and the smile on her lips immediately disappeared.
Sighing again, this time out of irritation, Rosalie opened her eyes and turned to look at Edward. He had his arms crossed over his chest – and she couldn't help but think of how scrawny he was compared to her lover – and he was leaning against the doorframe.
Scowling at her fleeting thought of his supposed 'inadequacy' compared to his brother, Edward stepped into the room.
"Did I invite you in?" Rosalie sniped.
Edward smirked and shrugged. "Well, that's the good thing about real vampires – you don't need to invite them in," he retorted.
"You call that a good thing?"
He ignored that. "You know, I heard your thoughts earlier-"
She interrupted him. "You hear everyone's thoughts all the time," she snapped. "I know my head's a pretty place to be in, Eddie, but do me a favor and try staying out of it. It's starting to look like you're crushing on me."
He rolled his eyes. "Please," he scoffed.
"Imagine how strange it would be for you to have wanted me when you'd be courting my daughter in a few decades…" she continued to taunt him.
He snorted derisively. "The last thing I want is you," he jibed. "I've never found you attractive, Rosalie. Your shallowness is too suffocating."
She glowered at him.
"I heard your pride as others looked at you at the park this morning," Edward said, staring into her eyes unflinchingly. "I heard your desire to flaunt the twins like prize trophies…" he shook his head. "I've always known you to be conceited, Rosalie, and truly I think my brother is too blinded by your beauty at times…But don't you think using Bella and Felix like that is taking it one step too far?"
Rosalie could feel a growl reverberating in her chest at his words. Him insulting her wasn't something uncommon – she did the same to him twice as much. But insinuating that she used her children? That she only wanted them for the novelty?
"For a mind reader, you're pathetically horrendous at understanding people," she spat at him, rising off the bed with vampire grace and speed. "You know my thoughts; you know my desire to be a mother. Now that I have that, don't you think I cherish them with every fiber of my being?"
Edward shook his head. "I know you love them, Rosalie," he said, and his tone softened slightly. "But I also know you love the envy of others when they look at you and see the beautiful picture the four of you create. You crave the attention."
She couldn't dispute that, but she didn't want to defend herself and her actions to Edward. She shouldn't have to. He was nothing to her but Emmett's annoying, busybody brother. "This doesn't concern you, Edward," she told him coldly, turning away from him to head to her vanity table. "Leave it alone."
"I can't," came his instant reply. "I'd love nothing more than to leave you be, Rosalie, but Bella…She is my world. You're exploiting her, using her. You shouldn't be parading her around like that just because you want other people to be jealous of what you have and they don't."
She spun back around to face him, fire blazing in her eyes. "How dare you," she seethed through gritted teeth. "I would never harm my child. I would lay down my life if it meant keeping them safe. I love them both more than anything, Edward. Your bond with Bella is still new. You haven't sealed it yet, not with a kiss, not with…Anything permanent."
She fought away unwanted thoughts of an older Bella making love with Edward, letting him mark her as his the way mates do.
"My bond with her is much stronger than yours at this point," she continued. "I am her mother. Do you understand what that means? I will always protect her. I will always cherish her. So I'm prideful of her. I'm proud of her beauty, I'm proud that she's my daughter. That is not a crime. Mothers flaunt their beautiful children all the time. I'm simply doing the same."
Shrugging she said, "All I did today was take my children out for some fresh air and fun at the park…Is it my fault that people are attracted to beauty?"
He gave her a knowing glare. "It is when you boast Bella and Felix about with the intention of gaining attention and jealousy," he told her.
She sneered at him. "Don't act so high and mighty, Eddie. As though you have no flaws," she scoffed. Abandoning her hairbrush and tossing it onto her vanity table once more, she stalked closer to him with an almost predatory gleam in her eyes. "Need I remind you, Edward, that sometime in the future, you're going to want to court my daughter? It may be a few decades yet but it's inevitable, no?"
The mock smile on her face slipped off completely as she spat out, "Then maybe you should consider respecting your elders from now on."
He rolled his eyes. "You do realize I'm older than both you and Emmett, right?" he drawled.
She shrugged. "Maybe so," she acquiesced. "But when you start courting her, our roles will be of the parents of the girl you love. And when you want to marry her, it will be Emmett's permission you'll be seeking. And, of course, once you're married, Emmett and I will be your in-laws…"
Edward grimaced at the thought and shook his head. Perhaps it's best not to interfere any more, he thought to himself as he left Rosalie's room to join Emmett on his overnight hunt. It's pointless trying to break through to her. Unless Bella shows signs of distress, I'll let Rosalie live in her own world. It's safer for all of us that way.
Edward's words still ringing in her head, Rosalie found herself in the darkened nursery, looking into the big crib housing her twin babies.
They'd gotten separate cribs for the twins during Rosalie's pregnancy but by the time she'd come home to her children for the first time, she'd discovered that Bella and Felix had gotten so irate having to sleep apart after bonding so well in their mother's womb that Edward had built them a crib big enough for both of them together.
Bella and Felix had been napping for nearly two hours and she could see them slowly rousing from their slumber. Bella yawned cutely, one fist brought to her neck while the other extended to her side, almost hitting her brother in the head. Felix, disgruntled, swatted at her fist with his own, still mostly asleep.
Bella scowled at her brother, completely wide-awake now. Wriggling around in her pink sleeper, Bella twisted and rolled from side to side until –
Rosalie gasped. "Bella!" she crowed happily. "Oh, sweetheart! Look at you! You rolled over!"
Bella squealed happily. Even if she had no idea what was so exciting about what she'd done, she seemed to get excited when others around her did. She gazed up at her mother with sparkling eyes, rocking from side to side on her tummy for the very first time. Felix, awake now from the noise Rosalie and Bella were making, stared wide eyed at his sister with his mouth open.
"Ooo…" he sounded out, making Rosalie laugh because his tone sounded wary as though Bella had done something bad.
Reaching out, Rosalie brushed back some of Bella's downy hair, smiling down at both her children. Her mind kept replaying the moment when Bella first turned over onto her belly and the pride she felt then was so overwhelming…She could still feel the after effects.
Pride was something Rosalie was very familiar with. She had grown up beautiful, rich and coveted. She was raised to be the best at everything she was meant to be, everything she was meant to do. Rosalie had always been proud of her beauty, of the power she held over men, of the envy women had whenever they looked her way…And yet, none of her past glory moments held a candle to that one moment when her daughter had rolled onto her tummy for the first time.
Frowning, Rosalie gazed at her two children. Bella was still on her belly, staring at her brother and cooing some baby babble no one else but Felix would understand. Felix had drawn his knees to his chest, his tiny feet clutched in his tiny hands. He was rocking from side to side as well but unfortunately, it didn't seem as though he would be performing the same feat as his sister at that very moment. He babbled back to Bella, a frustrated furrow between his brows.
"It's amazing, isn't it?" Esme's voice startled Rosalie.
She spun around to face the matriarch of the Cullen family, and Emmett's second mother for all intents and purposes. "Esme," she said, her surprise evident in her voice.
Esme smiled at her, a gentle maternal aura about her that Rosalie felt she'd always be envious of. Stepping further into the room, Esme drew closer until she was standing right next to Rosalie, the both of them looking into the crib at the twins.
"I can never really explain to someone how intense it feels to be proud of your child," Esme sighed, reaching in to gently tickle Felix's tummy with the pad of her fingers.
Felix shrieked, wriggling away from her and bumping into Bella who promptly reached out to tug at his short hair. Poor little Felix began to cry, frustrated, and Rosalie reached in, gently unclenching Bella's fingers from Felix's hair.
"It's not something someone can understand – unless they're mothers themselves," Esme continued. "The pride of being a mother is so much more satisfying than anything you've ever been proud of before, isn't it?"
Rosalie gave her a curious look. "How did you know what I was thinking?" Rosalie questioned her. "How did you know what I was feeling?"
"It's called maternal pride, dear," Esme shrugged, a loving smile on her lips as she reached out to brush a blonde curl from Rosalie's face. "I felt the same way about my son, no matter how short his life was. I feel the same way about Edward and Emmett…" she grasped Rosalie's hand in both of hers. "And I feel the same way about you."
Feeling her throat close up and her eyes mist over, Rosalie looked away from Esme for a brief moment to collect herself. When she turned back to face Esme, she wasn't any less moved, much to her embarrassment.
"I am…So sorry, Esme," she whispered.
Esme's brows furrowed together. "Sorry?" she repeated. "Whatever for?"
"I feel so very blessed," Rosalie admitted in a rare moment of emotional candor. "I've got so much. I'm living out my most desired dream of being a mother…And you're so good at being one but you don't get to do the same. Instead, you have to watch me live out your dream…"
Rosalie shook her head, swallowing the bitter venom on her tongue, "I don't know what I'd do if I have to sit by and watch some other girl live in my house and bear a child and be a mother when I can't do the same myself."
Esme reached out and pulled Rosalie into a comforting hug. That was something Rosalie could never figure out. Even when Rosalie had been human and Esme's skin had been icy cold to her, her embraces were warm and welcoming…It had never made any sense to her at all.
"Oh, sweetheart," Esme murmured. Pulling back, Esme cupped Rosalie's delicate face in her palms and looked her in the eyes. "I am living out my dream. I have two beautiful sons. I have a new daughter…And I have two grandchildren."
Rosalie gave her an understanding look. "That's…Not the same," she murmured.
Esme nodded. "No, it's not the same," her voice held a tinge of sadness and longing that Rosalie knew had been there in her own voice after her attack and before her marriage to Emmett.
Straightening her spine, Esme said firmly, "But this…You and my sons, my new grandchildren…The most loving and adoring husband I could ever ask for…" A smile of pure love bloomed across Esme's face. "That is more than 'just enough' for me."
Esme nodded. "For forever," she confirmed.
While Rosalie didn't share her views – if it had been her in Esme's position, losing her son just days after his birth, forced into an eternal life of darkness when all she'd wanted was to leave this world and join her baby in the afterlife, unable to bear any more children for eternity – she didn't think she'd be as optimistic as Esme. She would be bitter and angry and envious of those who could.
But that was the beauty of Esme's compassion, she supposed.
Slipping her arm around Esme's waist, Rosalie squeezed Esme's petite frame gently. Even if it wasn't the same as having her own child to raise, Rosalie was glad Esme could find some form of happiness in being a mother to Rosalie, Emmett and Edward. Rosalie was more than happy to share her twins for Esme to treat as her grandchildren.
I wonder why all these one shots are so long. I swear it was only supposed to be about six pages long. I extended it to 8 pages, then 12 pages and then I hit the 'muse button' and wrote until it was 16 pages long.
Regardless, I hope you have all enjoyed this. I have to say, it was interesting getting inside Rosalie's mind…She can be quite selfish, can't she? And I actually cringed writing the scene with Rose and Edward fighting in her room though I felt like I had to keep it in for some reason, despite the harshness of their words. But I feel like I can sympathize with her a lot better after this particular one shot.
I hope no one's offended by Rosalie's and Edward's 'bickering'. I have a feeling that things were tenser than they were in the series when they first begun as a family. Rosalie was already pretty vicious with him in the books but he was too amped up on 'Bella-love' to be vicious back. I think he would've been back when they first became brother and sister. As I was writing this, I thought it was the perfect scene to add. Edward always was overprotective of Bella and Rosalie would flaunt her miracle babies given the chance.
Please leave a line and tell me what you thought of this one-shot outtake. Thank you so much for reading.